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Turkey strongly condemns coup attempt in Ethiopia
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Turkish economy recovered swiftly after the coup attempt
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All materials contained on this site may not be reproduced, published or broadcast without Krytyka's prior permission. A showdown began when a soldier pointed his gun at a man. The army opened fire on the protesting crowd on the square. Shirts off their backs: after the failed coup attempt, rebel soldiers laid down their arms on the Bosphorus Bridge and fled.
Put to flight: after the armed forces had surrendered, soldiers tried to get on a bus to flee from the angry masses. Cheering crowds received him at the airport. Erdogan announced that the rebels would pay a heavy price. It's over! Erdogan supporters triumph and wave the Turkish flag after the army's withdrawal. The coup attempt has failed. Bizarre souvenir: a mother took a picture of her daughter on top of a tank.
The tank on the Bosphorus Bridge was surrounded by Turkish police. After a seven-hour cabinet meeting on 20 July — five days after the coup attempt — Erdogan initiated his counter-coup. In order to "eliminate the danger", a state of emergency was imposed for three months. And that was just the first step towards a regime change. Erdogan assumed the responsibilities of the parliament, the government and even the judiciary and began setting up a regime that concentrated all power in the hands of just one person. He described the process as a "second war of liberation".
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Anyone taking a stand against him was regarded as the enemy. Supported by more than 30 decrees, he initiated a "purge". More than , civil servants, police officers, teachers, judges, lawyers and academics were sacked; around , people were put on trial; 1, associations were dissolved, opposition media were censored and closed down and many journalists silenced.
Thanks to the "gift from Allah", as Erdogan described the coup attempt, he was advancing towards total power. Of course, the three-month state of emergency wasn't enough for Erdogan — he extended it no fewer than seven times. When his power hit an obstacle, he simply increased his power. In the spring of , before the referendum on the constitution, it was his intention to create a climate of fear with a kind of "witch hunt" aimed at convincing the population to approve an authoritarian regime led by a "strong man".
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But the AKP did not have enough clout in parliament. Erdogan took a fateful decision: he entered into an alliance with the ultra-nationalist right-wing extremist MHP. This alliance evoked the concept of the "Turkish-Islamic synthesis". On 16 April , this union abolished the year-old parliamentary government system and anchored a presidential system in the constitution.
In June , in early presidential and parliamentary elections, Erdogan was confirmed in office. After that, he no longer needed the state of emergency. This is because in Turkey, the state of emergency became the status quo. Upon first glance, what happened up to this point looks like a success story that was carefully orchestrated by Erdogan. In addition, Turkey slipped into economic crisis. The reason for this is the destruction of regulatory mechanisms within parliament, government and the judiciary, which led to mismanagement and corruption.
Turkey destroys more than 300,000 books in wake of failed coup
The Turkish President's manoeuvres got bogged down. The bureaucratic system, wholly dependent on the presidential palace, ground to a halt. The population's sense of insecurity grew. Erdogan failed to install competent bureaucrats in his administration in the wake of the mass sackings as part of the "purges". Early this year, Erdogan lost the local elections.
He had to swallow major defeats in metropolitan centres such as Ankara and Istanbul — cities that had been under his control for a quarter of a century.
While the opposition pooled forces, his party suffered a fracture. It gives immunity from prosecution to the coup leaders -- a long tradition in Thailand. Ungpakorn doesn't condone the recent strong-arm tactics of the Caravan of the Poor, but he says they form part of a large and legitimate constituency, mostly dirt-poor rice farmers, who firmly supported Thaksin at the ballot box because he delivered cheap health care and village development grants, albeit often squandered.
Like or despise him, Thaksin received 16 million mostly rural votes at the last election. More and bigger gatherings are to come. The Caravan of the Poor may not be in Bangkok, but there were troop movements in central Thailand this week to set up road blocks following rumors that pro-Thaksin farmers planned to converge on the capital. On Wednesday night arsonists burned down three schools and tried to destroy others but for a rainstorm in a northern stronghold of Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party.
Torching schools in Thailand's deep south, where sectarian violence between Muslims and Buddhists has raged for more than a year, is a common disruptive tactic. But what of Thaksin? He languishes in London with his family and 50 pieces of luggage flown out of the country shortly before the coup. His talk of returning home, even if possibly to face investigation of his assets and business dealings while prime minister, seems premature. One of the men rumored as his replacement, retired general Surayud Chulanont, has warned that such a move could trigger trouble between his supporters and opponents.
For Ungpakorn, there is a special significance to his opposition to the coup. He spent part of his boyhood in Britain where his father, Puey, a former Bank of Thailand governor and rector of Bangkok's noted Thammasat University, fled into exile in during military coup purges of academics. Thaksin was rightly criticized at home and abroad for his blatant attempts to control the media, sacking unsympathetic journalists at state TV stations and intimidating newspapers with huge libel actions and withdrawal of government advertising. But the coup leaders have shown little sign of being different.
They have forced about community stations off the air, mostly in Thaksin's stronghold northern provinces. TV was blacked out initially but is now, cautiously, functioning again -- with armed soldiers on hand.
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Media restrictions are in force as part of martial law.