ASIA/TURKEY - Analyst Oktem: calls made from mosques in favor of the government decisive to defeat the coup

Monday, 18 July 2016 islam

Istanbul (Agenzia Fides) - When in Turkey the news of the attempted coup spread, the National Directorate of Religious Affairs ordered imams to recite the "salah" from mosques, the Islamic ritual prayer, to express support to the government and state authorities. This intervention, decisive to express popular support to the government and mark the failure of the coup, "is unprecedented in the recent history of Turkey, the last time dates back to the Ottoman Empire, when the Sultan made calls from mosques to organize popular support against the rebellions of the Janissaries".
The suggestive historical comparison is made by geo-political analyst Emre Oktem, professor of international law at Galatasaray University in Istanbul. "Given the crucial importance of that choice" dares the Turkish analyst "one imagines that those who ordered the move had that historic experience in mind, and wanted to repeat it in today’s context".
In a conversation with Agenzia Fides, prof. Oktem offers other analytical insights regarding what happened in Turkey in the late evening of Friday, July 15: "I am struck by the point of view of what Curzio Malaparte would define as the 'technique of the coup' that aspirants tried to repeat a pattern identical to that of the successful coup of May 1960, and those that came after which failed. There is an anachronism of more than half a century.
As if they did not realize that we live in 2016. For example, they tried to occupy the state television network. But in 1960 there was only the radio network, it was enough to take possession of that to condition the whole Country. Now, there are thousands of TV channels and radio ... They wanted to appoint high-level military representatives at the head of the National Bank, just like the seventies. But now we are in the Twenty-first century, global economy is moving along other lines, there is no need to try to control the State Bank .... the coup leaders seem they did not have in mind the real dynamics experienced by the Turkish people".
For the future - adds Emre Oktem - it is still too early to guess what will be the consequences of the failed coup at a national and global level. Fethullah Gülen’s Movement, the thinker residing in the US, has long been an important component of the Islamic front who supported Erdogan. Now the organs of the Turkish government indicate him as the instigator of the coup, and could present to the US the request for Fetullah Gulen’s extradition. "If the US refuses" adds Oktem "this could lead to a crisis between the US and Turkey, at a time when the two Countries should work together in the fight against terrorism. It is necessary to see how the military and state officials arrested will be judged. If their trials are carried out illegally, this will cause new social tensions and open the door to new crises". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 18/07/2016)