Who is in charge of Istanbul and Ankara today? It remains unclear, following an attempted coup. Apparently large numbers of soldiers were mobilized while President Erdogan was away on vacation. The President now claims the coup has failed, and other sources in the Turkish government seem to confirm that report. However, the situation on the ground seems less certain. Large numbers of Turks are in the streets, though reports are mixed as to whom they are supporting, and police have been filmed detaining soldiers.
President Erdogan has worried many in recent months, and some had predicted a coup was possible. Turkey’s economy and status as a tourist destination have suffered, terrorist attacks are on the rise, and the President’s behavior has been described as increasingly paranoid.
A military coup affecting a NATO ally that’s so crucial to the war against ISIS is of great concern to the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. has a military presence in the country, which includes tactical nuclear weapons.
Learn about the attempted coup in Turkey (CNN)
Photo:By Senat RP/Polish Senate [CC BY-SA 3.0 pl, via Wikimedia Commons”
Fans of the band Radiohead were roughed up and frightened in Turkey, during a release party for the band’s recent album. Angry men burst in, demanding that the store close and shut down the party. The men were angry because alcohol was being served at the event during Ramadan.
Shouts of “I kill you” and “I will burn you alive inside,” were heard, which evoked memories of a tragic Islamist attack in 1993, during which 30 intellectuals were burned alive. Also one man was forcibly pulled from the store into the street, and another was hit on the head with a bottle, requiring stitches. But fortunately nobody was more seriously hurt during this week’s frightening episode.
However, there’s a very disturbing trend: more and more, Turkish Islamist groups are responsible for an increasing number of threats against secular groups and citizens, including ominous threats that have lead to the cancellation of the country’s 13th Gay Pride Parade, scheduled for next week. These threats to liberty are a serious cause for concern, and members of secular Turkish society are very worried.
Learn about Islamist threats to liberties in Turkey (CNN)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons