The coup attempt and the continuing dispute in its aftermath was not only the concern of Turkey but of the workers’ and communist parties all over the world. Definitely, the course of the events should be considered regarding the class struggle in Turkey but at the same time that very coup attempt also referred to the class struggle around the world, indicating the relentless rivalry and weaknesses within the imperialist order.
In order to share with the international communist movement, the International Relations Bureau of the Communist Party,Turkey has prepared an analysis which consists of 10 critical questions on recent coup attempt and its aftermath in Turkey.
The following International Bulletins of Communist Party,Turkey will cover the answers of these 10 questions in pairs.
The list of the questions is as follows:
1- Who were the plotters of the coup attempt?
2-What was the aim of the coup attempt?
3- Were there any chance for the attempt to be successful?
4 - What is the place of Gulen movement in the history of Turkey?
5 – Is it possible for capitalism and bourgeois politics in Turkey to normalize in near future?
6 – Is it possible for Turkey to shift toward the Russia-Iran axis?
7- Is there a connection between the NATO Summit that took place this summer in Warsaw on July 8-9 and the military coup attempt in Turkey one week after the Summit?
8- Can AKP and Erdogan succeed a restoration after the partial liquidation of the state?
9- Is the future for Turkey an islamist dictatorship led by Erdoğan?
10- Are there any opportunities for a working class politics in Turkey as it is today?
International Bulletin of Communist Party, Turkey No6
Critical questions on recent coup attempt and its aftermath in Turkey:
1- Who were the plotters of the coup attempt?
It would be better to answer this question in two parts: the processes which led to the coup attempt, and the very night of July 15th. It was apparent that the operational actors were the soldiers acquiring different level ranks from various Services of the Turkish Armed Forces, including full generals. The soldiers who were directly involved in the coup attempt took the Commanders of the Forces, as well as the Chief of Defence, hostage; had a raid to the hotel where Erdoğan situated by special forces and then followed his plane by F16 fighter planes; held air strikes aimed the locations of the Special Police Forces, Directorate General of Security and the National Intelligence Organization in Ankara; bombed the Parliament buildings; restricted the access to the Bosphorus Bridge in İstanbul and controlled the air traffic over the city by fighter planes for hours.
It is true that, in order to be able to accomplish such a combat, there have to be a serious number of commanders and sophisticated officers who are present by their own consents, besides the ones who act orderly. It is already known that the majority of the officers involved in the attempt were the members of the Gülenist movement, yet, when the several inconsistencies of the day of July the 15th concerned, the presence of some non-Gülenist officers and bureaucrats, who could be considered taking part in one way or another, stand out.
At this point the prior issues which led to the coup attempt should be referred to.
There seem to be many and various actors, other than the plotters, who would have been happy with the success of the attempt. It has to be recalled that the capitalists of Turkey have sponsored Gülen while he was growing strong internationally. There is the fact that the Gülen schools which raise pro-American reactionary cadres, TUSKON-the Gülenist confederation of Turkish businessmen and industrial capitalists, and other establishments and organizations of Gülenist movement have had various types of relationships with almost all the parts of the bourgeois actors in Turkey since 1990s. Moreover, Gülenists being a first hand part of the capitalist class of Turkey, they have been involved in various types of collaborations with other capitalists over the years. On the other hand, there are allegations pointing how the bourgeois opposition seeked for ways of cooperation with the Gülen movement, including alliances in the elections in the hope of controlling AKP and Erdoğan since 2014.
Lastly the international actors of this non-fictional and from some aspects professionally plotted coup attempt have to be listed. The statements coming from Europe and the USA on the night of July 15 until the probable end of the coup attempt was clear, did not indicate an apparent refusal of the plotters. All through that night the information released by international sources like Reuters and the think-tank Stratfor, proved that it was not only some group of Gülenist military officers possessed the intelligence of the coup attempt.
Additionally, although not confirmed officially, there is the news about the US airbase in İncirlik had served for the attempt. The facts that Fethullah Gülen has been accommodating and being politically active in US and his known links with the CIA reinforce the allegations regarding the supportive role of the some group of forces from the USA for the coup attempt.
Although all these detections depend on factual information and observations, we have to consider the inconsistencies and the oddity of all the course of events. The only unconditional truth about the actual plotters is that they share the exact ideology and class position with the AKP government and carry pro-American and anti-popular identities.
2-What was the aim of the coup attempt?
The coup attempt did not aim a Gülenist government, as some believe. The main target of the attempt was Erdoğan and his close staff, in other words, it was the AKP ruled by Erdoğan.
If this purge would had been realised, the politics in Turkey would be proceeded with an AKP government without Erdoğan, supported by all the other bourgeois political groups. So we have to rephrase the question: Why was Erdoğan aimed to be purged?
The answer of this question lies within the political past of Turkey.
The AKP was formulated at the beginning of the 2000s by the capitalist class of Turkey, to serve the formation of a new model of capitalist accumulation in Turkey and the integration process of the country into the imperialist order. AKP had been founded in alliance with the Gülenist movement which had been an operational tool for the USA and the islamist groups reconciled with imperialism and capitalists.
Having been in power for 15 years, this alliance almost totally has eliminated the secular order; completed the full privatization of the public enterprises and attacked the organised parts of the working class. In 2011, AKP seized full control of the state by eliminating all the resisting points.
Yet, the alliance between the AKP led by Erdoğan and the Gülen movement started to shake after 2011 and turned into a conflict since 2013. It was already the year 2009 when Wikileaks released the Stratfor foresight telling about a possible faction between AKP and Gülen movement.
The transformation in Turkey had led changes in the model of the accumulation of capital and the composition of the capitalist class. The capitalists of Turkey, who had accumulated large amounts from the privatizations, had started to export capital and had headed towards to secure those investments politically as well. The interests of the capitalists required relations with Russia and Iran on mutual interests without growing distant from the NATO and USA.
The strategic agreement on the natural gas pipeline with Russia had been signed in that sense. This would provide a line for Russian natural gas to Europe through Turkey. Besides, Turkey needed natural gas from Iran and Russia. The Russian market was an opportunity for the capitalists of Turkey. On the other hand, Russia was actively involved in political tactics which would drive Turkey out of the USA and EU alliances, and this was partly getting reciprocity.
This bourgeois policy of keeping balances started to be represented in Erdoğan himself. As a once more the bourgeois policy, the expansionism of Turkey led to independent yet unsuccessful moves which annoyed Turkey’s allies involved in USA’s plot on Syria.
However US, whose military containment policy towards Russia has been getting tenser rapidly, cannot tolerate an indecisive ally who acts double sided.
There have been an anti-Erdoğan campaign which started way before the coup attempt but has been intensified recently, in the imperialist press. Although that campaign had mottos like “democracy and the freedom of press”, it was obvious that they aimed to create a stable and docile Turkey.
We very well know that the aim of the coup was neither “secularism” nor “freedom”. The coup attempted to secure the interests of the USA and EU imperialisms and the purge of Erdoğan, which had been attempted before with several other ways but had not been succeeded.