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Five years after Turkey’s coup: a “gift from God” for Erdogan

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Status: 07/15/2021 5:10 AM

Five years ago, parts of the military carried out a coup against President Erdogan in Turkey. A look back at a dramatic night turned into a turning point – and left many questions unanswered.

By Reinhard Baumgarten,
SWR

At first – around 10pm local time on July 15, 2016 – it’s just rumours. At first there were helicopters flying over Istanbul and Ankara. Rumors are growing as fighter jets thunder over two major metropolises in the country.

Soldiers block Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, occupy positions of strategic importance, and block bridges over the Bosphorus. It was next to the first bridge at that time ARD Radio Studio. History in real time: Reporters become eye and ear witnesses to the bloody events on one of the darkest nights in the history of the Turkish Republic.

A sniper shoots civilians from a bridge pier. However, this does not prevent more and more people from flocking to the bridge. The situation is terribly escalating, as protesters are being shot more and more violently. At around 11:30 p.m. local time, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on the private radio station “CNN Turk” via FaceTime. In a dramatic appeal, he implored people to come to public places and airports and – literally – to “stand up to this small group”.

A tank on the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul on the night of the military coup of July 16, 2016 – here, as elsewhere, the putschists were quickly stopped.

Photo: AFP

Thousands are on the streets, hundreds are dying

Thousands of people answer his call. They climb into tanks, park trucks, and talk to soldiers. Meanwhile, fighter bombers are breaking the sound barrier over Istanbul, windows are blowing, people are shivering, fearing the worst for themselves and their country. In Ankara Parliament is bombed and putschists attack police stations and barracks. Helicopters fire tracking munitions at people, at cars, and at everything that moves under them.

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Nationwide, 249 civilians were killed that night. More than 1,000 other people were injured. The putschists soon find themselves on the defensive and surrender. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced in the early morning that 130 people had been arrested and a general had been killed. It is the beginning of a great “cleansing”.

Erdogan’s followers cheered the day after the coup – purges were already underway across the country.

BILD: Photo Alliance / dpa

Erdogan seizes the opportunity

On the night of the coup, Erdogan declared, “This uprising and this movement are a gift from God to us. Why? Because this action gives us an opportunity to purge the Turkish armed forces.”

The armed forces are not only “cleaned”. 180 good media outlets have since shut down, about 150 journalists have been arrested, more than 100,000 government employees have been fired, and more than 20,000 members and employees of the Turkish Armed Forces have been officially dismissed from service. The most common accusations made by prosecutors are: Supporting a terrorist organization.

For the Turkish president, it was clear on the night of the coup who was supposed to be behind the failed coup: the movement of the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen. This assumption is unfounded. “packed” The aforementioned movement succeeded in occupying key positions in the state and society. This was not done in secret, because, after all, Erdogan admits immediately after the coup attempt, that former presidents and heads of government Turgut Ozal, Suleyman Demirel and Bulent Ecevit “and even we – despite our different political views – all have this goodwill movement supports”.

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First of all, common interests

Did Turkish leaders – and above all the conservative Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) government – really unknowingly feed the snakes in their arms? Certainly not, according to opposition politician Sezgin Tanrikulu ARD . interviewThey walked the road together. Erdogan admitted it publicly. I quote him: ‘What are you asking for that we haven’t already given you?’ ”

Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Fethullah Gulenz’s movement pursued a common goal: to transform a Western-oriented Turkey into a conservative Islamic state. The pursuit of influence and power eventually turned partners into sworn enemies. Even before the coup attempt, then Prime Minister Binali Yildirim frankly admitted that immediately after the night of the coup, there were lists in which it was decided who should be tried. Also for this reason, the coup attempt was a “gift from God” for President Erdogan: an important rival on his path to absolute power could be removed.

So much remains in the dark

There are horrific images from that night: skulls smashed by bullets, bodies smashed with chains of armor. There is an abundance of video and audio recordings. Despite everything, this night is still in the dark in many ways. A parliamentary commission of inquiry was supposed to shed light on the dark night and clarify who knows what, when and when. The commission was formed a week after the coup attempt. After nearly five months of work, President Erdogan abruptly dissolved it by decree. Important witnesses such as the heads of secret services and general staff, Hakan Fidan and Hulusi Akar, as well as imprisoned heads of government, heads of state or putschists, were questioned. Dealing with the coup was the responsibility of the judiciary, which had previously been “purged” in the sense of Erdogan.

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The night of the coup – “God’s gift” – significantly accelerated the political restructuring of Turkey. Since then, crackdowns on political opponents, critics and members of the opposition have been taken. “We believe that the parliamentary system in this country has surpassed itself,” Erdogan said in the wake of the coup night, and declared: “We are building a ‘new Turkey’ and we believe that we will have a new constitution and executive power. The presidential system needs.” Nearly 51 percent of voters approved this new constitution in April 2017 — giving President Erdogan unprecedented power.

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After the blockade of the Suez Canal: “Ever Geffen” is now in Rotterdam – Economy

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The trip is finally over!

More than four months after the blockade of the Suez Canal, the huge container ship “Ever Geffen” entered the port of Rotterdam on Thursday morning.

“A special moment,” said the head of the container port, Hans Nagtigal, of the AFP news agency. “We can finally start unpacking.”


The huge container ship docked at the so-called ECT Delta TerminalPhoto: Remco de Waal/D

Ever Geffen closed the Suez Canal for six days in March. After the ship was finally towed, the canal administration confiscated it to negotiate compensation.

At the beginning of July an agreement was reached with the Japanese shipowner Shu Kesen Kaisha, on July 7 the ship was able to lift anchor.

Nagtigal said Ever Geffen will remain in Rotterdam until Monday. Then I went to Felixstowe in Great Britain, and then to the Dry Dock in Dunkirk, France.

The huge cargo ship got stuck in a sandstorm on March 23 and ran aground. Then the 400-meter container ship was suspended across the narrow channel, with more than 400 ships in front and behind it. It was pulled for free on March 29th.


Cologne Cathedral opposite the freighter & quot;  Ever Given "  - Infographic

Details of the settlement agreement were not disclosed. Egypt had recently requested $550 million (about 464 million euros).

The ship loaded many different products – such as auto parts, bicycles, calendars, garden furniture, clothing and also food. It is unclear how many items can no longer be sold due to the month-long delay.

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Google: Compulsory vaccination for office work

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The US Internet company Google has imposed a mandatory vaccination for employees who do not want to work in the home office. “Everyone who comes to work on our campus should be vaccinated,” company president Sundar Pichai said in an email to his employees on Wednesday. Later Announced Content. The home office regulation will be extended until October 18 due to the renewed increase in Corona numbers.

“We will introduce this base in the United States in the coming weeks and expand it to other regions in the coming months,” Pichai wrote. The provisions must therefore be adapted to individual country Corona regulations and the availability of vaccines.

Google gave its employees the opportunity to work from home early last year. As the highly contagious delta type of coronavirus spreads, the number of cases is rising again in many places.

Apple also extends home office regulations

According to a report »The New York Times“The Apple group actually extended its home office regulations last week – also due to the prevalence of the delta variant.

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The World Health Organization monitors vaccine studies: Corona deaths are rising sharply globally

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The World Health Organization is monitoring vaccine studies
Corona deaths are increasing sharply around the world

The World Health Organization (WHO) is collecting numbers from individual governments related to the pandemic. Also the death toll. This has jumped 21 percent this week.

The number of deaths from Covid-19 worldwide rose sharply in a week: by 21 per cent to 69,000 deaths in seven days, the World Health Organization reported in Geneva. The World Health Organization refers to government data for the week of July 19-25. In total, more than four million people worldwide have died after infection so far. Experts point out that not all people who die of Covid-19 after contracting the coronavirus are reported. On the other hand, some of the dead had previously had serious illnesses.

The number of infections reported last week was 3.8 million, up eight percent from the previous week. On the American continent, the number of infections and deaths has increased significantly. Similarly, more people died in Southeast Asia. Nearly 194 million infections have been reported since the pandemic began in early 2020.

The WHO also looked at more than 90 studies on the effectiveness of WHO-approved vaccines in the real world. So far, funds from Astrazeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/Biontech, Sinovac and Sinopharm have received emergency approval from the World Health Organization. The picture is not complete because more than 60 percent of the studies came from only three countries with early vaccination campaigns (Israel, USA and Great Britain) and only 71 percent looked at Astrazeneca and Pfizer/Biontech.

The effect of vaccination with a delta variable

In general, it can be said that vaccines provide good protection against dangerous pathological processes, according to the World Health Organization: the effectiveness of vaccines from Astrazeneca, Moderna, Pfizer / Biontech and Sinovac was more than 80 percent. In Astrazeneca and Pfizer/Biontech, the number of severe cycles was also significantly reduced in the case of a highly contagious delta type of virus. There are no or no adequate studies available for other factors.

The World Health Organization indicates that a certain percentage of those who have been vaccinated can contract coronavirus, which is also common with other diseases. Several studies have shown that infected people who were vaccinated at least once reduced their family members’ infection by 50 percent and even more than one to two weeks after the second vaccination.

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