EXPLAINERThe events of July 15, 2016 left a huge effect on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy – and can still be felt today.Turkey witnessed the bloodiest coup attempt in its modern history on July 15, 2016, when a faction of the Turkish military launched a coordinated attempt to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
The event was a turning point in Turkey’s contemporary history.
Tanks took to the streets in Istanbul on the evening of July 15 as soldiers invaded the headquarters of the ruling AK Party and fighter jets bombed the parliament building in Ankara. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hulusi Akar, was taken captive by his security detail.
As news of the coup attempt spread, thousands of Turkish people went onto the streets despite attacks from forces supporting the coup, while loyalist soldiers and police forces resisted the coup attempt. At least 251 people were killed, and more than 2,200 were injured but the coup was defeated within hours.
The Turkish government has blamed Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric and businessman who has lived in self-imposed exile in the state of Pennsylvania in the US since 1999, for plotting the coup with his followers. Gulen, a former ally of Erdogan, denies any involvement in the coup. The Turkish government calls Gulen’s network the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO).
Ankara blames Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric and businessman who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, for plotting the coup attempt with his group …