The July 15 coup attempt was one of the most significant turning points in Turkey's contemporary history. Unlike previous coups and indeed, coup attempts, the Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ), who shrouded themselves in the garb of a civic movement for decades, was the main actor behind the initiative. The putschists killed 250 people and wounded more than 2,000. Many governmental buildings, including Parliament and the Presidency, were also hit.
The Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) opponents suffer from a common condition: failing to understand the nature of power, no matter how hard they try. They cannot grasp the practice of seizing and preserving political power with an eye on internal and external factors. For a long time, I attributed that shortcoming to the opposition’s prolonged lack of proximity to power. I imagined that they simply had no experience with the difficulty of striking a healthy balance between the development and implementation of policy and the generation of legitimacy needed to maintain one’s power. I was obviously aware that their commitment to neo-nationalist, Kemalist and leftists ideologies effectively blinded them, perpetuating their weakness.
Ankara’s intervention in Libya fueled a fresh debate in European and Middle Eastern capitals on Turkey's role in the world. Reflecting the view that Turkey has evolved into a more powerful player, that discussion has two dimensions: First, it concentrates on the concrete shifts in the balance of power in Syria, Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean. At the same time, it is a propaganda war with lots of speculation about "real" intentions. It would be impossible to make sense of Turkey’s most recent moves, capabilities and objectives without distinguishing those two aspects.
The outrage over George Floyd’s death at the hands of a racist police officer, which triggered riots in 140 cities across the United States and forced President Donald Trump to threaten military action against protestors, highlighted the importance of "the streets." Attempts to reshape politics through street protests have repeatedly captured the world’s attention over the last three decades. The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, along with other anti-communist uprisings across Eastern Europe, was hailed as a new wave of democratization. Although that revolution resulted in Czechoslovakia’s partition, most observers celebrated its peaceful nature.