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Resource October 4, 2016

Meet the Journalist: Christopher de Bellaigue on the Failed Coup in Turkey

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The Ataturk memorial statue in Istanbul's Taksim Square on the night of the coup
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Apart from denuding Turkey's once-mighty armed forces of the last shreds of its domestic credibility...

Damage wreaked on Turkey's sovereign parliament, which received a direct hit from a rebel F-16 on the night of the coup. Image by Christopher de Bellaigue. Turkey, 2016.
Damage wreaked on Turkey's sovereign parliament, which received a direct hit from a rebel F-16 on the night of the coup. Image by Christopher de Bellaigue. Turkey, 2016.
The thwarted Turkish coup of July 15, 2016, will have long-term repercussions. The man who was most threatened by the coup and gained most from its failure was Turkey's populist authoritarian: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The principle called into question by the military units who came out against him, in the course of the massive purge he launched in the coup's aftermath, was Turkish democracy. But Turkish democracy, or demokrasi as Christopher de Bellaigue calls it in his Guardian article to distinguish it from the textbook, minority-friendly democracy of the 'mature' polities of the west, is not unique to Turkey; in fact by looking at the Turkish model we can learn much about the political majoritarianism that may be becoming a consensus system in many parts of the world.

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