On Feb. 28, 1997, the so-called Islamist-liberal government was overthrown after a military threat campaign that blocked parliamentary activities and mobilized the secular and nationalist opposition, including trade unions and leftist groups. It was a non-electoral collapse of a conservative-liberal coalition that opened the way for a “moderate Muslim” power in favor of economic globalization. “A post-modern state coup”: This was the diagnosis of the Turkish intelligentsia.
On July 15, 2016, one of the busiest bridges in the world in one of the most populated cities in the world was closed by a small group of foot soldiers; after hours of hustle and bustle continued until sunset, it ended with the lynching of an opposing crowd. A warplane flew at low altitude, doing stunts in the sky of the Turkish cultural capital. The soldiers tried to take control of the state TV and radio stations, while Turkish CNN broadcasted the appeal of the president of the Republic to the citizens asking them to resist.
The Turkish intelligentsia is still debating it: Was this a pre-modern or post-modern coup? The tragedy is that both were real coups. Both were welcomed by the U.S., and both ended with a new diplomatic and strategic balance with the global forces.