A lot has been going on in Turkey recently, starting from a surprising attempted coup against Turkey’s president. The shocking part is not that there were elements of the military that wanted to overthrow Erdogan, or that the military itself was divided along those lines. Rather, the pieces of interest were that the attempted coup took this long to occur (many were predicting it one, even two years, ago), and that it’s really the first coup in the digital age, and one that should teach whoever next attempts government overthrow some key lessons about how technology can influence the results.
The aftermath of the coup has been interesting, if not at all surprising, to watch unfold. First, accusations against Erdogan’s one-time ally Gulen have increased, turned into extradition requests to the United States, and resulted in thousands of Gulen-sponsored projects being shut down across Turkey. Thousands have also been arrested for their actual or suspected parts in the coup, and the purge of the military, already in progress, is continuing at an escalated pace. In addition, Erdogan’s progress in cementing his own personal power and dismantling democratic checks on his policies and influence has also escalated, thus hastening the degradation or disintegration of the secular and democratic political order in Turkey.