Turks believe Gülenist coup was backed by US, research reveals

Published 05.08.2016 21:38

A recently published research analysis titled, "Democracy Watch: July 15 Coup Attempt: The Perceptions of Turkish Society" conducted by the Ankara-based think-tank, The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), revealed that the majority of Turkish citizens believe the U.S. was involved in the failed July 15 coup attempt by the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ). The policy report is based on in-depth interviews conducted with 146 people, all of them Turkish citizens over the age of 15, across seven cities including Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir.

According to the analysis, most of the participants come from a nationalist-conservative background and more than half of the participants are university graduates. It also noted that most of them took part in democracy watch gatherings on the streets with their families and friends. Moreover, the research revealed that there is an equal ratio of men and women taking to the streets in these cities.

When asked who they think is the perpetrator of the coup attempt, nearly all participants pointed to FETÖ, with many of them indicating that they considered the terrorist organization to be a threat to Turkey ever since the Dec. 17-25 incidents. However, they also said that they did not expect FETÖ to attempt a coup and brutally attack the people of Turkey. On the contrary, nearly all of those interviewed expressed a general perception that FETÖ had received international support, pointing to the U.S. as being the real force behind the coup.

Though most of the interviewees expressed their support for the stance of both the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Republican People's Party (CHP) against the coup, criticism was raised against the CHP and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) for not participating in the demonstrations. Meanwhile, the stance of the pro-PKK HDP against the coup has been criticized even by its own supporters. Nevertheless, the government and the opposition parties' united stance against the coup was deemed important by the interviewees, as they believe future crises could be resolved more effectively if the political parties maintain the currently established unity. The report also states that all of the 146 participants supported the state of emergency that was announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 20.Even though the majority of participants stated they were on the streets because they felt insecure in their own homes, more than half of them asserted that they feel secure in Turkey. In addition, while some of the participants demanded the re-implementation of the death penalty for the putschists, they indicated that they are aware that this is a near impossibility and therefore indicated that they want the coup plotters to serve life in prison.

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