A Coup as Audacious as Turkey's Future

MIN READJul 19, 2016 | 08:00 GMT

People wave Turkish flags July 17 in front of a billboard in Ankara displaying President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey's coup attempt will lay bare the country's inescapable identity crisis.

(CHRIS MCGRATH/Getty Images)

The bizarre scenes of Turkey's fleeting coup attempt are imprinted on our minds: a TRT news anchor declaring at gunpoint that the military had seized control of the country, a frazzled CNN Turk journalist holding up her iPhone for a puffy-eyed president calling on the nation to take to the streets, the rat-a-tat-tat of Cobra helicopters raining down bullets on a fleeing crowd, calls to prayer wailing through the night to bring the faithful out to protest, terror-stricken forces in army fatigues being hauled off by police and civilians, a bloodied soldier lynched by a mob of the president's supporters, and jubilant Syrians enjoying the irony of Turkey's chaos as their own country remained under siege. But there was one subtler scene that stuck with me as I watched the events of July 15 unfold. It was past 3 a.m. in Turkey, roughly five hours after the putschists had started to...

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