Judging by the media, the development of the coup proceeded in four main stages.
The first of them (very short-term — about one and a half hours), judging by the dynamics of this and subsequent events, was in the solution of priority tasks by the putschists. For the most part, it was successful: the key communications were taken under control - the Bosphorus Bridge, the country's main airport, government buildings were seized, the parliament was neutralized, control over state television was established. The coup organizers were able to block the operation of social networks and the Internet as a whole, as well as partially functioning mobile communications. The highest officers of the Turkish Armed Forces who did not support the coup were neutralized. The resistance of the national intelligence service of Turkey - MIT, as well as individual police units was strongly suppressed using weapons, including tanks и aviation. An important moral factor was the appearance on the streets of some part of Turkish society, which showed support for the coup. During this period, no organized action was observed by the government and the President of Turkey, as well as the segments of the population supporting it. This allowed the coup leaders to declare their success and take control of the situation in the country.
The first statements of officials of foreign states and the UN that followed in this period were most indicative - they were made under conditions of uncertainty about the results, with the success of the coup leaders. And if the leitmotif of the statement of the leadership of our country was a call to observe the rule of law and democratic principles, prevent bloodshed, suppress the people by military force, the US Secretary of State spoke very ambiguously, stating the need to observe continuity, as if the president and the government of Turkey were already completely neutralized. creating a new system of government.
However, some of the priorities of the putschists were not fully resolved. First of all, the country's political leaders were not captured - President Erdogan and Prime Minister Yildirim. Private television channels, especially small ones, such as cable and Internet, remained outside the control of the coup. The new political leadership of the country with its ideology and program as an alternative to Erdoganov’s was not presented to the population. And also in response to the first actions of President Erdogan, who was actually dismissed from power, who called for supporting part of the country's population to go out and fight the coup, the latter did not take measures to mobilize their social support base. And she, judging by the elections and mass protests against the actions of Erdogan, remains very significant. These mistakes led to the failure of the coup to develop the successes of the first stage.
The second stage was the confrontation of the rebel troops and the people who went out into the streets, who supported the president and the government of Turkey. The organizers of the coup, apparently, did not consider it necessary to rely on mass actions of civilian support, relying solely on the weapons that they used, without looking at possible casualties among the civilian population. As a result, mass actions for the putschists gradually came to naught - not without the help of themselves, who declared a curfew and banned access to the streets. Supporters of the rebels fulfilled the demand, while opponents did not. Mass protests of civilians against the coup began to grow, and very intensively. The number of rebel troops was not enough to fully control the territory of even the two main cities, Istanbul and Ankara. As a result, the putschists were face to face with a mass of enraged protesting civilians, many times their number superior. Judging by media reports, the troops decided to use a weapon to kill for the demonstrators. However, if you focus on the final victims of the coup, presented by the Turkish government at the end of July 16 (265 dead, including the putschists themselves, the forces opposing them, the police, intelligence officers and civilians), the casualties of the civilians should not be significant. - within 90 – 110 people. This indicates that the troops did not dare to fully shoot the demonstrations. Probably, the main contingent of troops — ordinary soldiers and junior commanders, being mainly conscripts — was unable to open fire on the civilian people whom they most recently were and which they were soon to become again. Little blood did not frighten, but only infuriated the demonstrators. At the same time, the coup forces themselves, facing the mass of the protesters, were in their main part (except, of course, ideological) demoralized, realizing that the population did not support them.
At the same time, the president and the government carried out active propaganda work, including among those who remained neutral with respect to the putsch troops. What ultimately succeeded - part of the troops decided to oppose the coup. Probably the most important role was played by the fact that they decided to shoot at unarmed demonstrators. This could not but cause a rejection of such actions, a desire to stop the execution of civilians, to neutralize their murderers. As a result, troops attacked the side of the president, which marked the beginning of the third stage, began to strike the coup. The total duration of the second, according to reports on the development of the situation, was two to three hours.
The main content of the third stage was the armed confrontation between the troops of the putschists and those who sided with the president and the government. It was at this time that reports of strikes against coup putsters, which were inflicted by combat aircraft, began to arrive. At the same time it became known about the two coup helicopter destroyed (judging by the published video - "Apache") Air Force fighter jets. The fact that part of the Turkish Armed Forces acted on the side of the president and the government finally undermined the morale of the main forces of the insurgency, especially since, according to published data, the main part of the ordinary and junior commanders involved in the uprising did not fully understand what they were to do and did not realize the real situation. As a result, the rebel troops gradually began to abandon resistance.
The fourth stage was the final defeat of the main forces of the coup. Fighting demoralized troops still led. Basically, these were the units that directly submitted to persons from among the ideological putschists. The remaining parts gradually ceased resistance. By the morning of July 15, the coup was basically overwhelmed. By this time, the organizers themselves had actually admitted their defeat — around this time the leaders and other coup participants began to take measures to escape from persecution.
Further, the president and the government, who restored the fullness of their power in the country, conducted arrests of the putschists and their sympathizers with the forces of the troops loyal to them, the police and the special services. By the evening of July 15 it was all over.
The failed Turkish coup is interesting in two aspects. First, it is important to assess what geopolitical and international regional implications may follow. And secondly, what conclusions should be drawn from this experience from the point of view of the theory and practice of conducting hybrid wars, in particular, countering such threats.
To analyze the geopolitical results, it is necessary to highlight some of the most important features, the key of which is the fact that the organizers and inspirers of the putsch were from among the senior army officers (with the rank of major colonel). When organizing a coup d'état, this category of officers especially needs external support, since the legitimization of the new government without such is highly questionable both inside the country and outside it. Therefore, without a connection, and very closely, with foreign special services, which could guarantee the recognition of the new government, the organizers of the coup hardly decided on it. In this context, the aforementioned first reaction of the US Secretary of State, which called for a “continuity of power,” that is, indirectly admitting a coup, looked very indicative.
Another important feature of the rebellion is the international conditions for its conduct, including the obvious deterioration of relations between Ankara and Washington, which is related to the Erdoganov leadership, which is clearly independent of the US foreign policy. The United States viewed the Kurds as their allies in Syria, while the Turks attacked them. Shooting down the Russian Su-24, Erdogan actually introduced the conflict into NATO, violating to a certain extent its integrity. And the North Atlantic Alliance is the main instrument of US control over Europe. Washington’s aggravation of Turkish-Israeli relations with Erdogan’s desire, playing the role of “defender of the faithful,” supporting the Palestinians was also unprofitable. Nor could the United States like the beginning rapprochement between Russia and Turkey after the apologies of the latter for the downed plane that were suddenly brought by the leadership. So, if the Turkish leadership had enough reason to suspect the United States, if not in direct support of the conspirators, then at least in sympathy with them. Actually, this was stated by the Prime Minister in one of his speeches immediately after the suppression of the coup, where it sounded openly: "The United States is waging a secret war against Turkey." Under current conditions, no statements about the non-involvement of the United States in the coup could not significantly affect the position of the Turkish leadership. This feature determines a very likely change in Ankara’s foreign policy. And it can become a sharp turn in the direction of rapprochement with Russia while distancing from the US and the EU. Actually, this trend began to manifest itself immediately after the suppression of the coup: judging by media reports, Erdogan held talks with our president, as a result of which an agreement was reached about a personal meeting in a closed format. At the same time, the Turkish leadership is demonstrating a loss of interest in rapprochement with the EU, in particular, in obtaining a visa-free regime for citizens of the republic, which it has been diligently seeking only recently. Against this background, statements by EU leaders about unacceptable violations of human rights in connection with the repressions that followed the attempted coup contribute to the further deterioration of Turkish-European relations.
The most important international outcome of the putsch is the expected significant reduction in the combat capability of the Turkish Armed Forces, primarily their ground forces and the Air Force, whose officers played a major role in organizing the insurgency. At the end of July 16, more than 6000 were arrested, mostly officers of various ranks, including generals. Especially noticeable were the arrests among the flight personnel of the Turkish Air Force, whose potential is unlikely to recover quickly.
From the point of view of internal security, it is possible to distinguish the actual defeat of the judiciary and prosecution corps, in which about 3000 people were suspended from service and arrested, as well as a sharp weakening of counterintelligence, which, according to media reports, supported the coup. This can not but have a negative effect on the capabilities of the state's law-enforcement system, its political security system.
The people and the army
Now it is worthwhile to dwell on the conclusions and lessons of this putsch. In it, probably, the features of acute domestic political confrontation manifested themselves most clearly when it reached the level of the armed. It should be noted that these features were manifested in other similar events, but in the Turkish example they are presented most clearly. In general, we are talking about the relationship of the role in the results of the civil armed confrontation of the military, political and civil factors.
The first thing that attracts attention is the key role of mass protest actions of the population in the conditions of the undoubtedly decisive use of weapons by the putschists both against political opponents and against demonstrators. It was the mass demonstrations in support of Erdogan that actually snatched the victory from the putschists who did not have such support. An analysis of previous large-scale domestic political crises clearly shows the correctness of this conclusion. Thus, in Ukraine, the forces of law and order and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, alone in front of mass protests, could not effectively counter them. It can be said that Yanukovych did not allow troops and special forces to disperse demonstrators, but in Turkey, the putschists did not limit their use of weapons. And one result - the defeat of the security forces, who were alone in front of mass demonstrations, far exceeding them in number. It may be objected: in Russia, in 1993, the troops won, they shot the Supreme Soviet - the legitimate authority. But then the parliament of the Russian Federation did not have mass support, he dismissed his supporters to the houses of the previous night. Preserve until the morning the mass of 100 – 150 protectors demonstrating thousands of people that took place on the evening of October 3, and there could be no execution — tankers would hardly have decided to crush people. Other similar examples can be cited, demonstrating that in the 21st century, without broad civilian support, the troops cannot withstand truly massive protest actions. This is due to the fact that the personnel very well feel their connection and unity with the people, whereas power is often perceived as something far and unattainable, sometimes not understanding the interests of the security forces themselves. And faced with the need to shoot unarmed people, the majority can not decide on this. As a result, the refusal to fulfill the order, the demoralization of the troops and their retreat under the pressure of the demonstrators.
Therefore, an important lesson from the Turkish and other similar events: the army must feel that it is the protector of the people first, the law in this situation is secondary.
Russia today is under a hybrid strike. However, judging by the actions of our leadership, opposition to possible mass protest actions is supposed to be carried out with reliance almost exclusively on the security forces, in particular on the Rosguards. But its number is relatively small compared with the possible scale of protest actions. Under these conditions, it is not a fact that young recruits, who form the basis of the personnel of the Rosgvardia and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, face many times with their superior mass of mature men who serve as fathers, women and girls protesting against the government’s actions, will be able to fulfill the duty, but will not lose the ability to resist or, worse, go to the side of the protesters.
Another conclusion from the Turkish putsch is that without a bright political leader, authoritative among the population and personifying the new force, it is very difficult to ensure the retention of even seized power. In Russia today there are no bright non-systemic figures, well-known among the population and on which the authorities could rely in a critical situation. Politicians from the systemic opposition are also discredited by their inability to act or conciliation with the authorities. This leaves her in case of mass unrest one on one with the protest population, without the support of recognized representatives of the people.
Another conclusion from the failed coup is crucial to retaining the power of ideological support. The putschists could not offer anything intelligible to the Turkish people, unlike Erdogan, who has a clear political and ideological platform. As a result, many people, even those who were his opponents, had the impression that a cruel military dictatorship was coming. And they opposed her. In Russia today, the situation in this regard is approximately the same: the liberal idea is almost completely discredited in the eyes of the population, but there is no new one. Moreover, against the backdrop of monstrous corruption scandals, frankly subversive for the country actions of certain groups of the political elite and big business, nothing is being done to effectively curb their destructive activities. Yes, they remove and imprison the governors. However, everyone understands that they themselves were appointed by the federal government. And it’s not in the governors that this is ultimately the regional level, which is heavily dependent on the center. In fact, it seems that the ideology of the current leadership of the country is reduced to the maximum personal enrichment in any way, including criminal. For this reason, the government cannot offer an intelligible ideology to society, since the concept of social justice is its cornerstone. The ideological vacuum of the ruling elite knocks out a key pillar in power, depriving it of mass support in an acute situation, which, judging from the experience of the Turkish putsch, Ukrainian Maidan and other similar events, could be fatal for the Russian authorities.
Fortunately, so far the prestige of our president among the population is exceptionally high. However, without a solid base - above all, ideological and organizational part of the extra-systemic mass support from the people, in a critical situation, the rating is subject to a sharp drop, which can become a serious threat.