How the ‘Twittersphere’ took the failed coup to task

Using social media, world leaders and the people on the streets of Turkey come together to paint a vivid picture of the fallout from the failed coup attempt in the country.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Turks protesting the attempted coup celebrate atop an abandoneded tank in the streets of Istanbul. July 16, 2016.

Updated Jul 23, 2016

In the time during and immediately following Friday's failed coup attempt in Turkey, social media around the world erupted with concern and condemnation aimed at the military faction which lead the attack. At least 265 people died and 1,440 were injured in the violence which unfolded Friday night and continued into the early hours of Saturday.

By 10:30pm local time, tanks rolled onto busy streets and soldiers mobilised at key points throughout the capital city of Ankara and Istanbul. Early posts on Twitter broke the news to many users throughout the country, hours before media outlets began reporting on the events of that night.

Details quickly emerged that a faction of the military had declared they had "seized the rule of the country completely." This was read on state television, which was briefly taken over by soldiers.

The military said it had declared martial law and a curfew, which seemed to have encouraged protesters to defy the orders and take to the streets.

While many foreign embassies quickly released travel advisories, world leaders were slow to denounce the illegal military mobilisation as confusion prevailed over which institution was actually in charge.

As the coup visibly started losing ground, various statements were released by world leaders, supporting the government and condemning the coup attempt.

While Turkey is a NATO member and close ally to the US, it took the White House over three hours to release a statement in support of the Turkish government. 

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the military action on Twitter saying:


At the time this article was being written, Theresa May, the newly-instated Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, had not yet publicly commented on the events which unfolded nearly 24 hours ago.

Although her Twitter account stated she was both "shocked and saddened by the horrifying attack in Nice last night," her office has been silent regarding any of the activity in Turkey.

Her recently appointed Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson made this statement:

Mehmet Gormez, the head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs office, along with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and Chief Rabbi Ishak Haleva issued a joint statement declaring, "From wherever and whomever it comes, terror and violence cannot be displayed as a legitimate thing and it cannot be supported."

The military actions have also galvanized support for the democratic institutions of Turkey from several of the nation’s opposition parties.

Both the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) released statements against any military takeover soon after it was obvious a coup was in motion.

CHP chairperson Kemal Kilicdaroglu said in a statement, "We absolutely do not accept a new military coup. Supporting democracy is everybody’s duty."

As Turks, Kurds, the staunchly religious and the secular took to the streets together, one Twitter user seemed to capture the spirit of the night’s events and the power of the people with this simple and eloquent statement:


TRTWorld and agencies