How Snapchat Helped Stop The Turkish Military Coup

July 18, 2016

Social media played an important role in the failed coup.

The military coup in Turkey that took place last Friday, killing at least 290 people, left the nation – and the world – in shock, but it’s ultimately thanks to the Turkish citizens who went out on the streets and fought the military, that it was unsuccessful.

While sources say the coup was very well planned, the rebel forces failed to take into consideration the power of modern media. Just as quickly and unexpectedly as the takeover of the military happened, the news spread to the majority of Turkish people via social media, motivating many to fight the coup, despite warnings from the military to stay at home.

Turkish President Erdogan’s decision to call CNN Turk via Snapchat to talk to his people had enough impact to influence the outcome of the coup. In his FaceTime interview during the most chaotic hours of the military takeover, Erdogan asked Turks to fight back.

“Let’s gather as a nation in the squares. I believe we will remove this occupation that has taken place within a short time,” he announced.

“I am calling on our people now to come to the arenas and we will give them the necessary answer.”

Shortly after the FaceTime speech, people started streaming onto the streets where they defeated rebel forces. Arguably, Erdogan’s FaceTime speech might have just given the Turkish people the confidence and motivation they needed to fight for their country.

Since the failed coup, almost 9,000 officials have been dismissed and 103 generals and admirals have been detained. Their future is unclear at this point, with Erdogan saying he will agree to “what the people want,” which according to him, is execution.

“The people have the opinion that these terrorists should be killed… Why should I keep them and feed them in prisons for years to come, that’s what the people say.”

Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 as part of attempts to join the EU. Should the Republic nation reinstate the death penalty, it would prevent the country from becoming a member of the EU. Whether this is reason enough for Erdogan to rethink the coup leaders’s fate remains to be seen.

Comment: Do you think Turkey should reinstate the death penalty?


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