When an attempted military coup roiled Turkey on July 15, Brian Silverstein was in Turkey to give a keynote address related to his research, conduct fieldwork, and visit family.
The attempted coup, conducted in opposition to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, resulted in hundreds of deaths.
Silverstein, associate professor in the University of Arizona School of Anthropology and director of the Arizona Center for Turkish Studies, says the coup attempt, involving an apparently small but significant faction within the military, is now being followed by an effort to purge institutions of tens of thousands of people.
He notes that officers linked to Turkish cleric and political figure Fethullah Gülen, founder of the Gülen movement, were likely at the core of the coup. Turkey has since formally requested that Gülen, reportedly living in Pennsylvania, be extradited.
It is important to consider the repercussions of the coup attempt, Silverstein says, as Turkey has experienced “rapid and profound changes” and has grown into one of the top economies in the world with important ties to the US and European Union members.
Silverstein, scheduled to return from Istanbul on August 15, answered some questions about the coup, what has happened since, and what could be next for Turkey.
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