How Erdogan used smartphone technology to foil Turkey coup

Javed Anwer
Javed AnwerJul 17, 2016 | 11:08

How Erdogan used smartphone technology to foil Turkey coup

Turkey faced a coup, righteous or wrong is another question, on Friday night. But it failed.

There must be many reasons why it failed but one reason, a minor one at that, could be the unusual address made by Recep Tayyip Erdogan using Apple FaceTime.

Erdogan wasn't in town, to put it proverbially, when tanks moved, soldiers closed bridges and took control of the state television.


But even as coup unfolded and Erdogan found he no longer had any proper way to communicate with Turkey, he did two things: he tweeted an appeal to his supporters and he called up someone at CNN in Turkey and delivered a message to the country using iPhone's FaceTime. Talk of using technology!

There are reports that Erdogan's appeal brought people, most likely his supporters who rallied after seeing him on the phone's screen, out onto the roads. They confronted the army men and probably stopped the coup in its tracks.

A coup is a complex business. (Reuters) 

Moral of the story? If you are a general trying to take control of the country, don't let its president go on FaceTime or tweet. Okay, maybe not.

A coup is a complex business and how it unfolds or what effect it has depends on so many things.

But if the Arab Spring was made possible, in parts, by Facebook, and the uprising in Ukraine in 2014 was similarly fuelled by Twitter, the next coup or revolution will be live-streamed to the whole world online.


Now, what implications it will have for people caught up in these events or how the events will unfold, is something not clear at the moment but it does make coup even more complex.

It adds an element to these events, which make them unpredictable. We already saw it in Turkey on Friday evening.

The web services are now increasingly part of our daily lives, and that too 24x7. As the real, big events unfold in the world where everyone has a smartphone with a camera, expect every momentous event, good or bad, to live-stream in future.

(Courtesy of Mail Today.)

Last updated: July 17, 2016 | 11:08
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