Nigerians and the failed Turkey coup, by Reuben Abati

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in audience with President Muhammadu Buhari, on 2 March, 2016

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in audience with President Muhammadu Buhari, on 2 March, 2016

By Reuben Abati

Turkey is about five hours away from Nigeria by air, about 2, 634 miles from here, but the night there was a coup attempt in Turkey, July 15, with soldiers shutting down parts of Ankara and Istanbul, you’d think Ankara is a city somewhere in Nigeria and Istanbul is an extension of our country. Commentaries kept flying up and down on Nigeria social media space, with the coup attempt in Turkey becoming a trending topic. And yet the strongest connection between Nigeria and Turkey is probably trade, tourism, socio-cultural affinities, and the fact that many Nigerian travellers now find it easier and cheaper to travel through Turkey to other European capitals, with Turkish Airlines making all the profit and no Nigerian airline on that route! Still, if Turkey finds itself in a bad shape, as it has, that is not likely to affect the already sorry fortunes of the Naira or the forbidding cost of food items in Nigerian markets. On Friday, many Nigerians stayed awake and projected their own worst fears unto the Turkish situation.

By way of summary, there was among the Nigerian commentators an all-round condemnation of any attempt to upturn the Constitutional order either in Turkey or anywhere else in the world. When it was reported that a former Turkish President had remarked that the coup will not stand, because “Turkey is not Africa”, (former President Abdullah Gul actually said Latin America), there was also a feeling of outrage. How dare he make such a racist comment in the midst of such a serious situation?

When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took to Facetime on his mobile phone to get himself onto television, and he pleaded with the Turkish population to take …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper