The Revolution Will Be WhatsApped

F-16 Flyover During Turkish Coup

Bellingcat, a collective of investigative journalists who report based on publicly available information and social media, has done some amazing work with leaked footage of a WhatsApp conversation between high ranking military personnel involved in the failed coup attempt in Turkey. Apparently reconstructed from a video and several photographs taken of a captured iPhone belonging to someone who was a member of a WhatsApp group of the coup plotters.

Maj. Aygar: We've shot four people. Everything’s fine.

It paints a chilling picture of the events of that fateful night as they unfold. The translation of the messages and analysis of the content is, as far as I can judge without speaking Turkish, top notch work. Especially putting the messages into the right order and cross-referencing them with other sources must have taken a lot of effort. The whole thing appears to be very credible.

Lt. Col. Çoşkun: Our men have been overrun by the crowd.

Maj. Karabekır: Crush them, burn them, no compromise.

Col. Gerehan: C'mon, Mehmet!

I can't think of another time in history where first hand information like this has come to light this quickly. We certainly live in interesting times. I have not the faintest idea what all of this means for historical science and research these days, but one thing is very clear: things move a lot quicker now, even compared to ten years ago when I was studying history and politics.

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