Zeitschrift für die Welt der Türken / Journal of World of Turks, Vol 8, No 1 (2016)

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The Military Coup on 28 March 1962 in Syria and Propaganda Broadcasts on Damascus Radio About the Coup



Located in the Middle East, Syria is an Arab state, whose history goes back to ancient times. One of the oldest civilizations, Egypt is located between the Anatolian and Mesopotamian civilizations. Syria remained under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for almost 400 years. However, after the WWI, the country went under the French mandate. Syria won its independence in 1946. The country faced several military coups between 1949 to 1970, sometimes one military coup within another one. Some of the coups lasted only one week. In 1970 Hafez al-Assad, who was a member of the Ba'ath Party, took over and started a stable dictatorial era. During the 28 March 1962 coup, one of those undermining the already weak democracy in Syria, the Damascus radio made propaganda all day long praising the coup. In this study, we examine sections of the broadcasts on the Damascus radio, which had become the propaganda means of the 28 March 1962 coup, followed closely by the Turkish Foreign Affairs. In the broadcasts, the coup was praised on the whole, and the reasons for the coup as stated by the military were tried to be dictated upon the public. Moreover, the overthrown government was blamed for treason and serving imperialism. By doing so, they tried to discredit the old regime and emphasized that they were the rescuers and the ally of the public. With statements and propaganda far from being credible, they threatened those who did not obey the curfew and said anyone taking part in demonstrations would be severely punished. In this way, they tried to suppress and intimidate the general public. Thus the so-called populist coup was actually made against the public for the claimed "public welfare".

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