” … Turkey’s Post-Coup Attempt Military Purge” ISW


"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ongoing military purge is not merely a response to a coup, but an aggressive restructure, rebranding, and reorientation of the Turkish military. Erdogan began to purge the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) after elements of it launched an unsuccessful coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Turkish security forces detained nearly 10,000 service members including 143 general officers and admirals in the first week, totaling over 1/3 of the officer corps. Erdogan justified his crackdown on a counterterrorism basis, claiming to remove members of exiled cleric Fetullah Gulen’s movement, which Turkish authorities have designated as the “Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).” He has also dismissed, and in some cases arrested, tens of thousands of judges, civil society members, and academics, and he closed down dozens of newspapers. The extent of Erdogan’s purge and his use of a counterterrorism justification demonstrate his intent to use the coup attempt as an excuse to transform the Turkish military into a source of personal power and eliminate sources of dissent in Turkey.

The current military purge is part of an ongoing campaign by Erdogan to eliminate threats to his Islamist regime. The Turkish military historically has a secular culture and views itself as a protector of the post-Ataturk democratic society. Erdogan thus views the military as a threat to his vision of an Islamist autocracy and has taken steps to eliminate it since 2007. He dismissed 400 Turkish officers including 37 generals and admirals in response to alleged coup conspiracies between 2007 and 2010, prompting the resignation of the Chief of the General Staff and the Commanders of the Turkish Navy, Land Force, and Air Force. About half of the Brigadier Generals and Rear Admirals removed this month were promoted to their rank after the initial purges. Erdogan’s aggressive measures after the recent failed coup attempt indicates that he likely seeks to finish his long-time campaign through this final purge."  ISW


I was once the USASSG detachment commander in NATOs ALFSEE (Allied Land Forces Southeast Europe) headquarters in Izmir, Turkey where I came to have a high regard for the Turkish Army and the Turks in general. 

The Turkish Republic was created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's army of national liberation and unification after Turkey's defeat in WW1 and subsequent effective partition by the victorious powers and the Greeks.   Subsequently the Turkish Army was the seemingly perpetual guardian of Ataturk's legacy of secularism, Europeanization and equal rights for women. 

That seems to be finished as Erdogan destroys opposition in the military to his evident goal of resuming what he imagines to be Turkey's rightful place as the center of the Umma. 

I see in the news today that his forces have once again surrounded Incirlik AFB with its contingent of Americans and British airmen as well as its stored US nuclear weapons.   Are these forces there to protect the base from Islamist mobs?  Who knows?  pl  



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76 Responses to ” … Turkey’s Post-Coup Attempt Military Purge” ISW

  1. All,
    ‘The Turkish military historically has a secular culture and views itself as a protector of the post-Ataturk democratic society.’
    Are these people utterly stupid?
    Have they simply failed to grasp a central lesson of modern history?
    There is no natural and necessary compatibility between liberalism and democracy.
    Sometimes they are compatible, sometimes they are not.
    The conditions under which they are compatible, and what to do if those conditions are not met, are recurrent political problems in all kinds of different societies.
    And they are central dilemmas in modern ‘republican’ thought, going back to its origins in the Italian Renaissance revival of Roman ideas.
    For God’s sake, what do they teach in contemporary universities?

  2. Jack says:

    You are an erudite and keen observer of history. In your opinion how would contemporary domestic social/cultural/political divides and geopolitical conflicts compare with other epochs? Are we in a more contentious period or right around the median?

  3. kao_hsien_chih says:

    “For God’s sake, what do they teach in contemporary universities?”
    “Job training,” at least in U.S. Every “ad” (both for profit and public service announcements) for higher ed encourages students to go to college b/c college grads make X dollars more over their lifetime. They naturally ask, when they are thrown hard questions with no immediate “practical” relevance, “how is this going to help me make those X dollars I was promised.”

  4. bth says:

    It is interesting to watch the twitter feed on #Incirlik.
    It is heavily driving by RT and Sputnik and retweets every few minutes. Then there are the photos which show ‘rioters’ largely standing around, all male, middleclass looking with pre-printed, which means purchased signage in Turkish. The graphically superimposed image of the burning American flag is at night when the image it is imposed on is in daylight. The flag is made of paper and from a very large printer. Trucks are idling with lights on and windows rolled up so AC is on but are stationary which means drivers aren’t paying the high price of Turkish fuel themselves and they seemed linked to a local municpalality. The few security guards photographed are standing around, texting, very casual. If they were expecting truck bombs through the gates that would not be their pose. If they were expecting a coup from inside the base, one might expect them to be looking inward which they are not. Erdogan and Putin meet on the 9th so I would expect a continuation of this type of propaganda from Turkey and Russia until then. It took RT and Sputnik about a week to work out the story line.

  5. Trey N says:

    Turkey has been trying to be “European” for a century now, with what results?
    NATO has used Turkey as a base for provocations against the USSR/Russia for over half a century (including putting the missiles there that led, in turn, to the Cuban Missile Crisis). The US/NATO used Turkey as a conduit for arms (from Libya) and jihadis to attack Syria, but left the Turks twisting in the wind after the Su-24 incident last fall.
    The EU has denied Turkey membership since its founding in 1993, and the Germans just admitted that Turkey will only be allowed in “when hell freezes over.”
    Maybe the Turks have finally woken up and smelled the coffee, similar to the successful black businessman who finally realizes that no matter what he does or how hard he tries, he is *never* going to be allowed to join the all-white country club. When a devastating reality like that finally sinks in and the delusional bubble pops, it can cause quite a reaction….

  6. Huntington described Turkey as a torn country. The fact the military was illiberally tasked to guarantee liberality was telling. Suggests the founders of that tradition determined an active and concerted force would be necessary to restrain the tendencies of the Ottoman/Islamic substratum.
    Same applies to Germany and Russia. They are not naturally liberal countries. But we project Anglo developmental and historiographical ‘understandings’ onto these peoples.

  7. BabelFish says:

    David, I have long been of the opinion that universities in the US exist solely for the employment of and financial enrichment of the faculty and administration. Would that I could lay my hands on William Buckley’s column of many years ago regarding the rapid dumbing down of college curriculums. These are vapid, PC in the extreme and nearly mendacious in their content. I make those observations after viewing the college level educations of my early 30’s sons and step-children.

  8. turcopolier says:

    trey N
    “he is *never* going to be allowed to join the all-white country club.” IMO you are a few decades out of date on this. pl

  9. turcopolier says:

    “I would expect a continuation of this type of propaganda from Turkey and Russia until then. It took RT and Sputnik about a week to work out the story line.” Ah, so you too believe that the evil bear is plotting against us. pl

  10. robt willmann says:

    Off topic, but yesterday an outstanding achievement was done by Luke Aikins — a parachuter and skydiver who also trains U.S. military commandos in advanced skydiving — as he jumped from 25,000 feet without a parachute and landed in a 100 square foot net above the ground. His grandfather kept parachuting after World War 2, solo into his 80’s, and Aikins is a third-generation skydiver, with over 18,000 jumps–
    The jump itself–
    His little company through which he trains for the Department of Defense is one in which the taxpayers most likely actually get their money’s worth.

  11. Fred says:

    Political conformity. We’ve been indoctrinating students since the left took over in the late 70’s.

  12. irf520 says:

    “For God’s sake, what do they teach in contemporary universities?”
    Need for ‘safe spaces’.
    ‘Tolerance’ for mass immigration and LGBTQxyz, but zero tolerance for any opposing viewpoint.
    White men are evil, as is anyone who doesn’t agree with all the politically correct crap.
    What they certainly don’t teach is any sort of independent or critical thinking.

  13. Fred says:

    “… the employment of and financial enrichment of the faculty and administration.” I agree with the sentiment. Just look at the recently most recent hire for interim head of the city of Baltimore’s school system, Deray $$$ Mackesson. Skill set – organizing protests. Payoff – a two year guarantee of $167K/year.

  14. Fred says:

    Concurrently in Cologne:
    Seems a pretty well organized bit of “spontaneity” for an afternoon rally. Another message to Merkel and her citizens? If they were truly concerned with the “freedom” of Turkey wouldn’t they go home to save it?

  15. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Col. Lang, SST;
    It is still too early to write a general breakdown but:
    1-About ten secular colonels who had been purged and jailed during the Sledge-Hammer and Ergenekon travesties have been re-instated and were promoted to general/admiral rank last week by tayyip & co.
    2-The gulen gang, creatures long-time peddled as mild-islamists by the likes of graham fuller and henri barkey ( a neo-con slease and a neo-con levantine sleaze, respectively), as well as Pravda-on-the-Hudson, has been demolished. They will never amount to much in Turkey after this. I might remind my fellow pilgrims that, while beer does come in lie flavors, Islam does not.
    3-According to Turkish press, the police presence around Incirlik AFB (~7,000+) is to prevent a new “coup”. Supposedly it is against the Turkish Air Force part of the base. Entry or departure of TAF personnel to/from the base is being prevented. This is a semi-reasonable account of what is going on: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-30/turkey-surrounds-blocks-access-natos-incirlik-airbase-amid-speculation-second-coup
    4-The separatist kurds are carrying out attacks and causing quite a few casualties-and they are being dealt with.
    5-There have been no ISIS attacks so far!
    6-What will happen in Turkey is still not clear. Things might be more understandable after 8/9.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  16. Babak Makkinejad says:

    And I guess there was never despotism or absolutism anywhere West of the Diocletian Line?
    The current liberal dispensation in US or France or Spain emerged came out of where exactly?
    Come off it man; Liberalism has to be built upon existing Customs or Intellectual Reasons – preferably on both.
    In the absence of both, a liberal dispensation cannot exits – that is the reason that Muslims struggle with Liberalism; there is nothing in the intellectual tradition of Islam that deals with the idea of Freedom to the extent that Western European thinkers have done so over the last 1000 years.

  17. VietnamVet says:

    The primary objective the media is to spin and obfuscate the fact that fundamentalists have seized control of Turkey and that America’s 25-year money making scam has morphed into a World War with Islam. The West’s foreign policy is a disaster. To rescue NATO troops and retrieve the hydrogen bombs would be an admission of failure. Saving them will be put off until after November 8th election no matter the risk.
    The Democratic Party has made Russia its enemy and are attacking Donald Trump as Vladimir Putin’s black hearted ally. An insane war with Russia and a nuclear holocaust appears inevitable if elected.

  18. Hank Foresman says:

    Erdogan has successful destroyed the Republic that Ataturk. What Erdogan has done is effectively made Turkey a pariah to Europe and the end result will be Turkey will be no longer a part of NATO and any hopes of joining the European Union are finished. Would not be surprised there are mass executions of the generals and admirals to ensure they are not around to meddle. Turkey will be another third world nation in a matter of years.
    We ought to be moving our nukes out forthwith.

  19. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Turkey was a military dictatorship under Kemalists until after 1948, when under US pressure, the military agreed to a façade of multi-party democracy.
    When that produced an Islamic-oriented Prime Ministers, they removed him and hanged him and a number of other such people.
    You are quite correct that “Liberalism” – a collection of ideas and ideals that are predicated on a certain generosity of the soul, intellectual bravery, and tolerance of dissenting views and practices is not intrinsic to republicanism.
    That is why, republicanism and freedom are not necessarily co-extensive; there was more freedom under Franco than there was under Kemalists even in their good days.
    Ayatollah Khameneie mentioned the absence of an intellectual discourse and tradition on the subject of Freedom in Islam last year and he urged the Muslim Thinkers to study the work of Europeans on this subject and develop ideas of Freedom within a Muslim milieu – likely the work of decades, if it is ever taken up.
    In regards to your question about Republican Ideas and their Roman pedigree; I do not think that this subject is studied at all in any depth or seriousness in Muslim countries; the Classical Civilization is thought to be irrelevant to the Civilization of Islam – no hopes from that angle.

  20. turcopolier says:

    “When that produced an Islamic-oriented Prime Ministers, they removed him.” Good, IMO these bastards are the enemies of the Turkish people. You want medieval Islam to return? Well if you do I mistook you for another. You know that Shia Islam can adapt to modernity. Why do you not want it? pl

  21. FB Ali says:

    “What Erdogan has done is effectively made Turkey a pariah to Europe and the end result will be Turkey will be no longer a part of NATO and any hopes of joining the European Union are finished”.
    Sob! Poor Turkey! What could be a greater honour for it than to be part of Europe, the West and NATO. Double Sob!

  22. FB Ali says:

    ” He dismissed 400 Turkish officers including 37 generals and admirals in response to alleged coup conspiracies between 2007 and 2010″ – ISW
    If I recall rightly, these trials, convictions and dismissals were instigated and carried out by the Gülenistas (who were then allied to Erdogan). It was the Gülen organization that was trying to purge the secularists from the military. As Ishmael Zechariah tells us above, some of these people have recently been reinstated by Erdogan.
    The dangerous Islamists are the Gülen people. Yet Fethullah Gülen sits comfortably in Saylorsberg, Penn.

  23. Trey N says:

    Yeah, I’m a living fossil… This was just what popped into my head, and was the best example I could come up with for the point I was trying to get across.
    We went on a family vacation about 1966 to tour the western battlefields, and I still remember how strange it was to see the “Colored” signs over the water fountains and restrooms in Vicksburg.
    My grandfather would talk about going to town once a week in a mule-drawn wagon as a boy, and how amazed he was to get to live long enough to see men walking on the moon.
    The social changes I’ve seen in my relatively short lifetime are almost as astounding. It’s so sad to realize that in spite of such progress here at home, American soldiers are still fighting and dying in foreign wars that don’t make any sense to the most citizens. Some things never seem to change….

  24. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not believe in overthrowing democratically elected governments. I also believe that the electorate has a constitutional right to be wrong – in Turkey as well as in US.
    Ultimately, the successes or failures of constitutional systems depend on the people.
    I do not wish for the return of Medieval Islam in Turkey (or anywhere else); something that was defeated by superior Civilizations of West and Russia.

  25. Babak Makkinejad says:

    She might reprise her husband’s policy in the case of North Korean Agreed Framework to Iran and JCOPA; instigating a war against Iran. That would be more likely, in my opinion, than war against either China or Russia.

  26. turcopolier says:

    I think Hitler’s constitutionally elected government should have been overthrown. You, evidently, do not. pl

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    So, it was Gulen after all?

  28. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Most cases are not the extreme of Wiemar Germany.

  29. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The name of Islam is now mud all over the world, Erdogan contributed to that by his policies in Syria, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq.

  30. turcopolier says:

    And Erdogan is not worse than Weimar? pl

  31. Babak Makkinejad says:

    My opinion is that AKP will not be permanently in power in Turkey.
    Furthermore, that any attempt by any Muslim-oriented party to monopolize political power in Turkey will plunge that country into religious civil war because of the Alveis/Alawites.
    None of the 5 schools of Muslim jurisprudence and the 70 or sects have any way of dealing with Alveis, Druze, Yazidis, Babis, Baha’is, Ahmadis, Sikhs etc.; people who should not exist.
    This is, in my opinion, an outstanding theoretical and practical problem of any claimant to the title of Islamic Political Philosophy.
    In regards to Hitler, the German people wanted him – Odin was ruling them – as CC Jung observed. The only way to stop NAZIs was to invade and replace them – and to occupy Germany for a generation.
    Who was going to do that? France?
    And UK wanted the NAZIs; hoping for them to attack USSR and destroy her.
    Even after the war, if one wanted to put all the NAZIs in jail, one would have had to build a wall around Western Germany.

  32. VietnamVet says:

    FB Ali
    It would help us if you explained why the Gülen people are dangerous Islamists. A google search indicates that 139 Gülen movement Charter Schools are currently in operation in the USA, in 26 different states, and another 18 apparently in the works. Is this an Islamist 5th column or not? A “Christian First” is the Republican VP Candidate. The Democrats are the War with Russia Party. This seems to me to be a very volatile mixture.

  33. FB Ali says:

    I had read this before my comment above. I think Rodrik tries to be honest while at the same time bending over double backwards to avoid the obvious conclusion.
    He finally concedes, “But it is not farfetched to think that there are some groups in the administration – perhaps in the intelligence branches – who have been protecting Gulen because they think he is useful to U.S. foreign policy interests”.
    As Col Lang has taught us, there is no centralised US policy on anything. Various power centres pursue their own particular agendas, sometimes working together, at other times at cross-purposes. This is how the Borg operates.
    I believe that “some groups in the administration” have not only protected Gülen, but also aided some of his ventures. He will remain untouched in the US because it is believed that he will be useful in promoting US policy and interests in the future. Especially attractive to them are his organization’s tentacles in the Central Asian region.
    Considering the general level of competence of these US agencies, it is not at all surprising that his Islamist agenda does not worry them.

  34. Tyler says:

    Dr. Ali,
    The FBI was raiding the Gulenist test prep centers for defrauding the federal government pretty regularly until they stopped all of a sudden. Steve Sailer has a good belief that perhaps the CIA decided that they wanted to hold on to a possible pocket president for Anatolia in case things got dicey.
    Graham Fuller has his fingers in quite a bit. He was the one who sponsored the Tsarnevs (yes, THOSE Tsarnevs) to immigrate to the US.

  35. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Thanks General Ali. I would also add that the tayyiban are also dangerous, but are not as “diploma laden” and not as insidious as the gulenistas. The current “decider” and his crew are failing as expected. As a pragmatic, realist, secular follower of Ataturk, I know that very tough times await Turkey. But we have overcome worse, and we will not give upt. This, too, shall pass.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  36. elaine says:

    And there’s not much legally the U.S. can do about it since that law was passed back in the 70’s (after the assassination of Salvador Allende in Chile) forebidding taking
    out any democratically elected leader.

  37. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I am not sure if what universities are doing is necessarily trying to “indoctrinate” students (I don’t dispute that some people do). In a sense, it is far worse than that: people who are trying to “indoctrinate,” if anything, care about what they are doing. Most universities don’t care. They are trying to collect students’ money and in return, try to give them some sense that they got something they like feel happy about. Feeding them some “textbook” answers is easy and as long as students don’t make trouble, it is fine by the universities. They would be happy to “indoctrinate” on behalf of conservatives as much as they would for “liberals” if they saw it to their advantage.

  38. Larry Kart says:

    It’s cited as fact time and again, but Hitler did not win the 1932 election, nor any other election in Germany. Rather, Hitler came to power when was appointed Chancellor by President Hindenburg in 1933.
    Under the electoral law, a candidate who received an absolute majority of votes (i.e. more than half) in the first round was elected. If no candidate received a majority, then a second round would be held. In the second round, the candidate receiving a plurality of votes would be elected.
    In the first round on March 13, 1932, no candidate obtained an absolute majority of the votes cast, though Hindenburg with 49.6% failed only by a narrow margin. [Hitler got a disappointing total of 30.1 %]…. Hindenburg, Hitler, and Thälmann competed in the second round…. [Hindenburg got 53% of the votes, Hitler 39.6%.] Hindenburg, who owed his election to the support of the Social Democrats, took office with little enthusiasm. On May 29 he dismissed his intercessor Chancellor Brüning and appointed Franz von Papen, a declared anti-democrat, his successor. Although Hitler lost the presidential election of 1932, he achieved his goals when he was appointed chancellor on 30 January 1933. On February 27, Hindenburg paved the way to dictatorship … by issuing the Reichstag Fire Decree which nullified civil liberties. Hitler succeeded Hindenburg as head of state upon his death in 1934, whereafter Hilter abolished the office entirely, and replaced it with the new position of Führer und Reichskanzler (“Leader and Reich Chancellor”), cementing his rule.
    The March 5th 1933 election [which took place after many left-of-center parties had been banned and thus was more or less a referendum on Nazi rule] was the last election to be held under Hitler. Hitler may have expected the election to have resulted in an overwhelming Nazi victory, but the Nazi Party got less than 50% of the votes cast by 39 million voters. Other right wing parties pushed the vote for the right to just over 50%, but it was not the result Hitler would have wanted. This may well have been one of the reasons why the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag, was passed in late March 1933. Game over.

  39. michael brenner says:

    “For God’s sake, what do they teach in contemporary universities?”
    As someone who has taught International Relations and Comparative Politics at a number of institutions since 1963, I am in a position to offer an answer. The tensions between Democracy and Liberty is a staple topic in an Political Science or Government Department. Certainly, any student majoring in the Social Sciences will be aware of it. BUT – how long they retain that awareness, and how ready they are able or inclined to apply it to contemporary real-life circumstances is quite another matter. There’s the rub. Let us bear in mind the general level of public discourse among the politicos, the mainstream media, the commentariat and even the IR “specialists” in the think tank world who either ignore these verities OR deploy them dishonestly to make a doctrinally driven policy points. Let us all bear in mind that we inhabit a culture wherein serious discussion in any social setting is so rare as to qualify for inclusion on the endangered species list.
    This same phenomenon is manifest in the U.K., as I’m sure David Habakkuk can attest. Willful ignorance has been equated with Freedom (indeed, it has become one of our most prized freedoms).

  40. michael brenner says:

    On Erdogan and Turkey. I suspect that we all suffer from the understandable bias of presuming a higher level of rational thinking and logical action that actually things. The preponderance of evidence suggests to me that Erdogan is at sea – lost in a tangle of contradictory aims and purposes – and confused as to where he wants to go as well as the means for getting there. In that state of disarray, his conduct become erratic and. at times, literally senseless. Just like the United States.

  41. Brunswick says:

    Ergodan 1.0 was a breath of fresh air, Good Neighbor Policy, EU Assention, Peace with the Kurds, etc.
    Ergodan 2.0 was a “nightmare”, ( other than for the Borg),
    Ergogan 3.0, ????????????????????????????

  42. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    OK. He came to power in a legal constitutional process. Better? The legality of it and the subsequent oath to him personally were major psychological impediments to plots against him in the Heer. pl

  43. turcopolier says:

    FB Ali
    There is also a matter of due process which applies in the extradition of a person legally in the US. I cannot think of an example of someone extradited from the US for reasons of “policy” without due process. pl

  44. LeaNder says:

    I am not home, Fred. But the images I got surely don’t look spontaneous. Someone, I suppose the organizers, had to get the multitude of Turkish flags. The demo was organized by the Union of European-Turkish Democrats. I supposed they took care of flag production.
    One point: “Protesters take part in a counter-demonstration against a rally held by far-right demonstrators who protest against supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan”. The image and the text of the last photo don’t add up. The image clearly portrays a left-wing counterprotest, while the caption alludes to the far right – Pro NRW and the “identitarians” who where stopped at the cathedral or the main station. Remember events at that spot? This is a shot from that scene. Never mind you don’t see either station or cathedral in this shot:
    The sign with the “unwanted mosque” is a sign of Pro-NRW (NRW=Northrhine-Westphalia) another group on the right.

  45. bth says:

    Looking at the media pattern, I would say Russian controlled media was taken by surprise by events in Turkey as it took about a week to sort out their angle in Turkey and are now aggressively exploiting the situation to weaken US-Turkish relations. This can be seen on the #incirlik twitter feed for example. Perhaps we will know more on the 9th.
    Is Russia really better if Turkey goes rogue? I wouldn’t think so, but perhaps studying Russian actions during prior Turkish political crisis might provide insight.
    If you are asking about Russia and DNC, evidence is they hacked but not clear they leaked to Assange. Saw Assange interview yesterday and I’m not sure he knows the source of the emails he published.

  46. Kunuri says:

    Demise of the Turkish Armed forces.
    TAF took a heavy blow after the coup in terms of losing almost o quarter of its trained officer corps, and personnel, albeit most were undoubtedly Gulenists, groomed from very early ages to top positions for just an eventuality as we have observed last month. How did they ascend to the key positions as they were? Well, AKP and its followers are claiming to be fooled, saying, “we believed these people because they were pious, like us, what harm could have come from them?” Hoca Efendi was declared and revered as a holy scholar. The prevailing tendency within AKP for almost a decade was “We should give them anything they want, government contracts, newspapers, lucrative land deals, and any juicy government position at the expense of anyone else, regardless of qualification, as long as they are within our ranks against modern and secular Turkey. In return, they asked for nothing except the brutal and illegal purges and suppression of the Kemalists and seculars from all public life. For example, during Sledgehammer and Ergenekon trials, the vacated positions of expelled and illegally jailed generals and staff officers were filled with Gulenists, all of whom now are jailed for involvement in the coup. As IZ writes above, a few token of them have been restored to their former posts and promoted. So what, RTE’s pact with the devil had already paid off astronomically for both. Mission accomplished, no more Turkish Army which was the last castle of a secular, modern Turkey, and the only restrain to hold back the current and future populists and the fundamentalists.
    As a Turkish proverb goes “ Tell it to my funny hat”. They used Gulenists, nay, they milked all the advantage they can milk out of them for material and rhetorical gain, and created a monster, until the monster demanded fair return for his investment in the form of, at first, a substantial number of PM positions in elections 5 years ago. Erdogan refused, well aware of his pact with the scorpion which will eventually sting him if became finally politically powerful, and untouchable because of parliamentarian immunity. And now politically accorded with power to split AKP majority in case of dispute. So started a war of wills which included a huge corruption expose against RTE and his cronies orchestrated by security forces loyal to Gulen, answered by AKP by closing and confiscating of Gulen newspapers, businesses and university prepotary schools, purge of judges loyal to Gulen, and demonization of the his Hizmet movement in public. Any newspaper which still held even an appearance of objectivity was branded Gulenist and sentenced to huge made up tax levies, such as the Dogan Group newspaper Hurriyet. Gulenist’s next salvo was to try to arrest Hakan Fidan head of MIT on trumped up charges, which he avoided by some intricate political outmaneuvering by RTE.
    As the influence and the infiltration of the movement became more and more apparent now, in the spring of 2016, the top level public prosecutors and the Armed Forces itself were resolved to preemptively purge as many of Gulenists as they can possibly identify from the Army and the Judiciary. Hence the purge lists, they were already composed, because finally there was a political will to act upon them, especially in the case of the Military. The loyal active military personnel knew exactly whom among them were the Gulenists, just for the simple reason that they were the ones who made life hell for them, with the backing and tacit approval of the AKP, over a period of a decade. Same as the judiciary, every persecuted prosecutor and judge knew exactly who their nemesis were. A major purge of the Gulenists was imminent right before July 15. It would have curtailed Gulen project of taking over the whole state apparatus and perhaps cripple and expose it forever.
    The coup day was moved up, and had crossed the Rubicon during the day hours of the 15th of July. But the imminent commencement of it was tipped off by someone, most likely the MIT, which in turn informed the General Staff of the Army, and they both tried to take preventive measures, so they say, especially in the case of MIT. Who warned them, Colonel Lang knows, and as to why, my humble speculation is, a counter faction to neo-cons within numerous western intelligence agencies, which puts them on the same side as the Russians in this case. There is also plenty of speculation that it was Putin. But the tip off is real as following events and as now more confessions of the plotters come to light.
    A Turkey under a successful Gulenist junta would have been a disaster, a civil war would have been inevitable-Kemalists within the Army would not have yielded without fighting, though some may have joined the junta as an old reflex. Die-hard Erdogan supporters would have resorted to molotov cocktails and shutguns instead of laying in front of the tanks and seculars would have found themselves fighting and resisting on the side of Islamists, Kurds and Alevi. Turkey would have turned into Syria on steroids, who knows, there may have been NATO intervention a la the Balkans. Now, who would have wanted such a mess?
    Contrary to common belief, the coup was well planned, and indeed had the numbers and weapons adequate for a surprise attack, and a detailed follow up plan. Their initial shock and success would have garnered the plotters many supporters, especially in the Army. Some would have simply follow orders of their superiors, but also in public, you know, those who always go along with the winners, and those who are easily cowed into submission. Not to mention internationally, those who are fed up with RTE along the spectrum, for one reason or another, moral, or geopolitical, would have also jumped on the bandwagon. Public could have been easily suppressed with an effective curfew, especially if the press and communication channels were muted. So the plotters, already knowing that at least some within the state have been forewarned, moved up the time schedule to 10 PM instead of planned 3 AM next morning in a busy Friday night while people were still out on the streets, looking for something to do. Closing the Bosphorus Bridge before turning off the airways and imposing a curfew , tipped off their hand prematurely, and a brilliant Erdogan call to his supporters to pour out into the streets sealed their failure. All are unforeseen, fortunes of war, and I don’t think RTE could have orchestrated such a risky plan. At best he could have facilitated its premature implementation, but we are still surprised the extent of secret resources and deep moles the Gulenists had, no one could have risked such a dangerous Russian rulet, no matter how great is the return on investment is. One such example is that ADC of the Chief of General Staff is exposed to be a Gulenist-who knew?
    The closing of the bridge early in the night was not planned, it was ad hoc, given the inadequate numbers of soldiers manning the check point which I saw, it was to prevent the bulk of the NATO armor stationed on the European side from moving and reaching the Asian side to protect or take over the capital. The road block was later reinforced by tanks, as they were delayed leaving the barracks. Early block was because the plotters knew that MIT has been tipped off, and if they waited until 3 AM as it is prescribed in CM-101, Coup Making 101, preventive security measures and activation of the loyal local military and security forces in numbers would have doomed their attempt to failure from its commencement. And indeed, as a small and cautionary measure of prevention, Erdogan was moved away from his vacation villa, thus foiling the direct attempt on his life and liberty, giving his time to rally his supporters on face time live from an iphone on CNN Turk, which was the moment I decided not to go to the bank machine to withdraw my savings, as our small ex pat community here was advising each other to do. That was the time and point when the coup had failed.
    And what happened since is maybe worse.
    Now by decree, all Armed forces are subjugated to Erdogan officially, not anymore as the symbolic commander in chief of the Turkish Republic. All the Military Academies, Staff Collages and Military High Schools are closed, The Jandarma is now completely under a civilian and politically appointed minister, and General Chief of Staff, indeed all Army and Corps commanders under the direct military orders of the President, as in a chain of command.
    Next will come a decree to enable Imam Hatip religious schools graduates to be admitted as officers in all branches. Of course, a change favorable to Erdogan’s vision and all powerful presidency for life is in the books after the fact, opposition being just as dumbfounded and literally neutered as the Army.
    These changes were resisted by the Army stubbornly for decades, but now, not a peep. The Armed forces have been decimated because of the loss of trained personnel after two coups, one concocted by Gulenists and administered by AKP and the other by the Gulenists through a direct military putsch. The military is embarrassed by the treason in their ranks, and the loss of respect in the eyes the general public and the inevitable loss of morale within the remaining ranks. Someone I know in the military has told me, “before I could have given my life for Turkey easily, but now, why should I die for him?
    Unfortunately the military are the ones left holding the bag. AKP is just as complicit if not more on where things have come. At least the military has been warning about the Gulenists within their ranks and demanding a decisive, but legal purge, and AKP has been stubbornly resisting in any way and shape they could. After all that had happened, and revealed to my horror as I have been watching extensive discussion programs on CNN for weeks, interviewing ex generals, scholars, political personalities and dissident journalists, who can now talk freely. But still not a word of contrition from AKP adherents, or any kind of suggestion of institutional reform or change on the political side. Just “We were also fooled” does not cut it.
    And worse of all, the military’s reason d’etre of protecting the Ataturk’s republic and secular modern democracy against all perils, and coups as such, civil or military, has been taken away from them, which have been the corner stone of their esprit de coeur and pride over 90 years. Now they will be the employees of a fundamentalist rhetorician with millions of brainwashed adherents who think of him as a man of mystical, superior abilities.

  47. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I agree.
    I continue to believe that he was recruited by US into helping with the project of Wounding-Iran-Through-Syria.
    I do not know what happened between Obama Administration and Erdogan’s, but clearly something went wrong and he started acting like a betrayed man.
    Were there promises made to Erdogan by US, by EU, by Gulfies which were left unfulfilled?

  48. Kunuri says:

    I agree, the extradition of a legal resident from US is a long, legal process. However, the reason for Gulen’s legal residence, ie his Green Card is not. It is in a way a probation period with full rights on the path to citizenship. A Green Card can be taken away, for a multitude of reasons, which is very simple and quick, and often after an arbitrary court process. Once his legal status is nullified, he is immediately deportable to his country of origin with only a difficult and almost impossible appeal process. It will become political indeed if he claims asylum after his legal status is revoked.
    In my opinion, some of the reasons for repeal of his legal status can easily be established now that we know what we know. In short, here his extradition to Turkey should not be based upon reasons of policy, but his non adherence to the conditions of being granted legal status. If he broke the US, or international law, he should be prosecuted.
    A case that comes to my mind is the deportation of Lucky Luciano to Italy after the WWII.

  49. elkern says:

    dd – thanks for link to Dani Rodrik. Important perspective on Turkey, and also good Economics (My BA was in Econ).
    I’ll want to dig more deeply into his “Trilemna” theory about the incompatibility of…
    – Hyper-Globalization
    – National Sovereignty
    – Democratic Politics
    …(Pick Two, any two):

  50. LeaNder says:

    Graham Fuller? Graham E. Fuller?
    Steve Sailer may be inspired by some of the stories around Sibel Edmonds, Gülen and the CIA’s deliberate Islamization of Central Asia project.
    Got a link?

  51. Larry Kart says:

    Better — but the mostly behind-the-scenes process by which Hitler was named chancellor by the worn out “I’ve had enough” Hindenburg and the cabal of right-wing industrialists et al. who thought they could use Hitler to advance their own interests was legal and constitutional only because no such power play at that level of government had been mounted in the course of post-WWI Germany, and thus there were no significant barriers in place to stop or forestall it. Further, the subsequent impediments to plots against Hitler were not only major psychological in nature but also the result of the rapid transformation of Germany into an authoritarian state where any act of opposition to Hitler could lead to dire sanctions/punishment. That did not quash all opposition to Nazi rule, but it certainly curtailed it.
    I mention this only because the “Hitler was elected” meme is so oddly persistent. Further, while the supposed virtues of democracy of course can be darkly transformed by other political-social circumstances/authoritarian maneuvers — as seems to be the case in Turkey now — the claim that “Hitler was elected” often has (though not as you used it above) a “So much for democracy” undertone to it, as though Hitler’s supposed but non-existent democratic election is in itself enough to gravely discredit democracy.

  52. turcopolier says:

    “the CIA’s deliberate Islamization of Central Asia project” If you mean the war against the USSR in Afghanistan, the Pakistan ISA were in direct contact. with the mujahideen, not the CIA and they insisted on dealing with Islamic groups. Actually there were no substantial groups of secular rebels. pl

  53. Fred says:

    ” but also the result of the rapid transformation of Germany into an authoritarian state where any act of opposition to Hitler could lead to dire sanctions/punishment.”
    Sounds just like Turkey. The “any act of opposition….could lead to dire sanctions/punishment” sound just like an American college campus in 2016.

  54. turcopolier says:

    This process of destruction of the Turkish Army by Tayyip is quite like the process by which Saddam destroyed the Iraqi Army. pl

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Hitler was Germany’s Black Messiah; German people loved him.
    That is not the case with Erdogan; in my opinion.

  56. LeaNder says:

    Weimar, Babak, Weimar.
    Because that’s where the constitution was drafted:

  57. LeaNder says:

    “In regards to Hitler, the German people wanted him – Odin was ruling them – as CC Jung observed.”
    Thanks, to Larry Kart for responding to that. Seizure of power, Reichstagsfire, Emergency laws followed by a not really free election anymore in March 1933. They gained around 10% but not the majority.
    I suppose you don’t mean CC Jung but C. G. Jung, don’t you?

  58. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Rule by presidential decree was the constitutional innovation by the “democrat” Heinrich Bruning before Hitler or Papen were to be the chancellor and it came about largely because the Reichstag became completely dysfunctional and normal legislative politics was no longer feasible. Much is made of how Hitler did not “win” any election, but you don’t “win” elections in a parliamentary system with proportional representation, period, anyways. The key is that adding Hitler to the right wing coalition gave them a majority in Reichstag–a conventional enough parliamentary maneuver–and, in an era when the legislative process was immobilized due to lack of a working majority, something that might even have seemed “democratic” compared to ever continuing squabbles and name calling. So, all in all, Hitler’s rise to power, while under rather extreme circumstances, was fully “democratic.” It only looks extreme in retrospect because it’s Hitler and not, say, Stephen Harper or Alcide Gaspari.

  59. kao_hsien_chih says:

    The German “people” loved Hitler the way “we” love Trump or “the Egyptians” loved Morsi. Hitler had fans, many fans, but hardly “the German people.” If the election results are any indication, the same is true with Erdogan and AKP, as far as I can tell.

  60. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think Larry Kart and you and many others are unwilling to accept that a people could or would want a particular political order with all its ramifications.
    To me, such arguments as Larry Kart and a number of others on this forum supply in regards to the rise of NAZIs etc. are akin to clutching at straws.
    I suppose such arguments have their utility in as much as they obfuscate issues of Collective Guilt and Collective Responsibility – uncomfortable for many people.

  61. elaine says:

    If I recall correctly, on another thread, Ishmael Zechariah, predicted we’ll have a
    clearer vision of Erdogan’s post-coup direction for Turkey after August 9th…
    something about a possible meeting with Russia @ that time.
    I’m more inclined to predict clarity on or around dawn on August 24th when a tightly conjoined Mars/Saturn conjunction @ 9 degrees of Sagittarius hits the ascendant of Ankara & simultaneously activates the nadir (4th house cusp) of the U.S. The fixed star, Antares is also @ 9 degrees Sagittarius. This transit is thankfully fast moving
    but can be very cruel. I hope to be wrong.

  62. Fred says:

    Yes these fine, fine Germans of Turkish decent are willing to protest in the streets of Cologne by the tens of thousands because it is what, in Germany’s interest to have the nation their forefathers came from destroyed by Erdogan? The photo you linked too has less than 100 people in it. Fifty thousand is a lot more than 100.

  63. Kunuri says:

    So Albayim, who benefits, aside from the obvious culprit?

  64. turcopolier says:

    The Ummah when he is Khalifa. pl

  65. elkern says:

    I’ve got a feeling that the KSA is involved in this somehow. Well, the “How” is obvious – money – but WHO have they backed inside Turkey?
    Naively believing the standard picture of Gulen as a “relatively mellow Islamist”, I would have – and had – assumed that KSA was quietly shoveling money to Erdogan & the AKP, tugging them toward a more hard-line Wahhabi version of Islam.
    Info I’ve seen more recently points to the possibility of links between Gulen & (some? which?) Israelists, but perhaps I’m being paranoid. They could have easily arranged his papers in this country, and managed his presumed (tenuous?) relationship with the CIA.
    IF (yeah, big if) I’m right about these things (KSA-Turkey, Gulen-Israel), then the timing of the break between Erdogan & Gulen makes sense. The release – finally – of the extra 28 pages of the 911 report would not have happened without the consent of AIPAC/etc (via influence in Congress). The “alliance” between Israel & KSA is fraying; AIPAC is no longer protecting KSA from mad Americans (ala Zelikow reference in Harpers post). US MSM is printing Bad Things about KSA (finally!).
    Under this theory, Turkey squashes Gulen – AIPAC loses a pawn. But if Turkey turns East (drops US/NATO/EU ties, cooperates with R+6), will KSA be far behind? China would be a safer customer for them than the USA has been and ever could be, so why not?
    I’m saddened by Turkey’s turn towards stricter Islam, and I wouldn’t want to see that exacerbated by a break in US/Turkish relations. OTOH, I’d say “good riddance” to KSA.
    But the danger in all this is that reduced US influence in those two countries could threaten Israel (unless they, too, turn East???), and things which threaten Israel tend to turn into US wars.
    That scares me real bad.

  66. Larry Kart says:

    Seems to me you’re conflating several different acts/events:
    1) Shortly after Brüning took office as Chancellor on 30 March 1930 he was confronted by an economic crisis. Brüning responded with tightening of credit and a rollback of all wage and salary increases. These policies increased unemployment and made Brüning highly unpopular, losing him support in the Reichstag. As a result, Brüning established a so-called presidential government, basing his government’s authority on presidential emergency decrees invoking President Paul von Hindenburg’s constitutional powers.
    Brüning announced his cabinet’s resignation on 30 May 1932, after his policies of distributing land to unemployed workers had led him into conflict with the President and the Prussian land owners, and the President therefore had refused to sign further decrees. 

In other words, Bruning invoked Hindenburg’s constitutional powers so he himself could make emergency decrees, but Bruning’s ability to act on this basis was eventually squelched by Hindenburg and allied forces. By contrast, Hitler’s ability to govern by decree was made iron-clad by the Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act [see below], which together went far beyond anything that Bruning had ever attempted, envisioned, and/or been able to pull off.
    2) The Reichstag Fire Decree was issued by President Hindenburg on the advice of Chancellor Hitler in direct response to the Reichstag fire of February 27, 1933. The decree nullified many of the key civil liberties of German citizens. With Nazis in powerful positions in the German government, the decree was used as the legal basis for the imprisonment of anyone considered to be opponents of the Nazis, and to suppress publications not considered “friendly” to the Nazi cause. The decree is considered to be one of the key steps in the establishment of a one-party Nazi state in Germany.
    3) The Enabling Act was a 1933 Weimar Constitution amendment that gave the German Cabinet — in effect, Chancellor Hitler — the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag. It passed in both the Reichstag and Reichsrat on 24 March 1933, and was signed by President Hindenburg later that day. 

The act stated that it was to last four years unless renewed by the Reichstag, which occurred twice. The Enabling Act gave Hitler plenary powers. It followed on the heels of the Reichstag Fire Decree, which abolished most civil liberties and transferred state powers to the Reich government. The combined effect of the two laws was to transform Hitler’s government into a de facto legal dictatorship.
    The Enabling Act was enacted by the Reichstag (meeting at the Kroll Opera House), where non-Nazi members were surrounded and threatened by members of SA and SS. The Communists had already been repressed and were not able to vote, and some Social Democrats were kept away as well. In the end, nearly all the those present voted for the act, except for the Social Democrats, who voted against it.

4) As for the German electoral process, you seem to be referring to the July 31, 1932 Federal Election, in which the Nazi Party became the largest party in the Reichstag, though without winning a majority. I was referring to the next Federal Election, of November 6, 1932 (no other free election would be held in Germany until the West Germany election of 1949).
    In the November 1932 election the number of votes cast for the Nazi Party dropped from a little less that 14 million (in July) to a little less than 12 million, while the party’s number of seats in the Reichstag decreased from 230 (in July) to 196. Thus the political/electoral trend for the Nazis and Hitler was on a downward slope until the more or less undemocratic process (described in my previous posts) by which Hitler was named chancellor went into motion and had its effects.

  67. Fred says:

    Like Iranians loved Khomeini.

  68. Babak Makkinejad says:

    They did, in their millions.
    You can look at the footage of the bare-feet millions that flooded Tehran at the news of his death.

  69. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not think I can agree with you; foreigners witnessed that. I realize that such a level of emotional attachment to a leader is inconceivable for many people, including yourself.
    Nevertheless, I stand by my comments since I believe it captures an essential feature of human politics.

  70. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You do not understand Germany – or indeed Europe. There is no such thing as “German of Turkish Descent” – the Germans consider them aliens.
    It took centuries for Schwabians to become Germans…
    Jews never became Rus in Russia.
    Europe is not America….

  71. LeaNder says:

    Fred, yes there weren’t that many right-wing protesters. But this is only a part of the scene on the square in front of the main station and cathedral. Shot taken with station on your back. Cathedral outside the frame to the left.
    The official narrative as to why they were kept there, as I encountered it on the local news, was, police felt the crowd was up to trouble not least since many were intoxicated by beer. But I have to admit that this perfectly confirms my preconceptions. Maybe too perfectly? 😉
    The German high court banned a video address of Erdoghan to his supporters. There are legitimate concerns as to Kudish/Turkish on German streets, it feels. We had that before. Now we might get Turkish AKP supporters (or http://www.uetd.de/) versus Gulenists, versus Kurds. This is no doubt a slightly new phenomenon, since the AKP is in power. With matters heating up. But Dani Roderik made me wonder yesterday:
    But these guys surely would have created trouble, no matter their comparatively low numbers. Cologne police always keeps “right” and “left” apart. Emotions run high during such events. Besides, they cannot afford Cologne police making news again.
    Besides remember the German extreme right as it surfaced in 2011?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Underground Predominantly victims with a Turkish background.

  72. Fred says:

    Yes, repress your own citizens because the Turks would get upset if the Germans exercised the same rights in Germany as foreign nationals seem to have.

  73. Fred says:

    As Arnaud de Borchgrave put it Europeans are writing their own epitaph. LeaNder’s reply’s to me being a case in point.

  74. Kunuri says:

    As an addendum to my article above, an article at al monitor which I have discovered today, with many more factual information than I could garner, but basically the same conclusions.

  75. Poul says:

    I have wondered about the consequence for the usefulness of the Turkish armed forces for NATO.
    If officers are appointed based on loyalty rather than ability and than seems likely with the present situation. You could end up with something like the Saudi army. Most of it of little use except an elite corps of picked men loyal to the “Sultan”. And their primary task will be to keep the “Sultan” in power.

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