"The coup plotters probably erred in their assumption that there was wide support at senior levels in the Turkish military for a coup. The generals, who once would have been natural opponents of Erdogan’s ambitions, had been severely punished in their first encounter with the then prime minister in 2010-11. A series of show trials claiming that the senior officers were involved in plotting against the government based on very flimsy evidence removed many upper ranks, replacing them gradually with Erdogan loyalists. Many of the officers so convicted have only recently been released from prison but, having been out of power for years, they have not retained any ability to take action against the government.
The coup plotters may have approached one or more of the new Erdogan-appointed generals, without whose support a coup could not succeed, expecting a sympathetic hearing. In all likelihood, they were received cordially but the senior officer immediately reported their overture to the president, setting the stage for a trap." The American Conservative
In the interest of full disclosure I am one of the people who have discussed this matter with Philip Geraldi. IMO the scenario he suggests fits exactly with my conception of the "coup" as a false flag operation. pl
It looks like Kemalist Turkey is dead:
The purge is 20,000 and counting according to this.
This Reuters article says that now Erdogan is purging and removing around 8,000 police officers in Turkey; 30 regional governors and more than 50 high-ranking civil servants have been removed; prosecutors as well as judges have been removed; and a purging of the civil service is underway–
8,000 police officers + 6,038 soldiers + 2,745 judges + 30 governors + (> 50 civil servants) + 140 constitutional court members + 48 members of the council of state + ‘X’ number of prosecutors = at least 17,000 people quickly purged, including many who were detained/arrested.
The list had been prepared.
Sputnik News asserts that the Incirlik Air Base is being raided by police and isclosed again. Assuming the time stamp is local Turkey time this just went up minutes ago.
I am, from my perch here, are starting to doubt the false flag scenario.
The main reason being, no side could have calculated unforeseen factors that go into this kind of playing with fire. Coup plotters have not taken into account the power of social media, just one unknown, as well as the administration.
AKP administration may have had their lists on hand in advance.
If Gulen organization is behind this in a substantial role, I will ask who is behind Gulen-which leads me to totally uncharted territory.
The inept execution of the coup however, set to fail, may have been the message itself. The real black flag here maybe that Gulen is set up and forced to move immaturely with a fail-sure plan to flush him out, but not by RTE.
What a mess.
This is outside my expertise area but I want to ask the question. What happens to Turkish military readiness as a result of this purge? I’d assume that it will demoralize the military and kneecap their officer corps of much-needed experience. Or do you think there’s enough redundancy in the ranks to make up for it and/or there’s enough experienced “loyalist” senior NCOs and officers to make up the difference?
Side question, also outside my range. At what point do we count a foreign base as “too hot” and draw down the overall troop numbers and especially bring dependents home? If I was stationed in Turkey I most definitely wouldn’t want my family in-country…
Follow up to my last. Looks like they ordered the dependents out awhile ago, thank god. Per a military times article back in March or so.
Still we’ve got a lot of mil and civ members over there with their butt potentially hanging out in the wind.
Another item that is referenced in the article you cite is that the Turkish general in command of the Incirlik air base, Gen. Bekir Ercan Van, asked the U.S. for asylum, and was told ‘No’–
OK: Maybe this is an awkward way of looking at things.
I was just reading an article:
This little gem of a quote popped out at me.
“We basically have turned a blind eye to Erdogan’s drive towards an authoritarian, one-man system of rule in Turkey,” said Eric Edelman, a U.S. ambassador to Ankara from 2003 to 2005 and a deputy secretary of defense under George W. Bush. “The president has acknowledged it, but we haven’t really done much about it, if anything.”
That needs to change, Edelman said. “If there’s anything we’ve learned from the last six years in that part of the world, it’s that one-man rule isn’t very stable.”
You know, watching the world over the last forty some odd years, It seems to me that there is a lot less trouble when there are solid one-man rules.
Tito, the Egyptians, even Saddam prior to our losing patience with him kept the lid on things. Quadafi was irritating, but that was about it.
Maybe the Sultan is the way to go. It might be more difficult, and it might be irritating as hell and contrary to our stated missionary goal of bringing Democracy to the world, but maybe it would cost us less in the long term.
I am not advocating this, but it may be worth a thought.
the US would not push Gulen to make a coup. All the Obama Administration wants is for Erdogan to let them kiss his ass. As for the nature of the “coup” I now know exactly which senior army man betrayed the plotters to Erdogan. whether a junior level plot was betrayed by him when his subordinates tried to coordinate the thing country-wide or whether the Erdogan clique initiated the plot themselves using him is unclear as yet but past a certain point it does not matter. Be careful. Start growing a beard or come back to the States. pl
Edelman is funny. WE de-stabilized ALL those governments. pl
Well, that certainly explains the fact Erdogan had his lists prepared. Regardless of proximate cause, it’s clear the coup had little chance and was something of a last desperate act. The consequences for the West will be severe.
Purely on Qui Bono merit–the coup seems to be staged. How it was in reality, I would rather wait for more verified details to emerge.
I agree with pl. ff. A real CIA-backed coup would not fail so miserably.
Junior officers would likely want to know that they had support of one or more senior officers plus US/NATO. IF they were duped, it was likely a joint MIT/CIA effort.
Why would USA/CIA/Mossad want to depose Erdogan anyway? He has been very accommodating to the Assad must go! effort. And a renewed push for Assad must go! is now underway:
>> Twisting Iran’s arm by continuing sanctions and withholding $$;
>> Kerry’s talks with Putin (dangling joint ops against ISIS – probably only if they abandon Assad)
>> Failing ceasefire; re-arming of ‘moderates’ and extremists
>> Recent ISIS-linked attacks on West for “something must be done” urgency
>> Israel says that they don’t want to see ISIS defeated!
Lets face it, Erdogan _was_ weakened by the confrontation with Russia. This “coup” has now solidified his power. To the benefit of the Assad must go! effort. Everything else seems like misdirection.
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Sibel Edmonds complains about a CNBC tweet (from ‘senior US military source’) that started the rumor that Erdogan was seeking asylum from Germany. She says this was in support of coup.
But we now know that this weak coup attempt had little chance of success.
IMO this rumor was probably meant to entice all Erdogan opponents to identify themselves. Rather than showing USA/CIA support for the coup, it shows USA/CIA support for Erdogan(!)
Got that a French tweet a/c:
Col. Lang and others,
I just finished reading this article and found it very interesting. I would be interested to hear others’ views on its applicability to Turkey and its accuracy: http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/02/02/the-turkish-complex/
I found this rather useful: “The Islam-secularism dichotomy, virtually the only framework most Western observers use in trying to grasp things Turkish, is no longer a useful diagnostic (if it ever was). We are seeing instead a recurrent cycle of conceptual patterns and associated roles—those of the ‘bigman’, selfless hero, and traitor—that have long characterized and destabilized Turkish political culture. These roles and their interactions are driven not simply by competing ideologies, but by on-the-ground rivalry between network hierarchies and a general fear of social chaos.”
Good to hear from you. Be safe.
If Turkey was devoloping towards regularized semi-democracy and multi-level civil society and so forth, then Erdogan’s drive towards one man rule is an uneccesary and unhelpful detour away from that direction of development. If so, then the Erdogists will manufacture all kinds of instablility where none existed and none had to exist. After all, Turkey was not an artificial creation like “Iraq” or “Syria” when they were first crafted. Rather, it is the leftover stub of the core of a big empire. As such, it could have a stable national existence if the Kurdish nation could be accomadated within that.
Now, all that is derailed, and will probably be burned all the way down. Incirlik will be kept closed long enough to give ISIS and the alphabet jihadis, both of which Erdogan supports, time to recover in the absence of air operations from Incirlik. Hopefully the R + 6 can prevent the “rebel opposition” from making the recovery which Erdogan wants them to make.
If Erdogan decides that a lot of secular and young Istanbulis don’t like him, he and his movement will get long-range revenge on Istanbul by destroying every last park and greenspace and maybe even cutting down every single streetside tree throughout all of Istanbul. And building OttoMarts on all the clear cut spaces.
Albayim, I look older with a white beard, been avoiding it like a plague. And thanks, I am careful, though I am taking your word of caution as concern for my safety, and not my comments. I have been considering the idea of coming back to the States, I will know when, the next time I return to Istanbul after an overseas trip. If I get the old nausea and dread of coming back, it will be time.
I disagree, there is no such thing as a one person govt. There are always multiple power centers in a society that compete, and the person at the top had better have one or more of those behind him or …. well, history is replete with dead kings, etc. For example, Assad is not a one person govt, he has the backing of the Alawites and other minorities, and now, all those who are not pro-liver-eaters. Absent a fairly wide-based support, a one man leader requires some great power to come to his aid as an occupation – e.g., the British tried here in the colonies, and even then, they had quite a bit of royalist support.
IMO a prerequisite of bringing democracy to the world is to actually have one that works and for which Americans are proud of, but it you look at the polls, 84% of Americans are extremely unhappy with the voting choice for president, congress’s approval ratings are down with the slugs, and studies show that public opinion has zero effect on legislation (as opposed to $$ – but so it was under the roman emperors), so exactly what Democracy are we bringing to the world?
Personally, I would just be happy if we would stop policies that engender blowback.
but it may be worth a thought.
Yes and the thought is immediate and short:
The Egyptians, Saddam and Quadafi were SECULAR and were restraining the religious nutjobs as much as possible while Erdogan is an ISLAMIST.
Happy return to the 7th century for all Turks…
Colonel, according to @Ald_Aba “most of the coup vehicle in #Istanbul were from 2 Armored Bde and 66 Mechanized Infartery Bde”(1), and apparently those brigades “were part of NATO’s Rapid Deployable Corps”(2). Does it makes sense?
I must admit that I had found Qaddafi of entertainment value – for decades.
Also, Egypt is not Turkey, won’t be any time soon either.
Colonel Lang , please tell us if you can, in sight of this staged failed cope by Erdo, what would become the future relation between the US/NATO and Turkey, how much do you think Erdo and his neoislamists of Turkey can push and bribe the US with NATO tool and playing a betting price game, between US/NATO and the Russians. Don’t you think that was the reason for Turkey’s newly change of hearth toward Putin’ Russia ?
I don’t know. pl
Rear-Admiral (Ret.) Soner Pollat just gave interview to Azeri news agency Haqqin.Az (Haqqin is Time in Azeri). For now it is in Russian only, later, I expect, it will be translated into English. Admiral lays blame on Gullen and, with it, US. (Google Translate should do the trick for those who want to read it).
Next several days will be, I guess, filled with all kinds of statements and counter-statements.
missionary goal of bringing Democracy to the world, but maybe it would cost us less in the long term.
The people were afraid of that democracy and what it would cost them after seeing Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Egypt…
They chose their own poison.
It could only really live within Turkey’s citizens. If too few of them support secular, enlightened governance, then nothing is going to bring it back, even a successful coup.
A certain set of values associated with progress (in broad strokes: secular, liberal and scientific) are not exactly weak in Western societies, or even in Asia, but they are also not in clear ascendance now, and there has been backsliding in many countries.
Good to hear from you (also). Hope things are as good as they can be given the circumstances. Stay safe!
I am not sure that “setting the stage for a trap” Giraldi’s words is the same as a false flag operation. It seems pretty clear at this point the Erdogan had advance knowledge but it still seems unlikely that he was actually involved in planning the coup.
The interesting question is what did the CIA and military intelligence know before hand? Seems unlikely that they knew nothing. If we did have advance knowledge, did we give a wink and a nod? Or did some fool CIA agent encourage them to go ahead?
I like Nick’s answer
On Foreign Policy
“So if – in addition to the many individual policy, governmental and operational lessons there are to be learned – there is a single, overriding lesson from Iraq, it is surely that we need to rediscover the principles of a traditional, realist, conservative foreign policy. Value stability. Respect sovereignty. Do not make foreign policy part of an ideological crusade. Do not try to recreate the world in your own image. Do not, however much you might disapprove of a dictator’s abuse of human rights, use that as a pretext for regime change. Always act on the basis of the national interest. Above all, understand the risk involved when things change in complex and volatile states.”
Erdogan knows that Turkey is needed as part of the US-EU containment strategy against Russia, he knows that Turkey is needed by the Sunni Arabs, Azerbaijan Republic, US and EU against Iran and he also knows that Russia prefers to have friendly relations with Turkey.
Erdogan is in a very comfortable place domestically as well; Gullen’s sheep are not going to go against him and the Kemalists cannot articulate a vision against him and AKP that is credible.
[Who assassinated Ozal, I start to wonder.]
So, he is going to extract things of value from US, from EU, from Arabs, and even from Russia. His successor will also continue on this game – welcome to multi-polarity.
THY flights from Istanbul Ataturk are now allowed back in the USA. Sorties against Daesh from Incirlik had started yesterday. I am not imputing any correlation.
The tayyip regime have suspended all leaves and are asking all government employees abroad to reuturn back to Turkey.
Something is brewing…
The AKP never has received a majority vote in the Erdogan era
A couple of days ago, in comments posted on an earlier thread, I had suggested that, if this was indeed an ‘engineered’ coup, then it was probable that Erdogan needed it to carry out a massive purge, especially in the military, as a precursor to a significant policy change.
Now that it seems very likely that Erdogan ‘allowed’ the coup to proceed (and the expected purges are taking place), I think we can soon expect this radical shift in policy to occur. As I had suggested then, this would probably be a move to develop much closer relations with Russia and Iran, and distance itself from the US and the West.
For those surprised by this prediction (Yes, Fred, I know he is an ‘Islamist’!), let me tick off a few pointers:
– Turkey has ruled the Arab world. Its current leader, the Saudi princeling, expects Erdogan to play second fiddle!
– Erdogan is an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world. The Saudis and Egyptians are enemies of the MB.
– The US is backing the Arabs, led by the Saudis.
– The only role left for Turkey in Syria is to support the Saudi-backed jihadis and rebels. This role is of no benefit to it.
– The US is backing the Kurds in Syria, who are allied to the PKK. Russia is also showing signs of doing that, mainly as an anti-Turkish move
– Once the Syrian war ends, the Russian military will withdraw from the region. The US military will stay on in support of the Arabs against Iran. Turkey will be expected to be a bit-player in this game.
– Turkey needs good relations with Russia and Iran for its economic prosperity.
In sum, Turkey has a much better prospective future as an independent player with closer ties to Russia and Iran, than as a US ally.
>”I agree with pl. ff. A real CIA-backed coup would not fail so miserably.”
This one seems right on par with the “Bay of Pigs”.
All … Gulen is a curious character… deeply involved in U.S. Charter Schools and dishing money into congressional pockets
You don’t actually know any of that. You simply prefer to think the US was involved. It was not. pl
ISL, we do not have democracy. We are represented by politicians who chase the money, not the will of the people. Are there any countries with functioning democracies? I hope so, but not sure if there are any. I think what PL has been opining is that democracy is a worthy goal but unattainable by most countries in the Middle East at the present moment, so we need to focus on what is most effective at securing order, stability, and this part I disagree with-aligned with American interests. Erdogan appears to be advocating policies aligned against American interests-supporting radical jihadists that will harm America.
Personally, I believe we should stop picking sides because the sides we pick-Israel, Saudi Arabia, Saddam for a long time, Erdogan, Mubarek, etc are shitty choices so we should stop trying to control and manipulate a region that is uncontrollable and only costs us shit-loads of money and casualties. Fire all these foreign policy experts, shrink our military, come home and mind our own business. All these foreign policy experts in the State Dept, Defense Dept should get real jobs like carpentry, mechanics, farmers..and mind their own fucking business here at home in the USA.
Degringolade, Nick is largely correct: agreed the Unipolar worldview is bankrupting us. (we didnt go into Iraq to correct human rights abuses)
Two questions and one comment:
1-Do you think tayyiban Turkey has the resources to act “as an independent player with closer ties to Russia and Iran, than as a US ally”?
2-Do you think that the deep anti-russian and anti-shia sentiments of the average tayyip supporter, agitated to fever pitch by the tayyiban propaganda of the last decade, might make such a major shift a hard sell to tayyip’s base? His opening to israel has already lost him supporters.
Given the current economic crisis and the deep vulnerability of the country to terrorist attacks, his future is not assured, no matter what he does. I think this coup left the islamists in Turkey weaker, not stronger.
Donald Trump, I will vote for u if u promise to fire all State Dept, CIA, NSA, DIA, DOD control freaks trying to “figure out” the world and bend it to support “American interests.” They may be exciting, high paying jobs, but those guys are bankrupting us and turning the world against us. Get real jobs at home.
Trump, don’t listen to any of these warmongers who want to “go after ISIL, go after Assad, go after Iran, go after Hezbollah, go after Russia.”
Donald, as a businessmen, you and I know this foreign policy is bankrupting us. I don’t mind if u go and blow ISIL to smithereens, then just please go home and let those guys sort it all out.
I am sick of reading about the Middle East in the news….New Rule: News blackout of the Middle East. Only positive domestic news like: Homeless kid gets scholarship to Harvard; Black dude saves white guy that fell in lions cage at zoo; The internet of everything rapidly becoming a reality; Nate Diaz kicks Connor McGregors ass again; etc.
The big question to me now is what is to become of Turkeys bid to join EU? This kind of behavior cannot help Turkey. Does Erdogan care?
Aligns with what I hope will come of this turn-about – the rampant repression within Türkiye itself not withstanding.
As Saudi is mentioned, I am not aware this observation here by Mr Khalil has been shared yet as to the slant against Erdoğan that was present in Saudi media in particular up until the coup:
He suggests that al-Saud not only bet on the coup, but may have supported it too, although he admits that no evidence thereof is forthcoming as of yet.
I agree, he got 6 billion from EU for refugees he in part created, playing the Russian card against US interests he probably can extract a lot from US/NATO.
Yes. And not just financially. Also economically and most importantly, morally.
Where does the money come from?
Why is he based in Poconos?
Strategically located countries, like Iran and Turkey are more difficult to be attacked, and always can and will play a betting game between interested parties. IMO Turkey with regard to Nato, Mediterranean sea, Russians, Israel, Iran access to west, can play a hot game of who will raise the ante, that is the biggest resources and capital Turkey has, it seems Erdo’ Turkey just realized that, after their stupid FP on Syria.
Anatoly Karlin at Unz.com has a very interesting piece on the coup and demographics, showing why Turkey has fundamentally changed (& why coup could never have been successful) and why its future will become inexorably Islamist.
IMO, all part of the coming thousand years of darkness we were promised.
Colonel, I think Trump campaign are more stupid than I thought before, right down to a lose childish amateurish start. Is Embarrassing for day one of general elections.
Putin is a statesman of highest caliber, he is not vindictive and always looking for an angle to cooperate with other countries to advance the state interests of Russia.
Outside of Iran, there is no such Muslim country that one could even remotely consider to be led by a statesman of the caliber of Putin.
Russia has a deep bench, Putin will be followed by others like Putin – in my opinion.
The game that Erdogan is playing is stupid, it is not based on cooperation but on extortion – it will get him so far and not far enough to remedy the historical backwardness of the Turkey.
I find no “missionary” goal in the constitution, where is that please?
Ishmael, I have no detailed knowledge of the real situation inside Turkey. I view events from the outside, and interpret them according to the macro-picture of events in the region.
Thus, I may well be wrong. And, you may well be right (as implied by your questions). Time will tell.
I believe Erdogan does not see the future of Turkey in a membership of the EU.
He uses this (as he does NATO) for his own ends. Once they become more of a liability than an asset, he will dump them.
You mean Paul Ryan’s refusal to release RNC control to some Ted Cruz supporters or Trump’s lack of actual control of the RNC leadership?
I read Qatar was involved, Saudi Arabia was watching – and I suppose – hoping.
It seems to me that this is primarily a gambit to secure absolute domestic power. Once he feels that his perceived enemies are taken care of he will likely feel more emboldened to act elsewhere. The Kurds may feel the heat first.
I speculate that there may be elements within the AKP too who now feel threatened. He’s gonna brook no competition.
“The big question to me now is what is to become of Turkeys bid to join EU?”
You live in UK and are a Brexiter? (Sorry could nor resist :-))
Forget a EU membership of Turkey. It has really not been on the table for years and will not be, especially not with a UK-free EU.
On your #1, no – she is too dependent on European cash injections when economic times become hard. This has been the case for decades and was not an AKP specific issue.
Alliance with Iran and certainly Russia are out of the question; grudging economic relations, however, is going to be there, especially with Iran since Iranian Blockade Runners need all available routes.
A political and religious program between Iran and Turkey could go a long way to discredit and destroy the scourge of Jihadi Terrorism – although such a joint program is very unlikely at the present moment.
A similar effort, the 2006 Amman Conference, clearly has failed.
“Something is brewing…”
The coming conclusion of the current Caliphate? It would leave an opening for the Sultan to add the title to his CV and solidify his position as the Islamic Democracy Standard Bearer. Plus he would have insider information of Ibrahim’s State impending doom and act accordingly, such as a counter-coup maneuver before the heat rises on the south border.
What will be interesting to see if Erdogan formally requests extradition for Gulen and part of the case is a dime drop on his private phone calls or e-mails.
No I live in Hawaii and I surf
Fred, I mean not to have control over their own staff , who check and veted the candidate’ wife key note speech? That shouldn’t have happened? Trump can’t run the same lose campaign as when he was not parties nominee
Unlike Charlie. Charlie don’t surf.
(Someone had to say it. I figured I’d get it over with.)
The plagiarism issue is a good example of the shark bait mindset of the corporate media to make the Trump campaign look bad and then get into a negative feeding frenzy.
Yes, like Attorney General Lynch not having control over the DOJ employee who ‘accidentally’ sent out that tweet under the DOJ account. She no more verifies every thing sent out that Trump or his wife does an internet search to ensure no ‘plagiarism’ occurs.
Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands are democracies; be it nominally with a Royal Head of State. I think the Scandinavia is also, although I didn’t live there.
And in stead of importing talent, create and nurture talent at home and export it worldwide.
There is ZERO chance of Turkey being allowed to join E.U.
I happen to have known, as a trainee, a few physicians of the ruling class of Belgium, The Netyerlands and Spain. The conversations trickles down. Evan a decade ago, when Turkey pretended to be a modern democracy, there was an extreme resistance of Turkey’s membership of E.U. And not only that but there was a general unwillingness to allow full assimilation and integration of Turkish 2d and 3rd generation labor-immigrants of 50’e & 60’s. I am not saying that this was not reciprocal.