The attempted coup d’etat in Turkey has failed and the repercussions will follow.
Edward Luttwak has an important column on why it happened and why it failed.
The failure was so sudden and the coup was so poorly organized that some have questioned whether it was a false flag operation.
A US-based Turkish cleric accused of plotting a coup to overthrow the Ankara government has claimed President Recep Erdogan staged the rebellion himself to justify a major clampdown on opposition forces.
Fethullah Gulen, who was a former key ally of Erdogan has been blamed by the politician of using his contacts to develop a ‘parallel structure’ to overthrow the state.
Erdogan has called on US President Barack Obama to extradite Gulen, who is based in Pennsylvania.
Erdogan has requested the US turn over the imam who has been living in Pennsylvania. Why ?
Luttwak has a pretty good explanation.
The country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was left free to call out his followers to resist the attempted military coup, first by iPhone and then in something resembling a televised press conference at Istanbul’s airport. It was richly ironic that he was speaking under the official portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Turkey’s modern secular state, because Erdogan’s overriding aim since entering politics has been to replace it with an Islamic republic by measures across the board: from closing secular high schools so as to drive pupils into Islamic schools to creeping alcohol prohibitions to a frenzied program of mosque-building everywhere — including major ex-church museums and university campuses, where, until recently, headscarves were prohibited.
When we were in Istanbul ten years ago, Hagia Sophia, the original Christian church that has been converted to a mosque after Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453, was being converted to a museum.
The huge panels of calligraphy were being removed and, beneath the panels, the workmen were finding that the previous workmen in 1453 had carefully preserved the mosaics being covered, possibly anticipating the city would be retaken by the Byzantines.
Few of the mosaics survived but a few could be seen. That one is above a door into the church.
Will the restoration continue under Erdogan ? I wonder. I also wonder how many tourists there will be to see it if it continues.
More from Luttwak.
Erdogan has been doing everything possible to dismantle Turkey’s fragile democracy: from ordering the arrest of journalists who criticized him, including the outright seizure and closure of the country’s largest newspaper, Zaman, to the very exercise of presidential power, since Turkey is not a presidential republic like the United States or France, but rather a parliamentary republic like Germany or Italy, with a mostly ceremonial president and the real power left to the prime minister. Unable to change the constitution because his Justice and Development Party (AKP) does not have enough votes in parliament, Erdogan instead installed the slavishly obedient (and mustachioed) Binali Yildirim as prime minister — his predecessor, Ahmet Davutoglu, had been very loyal, but not quite a slave — and further subverted the constitutional order by convening cabinet meetings under his own chairmanship in his new 1,000-room palace: a multibillion-dollar, 3.2 million-square-foot monstrosity (the White House is approximately 55,000 square feet), which was built without authorized funding or legal permits in a nature reserve.
I think Turkey is lost to the West and modern civilization. I saw those angry young men when we were entering mosques, like the Blue Mosque, where they kept angry and careful watch to see that we took off shoes and women wore head scarves. Now, they are running the country,
15 thoughts on “The Coup Attempt in Turkey.”
I am slightly less sure that this was a false flag. I still tend to think it was, but there are indications it was just really poorly done. Either way Erdogan benefits.
Condolences for the ongoing at Baton Rouge. Madness begets madness.
It’s the old problem; Democracy can decline into The Tyranny of the Majority. The main defence is the habit of liberty. The Turks clearly don’t have enough of that. Indeed, the supply of that seems to be dwindling throughout the Western World; it certainly is here, and it seems to this foreign observer that it is with you too.
The US political defence – a short, terse, hard-to-amend Constitution under the supervision of a politicised Supreme Court – isn’t proving effective. The British historical defence – habits, customs, attitudes, and a constitution scattered through countless laws, judgements, and conventions – isn’t looking too healthy either.
If it was a false flag operation, then Erdogan has guts. Too many things can go wrong when people start shooting–friends might change sides unexpectedly, old grudges lurking in dark corners might emerge.
He was in the air on the way back from vacation, and escorted by 2 F16s, when 2 rebel F16s showed up. They did not fire on him.
Ya gotta have guts to play the big game.
Nice to see the interior of the Sancta Sophia. May she and Constantinople be watched over and protected. Gulen, Erdogan and that skinny bastard from Chicago should boil in Chobani.
It seems now that rebel F 16s had a chance to shoot down Erdogan’s plane during the coup.
“Never strike a Prince unless you kill him. ”
I guess they don’t read Machiavelli in Turkey.
Now the rumor is that they hold our military hostage (as well as some serious rocketry)unless we cough up Gulen. Really?, parachute the Imam in straightaway.
I just read another report that said a hit squad of 25 commandos tried to attack Erdogan at his resort hotel. They supposedly fast-roped down onto the roof from helicopters, but Erdogan narrowly escaped. It sounds plausible, at least.
Since the Cold War ended Turkey hasn’t been a reliable ally, and this incident further shows how far gone the Turks are. We should get out of Incirlik and consider Turkey a neutral party at best.
When they inevitably continue to spin out of control we should stay in positions nearby to contain the damage. The Armenian/Greek genocides occurred when the Ottomans were in their death throes, so we need to be aware that something like that could happen again.
This is something I wrote elsewhere back on the 16th when news arrived of Turkey surrounding our base with tanks, cutting off the power, and freezing movement in and out. Since then, there has been word that Turkish forces have entered the base in relation to the aftermath of the Potemkin coup. The CVBG’s are now two days further out of position each since that was written.
This does posit a withdrawal from Turkey, and as a high priority matter the removal of the 50-60 nuclear weapons stored at Incirlik. Any attempt to block the removal of the nukes, or of our forces, is an explicit threat to our national security requiring a belligerent response. As in at the minimum, besides any necessary strikes to defend American forces until they can be evacuated, the destruction of the Bosphorus Bridges all the way up to the existence of Ankara being declared surplus to our needs. We cannot let the Islamists get access to 50-60 nuclear weapons, period.
Do you think Obama, presently serving as the Sultan’s eunuch, would take these actions ?
It looks like they have already done a NEO evacuation from Incirlik, so at least most of the dependents are out of the area. Looks like American personnel and dependents were confined to base over the last few weeks, also.
More perspective on the mess in Turkey.
I wonder how or if Benghazi figures in this latest chapter.
The British have bases on Cyprus. They retained the land as sovereign territory after Cyprus became independent, so the Brits are grandfathered in. The issue with Cyprus now is it’s divided with the northern part of the island loyal to Turkey and the southern part controlled by ethnic Greek Cypriots. Wikipedia states that there are 30,000 Turkish troops currently stationed in Northern Cyprus. I wonder what the future holds for them.
Thanks. It is nice to get some good news.
As I said, no. It would require an American president.
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