Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Turkey’s Failed Coup: “A Gift from God” or from Washington?

Published on July 18, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

The coup this weekend that rocked Turkey was a particularly spectacular geopolitical development. Theories abound regarding who was behind it and their motivations for carrying out what ultimately proved an apparently failed attempt at removing the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Still, it is too early to tell, as facts are far from forthcoming. However, it is possible to discern the most plausible possibilities based on the subsequent actions taken by various potential players who may have been involved in the coup attempt.

US Faces Serious Accusations

The most significant of these actions is President Erdogan’s own accusations against the United States for having engineered the coup in collaboration with self-exiled Turkish political figure, Fethullah Gulen.

The UK Independent in its article, “Turkey coup: Tensions between US and Erdogan administration rise after failed power grab,” would report that:
Tensions between Turkey and the US have escalated following the attempted coup against the Erdogan administration, with the country’s leader demanding the extradition of a US-based cleric accused of orchestrating the violence. Another senior official has directly blamed the United States.
Indeed, tensions “rising” might seem like an understatement if Turkey truly believed the US was behind the coup attempt. In essence, Turkey is accusing the United States of backing an attempted assassination of Turkey’s president, the bombing of the Turkish parliament building, the strafing of Turkish citizens from the air, and the deployment of heavy armor in Turkey’s streets.

In essence, Turkey has accused the United States of an overt and egregious act of war.

Turkey’s Actions Fall Short Vis-a-Vis the Scale of its Accusations

However, considering the gravity of Turkey’s accusations against the United States, its actions so far have been disproportionately subdued. No one is suggesting that Turkey would “go to war” with the United States, but even amid diplomatic rows of far lesser significance, nations have expelled diplomats and withdrawn the use of their territory for specific uses by the nation in question. Turkey, so far, has done none of this in regards to the United States.

In the coming week, should Turkey fail to take even these most basic punitive – even cautionary measures, it would appear Turkey’s accusations are a distraction – but a distraction from what?

The Purge.

The BBC in its article, “Turkey coup arrests hit 6,000 as Erdogan roots out ‘virus’,” reports that:
Arrests in Turkey after Friday’s failed coup have risen to around 6,000, with President Erdogan vowing to purge state bodies of the “virus” that caused it. 

At a funeral for one of the victims, Mr Erdogan again blamed US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen for the plot. Mr Gulen strongly denies any involvement. 

High-ranking military officers and 2,700 judges are among those held.
Beyond Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, one would be hard pressed to cite a political purge of this scale. Despite the sweeping scale of the mass arrests – the Western media has reported on them without the sensational hysteria that generally accompanies the arrest of even one US-backed opposition member in any other nation. The scale of the arrests are such that preparations for them must have been made ahead of time, calling into question the very nature of the coup itself.

The Coup Was a “Gift From God”

A Reuters report titled, “Turkey rounds up plot suspects after thwarting coup against Erdogan,” would state (emphasis added):
“They will pay a heavy price for this,” said Erdogan, launching a purge of the armed forces, which last used force to stage a successful coup more than 30 years ago. “This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army.”President Erdogan, heading a NATO-member state and a stalwart US ally, receiving a “gift from God” from an alleged political opponent lodging in the United States, raises serious suspicions over the true motivation behind the coup. While it appeared as a convincing attempt to oust President Erdogan from power, it ultimately failed and instead provided him with the perfect context to uproot the military “deep state” both his political allies and US policymakers have sought to eradicate for decades.

Despite the apparent “rift” between the United States and Turkey’s president, it should be noted that for the past 5 years particularly, President Erdogan and his government have played a key role in US-led regime change operations in neighboring Syria. It was President Erdogan’s anti-secular factions, including factions within Turkish intelligence and within the military itself, that trained, armed, equipped, and provided cover for terrorists operating within, along, and over the Turkish-Syrian border.

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