(Please also read the updated tweets below. There are some very interesting nuggets in there that are not yet reflected in the text.)
Yesterday’s short coup attempt (real time MoA) by parts of the military against the wannabe-Sultan of Turkey failed. Some 200 people on both sides were killed, some 1,200 wounded.
The plotters’ major mistakes were:
- to not capture Erdogan and the leaders of his political and security organizations,
- to not shut down all means of mass communication, especially the Internet, except those under their strict control,
- to not put out a trusted public face to represent the coup.
Erdogan escaped and could orchestrate the counter to the coup. He could continue to communicate with his security management, foreign politicians and his supporters. Without any well known alternative leader the public had only Erdogan to follow.
The amateurish behavior of the coup plotter opens the question of who ran this show. Was this, as some asserted early on, an Erdogan plot to seize more power?
There are three possible motives/perpetrators behind this coup:
- the Islamic movement following the preacher Fetullah Gülen, a former Erdogan ally and now arch-enemy who lives in the U.S. and has CIA relations;
- the old Kemalist secularist movement in the military and deep state;
- the Erdogan AKP movement in a false flag operation to seize more power;
There is no evidence for any of these theses and none of them clearly fits the observed pattern.
The response will be harsh. Edogan will crack down on ANYONE he politically or personally dislikes – completely independent of their involvement in the coup. All political parties, even the mostly Kurdish HDP, spoke out against the coup while it was ongoing. The religious Gülen movement also opposed it. Most of the involved soldiers were told that they were part of an exercise. It will not save any of them from Erdogan’s and his supporters’ wrath.
The somewhat coup-supportive early statements from Lavrov (“avoid bloodshed”) and Kerry (“stability!”) will increase Erdogan’s mistrust of any foreign official.
Erdogan will now become even more paranoid and unpredictable than he was before. The domestic atmosphere in Turkey will become extremely strained.
A few relevant recent tweets (see last post for many earlier ones):
5:36 PM – 15 Jul 2016 chinahand @chinahandI’ll put on my tinfoil hat re TK. What kind of coup waits til bossman’s out of town & doesn’t try to detain him? & AKP has plenty of
@chinahand diehard para-fash assets that wud hit streets immediately on its behalf. No plan to counter that? #WorstCoupEver I suspect
@chinahand TRE knew about the plot, made sure it would fail w/ help of loyal officers pretending to be part of it, & let it go ahead.
@chinahand now time to clean up the (extremely messy) mess & take out the trash, methinks
6:24 PM – 15 Jul 2016 ilhan tanir @WashingtonPointPres Erdoğan says this is an opportunity presented by God to clean up Turkish Military . #live press conference
9:12 PM – 15 Jul 2016 (((Garrett Khoury))) @KhouryGarrettTurkey: Erdogan confirms coup forces surrounded his hotel in Marmaris…4 hours after he had left. That’s a special sort of ineptitude.
10:13 PM – 15 Jul 2016 ilhan tanir @WashingtonPointTurkish Army Forces published its last memo at 6.50 am local (90 mins ago) saying “movement continues”
9:45 PM – 15 Jul 2016 i24NEWS English @i24NEWS_EN#BREAKING 754 members of Turkish armed forces arrested across Turkey: state news agency
11:17 PM – 15 Jul 2016 Mustafa Akyol @AkyolinEnglishThis #turkeycoupattempt had not much to do with “Islamist-vs-secularists.” Secular opposition sided with the govt against the putschists.
11:39 PM – 15 Jul 2016 Nasser Atta @nasseratta5Number of detained military personnel after #Turkish coup attempt rises to 1,563 across country: official
11:48 PM – 15 Jul 2016 Alev Scott @AlevScottErdogan denouncing “traitors” on state TV channel, which a few hours ago was hijacked by the military denouncing him pic.twitter.com/j30UiQ3jau
11:53 PM – 15 Jul 2016 Gregory Djerejian @GregDjerejianIf you thought Erdoğan was becoming overly authoritarian bordering on some neo-Sultan or such oh boy just you wait now post-aborted putsch.
1:05 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Asaf Ronel @AsafRonelTurkey’s acting army chief of staff: Coup attempt was rejected by chain of command immediately.
General Dundar: We’ll continue to serve the people. I would like 2 thank all political parties and the media for their support for democracy
More: “The armed forces is determined to remove members of the Gulen movement from its ranks”
1:32 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Frank Nordhausen @NordhausenFrank#Turkey This was a weird coup. I was on Taksim square 3 hours, my impression was: that’s not real. I saw military in Cairo – no comparison.
1:38 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Elijah J. Magnier @EjmAlraiDespite results in #Turkey, Erdogan will be very busy internally, reforming, reshuffling, turing the army upside-down.His throne has shaken.
1:42 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Elijah J. Magnier @EjmAlraiWhen the coup was taking over, the #USA embassy called the coup “Turkish uprising”. #Turkey. pic.twitter.com/dEcWvXsLYd
2:43 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Elijah J. Magnier @EjmAlraiJabhat al-Nusra #AQ spiritual scholar al-Maqdisi attacked the Turkish Army responsible of the coup as “anti-Islamic” pic.twitter.com/UlKrbX5gaS
3:03 AM – 16 Jul 2016 @dr_davidsonAfter digesting #TurkeyCoup news, my view is Erdogan’s agents in military forewarned him, & there were considerable benefits allowing it 1/3
Erdogan has big opportunities to purge military (think Sadat’s ‘corrective revolution’) & claim supra-electoral nation-saviour status. 2/3
The question is which allies Erodgan decided to keep in loop. If none, then Qatar, MB & fellow travellers will have had disturbed night 3/3
3:35 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Aylina Kılıç @AylinaKilicAhrar al-Sham publishes support message for Turkish government for coup attempt in #Turkey, citing “democracy first”
4:46 AM – 16 Jul 2016 DAILY SABAH @DailySabahBREAKING – Turkey’s top judicial body HSYK lays off 2,745 judges after extraordinary meeting sabahdai.ly/GSnzF0
Interesting how fast they drew up that list. This move was long planned and may have been a reason for the coup. See below.
5:27 AM – 16 Jul 2016 archicivilians @archiciviliansFree Syrian Army (#Syria Opposition ) released a statement congradulating the fail of #TurkeyCoupAttempt. pic.twitter.com/8S
5:28 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Hussain AbdulHussain @hahussainIn 24 hours of news coverage of #Turkey, in all the military and the civilians who took to streets to restore democracy, not a single woman
5:35 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Reuters World @ReutersWorldTurkish PM: Any country that stands by cleric Gulen will be at war with Turkey reut.rs/29KtlNW pic.twitter.com/VJcTrtVi6M
That is a direct Erdogan threat to the U.S. where Gülen lives.
5:48 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Émad @EMostaqueNoted yesterday imminent big changes in judiciary by HSYK may have been key catalyst for coup, now accelerated
2:54 PM – 15 Jul 2016 Émad @EMostaqueProximate causes for #TurkeyCoup may have been recent reorganisation of judiciary as well as Ataturk attack
5:50 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Kayode Odeyemi @kayodeyemiPower to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, which is used by U.S. to launch airstrikes against #ISIS, has been cut, U.S. consulate in #Turkey says
3:41 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Putintintin @putintintin1Turkey jets which bombed #Ankara refilled from fuel tankers took off from Incirlik airbase!!
Consider: Erdogan demands that U.S. delivers Gülen to him (without evidence of coup relations). Erdogan isolates major U.S. base (with nukes) in Turkey. This could get VERY interesting …
5:57 AM – 16 Jul 2016 ilhan tanir @WashingtonPoint10 State Council, top court members are detained allegedly for having ties to failed coup attempt.
6:32 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Ragıp Soylu @ragipsoyluJournalist @sahmetsahmet says police was to arrest coup leaders yesterday before they mobilise, that led the coup pic.twitter.com/UdXViNUf1V
7:16 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Liam Stack @liamstackJohn Kerry on the Turkey coup: “I must say it does not appear to be a very brilliantly planned or executed event.” nytimes.com/live/turkey-co…
7:18 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Ellie Geranmayeh @EllieGeranmayeh Speculations flowing in #Istanbul re #TurkeyCoup linked to annual military meeting in Aug where gov plan to purge Gulenist soldiers (leaked)
7:19 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Elijah J. Magnier @EjmAlraiElijah J. Magnier Retweeted Marianne
Imposing Sharia punishment on soldiers in #Turkey for their failed coup
[pic showing bearded Erdoganists whipping soldiers in the street after they surrendered]
8:24 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Jim Colella @Jim_ColellaReports today of 2745 judges removed after last night’s #TurkeyCoupAttempt. Wtf? How’s that related? Watch all that happens next.
+ 5 judges frm top judicial appointment body (HSYK) dismissed. 48 Council of State judges detained. 140 arrest warrants 4 Supreme Ct Appeal
9:15 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Asaf Ronel @AsafRonelthere’s a report saying a anti-Gulen operation was in final stages & ignited the coup attempt – the lists were ready
9:15 AM – 16 Jul 2016 ilhan tanir @WashingtonPointConstitutional Court (US-Supreme Court) member Alparslan Altan, VP at highest court appointed by A.Gul, is detained.
9:46 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Mete Sohtaoğlu @metesohtaogluFour #Turkish parties make rare joint statement against coup attempt
#TurkeyCoupAttempt #AKP #CHP #MHP #HDP pic.twitter.com/UOBTU339uT
9:59 AM – 16 Jul 2016 The Truth @JunkTruthDid @BarackObama know of and approve the #TurkeyCoup? Turkey’s Patriotic Party says CIA is behind Gulen coup: pic.twitter.com/HoAhPBKuBg
see pic-link above – interesting read
10:08pm · 16 Jul 2016 Gissur Simonarson CN @GissiSim“Pro-Democracy” protesters who lynched soldiers to death display “Grey Wolves” hand signals over dead bodies #Turkey
10:10pm · 16 Jul 2016 Turkey Untold @TurkeyUntoldBREAKING: Secretary of Labor Süleyman Soylu live on news channel Haberturk: “The US is behind this coup” pic.twitter.com/khqdbUw7re
10:12 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Asaf Ronel @AsafRonelTurkish official confirms authorities found coup-plan lists saying which officers will be governors, heads of government agencies etc
Lists included more than 100 names with matching would-be posts. Not all of them arrested yet #TurkeyCoupAttempt
10:32 AM – 16 Jul 2016 CNN Türk ENG @CNNTURK_ENG#BREAKING Turkish President Erdoğan speaks live, calls U.S to hand over Fethullah Gulen to if U.S is strategic ally
Translation – Erdogan to U.S.: “If you want to keep access to Incirlik airbase you will have to give me Gülen!” (mentioned that earlier – see above)
10:32 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Yaroslav Trofimov @yarotrofGulen will be a huge issue, possibly costing US access to Incirlik base. twitter.com/turkeyuntold/s…
10:42 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Joshua Landis @joshua_landisClearing out Gulenists, fall guys for coup. They aren’t know 4 strength in army. Still not clear who is behind this.
Political parties just demonstrated solidarity against the coup. Now this:
11:08 AM – 16 Jul 2016 Conflict News @ConflictsBREAKING: Pro-Kurdish HDP offices under attack in by pro-Erdogan supporters in Iskenderun, Malatya and Osmaniye #Turkey – @michaelh992