The most striking feature of the failed Turkish coup has been the people’s response. The plotters did their routine right: they seized the broadcasting station, they sent a sortie to kill the president, they stationed troops in the vital points, they rolled out the tanks. They calculated everything but the people’s response. As the president survived the attempt on his life, he had made the mobile phone streaming call to the nation urging people to get out and decide their future for themselves.
At first, thousands, then tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of ordinary men and women dared the army and took to the streets and the squares in response to the call of their almost deposed president. They elected him just a few months ago, and they weren’t going to let the army steal their vote. This massive popular uprising-for-the-government broke the will of the plotters. Thus history has been made in Turkey, by direct action of the people.
Amazed by the epic fail of the putsch, Erdogan’s enemies concocted a “hoax coup” conspiracy story. In the pro-Zionist Al-Monitor, a Turkish expert asked accusingly: “Why did the putschists — knowing that Erdogan was neither in Ankara nor Istanbul but instead spending his vacation in the Mediterranean seaside town of Marmaris — not move to detain him?” However, now we have this video of the armed soldiers dropping by ropes from their helicopters and storming the hotel where the president stayed – some thirty minutes after he left. The plotters moved but not fast enough.
Anyway people had no reason to think the coup was a hoax in real time. They had a rough choice: they could get out to the streets supporting the president, or sulk at home. They went out to support Erdogan. This was the best kind of election, immediate democracy, and Erdogan won that election.
Despite State Secretary Kerry’s denials, the pointers are to Washington and Tel Aviv, and perhaps to Brussels as well. Turkish top brass has long been known for its pro-NATO, pro-USA and pro-Israel sympathies. The coup leader, the Air Force commander General Akin Öztürk served as the military attaché in Tel Aviv. Bekir Ercan Van, the commander of the Incirlik air base has been arrested after his request for political asylum in the US had been refused. If they had won, they would have been applauded and feted in the West. Yes, Virginia, there was a coup, and it failed.
The man behind the coup is allegedly Fethullah Gülen, once an ally of Erdogan but now his bitter enemy. It is claimed Gülen’s organisation Hizmet (Service) forms a “deep state” or a “parallel state” in Turkey and beyond, with millions of followers in all walks of life, something similar to free masons of old. The ex-FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds described Gülen’s network as a CIA asset.
The Russians run afoul of Gülen by banning Hizmet’s activities in Russia in 2008. The Turkish F-16 pilot who almost changed the history of the Middle East by shooting down the Russian SU-24 bomber over Syria on November 24, 2015 (his name was Mustafa Hajruoglu, it was claimed by his Bosnian countrymen) turned out to be a Gülen follower and a putschist, said Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek. His helicopter was shot down in Ankara. This is not an example of fast thinking: in March 2016, the pro-government newspaper Sabah suggested that the pilot of the F-16 was a Gülen supporter and acted upon his instructions. Whether Gülen had been hostile to Russia for his own reasons or followed CIA orders, he succeeded in causing enmity between Putin and Erdogan.
Apparently, the courageous Erdogan’s decision to apologise and make up with Russia had triggered the military coup. There were rumours in Moscow that the Russian Secret Service tipped Erdogan off some minutes before the plotters’ attack thus allowing him to escape to Istanbul. This is perhaps wishful thinking.
Russians were not very consistent in the Turkish affair. After SU-24 downing, Putin spoke of being “stabbed in the back”, and Russian state media with its numerous Armenians and Jews went into hysterical overdrive producing gigabytes of hatred-for-Turkey day after day, until ordinary Russians considered Erdogan their personal and vicious enemy. Russian nationalists dreamed the old Russian pipedream of seizing Istanbul, or Constantinople, as it was called five hundred years ago, and restoring it to Christendom, a dream as futile as that of restoring Cordoba to Islam.
I wrote a few pieces in Russian calling for speedy reconciliation with Turkey and Erdogan; but my usual outlets refused to publish them. So they had to be published in rather marginal media. For freedom of speech, I am afraid, Russia is not better than the US.
When Putin agreed to reconcile, the Russian state media made an about turn pretty fast, and the ordinary Russians were happy and booked all seats on all flights to Turkey. They forgot their hatred on the spot. Just the grumpy old men in the social networks complained, baying for Turkish blood.
Israel was among the last of the states to call for constitutional order to prevail in Turkey, and even then, Netanyahu’s very brief message mainly concerned the ongoing normalisation of relations. His friend General Sisi, the military dictator of Egypt, went as far as to block a Security Council resolution condemning the coup. Quite natural, too, as he had come to power by overthrowing the elected president.
However, what worked in Egypt did not work in Turkey. The Turks did not surrender their freedom and their right to decide. Now, after the putsch they are free to proceed with their choice. I was particularly impressed by their sacking of the judges, in their hundreds (755, to be exact). It appears that the Deep State, the subterranean societal structures built by security services and by Gülen’s Hizmet, invested a lot of effort in judges and in the mainstream media, in the two least democratic government powers, not only in Turkey.
This brings the US elections to mind. Perhaps the people of America may take a lesson or two from the Turks, while Mr Donald Trump may take a lesson or two from the Turkish president. The Turks could teach you, my American readers: do not surrender to plotters. The power rightfully belongs to you; do not allow them to usurp the power.
The Turkish would-be usurpers were generals who moved their tanks, the American would-be usurpers are more sophisticated; they move banks, politicians, parties, media, justice; but they are usurpers all the same as they reject and subvert democracy.
Democracy means letting people decide; but there is a new class that usurps this right to decide. They place themselves above democracy. They are patronising and condescending to ordinary citizen. They speak to and about the people as the Turkish officers to Erdogan voters. They think they know better. They delegitimise another view. Rather, they do not consider the majority view as being legitimate at all. They think they are superior.
In the UK, the superior people pooh-poohed the suggestion to leave the EU. They said that only illiterate homophobe racist rednecks could vote for parting with the blessed rule of Brussels and with the right to receive millions of migrants from Poland and Turkey. Every opinion poll pointed to their victory for respondents were shy to admit they were sick of the EU and of Polish plumbers. But the English people weren’t shy to vote the way they wanted. And the would-be-usurpers were beaten.
They were beaten a second time when they tried to remove Jeremy Corbyn from his position at the helm of the Labour. Their attempted coup failed as miserably as the Turkish one. The mixture of heavily Jewish neocons, Blairites, upwardly-mobile-migrants attacked Corbyn daily in the Guardian, but the voters said: hands off.
In Russia there are superior people, too. They wanted to get rid of Putin; they hated the church he attended; they wanted to open Russian resources to the foreign interests. The Russian superior class is more candid; they can’t keep their mouth shut. They said that majority has no legitimacy, because they are not sufficiently educated, not wealthy enough, too parochial. Still, the Russian voters supported Putin in the booth and they supported him on the streets.
And now it is America’s turn. Your superior class decided Hillary Clinton should rule, for they do not trust a white man. Men are too independent. And they plotted, instead of honestly seeking your support.
We saw recently how the plotters got rid of Bernie Sanders. The votes of California weren’t counted yet, but the plotters already announced Crooked Hillary the winner. In every state, the rolls were changed in such a way as to preclude Bernie’s win. The old election machines allowed hackers to subtly alter the results. Perhaps good old Bernie himself was the Joker in the hands of plotters, the bent boxer who was paid to lose. Or perhaps he was a weak guy who could not withstand the pressure. Anyway the American plotters stole your vote as sure as the Turkish generals tried to steal the Turkish vote.
Now they are on their way to steal your vote by destroying Trump. The newspapers are at him like dogs besetting the bear at a royal hunt. No fair play for them; they are out to kill. In The New York Times, every piece on Trump is a poisoned arrow aimed at your mind. By going out against the basic rules of democracy, didn’t the owners and editors of Forbes, WSJ, NY Times et al prove to be latent putschists?
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an unelected (Clinton-appointed) old hag dared to say: “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president”. This is a herem, a fatwa, a ban. This is a call to putsch in case of Trump’s victory. Do you think she will stop at anything to prevent Trump from gaining the White House? She and her cronies believe they are above democracy of hoi polloi.
She is not the only judge who deserves Erdogan treatment. Trump objected to a Judge Gonzalo Curiel for he is a member of La Raza (The Race), a body as exclusive as KKK or as B’nei Brith; still the Wall Street Journal would claim he objects to the judge’s ethnicity. Forbes invented a long hair-splitting explanation i.e. ‘La Raza’ is a ‘nod to our common heritage’ or that it refers to “Latinos carrying forward the culture of Rome, based in beauty and harmony, in opposition to the Saxon – barbarian – culture based on violence and domination”, which is, in my view as racist as it gets.
It’s not that I mind racism or find it an unbearable fault. After all, racism is a middle name of every second Jew I ever met. But the duplicity is annoying: why the Forbes thinks that “Latinos are beautiful and harmonious, while Anglo-Saxon culture is based on violence and domination” is less racist than vice versa?
If you insist, yes, ethnicity can influence a judge’s decision. In Israeli-Palestinian conflict, thousands of Palestinians were killed including American citizens, and no one received any compensation. But it is relatives of American Jews who collected $600 million of damages from the Palestinian authority. Is it a coincidence that the judge was Jewish?
Now everything depends on you. You can vote for Trump – but be prepared to go out to the streets in support of the legitimacy. Do not give in to usurpers. The Brits did it a few weeks ago by voting for Brexit. The Turks did it. You can do it, too!
This article was first published in The Unz Review.
Israel Shamir can be reached at email@example.com