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A couple of commentators on Turkish affairs now lean toward the Gulen Cult of the Poconos really being behind the coup fiasco in Turkey.

One analyst is Harvard economist Dani Rodrik, who came to dislike the Gulenists while he was investigating the show trial of his father-in-law, an old-fashioned Kemalist general. Much of the testimony against the generals in the big purges while Erdogan and Gulen were allies was forged by Gulenists in the police. (After Erdogan and Gulen turned on each other in late 2013, Rodrik’s father-in-law was released by Erdogan as part of a rapprochement between Erdogan and the military.) Rodrik now writes:

… And in any case, there was no reason for Kemalists to act now or to rush into what was clearly an ill-planned coup. The Ergenekon and Sledgehammer [show trial] verdicts had been reversed and Erdogan had long distanced himself from these trials, explicitly acknowledging they were plots against the military. Erdogan was also reversing many of his foreign policy actions that must have grated on the military: he had just reconciled with Russia and Israel and was pulling back on Syrian adventurism.

The Kemalists got along fairly well with Israel over the decades.

… For its part, the Gulen movement has a long history, going back to the 1980s, of trying to place its sympathizers in the military ranks. And while the high command systematically tried to purge them, it is quite likely that the Gulenists were able to outwit them. To evade suspicion, Gulen is said to have instructed his sympathizers to go to great lengths, including not letting their wives wear the headscarf – a telltale sign of religiosity in Turkey – and even to drink alcohol. The steady stream of document leaks that enabled the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer trials, as well as the mysterious way in which investigations of these leaks have been blocked, also suggests the presence of a large number of Gulenists in the military.

All of this points to the Gulen movement as the immediate culprit behind the coup attempt. Gulenists had both the capability and the motive to launch the coup. The timing – just after military officers began to be detained and before a major sweep – also supports this theory. Many have suggested that the Gulenists decided to move early and quickly because they learned that the impending sweep had been moved forward. This is plausible, and also helps explain why the coup attempt seemed rushed and poorly planned. Under this theory, the botched coup was a last-gasp, desperate attempt to reclaim their one final remaining institutional bastion and ensure their survival in Turkey.

My best guess is that the coup was planned and organized by Gulenists but that they were joined by quite a few others as well. The joiners may have had diverse motives: personal ambition, hatred of Erdogan, or simply the belief that they were obeying orders from the higher-ups.

One of the curious aspects of the coup attempt is that it had no public face or apparent leader. …

This lack of a public face is a lot less anomalous from the standpoint of Gulenist modus operandi. Gulenists always prefer to operate in the shadows, behind the scenes, and never take direct ownership of operations they launch and control.

So, that’s not hugely convincing, but it is interesting.

Meanwhile, in the NYT, Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol (whom I think I’ve had lunch with) writes:

Mr. Gulen strongly denies the charges. Some in the West seem to think that this is yet another of the many bizarre conspiracy theories peddled by Mr. Erdogan. But this is not merely propaganda. There are good reasons to believe the accusation is correct.

The Gulen community is built around one man: Fethullah Gulen. His followers see him not merely as a learned cleric, as they publicly claim, but the “awaited one,” as I have been told in private. He is the Mahdi, the Islamic version of the Messiah, who will save the Muslim world, and ultimately the world itself. Many of his followers also believe that Mr. Gulen sees the Prophet Muhammad in his dreams and receives orders from him.

Besides Mr. Gulen’s unquestionable authority, another key feature of the movement is its cultish hierarchy. …

Given the Gulen community’s hierarchical structure, all of this makes Mr. Gulen a prime suspect. Of course, the truth can come out only in a fair trial. Unfortunately, Turkey is not good at those — especially given Mr. Erdogan’s control over the judiciary and the ferocious polarization in the country today. But the United States government can try to negotiate with its Turkish counterparts to extradite Mr. Gulen, as Turkey’s government is now requesting, on the condition of a fair trial.

I dunno. I’m not excited about the U.S. turning over to Erdogan his arch-enemy on the promise of a fair trial. The evidence that Gulen was behind the coup is, at present, far from overwhelming. And, having seen Midnight Express, I’m not sure how much to trust the testimony that will likely come out of Turkish interrogation chambers in the near future incriminating Gulen.

Erdogan is going to do what he’s going to do, but I don’t see much reason to help Erdogan take vengeance upon his foes.

Instead, I’d rather see the FBI relaunch its investigation into the Gulen Cult’s skimming and immigration fraud in running the largest chain of charter schools in America. A couple of years ago, the FBI was enthusiastically raiding Gulen charter schools across the U.S., carting away evidence. But then you stopped hearing about the investigation. Perhaps somebody at CIA or State told the FBI that ripping off American taxpayers to fund Gulen was part of Washington’s grand strategy to make sure the Bosporus was in friendly hands?

I’d rather see Gulen answer to charges of defrauding Americans in open American courts than to turn him over to Erdogan’s sense of fairness.

 
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  1. Conspire:

    from con- ‘together with’ + spirare ‘breathe.’

    Aloha:

    “alo” meaning presence, and “ha” meaning breath. Aloha is translated into the “breath of life.”

    Some kind of conspiracy there!

  2. The ABC of Merkel Youth is Always Be Chopping.

  3. ” (whom I think I’ve had lunch with) :”

    With whom I think I’ve had lunch.

    there, fixed that for ya.

    • Replies: @Wilbur Hassenfus
    It's time to give up on "whom". It's going the way of "thee" and "thou". It calls too much attention to itself to be good writing.

    "Who I think I've had lunch with" is correct modern American English.
    , @Dirk Dagger
    ¡Viva el Prescriptivismo! ¡Viva la porquería!
  4. You must get them to sign … on the line of the confession … which is dotted.

  5. “I’d rather see Gulen answer to charges of defrauding Americans in open American courts than to turn him over to Erdogan’s sense of fairness.”

    I’d be surprised if either event happens to such a valuable asset.

  6. The United States actually has tactical nukes based in Turkey. Why?

    • Replies: @Lugash
    I was shocked to learn we had tactical nukes outside the US as well. My guess would be that they're there a last ditch weapon if Iran roles into Irawq/Kuwait/Saudi Arabia.
    , @tbraton
    I was just as surprised as you. Rather astounding when you consider that the Jupiter missiles armed with nuclear warheads were withdrawn by JFK as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962---a gesture that was done without fanfare months later after the Kennedy people succeeded in tarnishing in the press Adlai Stevenson who had first suggested such a step as a way of defusing the crisis. (Ironically, President JFK was surprised to learn that we had nuclear missiles in Turkey when President Eisenhower had placed them there to meet the criticism of one Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts during the late 50's. Of course, he was the same Senator Kennedy who campaigned on and won the White House, in part, on the so-called "missile gap" with the USSR, even though he had been briefed on intelligence showing there was no such gap.

    From one account of the Cuban Missile Crisis: "Over the years, many scholars of the Cuban Missile Crisis came strongly to suspect that Robert Kennedy had, in fact, relayed a pledge from his brother to take out the Jupiters from Turkey in exchange for the Soviet removal of nuclear missiles from Cuba, so long as Moscow kept the swap secret; yet senior former Kennedy Administration officials, such as then-National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy and then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk, continued to insist that RFK had passed on no more than an informal assurance rather than an explicit promise or agreement.

    The first authoritative admission on the U.S. side that the Jupiters had actually been part of a "deal" came at a conference in Moscow in January 1989, after glasnost had led Soviet (and then Cuban) former officials to participate in international scholarly efforts to reconstruct and assess the history of the crisis. At that meeting, former Kennedy speechwriter Theodore Sorensen (and the uncredited editor of Thirteen Days [RFK's posthumous account]) admitted, after prodding from Dobrynin, that he had taken it upon himself to edit out a "very explicit" reference to the inclusion of the Jupiters in the final deal to settle the crisis." )
    , @Bill Jones
    The long standing desire to destroy Russia.
    See Brzezinski.
  7. But how to get him out of the compound? He is protected by over 100 armed goons. Trying to capture him will look like a bad action movie finale. How many FBI and ATF guys needs to die to bring him to justice?

    Should Clinton appoint Janet Reno once again as AG to get the job done?

    • Replies: @let it burn
    "But how to get him out of the compound? He is protected by over 100 armed goons. Trying to capture him will look like a bad action movie finale. How many FBI and ATF guys needs to die to bring him to justice?"

    surround the compound. cut the power, water, sewer. wait. but that makes for boring video so it would never happen.
    , @Half Canadian
    How do you get Gulen out of his compound? Turn off outside utilities for the compound, don't allow outside food deliveries, and wait.
  8. @Bill Jones
    " (whom I think I’ve had lunch with) :"

    With whom I think I've had lunch.

    there, fixed that for ya.

    It’s time to give up on “whom”. It’s going the way of “thee” and “thou”. It calls too much attention to itself to be good writing.

    “Who I think I’ve had lunch with” is correct modern American English.

    • Replies: @Hail

    time to give up on “whom”
     
    Honest Abe Lincoln addressed letters as follows:

    "Whom it may concern..." (No 'to.') One suddenly realizes that the word once had a true meaning rather than being an Educated Man's Shibboleth. Likewise, longtime Sailer readers are always on alert for the word "Disinterested."
    , @SPMoore8
    "Whom" as an accusative, dative or instrumental of "Who" still has its uses in modern American Usage, just as we continue to say "I saw him", "I gave to him", or "by him". "Whom" type constructions rarely come up in any case, but we should use them, as in the three cases above, when they come up.

    But you also have to use your ear and common sense. For example, "With whom I lunched" is very stilted English, never mind the grammar, whereas "Who I think I had lunch with" is fine.

    Interestingly, if we get rid of "Whom", then Steve's favorite proverb will become "Who Who"?

    (The Russian is kto kogo, lit. who whom, "kto" being in nominative case, and "kogo" being in accusative case which in this particular instance is identical to genetive case. Russian genitives wit the 'ogo" ending are pronounced "ovo", thus "kto kovo". We have natives who can correct me.)
    , @The Only Catholic Unionist
    Subject. Object. There's a difference. Neglecting "whom" is like saying "between you and I". Yech.
  9. So how many “Gulenists” are there?

    What’s the difference between a Gulenist and an Erdoganite in practical political terms (cult beliefs aside)?

  10. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The idea being floated is that Gulen is an American puppet and that the coup was an American inspired one, which makes the US part of the conspiracy. This seems to be a rather serious claim since it accuses the US of being in the business of overthrowing it’s NATO partners when displeased with them, hardly a friendly thing to do to a ‘partner’. It’s possible some within Turkey may have wanted to get rid of Erdogan simply because he’s an incompetent wrecker who is taking the country down.

    • Replies: @tbraton
    There was a lot of speculation that the U.S. was behind or supported the military coup that overthrew the government of George Papandreou (father of later PM Andreas Papandreou) back in 1967. In fact, it appears that Gust Avrakatos, the CIA collaborator with Rep. Charlie Wilson in "Charlie Wilson's War" in Afghanistan in the 80's, cut his teeth on that 1967 military coup in Greece. Of course, the U.S. must have played somewhat of a role in all those Italian governments that followed the end of WWII.
    , @EdwardM

    . . . to get rid of Erdogan simply because he’s an incompetent wrecker who is taking the country down.
     
    Though we may disdain his worldview, Erdogan seems pretty competent in putting it into practice. And he seems to be taking the country in the direction that a small majority or plurality of Turks want it to go.

    He seems to be a majority of the way into a ten-year plan to achieve what Iranian revolutionaries did with their country overnight, with the added benefits of keeping the economy in pretty good shape, keeping the U.S.'s support, and achieving his end without everyone understanding what he was up to it until it was too late. Really a masterstroke.
  11. Gulen is said to have instructed his sympathizers to…not [let] their wives wear the headscarf

    What percentage of Turkish women wear the veil?

    • Replies: @Some Economist
    FWIW, thinking over some visits there, here is my feel for it. As a visitor this is obviously not a representative experience (and maybe already dated given rapid internal migration), but I was paying attention:

    Istanbul: <15% overall. Though in a couple of neighborhoods it felt like 1/3, in most places it felt like 1%. Middle Eastern tourists in hijabs looked really out of place. You'd see more in Minneapolis, really.

    Izmir, on the western coast: <5%.

    An another large but very conservative Anatolian city: not more than 20%.

    A lot of older ladies will wear a Eastern European type babushka, but it's decidedly not religious.
  12. Last week Steve linked to the FT article showing about a third of Turks thought Erdogan more or less staged the coup, presumably corresponding directly with the number of Kemalists/CHP supporters (with perhaps some Gulenists in there too, who are small in number).

    Curiously, the number of Kemalists who think that Erdogan was behind the whole spectacle seems to have gone waayyy down over the last few days. Not over new evidence over the events, however. It now looks as if the ostensibly principled Kemalists take the fact (and I do believe it’s a fact) that Erdogan has been purging Gulenists this past week as their “evidence” that it was indeed the Gulenists. Since Kemalists also want the Gulenists dismantled, they’re quite happy to look the other way.

    I’ve asked one Kemalist whether an alternative purge in which Kemalists were (further) removed by Erdogan would “prove” that Kemalists were behind the coup attempt, much as purging Gulenists “proves” Gulenists were behind the events. Did not compute. Certainly not the first time I’ve interacted with an otherwise very smart Turk only to wind up at such a roadblock.

    Good luck getting any clarity here.

  13. @Hail

    Gulen is said to have instructed his sympathizers to...not [let] their wives wear the headscarf
     
    What percentage of Turkish women wear the veil?

    FWIW, thinking over some visits there, here is my feel for it. As a visitor this is obviously not a representative experience (and maybe already dated given rapid internal migration), but I was paying attention:

    Istanbul: <15% overall. Though in a couple of neighborhoods it felt like 1/3, in most places it felt like 1%. Middle Eastern tourists in hijabs looked really out of place. You'd see more in Minneapolis, really.

    Izmir, on the western coast: <5%.

    An another large but very conservative Anatolian city: not more than 20%.

    A lot of older ladies will wear a Eastern European type babushka, but it's decidedly not religious.

  14. I knew it all along. The United States was behind the coup in Turkey. The Erdogan crowd even has a name … former NATO Commander, Army General John F. Campbell, with the CIA pouring in billions of dollars for bribes.

    Does this let Gulen off the hook …? Or, does Gulen work for the CIA?

    https://www.rt.com/news/353126-campbell-nato-coup-turkey/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome

    • Replies: @Hail

    The United States was behind the coup in Turkey
     
    If so, you'd think it wouldn't have been so botched.
  15. Winston Churchill said, “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
    He could have been speaking of Turkey. I really don’t have the slightest idea of what’s really going on here, and I don’t much care. Having the Gulenists face charges in this country sounds like a much better idea than sending them back to Turkey. At least here they’ll get a fair trial and, if convicted, be imprisoned under humane conditions. In Turkey, they would be tried in a kangaroo court and be thrown into some hellhole dungeon, if not “shot while trying to escape.” Maybe a US trial is a win all around, and perhaps Erdogan will be satisfied with that. If not, well, what’s it to us?

    • Replies: @Lugash
    Yeah, but prosecuting fraud would set a bad precedent in the United States.
  16. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t think this conspiracy theory is Byzantine enough. Is there any evidence that Gulen and Erdogan are in contact? Perhaps the fact that Erdogan was travelling when the coup happened was not just a coincidence, but planned?
    I propose that Gulen is actually an Erdogan plant, designed to form a credible government-run anti-government religious sect. /s

    (Actually, I may have read about this kind of third-level conspiracy theory here at iSteve.)

  17. Dirk Dagger [AKA "Chico Caldera"] says: • Website
    @Bill Jones
    " (whom I think I’ve had lunch with) :"

    With whom I think I've had lunch.

    there, fixed that for ya.

    ¡Viva el Prescriptivismo! ¡Viva la porquería!

  18. Put. That. Turkish. Coffee. Down.

    Turkish coffee’s for conspirators only.

  19. Hail says: • Website

    Patrick Cockburn of the UK Independent on the coup (archived at the Unz Review). He now seems to completely support the Gulenist theory.

    July 17. Erdogan is Using this Failed Coup to Get Rid of Secularists in Turkey

    July 18. Is Erdogan Using the Coup to Make Turkey a Fully Islamic Country?

    Mr Erdogan has said that he wants to see “the growth of a religious generation”, which would replace long-standing secular domination in Turkey. His foreign policy since the Arab Spring in 2011 has been to support the largely Sunni Arab uprising in Syria in alliance with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, though his efforts to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad have so far failed. This strategy included tolerance for extreme Islamist jihadi movements such as Isis

    The failed coup will enable the implementation of Mr Erdogan’s long-desired presidential system based on Islamic values. It is unlikely to face much resistance now

    July 18. Everything You Need to Know About the Turkey Coup

    July 19. Turkey’s Government Fears Second Coup Attempt as Purge Extends Military

    government officials genuinely believe that there is a very widespread conspiracy by Gulenist “sleeper” agents, not all of whom have been detected and may still be capable of armed action. When the Gulenists were allied to the AKP seven or eight years ago, they were at the cutting edge of a purge of the armed forces of secular sympathisers and were well placed to replace those dismissed or jailed

    July 21. Fear and Doubt Among Istanbul’s Citizens in Wake of Attempted Coup

    The Gulenists were certainly at the heart of the coup plot though they may not have acted alone

    The Gulenists had every opportunity to insert their own cadres and adherents into the armed forces, police, civil service and educational institutes. Some Turkish observers compare the role of the group in securing positions of influence for its members to that of the Roman Catholic organisation Opus Dei

    July 22. Erdogan Is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey Is the Loser

    only the Gulenists had a network of adherents capable of staging an uprising in so many units of the security forces.

    The coup went off half-cock. It was staged prematurely because of fear of an imminent purge of Gulenists in the military. Analysts have been explaining how badly organised the attempt was and how it could never have succeeded.

    But the initial response of the government to the putsch was equally cack-handed, with Erdogan saying that he first heard something was amiss from his brother-in-law who phoned him between 4 and 4.30pm on 15 July to say that soldiers were stopping cars next to the Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul.

    July 25. Erdogan Shuts Huge Swathe of Gulenist Institutions

    It is becoming clear that – leaving aside government paranoia – a large number of units from the Turkish armed forces took part in the coup on 15/16 July and that it nearly succeeded. The latest to be detained are 283 members of the presidential guard, which numbers 2,500 men. The hard core of the plotters were in the gendarmerie and air force and had allocated an elite unit to detain Mr Erdogan at his hotel in Marmaris on the Aegean coast at 3am on 16 July. But he had already left by the time they attacked because the plotters in operational charge of the event, fearing the imminent discovery of the coup, had brought forward its timing by six hours and were unable to tell this to the soldiers targeting Mr Erdogan who escaped shortly before they arrived.

    • Replies: @drd
    cockburn is mossad plant. Gulen theory denied by saker, israel shamir and sybil edmonds. It was a test coup by the deep state. Erdogan is trying to take down deep state before the heavy coup comes. Taking down the deep state is a win for all xept cia/mossad
  20. @Steve Richter
    The United States actually has tactical nukes based in Turkey. Why?

    I was shocked to learn we had tactical nukes outside the US as well. My guess would be that they’re there a last ditch weapon if Iran roles into Irawq/Kuwait/Saudi Arabia.

  21. @Black Death
    Winston Churchill said, "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."
    He could have been speaking of Turkey. I really don't have the slightest idea of what's really going on here, and I don't much care. Having the Gulenists face charges in this country sounds like a much better idea than sending them back to Turkey. At least here they'll get a fair trial and, if convicted, be imprisoned under humane conditions. In Turkey, they would be tried in a kangaroo court and be thrown into some hellhole dungeon, if not "shot while trying to escape." Maybe a US trial is a win all around, and perhaps Erdogan will be satisfied with that. If not, well, what's it to us?

    Yeah, but prosecuting fraud would set a bad precedent in the United States.

  22. I would prefer to see Gulen sent back to Turkey, and who cares what happens to him. We don’t need these grifters in America. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Many of his followers also believe that Mr. Gulen sees the Prophet Muhammad in his dreams and receives orders from him.

    It is astonishing that grown adults can believe such things.

    But how to get him out of the compound? He is protected by over 100 armed goons. Trying to capture him will look like a bad action movie finale. How many FBI and ATF guys needs to die to bring him to justice?

    None need die. As any good Roman general knew, when faced with a walled city, you don’t generally attack directly. You either wait it out in a siege, or get someone on the inside to betray it.

    A blockade of the compound would be pretty easy, I’d think. Start by shutting off the power to the place. Shut the water if possible. Let no food or drink inside. How long could they last? Maybe blast some Motley Cru at them day and night for kicks. Offer delicious kebabs to anyone departing the compound.

    Oh, but we never do sensible things like this is America any more. If we were sensible, these clowns would never have been allowed here in the first place.

  23. @TheJester
    I knew it all along. The United States was behind the coup in Turkey. The Erdogan crowd even has a name ... former NATO Commander, Army General John F. Campbell, with the CIA pouring in billions of dollars for bribes.

    Does this let Gulen off the hook ...? Or, does Gulen work for the CIA?

    https://www.rt.com/news/353126-campbell-nato-coup-turkey/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome

    The United States was behind the coup in Turkey

    If so, you’d think it wouldn’t have been so botched.

    • Replies: @TheJester
    I had the same feeling. I know ... the F-35, the aircraft carrier Gerald Ford, etc. I was hoping we still could do something right. If we were involved in the coup, it is clear we can't even carry out a credible coup anymore? How low can we go!

    There is historical precedent. At the end of the Western Roman Empire, the pesky Vandals ... all 60,000 of them, destroyed two attempts by two 100,000 man armies/navies on the part of the the Western and Eastern Roman Empires to destroy them.

    Same old stuff: Politics, corruption, political appointees, infighting. Government of the elite, by the elite, and for the elite. I can't recall that Hillary and Obama were there but their "kind" were there. Easy to understand the outcomes.

    A clique but true:

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain
     
    , @Fredrik
    On the contrary. That's why it could be the US behind it. The US government and its agencies don't understand a lot of the internal dynamic in the Middle East. Look what happened in Iraq for example.

    Not that they are alone in not understanding it but we're discussing the US now.
  24. @Wilbur Hassenfus
    It's time to give up on "whom". It's going the way of "thee" and "thou". It calls too much attention to itself to be good writing.

    "Who I think I've had lunch with" is correct modern American English.

    time to give up on “whom”

    Honest Abe Lincoln addressed letters as follows:

    “Whom it may concern…” (No ‘to.’) One suddenly realizes that the word once had a true meaning rather than being an Educated Man’s Shibboleth. Likewise, longtime Sailer readers are always on alert for the word “Disinterested.”

  25. @Hail
    Patrick Cockburn of the UK Independent on the coup (archived at the Unz Review). He now seems to completely support the Gulenist theory.

    July 17. Erdogan is Using this Failed Coup to Get Rid of Secularists in Turkey

    July 18. Is Erdogan Using the Coup to Make Turkey a Fully Islamic Country?

    Mr Erdogan has said that he wants to see “the growth of a religious generation”, which would replace long-standing secular domination in Turkey. His foreign policy since the Arab Spring in 2011 has been to support the largely Sunni Arab uprising in Syria in alliance with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, though his efforts to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad have so far failed. This strategy included tolerance for extreme Islamist jihadi movements such as Isis
     

    The failed coup will enable the implementation of Mr Erdogan’s long-desired presidential system based on Islamic values. It is unlikely to face much resistance now
     
    July 18. Everything You Need to Know About the Turkey Coup

    July 19. Turkey's Government Fears Second Coup Attempt as Purge Extends Military

    government officials genuinely believe that there is a very widespread conspiracy by Gulenist “sleeper” agents, not all of whom have been detected and may still be capable of armed action. When the Gulenists were allied to the AKP seven or eight years ago, they were at the cutting edge of a purge of the armed forces of secular sympathisers and were well placed to replace those dismissed or jailed
     
    July 21. Fear and Doubt Among Istanbul's Citizens in Wake of Attempted Coup

    The Gulenists were certainly at the heart of the coup plot though they may not have acted alone
     

    The Gulenists had every opportunity to insert their own cadres and adherents into the armed forces, police, civil service and educational institutes. Some Turkish observers compare the role of the group in securing positions of influence for its members to that of the Roman Catholic organisation Opus Dei
     
    July 22. Erdogan Is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey Is the Loser

    only the Gulenists had a network of adherents capable of staging an uprising in so many units of the security forces.
     

    The coup went off half-cock. It was staged prematurely because of fear of an imminent purge of Gulenists in the military. Analysts have been explaining how badly organised the attempt was and how it could never have succeeded.

    But the initial response of the government to the putsch was equally cack-handed, with Erdogan saying that he first heard something was amiss from his brother-in-law who phoned him between 4 and 4.30pm on 15 July to say that soldiers were stopping cars next to the Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul.
     
    July 25. Erdogan Shuts Huge Swathe of Gulenist Institutions

    It is becoming clear that – leaving aside government paranoia – a large number of units from the Turkish armed forces took part in the coup on 15/16 July and that it nearly succeeded. The latest to be detained are 283 members of the presidential guard, which numbers 2,500 men. The hard core of the plotters were in the gendarmerie and air force and had allocated an elite unit to detain Mr Erdogan at his hotel in Marmaris on the Aegean coast at 3am on 16 July. But he had already left by the time they attacked because the plotters in operational charge of the event, fearing the imminent discovery of the coup, had brought forward its timing by six hours and were unable to tell this to the soldiers targeting Mr Erdogan who escaped shortly before they arrived.
     

    cockburn is mossad plant. Gulen theory denied by saker, israel shamir and sybil edmonds. It was a test coup by the deep state. Erdogan is trying to take down deep state before the heavy coup comes. Taking down the deep state is a win for all xept cia/mossad

  26. @uprising
    But how to get him out of the compound? He is protected by over 100 armed goons. Trying to capture him will look like a bad action movie finale. How many FBI and ATF guys needs to die to bring him to justice?

    Should Clinton appoint Janet Reno once again as AG to get the job done?

    “But how to get him out of the compound? He is protected by over 100 armed goons. Trying to capture him will look like a bad action movie finale. How many FBI and ATF guys needs to die to bring him to justice?”

    surround the compound. cut the power, water, sewer. wait. but that makes for boring video so it would never happen.

  27. @Steve Richter
    The United States actually has tactical nukes based in Turkey. Why?

    I was just as surprised as you. Rather astounding when you consider that the Jupiter missiles armed with nuclear warheads were withdrawn by JFK as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962—a gesture that was done without fanfare months later after the Kennedy people succeeded in tarnishing in the press Adlai Stevenson who had first suggested such a step as a way of defusing the crisis. (Ironically, President JFK was surprised to learn that we had nuclear missiles in Turkey when President Eisenhower had placed them there to meet the criticism of one Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts during the late 50’s. Of course, he was the same Senator Kennedy who campaigned on and won the White House, in part, on the so-called “missile gap” with the USSR, even though he had been briefed on intelligence showing there was no such gap.

    From one account of the Cuban Missile Crisis: “Over the years, many scholars of the Cuban Missile Crisis came strongly to suspect that Robert Kennedy had, in fact, relayed a pledge from his brother to take out the Jupiters from Turkey in exchange for the Soviet removal of nuclear missiles from Cuba, so long as Moscow kept the swap secret; yet senior former Kennedy Administration officials, such as then-National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy and then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk, continued to insist that RFK had passed on no more than an informal assurance rather than an explicit promise or agreement.

    The first authoritative admission on the U.S. side that the Jupiters had actually been part of a “deal” came at a conference in Moscow in January 1989, after glasnost had led Soviet (and then Cuban) former officials to participate in international scholarly efforts to reconstruct and assess the history of the crisis. At that meeting, former Kennedy speechwriter Theodore Sorensen (and the uncredited editor of Thirteen Days [RFK’s posthumous account]) admitted, after prodding from Dobrynin, that he had taken it upon himself to edit out a “very explicit” reference to the inclusion of the Jupiters in the final deal to settle the crisis.” )

    • Replies: @Busby
    Tactical nuclear weapons in Turkey? Unlikely because there is no use for them.

    Tactical nukes are short range weapons such as the Lance or tube artillery fired. Those weapons are "released" to the control of the local commander for employment under certain op plans and certain very limited conditions. See Gap, The Fulda, 1954-1991.

    As I recollect, the forward depot of Special Weapons* in the Med, excluding weapons on navy ships, was in Greece. It's possible the Air Force had a stock of bombs at Incirlik but air dropped bombs were obsolete 25 years ago. Replaced by air launched cruise missiles.

    Jupiter missiles were intermediate range weapons and were not tactical.

    * A term including nuclear and chemical weapons. One I always found preferable to the very Russian, Weapons of Mass Destruction.
  28. @Wilbur Hassenfus
    It's time to give up on "whom". It's going the way of "thee" and "thou". It calls too much attention to itself to be good writing.

    "Who I think I've had lunch with" is correct modern American English.

    “Whom” as an accusative, dative or instrumental of “Who” still has its uses in modern American Usage, just as we continue to say “I saw him”, “I gave to him”, or “by him”. “Whom” type constructions rarely come up in any case, but we should use them, as in the three cases above, when they come up.

    But you also have to use your ear and common sense. For example, “With whom I lunched” is very stilted English, never mind the grammar, whereas “Who I think I had lunch with” is fine.

    Interestingly, if we get rid of “Whom”, then Steve’s favorite proverb will become “Who Who”?

    (The Russian is kto kogo, lit. who whom, “kto” being in nominative case, and “kogo” being in accusative case which in this particular instance is identical to genetive case. Russian genitives wit the ‘ogo” ending are pronounced “ovo”, thus “kto kovo”. We have natives who can correct me.)

    • Replies: @tbraton
    "Interestingly, if we get rid of “Whom”, then Steve’s favorite proverb will become “Who Who”?"

    In that case, many of Steve's posters will sound like a lot of owls, which probably wouldn't bother Steve since he went to Rice.
  29. @anonymous
    The idea being floated is that Gulen is an American puppet and that the coup was an American inspired one, which makes the US part of the conspiracy. This seems to be a rather serious claim since it accuses the US of being in the business of overthrowing it's NATO partners when displeased with them, hardly a friendly thing to do to a 'partner'. It's possible some within Turkey may have wanted to get rid of Erdogan simply because he's an incompetent wrecker who is taking the country down.

    There was a lot of speculation that the U.S. was behind or supported the military coup that overthrew the government of George Papandreou (father of later PM Andreas Papandreou) back in 1967. In fact, it appears that Gust Avrakatos, the CIA collaborator with Rep. Charlie Wilson in “Charlie Wilson’s War” in Afghanistan in the 80’s, cut his teeth on that 1967 military coup in Greece. Of course, the U.S. must have played somewhat of a role in all those Italian governments that followed the end of WWII.

  30. @SPMoore8
    "Whom" as an accusative, dative or instrumental of "Who" still has its uses in modern American Usage, just as we continue to say "I saw him", "I gave to him", or "by him". "Whom" type constructions rarely come up in any case, but we should use them, as in the three cases above, when they come up.

    But you also have to use your ear and common sense. For example, "With whom I lunched" is very stilted English, never mind the grammar, whereas "Who I think I had lunch with" is fine.

    Interestingly, if we get rid of "Whom", then Steve's favorite proverb will become "Who Who"?

    (The Russian is kto kogo, lit. who whom, "kto" being in nominative case, and "kogo" being in accusative case which in this particular instance is identical to genetive case. Russian genitives wit the 'ogo" ending are pronounced "ovo", thus "kto kovo". We have natives who can correct me.)

    “Interestingly, if we get rid of “Whom”, then Steve’s favorite proverb will become “Who Who”?”

    In that case, many of Steve’s posters will sound like a lot of owls, which probably wouldn’t bother Steve since he went to Rice.

    • LOL: Spmoore8
  31. @Hail

    The United States was behind the coup in Turkey
     
    If so, you'd think it wouldn't have been so botched.

    I had the same feeling. I know … the F-35, the aircraft carrier Gerald Ford, etc. I was hoping we still could do something right. If we were involved in the coup, it is clear we can’t even carry out a credible coup anymore? How low can we go!

    There is historical precedent. At the end of the Western Roman Empire, the pesky Vandals … all 60,000 of them, destroyed two attempts by two 100,000 man armies/navies on the part of the the Western and Eastern Roman Empires to destroy them.

    Same old stuff: Politics, corruption, political appointees, infighting. Government of the elite, by the elite, and for the elite. I can’t recall that Hillary and Obama were there but their “kind” were there. Easy to understand the outcomes.

    A clique but true:

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain

  32. Fair trial huh?

    Bush 10/14/01
    “Returning to the White House after a weekend at Camp David, the president said the bombing would not stop, unless the ruling Taliban “turn [bin Laden] over, turn his cohorts over, turn any hostages they hold over.” He added, “There’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he’s guilty”

  33. @Steve Richter
    The United States actually has tactical nukes based in Turkey. Why?

    The long standing desire to destroy Russia.
    See Brzezinski.

  34. @uprising
    But how to get him out of the compound? He is protected by over 100 armed goons. Trying to capture him will look like a bad action movie finale. How many FBI and ATF guys needs to die to bring him to justice?

    Should Clinton appoint Janet Reno once again as AG to get the job done?

    How do you get Gulen out of his compound? Turn off outside utilities for the compound, don’t allow outside food deliveries, and wait.

    • Replies: @uprising
    What if he has stockpiled 2 years worth of food in his compound?
  35. @anonymous
    The idea being floated is that Gulen is an American puppet and that the coup was an American inspired one, which makes the US part of the conspiracy. This seems to be a rather serious claim since it accuses the US of being in the business of overthrowing it's NATO partners when displeased with them, hardly a friendly thing to do to a 'partner'. It's possible some within Turkey may have wanted to get rid of Erdogan simply because he's an incompetent wrecker who is taking the country down.

    . . . to get rid of Erdogan simply because he’s an incompetent wrecker who is taking the country down.

    Though we may disdain his worldview, Erdogan seems pretty competent in putting it into practice. And he seems to be taking the country in the direction that a small majority or plurality of Turks want it to go.

    He seems to be a majority of the way into a ten-year plan to achieve what Iranian revolutionaries did with their country overnight, with the added benefits of keeping the economy in pretty good shape, keeping the U.S.’s support, and achieving his end without everyone understanding what he was up to it until it was too late. Really a masterstroke.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Erdogan's big mistake was taking sides in Syria, trying to overthrow Assad, perhaps more out of ego and desire for acclaim than hard-headed strategy. That re-activated the Kurdish nightmare within Turkey (Assad and the Syrian Kurds worked out a live and let live relationship), and now Erdogan's shelling Kurdish villages in Turkey.
    , @anonymous

    He seems to be a majority of the way into a ten-year plan to achieve what Iranian revolutionaries did with their country overnight,
     
    Imitating Iranian ayatollahs is a good idea. Every country should do so. Forward into the 10th century.

    Really a masterstroke.
     
    Sounds like a love letter Erdogan would write to himself. Reality, where art thou?
  36. @Hail

    The United States was behind the coup in Turkey
     
    If so, you'd think it wouldn't have been so botched.

    On the contrary. That’s why it could be the US behind it. The US government and its agencies don’t understand a lot of the internal dynamic in the Middle East. Look what happened in Iraq for example.

    Not that they are alone in not understanding it but we’re discussing the US now.

  37. @EdwardM

    . . . to get rid of Erdogan simply because he’s an incompetent wrecker who is taking the country down.
     
    Though we may disdain his worldview, Erdogan seems pretty competent in putting it into practice. And he seems to be taking the country in the direction that a small majority or plurality of Turks want it to go.

    He seems to be a majority of the way into a ten-year plan to achieve what Iranian revolutionaries did with their country overnight, with the added benefits of keeping the economy in pretty good shape, keeping the U.S.'s support, and achieving his end without everyone understanding what he was up to it until it was too late. Really a masterstroke.

    Erdogan’s big mistake was taking sides in Syria, trying to overthrow Assad, perhaps more out of ego and desire for acclaim than hard-headed strategy. That re-activated the Kurdish nightmare within Turkey (Assad and the Syrian Kurds worked out a live and let live relationship), and now Erdogan’s shelling Kurdish villages in Turkey.

  38. Alec Baldwin’s character wasn’t in the play. David Mamet wrote the part for the movie with Baldwin in mind.

  39. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @EdwardM

    . . . to get rid of Erdogan simply because he’s an incompetent wrecker who is taking the country down.
     
    Though we may disdain his worldview, Erdogan seems pretty competent in putting it into practice. And he seems to be taking the country in the direction that a small majority or plurality of Turks want it to go.

    He seems to be a majority of the way into a ten-year plan to achieve what Iranian revolutionaries did with their country overnight, with the added benefits of keeping the economy in pretty good shape, keeping the U.S.'s support, and achieving his end without everyone understanding what he was up to it until it was too late. Really a masterstroke.

    He seems to be a majority of the way into a ten-year plan to achieve what Iranian revolutionaries did with their country overnight,

    Imitating Iranian ayatollahs is a good idea. Every country should do so. Forward into the 10th century.

    Really a masterstroke.

    Sounds like a love letter Erdogan would write to himself. Reality, where art thou?

    • Replies: @EdwardM
    Hey, don't confuse my assessment of Erdogan's motives and track record -- are you disputing it? -- with approval.
  40. @anonymous

    He seems to be a majority of the way into a ten-year plan to achieve what Iranian revolutionaries did with their country overnight,
     
    Imitating Iranian ayatollahs is a good idea. Every country should do so. Forward into the 10th century.

    Really a masterstroke.
     
    Sounds like a love letter Erdogan would write to himself. Reality, where art thou?

    Hey, don’t confuse my assessment of Erdogan’s motives and track record — are you disputing it? — with approval.

  41. @Wilbur Hassenfus
    It's time to give up on "whom". It's going the way of "thee" and "thou". It calls too much attention to itself to be good writing.

    "Who I think I've had lunch with" is correct modern American English.

    Subject. Object. There’s a difference. Neglecting “whom” is like saying “between you and I”. Yech.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
  42. @tbraton
    I was just as surprised as you. Rather astounding when you consider that the Jupiter missiles armed with nuclear warheads were withdrawn by JFK as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962---a gesture that was done without fanfare months later after the Kennedy people succeeded in tarnishing in the press Adlai Stevenson who had first suggested such a step as a way of defusing the crisis. (Ironically, President JFK was surprised to learn that we had nuclear missiles in Turkey when President Eisenhower had placed them there to meet the criticism of one Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts during the late 50's. Of course, he was the same Senator Kennedy who campaigned on and won the White House, in part, on the so-called "missile gap" with the USSR, even though he had been briefed on intelligence showing there was no such gap.

    From one account of the Cuban Missile Crisis: "Over the years, many scholars of the Cuban Missile Crisis came strongly to suspect that Robert Kennedy had, in fact, relayed a pledge from his brother to take out the Jupiters from Turkey in exchange for the Soviet removal of nuclear missiles from Cuba, so long as Moscow kept the swap secret; yet senior former Kennedy Administration officials, such as then-National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy and then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk, continued to insist that RFK had passed on no more than an informal assurance rather than an explicit promise or agreement.

    The first authoritative admission on the U.S. side that the Jupiters had actually been part of a "deal" came at a conference in Moscow in January 1989, after glasnost had led Soviet (and then Cuban) former officials to participate in international scholarly efforts to reconstruct and assess the history of the crisis. At that meeting, former Kennedy speechwriter Theodore Sorensen (and the uncredited editor of Thirteen Days [RFK's posthumous account]) admitted, after prodding from Dobrynin, that he had taken it upon himself to edit out a "very explicit" reference to the inclusion of the Jupiters in the final deal to settle the crisis." )

    Tactical nuclear weapons in Turkey? Unlikely because there is no use for them.

    Tactical nukes are short range weapons such as the Lance or tube artillery fired. Those weapons are “released” to the control of the local commander for employment under certain op plans and certain very limited conditions. See Gap, The Fulda, 1954-1991.

    As I recollect, the forward depot of Special Weapons* in the Med, excluding weapons on navy ships, was in Greece. It’s possible the Air Force had a stock of bombs at Incirlik but air dropped bombs were obsolete 25 years ago. Replaced by air launched cruise missiles.

    Jupiter missiles were intermediate range weapons and were not tactical.

    * A term including nuclear and chemical weapons. One I always found preferable to the very Russian, Weapons of Mass Destruction.

  43. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Tactical nuclear weapons in Turkey? Unlikely because there is no use for them.”

    A repeat/conflation (a few minor edits) of some older posts I made on another thread on this that probably got buried:

    I may be a bit out of date, but historically the Turkish air force was provided with US nuclear bombs that required US “arming codes”. They have maybe 60-90. In the right hands you probably don’t need the codes to make quite a mess…

    List of states with nuclear weapons:

    “…the United States has provided nuclear weapons for Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey to deploy and store. This involves pilots and other staff of the “non-nuclear” NATO states practicing, handling, and delivering the U.S. nuclear bombs, and adapting non-U.S. warplanes to deliver U.S. nuclear bombs. However, since all U.S. nuclear weapons are protected with Permissive Action Links, the host states cannot arm the bombs without authorization codes from the U.S. Department of Defense…”

    Turkish Air Force:

    “…A total of 90 B61 nuclear bombs are hosted at the Incirlik Air Base, 40 of which are allocated for use by the Turkish Air Force in case of a nuclear conflict, but their use requires the approval of NATO…”

    Permissive Action Link:

    “…In order to protect its NATO allies, the United States had stationed various nuclear weapons overseas; these weapons were thus at least under the partial control of the hosting allied state. This was especially concerning to Congress, as this lack of control was in violation of federal law. Added to this was the fact that some of the allies were considered potentially unstable—particularly West Germany and Turkey. There was considerable concern that in one of these countries the instructions of the civilian leadership of the host country could overrule the military.”

    “America’s Nuclear Weapons in Europe Are the Nuclear Elephant in the Room”, William M. Arkin, Vice News, March 31, 2016:

    “…The nuclear weapons still deployed in southeast Turkey, about 300 miles from the Islamic State capital of Raqqa, Syria, are an absurd anachronism, and according to Kristensen, millions of dollars are now being spent to improve the security of the US-Turkish airbase at Incirlik.”

    Incirlik Air Base:

    “…Incirlik Air Base has a U.S. Air Force complement of about five thousand airmen, with several hundred airmen from the Royal Air Force and Turkish Air Force also present, as of late 2002. The primary unit stationed at Incirlik Air Base is the 39th Air Base Wing (39 ABW) of the U.S. Air Force. Incirlik Air Base has one 3,048 m (10,000 ft)-long runway, located among about 57 hardened aircraft shelters. The base is one of six NATO sites in Europe which hold tactical nuclear weapons.

    Incirlik is one of the largest “forward” USAF bases. The bombs discussed in these articles are the type of bombs that a one-man jet can drop (like the old F-105 that did yeoman work in Vietnam). Who knows what we actually have there now.

    At the beginning of the Cold War, the US recognized that it couldn’t compete with a Soviet tank blitz into Europe; the Soviets were on the border. So they put nuke armed B-45s, then F-100s, F-105s, etc., in the UK and then at similar places (like Incirlik). These bombs probably weren’t intended to destroy the Soviet Union, they were intended to be able to destroy any large concentration of the Soviet Army or its tanks.

    The Turkish government apparently cut power to the Incirlik base during the coup attempt. It sounds like the Turkish air force leadership at the base was implicated in the coup.

  44. @Half Canadian
    How do you get Gulen out of his compound? Turn off outside utilities for the compound, don't allow outside food deliveries, and wait.

    What if he has stockpiled 2 years worth of food in his compound?

  45. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I haven’t been following the news for Turkey or about this coup, but here’s another theory.

    It really was a military coup, launched half-baked and spasmodically, somewhat desperately, due to the military’s perception (likely correct) that Erdogan had thrown in the towel on the war in Syria and on support for the Turkomen; that Erdogan has made a 360 in his relations with Putin and Russia (now BFF); and that the Syrians, Iranians, and Russians have finally encircled Aleppo, cut the last rebel supply road, and imposed a siege (which will be successful unless significant military action is immediately taken).

    So the military was reacting to their sense of betrayal and time running out. It was really triggered by the start of the end-game in Syria, with the Turks (and in particular the military) on the losing side.

    And those two Turkish pilots that shot down that Russian Su-24? In prison:

    “Turkey arrests pilots who shot down Russian bomber; linked to failed coup”, UPI, Allen Cone, July 19, 2016:

    “…Two Turkish military pilots who shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber over Syria have been arrested in connection with the failed coup last week, the country’s justice minister said…

    …he said one of the pilots belonged to a secret “parallel state” organization allegedly headed by cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-exile in the United States.”

    …Gokcek told CNN Turk that “our relations with Russia have been spoiled by these villains.”

    …On June 27, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized for the death of the Russian pilot in a formal letter to Putin. Three days later, President Vladimir Putin partially lifted restrictions on Russians’ travel to Turkey…”

    Very convenient. Also, the Russians bombed a US/UK base just after some British left it:

    “Russian warplanes reportedly bombed US base in Syria”, July 22, 2016, FoxNews. Probably just one of those accidents, though it seems they had to try pretty hard. You never know…

    Aleppo under siege:

    “Syria: Civilians at Risk as Aleppo Siege Tightens”, Human Rights Watch, July 22, 2016:

    “…The eastern part of the city of Aleppo, which is controlled by opposition armed groups, has been effectively under siege since government forces cut off the main supply road, known as the Castello Road…

    …eastern part of the city has a population of between 250,000 and 300,000…

    …residents would face health and nutrition problems in two weeks, but it has been three weeks since aid has been delivered to the city.

    …under siege since at least July 11…”

    Erdogan: “Me? I didn’t start that war! Oh noooo. Those evil Gulenists in the military were behind it, probably with the help of US evildoers. All those villains probably set us up to fail! I was just telling my friend Vladimir all about it.”

    • Replies: @5371
    Why would the Kemalist military be butthurt at the impending defeat of jihadism in Syria, when it's their biggest enemy in their own country?
  46. @anonymous
    I haven't been following the news for Turkey or about this coup, but here's another theory.

    It really was a military coup, launched half-baked and spasmodically, somewhat desperately, due to the military's perception (likely correct) that Erdogan had thrown in the towel on the war in Syria and on support for the Turkomen; that Erdogan has made a 360 in his relations with Putin and Russia (now BFF); and that the Syrians, Iranians, and Russians have finally encircled Aleppo, cut the last rebel supply road, and imposed a siege (which will be successful unless significant military action is immediately taken).

    So the military was reacting to their sense of betrayal and time running out. It was really triggered by the start of the end-game in Syria, with the Turks (and in particular the military) on the losing side.

    And those two Turkish pilots that shot down that Russian Su-24? In prison:

    "Turkey arrests pilots who shot down Russian bomber; linked to failed coup", UPI, Allen Cone, July 19, 2016:


    "...Two Turkish military pilots who shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber over Syria have been arrested in connection with the failed coup last week, the country's justice minister said...

    ...he said one of the pilots belonged to a secret "parallel state" organization allegedly headed by cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-exile in the United States."

    ...Gokcek told CNN Turk that "our relations with Russia have been spoiled by these villains."

    ...On June 27, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized for the death of the Russian pilot in a formal letter to Putin. Three days later, President Vladimir Putin partially lifted restrictions on Russians' travel to Turkey..."

     

    Very convenient. Also, the Russians bombed a US/UK base just after some British left it:

    "Russian warplanes reportedly bombed US base in Syria", July 22, 2016, FoxNews. Probably just one of those accidents, though it seems they had to try pretty hard. You never know...

    Aleppo under siege:

    "Syria: Civilians at Risk as Aleppo Siege Tightens", Human Rights Watch, July 22, 2016:


    "...The eastern part of the city of Aleppo, which is controlled by opposition armed groups, has been effectively under siege since government forces cut off the main supply road, known as the Castello Road...

    ...eastern part of the city has a population of between 250,000 and 300,000...

    ...residents would face health and nutrition problems in two weeks, but it has been three weeks since aid has been delivered to the city.

    ...under siege since at least July 11..."

     

    Erdogan: "Me? I didn't start that war! Oh noooo. Those evil Gulenists in the military were behind it, probably with the help of US evildoers. All those villains probably set us up to fail! I was just telling my friend Vladimir all about it."

    Why would the Kemalist military be butthurt at the impending defeat of jihadism in Syria, when it’s their biggest enemy in their own country?

  47. “Cui bono?” isn’t a bad starting point for mysteries like this. Who benefitted from the coup attempt? Erdogan. Who lost? Everyone else, but especially the Kemalist military and the Gulenists. It could be, though, as Prof. Rodrik suggests, that the coup was a desperate preemptive strike by Gulenists who knew Erdogan was going to purge them anyway, or, going another level, that they knew Erdogan was going to stage a fake coup and purge them so they tried staging a real coup first. Erdogan clearly had his “little list” ready of miscellaneous people in Turkey he wanted arrested. It’s a bit like after the Reichstag Fire, when Hitler started arresting not just Communists but rightwing enemies too, whose arrests weren’t noticed because of the general jumble of events.

  48. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Why would the Kemalist military be butthurt at the impending defeat of jihadism in Syria, when it’s their biggest enemy in their own country?”

    From the wikipedia article “Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War”:

    “…In the beginning of the Syrian Civil War, Turkey trained defectors of the Syrian Army on its territory, and in July 2011, a group of them announced the birth of the Free Syrian Army, under the supervision of Turkish intelligence. In October 2011, Turkey began sheltering the Free Syrian Army, offering the group a safe zone and a base of operations. Together with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey has also provided the rebels with arms and other military equipment. Tensions between Syria and Turkey significantly worsened after Syrian forces shot down a Turkish fighter jet in June 2012, and border clashes erupted in October 2012…

    …Turkey also provided refuge for Syrian dissidents. Syrian opposition activists convened in Istanbul in May to discuss regime change, and Turkey hosts the head of the Free Syrian Army, Colonel Riad al-Asaad. Turkey has become increasingly hostile to the Assad government’s policies and has encouraged reconciliation among dissident factions…

    …On October 13, 2014 Turkey denied the United States to use Incirlik Air Base for attacking ISIS militants in Syria. The US has been frustrated that its efforts to build an international coalition to tackle Isis forces from the air have been partly hobbled by the difficulty of getting Turkey engaged…”

    While no doubt there is a lot of politics to untangle, the Related criticism of Turkey is interesting.

    • Replies: @5371
    What's lacking is any evidence that the Turkish military was going beyond or acting independently of Erdogan's instructions in so doing.
  49. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Why would the Kemalist military be butthurt at the impending defeat of jihadism in Syria, when it’s their biggest enemy in their own country?”

    Though they say analogy is the weakest form of reasoning, an analogy might be the Lebanese Civil War. That war would not have happened without Syria. The current war in Syria wouldn’t have happened without Turkey. As with the militias that fought the Lebanese Civil War, there is no one jihadism to defeat. Rather, there are many factions, most being used as proxies by various other backers and powers. Smells like peace, eh?

    Speaking of the war in Syria:

    “People in Aleppo ‘scared and hungry’ as Syrian troops encircle city”, Ralph Ellis and Waffa Munayyer, CNN, July 28, 2016:

    “People in Aleppo are hungry and terrified as the Syrian army tightens its grip on the rebel-held eastern section of the city…

    …Food and water have become scarce…

    …”The situation now is really bad. There is not enough food in the city, not enough bread.”…

    …The Syrian army said Wednesday its troops and supporters have surrounded Aleppo and cut off “all supply lines and corridors” to the rebel-held neighborhoods…

    …The army called on the rebels — everyone “bearing arms” — to surrender their weapons…

    …”There is no escape. … All the roads are cut off and the city is besieged.”…

    …”The likely scenario is that …they will starve the residents and force surrender, just like they did in Homs.” …

    …Aleppo has seen many of its neighborhoods come under fire for 80 consecutive days, with more than 6,000 people — mainly civilians — killed or injured.”

    Despite being on paper a war crime (Indonesia just appointed one of theirs Minister of Security) it is ironic how effective siege warfare can be in the modern age. All that infrastructure is great when it works, but it’s also a big vulnerability. Some things never go out of style, I guess.

  50. @anonymous
    "Why would the Kemalist military be butthurt at the impending defeat of jihadism in Syria, when it’s their biggest enemy in their own country?"

    From the wikipedia article "Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War":


    "...In the beginning of the Syrian Civil War, Turkey trained defectors of the Syrian Army on its territory, and in July 2011, a group of them announced the birth of the Free Syrian Army, under the supervision of Turkish intelligence. In October 2011, Turkey began sheltering the Free Syrian Army, offering the group a safe zone and a base of operations. Together with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey has also provided the rebels with arms and other military equipment. Tensions between Syria and Turkey significantly worsened after Syrian forces shot down a Turkish fighter jet in June 2012, and border clashes erupted in October 2012...

    ...Turkey also provided refuge for Syrian dissidents. Syrian opposition activists convened in Istanbul in May to discuss regime change, and Turkey hosts the head of the Free Syrian Army, Colonel Riad al-Asaad. Turkey has become increasingly hostile to the Assad government's policies and has encouraged reconciliation among dissident factions...

    ...On October 13, 2014 Turkey denied the United States to use Incirlik Air Base for attacking ISIS militants in Syria. The US has been frustrated that its efforts to build an international coalition to tackle Isis forces from the air have been partly hobbled by the difficulty of getting Turkey engaged..."

     

    While no doubt there is a lot of politics to untangle, the Related criticism of Turkey is interesting.

    What’s lacking is any evidence that the Turkish military was going beyond or acting independently of Erdogan’s instructions in so doing.

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