Discussion: Coup Appears To Falter As Crowds Greet Turkey's Erdogan At Istanbul Airport

I wanted to see this SOB hanging from a tree. The Turks are playing both sides with the West and ISIS just like Pakistan and the Taliban. One way or another the Russians are involved … the Montreux Convention treaty is front and center with Ukraine, Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria but especially Russia. If the Turks make noises over the treaty I would not be surprised to see the straights change hands with the Greeks taking the West and Bulgaria taking the East. Either that or a rump Muslim state along the lines of Kosovo acting like Panama. Turkey may fall apart … it’s still the sickest man of Europe. I don’t think Turkey would exist if it wasn’t for the drug trade. The Kurds deserve a state and the Cypriots deserve their whole island back … throw in the Armenians for war reparations and see Turkey shrink to half it’s current size. It’s just a dream but you have to dream big.

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I would prefer an orderly transition rather than blood in the streets. There is already too much instability in the region to be sanguine about a major nominally secular Muslin state – a NATO member, no less – falling in a bloody coup. I don’t deny that Erdogan has become increasingly dictatorial, just that I would prefer a peaceful political transition.

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Not lookin’ good for the coupsters. Classic “you come at the king, you best not miss” situation.

Assuming the coup fails, Erdogan will use it as an excuse to (further) crack down on dissent, purge the military, increase security forces that are more directly under his control, and continue moving Turkey further away from Secularism. Good thing the rest of the region is so stable and trouble-free…oh, wait…

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A few thoughts:

Erdogan has major support in Istanbul (where the crowds were on TV) from his time as Mayor - how much support he has beyond that is hard to say, but in general, even the Kurds are coming out against a military coup.

The head of the General Staff is supporting Erdogan - not necessarily that he likes the guy, but supporting the democratic process.

Most of the military appears to have no idea WTF this was.

A bomb went off at parliament as even the opposition parties were expressing solidarity w/Erdogan.

If - as seems likely, but is by no means 100% assured yet - this coup fails, this will serve to empower Erdogan in a lot of ways, even as he continues to move more and more toward authoritarian repression and moving away from the Kemalist populism established by Atatürk. As disorganized as this was, happening in a window where the coup plotters would be completely incapable of starting off by laying hands directly on Erdogan. They were able to take the head of the General Staff (ie: the top military officer), but now he’s free again… I dunno. There’s a level of incompetence and poor planning here that’s just shocking.

Some of this makes absolutely no sense. There’s an attempt on Erdogan’s life - but the coup had F-16s drive off his plane the first time he tried to land. They’re willing to bomb a civilian center, but not shoot down his plane? They’ve got control of Ankara and they’re willing to fire on civilians… but they’re pushed out of a TV studio without a shot fired, so they lose control of the city?

This is… I can’t even begin to express the juxtaposition of ruthlessness and inept passivity on display, and how weird this is.

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Francis’ whole “transformation” thing in the middle east, with Turkey as the go-to secular lynchpin, sure worked out well. But it’s Obama’s fault. Benghazi!

An additional thought on just how weird this is: the officers who executed the coup claimed this was about restoring/ensuring secular Kemalist populist ideals. Whenever the military’s done this in the past, the next step has been to turn to parliament and say ‘now get us a better government’. But bombing parliament directly prevents that. So why?

I very much dislike conspiracy theories, but I keep thinking of the Reichstag fire.

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Looks like this was one of those “factional” coups, where it wasn’t the military as a whole, but a faction within the military that controlled certain units and believed that once they made their move – seized some TV stations, the airport, blocked the major bridges, and so on – that at that point the rest of the military would jump on the bandwagon. It’s a momentum play, and in the right circumstances it might have worked. But it’s a highly risky move, to say the least.

As an aside, I guess “declaring a curfew and martial law” is probably covered in coup plotting 101, but it so often seems to backfire. Basically, if you declare a curfew and thousands of people take to the streets and your forces can’t (or won’t) stop them, that just reinforces that you’re not really in charge in any meaningful way.

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They seem nice.

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Erdogan’s declared this coup ‘a gift from God’. This is getting weirder and weirder.

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If this was a false-flag operation, Russia will out it.
Heck, Russia will probably make the accusation regardless.

You sure about that? Erdogan’s been trying to make nice with Putin lately.

Another weird-ity: Erdogan’s also saying F-16s bombed the location where he was vacationing on the Black Sea. Just a minor question: why is that the first we’re hearing of F-16s bombing a seaside community? We’ve got radar stations all over the Greek coast, southern Turkey, and there’s a carrier group in the Med pretty much all the time. Wouldn’t you think there’d be some news coverage of the collateral damage?

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It’s all about as clear as mud at this point.

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It’s clear as mud, and near as I can tell, the US media is just going ‘yup, that’s all totally believable’.

aaaand reporting on MSNBC that Turkish sources are already speculating Erdogan may have been behind the whole thing.

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I guess a false flag thing is always possible, but I think more likely just a botched coup attempt. Possible it’s somewhere in the middle, as in Erdogan knew what was coming and was ready to crush it and exploit the situation. He’s certainly going to do the latter – just saw him quoted as saying “the military must be cleansed.” I’m gonna go way out on a limb and guess that his purge will not be limited to those who actively took part in the coup.

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When you declare a curfew, and instead you get this, your coup is probably in serious trouble:


People demonstrate outside Ataturk International Airport during an attempted coup in Istanbul.

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Well, his purges were already planned - the reporting all night has been that the military anticipated another round of show trials and purges next month. As for the crowd… remember that they only came out after his FaceTime broadcast went out on CNN’s Turkish affiliate, which the coup for some reason didn’t think to secure until after that went out.

I prefer ‘rampant incompetence’ as an explanation for what’s happened in this, but… honestly, I can’t say either explanation - false flag or mind-boggling levels of incompetence - are particularly believable.

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dodododo dodododo

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Well, it is for him isn’t it if he wants to tighten the screws even more?

“Byzantine” is used for complex plots for a reason.

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