I then had doubts. Alleged coup plotters were sloppy and ineffective, more like a gang unable to shoot straight. Toppling governments requires involvement of a select few capable individuals sworn to secrecy, careful planning, enough military support and precision execution.
Last Friday and Saturday events played into Erdogan’s hands. Instead of ousting him, he’s emboldened to target, mass arrest and eliminate thousands of military, political and other regime critics.
Anyone opposing his policies faces harsh retaliation, imprisonment for expressing public criticism, notably by independent journalists, academics, human rights workers, trade unionists and other activists for justice. Erdogan admitted on national television he knew at least hours in advance of what was coming. Did he plan it as an excuse to clean house?
The most obvious way to oust a regime is by cutting off its head first. Erdogan was returning to Istanbul after vacationing in Marmaris at the time. According to Reuters, “(a)t (the) height of (the) coup bid, rebel (F-16) jets had (his) plane in their sights.”
A former Turkish military officer “with knowledge of the events” explained “(a)t least two F-16s…locked their radars on his plane and two other F-16s protecting him.” Why didn’t they shoot him down, an obvious way to eliminate him, making the toppling of his regime easier, a new leader ready to assume power.
Erdogan’s dubious account, claiming coup plotters tried attacking him at his resort location, not knowing he already left strains credibility. They took control of state television, not CNN Turk – letting him be interviewed by cell phone, urging supporters to take to the streets and squares to “overcome” plotters against him.
Effective coups require controlling the message through media and online, shutting out regime voices and all others besides their own. Without enough military support at high levels, rebels in the ranks are easily overcome – the way things played out.
The coup was a one-day affair, the aftermath ongoing, thousands facing Erdogan’s wrath, anyone suspected of opposing his policies. Long knives remain out in force.
A Final Comment
After announcing it’ll release thousands of emails and documents on Erdogan’s regime, WikiLeaks said “(o)ur infrastructure is under sustained attack.”
“We are unsure of the true origin of the attack. The timing suggests a Turkish state power faction or its allies.” An initial batch of documents will be released Tuesday, containing information on Erdogan’s “political power structure” – despite regime efforts to block exposure.
Information relates to events leading up to last Friday’s aborted uprising. Will it show whether it was rebellion or state-sponsored? Perhaps it’ll set the record straight so we’ll know for sure.
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