TURKEY & the ‘Failed Coup’: There Are 3 Possibilities For What Just Happened…

President Erdogan delivers a message via social media during the failed coup attempt in Turkey, 2016

The dramatic events in Turkey overnight are confusing, to say the least. All international outlets report that part of the Turkish military attempted to carry out a coup and oust President Erdogan from power.

We are also told the coup appears to have failed, that Erdogan is safely resuming his presidency and that all the conspirators are to be punished – there is talk of the death penalty returning for the case of these plotters.

If you’re confused as to precisely what has transpired last night in Turkey, don’t worry – everyone appears to be equally confused.

A statement claiming to represent the Turkish armed forces claimed to have seized control of the government. In Ankara, army tanks were rolling through city streets, planes flying overhead, and military vehicles quickly surrounded army HQ. In what was almost a civil war like scenario, the intelligence agencies and police forces were authorised by the Prime Minister to fight members of the Turkish military.

A rocket was fired into the parliament building. There were gunfights in Istanbul.

There were scenes of the army supposedly taking over the state broadcasters, including the CNN affiliate. The death toll is reported to have been high. Almost 3,000 alleged members of the coup operation are reported to have been arrested, some killed.

Erdogan called on Turkish citizens to go out on the streets and oppose the military takeover, leading to extraordinary scenes of scores of civilians marching, blocking the roads, laying in front of tanks, and even attacking the soldiers (as shown in image below). Last night appears to have confirmed that Erdogan – for all this dictator-like actions and his subversion of Turkish democracy and the principles the modern state was founded on  – appears to genuinely have a great deal of popular support.

Turkish military tank attacked by civilians during the failed coup attempt, 2016 

What unfolded last night appears to have been very dramatic and very unsettling. But there are conflicting views as to what is going on. And too much is still not known. We don’t know who the leaders in this coup attempt were. We don’t know how much of the military was involved or how much of the military stands in solidarity with it even now.

The first thing to acknowledge is that a military coup is part of Turkey’s historical mindset when a government is seen to be failing the people or abusing its power.

There have been such coups before and many would argue one has certainly been on the cards for some time now. The idea of the Turkish military moving in to restore order or democracy is in fact closely linked to the constitution itself.

What’s problematic in this narrative, however, is that the coup leaders – again, whoever they are – are reported to have said they would write a brand new constitution for Turkey once they had successfully ousted Erdogan and his mafia.

That’s a little strange – why suggest a new constitution? Why not simply state a protection or restoration of the existing constitution? Or maybe it was misreported. Or maybe it was just a confused statement amid a chaotic situation.

The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey (also known as the Constitution of 1982), is modern Turkey’s fundamental foundation stone, laying out the rules for the state’s conduct and its responsibilities to its citizens, as well as clearly establishing the rights of the people and also clearly asserting that Turkey is a secular, democratic republic answerable to the people.

In fact, defending Turkey as a secular republic – particularly against militant political Islamism or any attempts to turn the country into a religious state – is regarded to be the job of the Turkish military.

Apart from possibly Lebanon, it is difficult to think of any ‘Muslim’ society as progressive, modernist and liberal as Turkey has traditionally been, particularly as it is also a democracy. This makes Turkey a relatively unique society in the world and a positive example of how moderate Sunni Islam and modern democratic and secular government and principles can work effectively in tandem and for the good of a society.

At a time when Muslim countries elsewhere are either harsh dictatorships, nations in a state of collapse or war, or aspiring-but-failing quasi-democracies, a Turkey true to its principles would stand as something of a shining beacon of both secular democracy and the modern-day capacity for a Muslim society to exist effectively and happily in that state of secular democracy.

Also given its unique position as the literal bridge between Europe and the Middle East, such a Turkey would, in these highly toxic, unstable and increasingly sectarian times, be all the more important and valuable a society and nation with a great capacity to play peacemaker and bridge-builder.

Instead Turkey is now governed by an increasingly undemocratic, overly religious and aggressive state that is seeing the society polarise and destabilise, while also engaging in illegal operations abroad and – as a NATO member – facilitating terrorism against its neighbour, Syria.

The reality is that Turkey, which for decades has sought to be a secular democracy that keeps religion at a safe distance from the affairs of government, is now being run by an increasingly dictatorial leadership that is surrounded by equally religious, Islamist conservatives who most likely regard the country’s secular constitution a nuisance.

Control of the media and virtually all state institutions also means that the real dangers of this state of affairs are seldom discussed openly.

 President Erdogan, Turkey 

President Erdogan is a dictator in all but name. His regime has been using false-flag terrorism against its own citizens, shutting down media organisations, censoring (and even killing) journalists, carrying out purges of academics and political opposition, attacking and oppressing liberals and progressives, violating the principles of the Turkish constitution (and even seeking to change it), completely reorganising state institutions, as well as engaging in illegal hostile actions against Syria.

The present Turkish state also stands accused of supporting and collaborating with the ISIS terror group.

If, for the moment, we assume all things are as they seem and take this story at face value, the Turkish military would have every business stepping in to remove a corrupt government, stabilise the country and restore the secular democracy to its proper form.

A lot of people are saying ‘well, a coup is not the way – if you want to change the government, you do it in elections’.

That, however, is naive in this sort of situation: how do you remove a regime that has taken almost total control of all state institutions, including the courts and the law, and that has frequently used violence against protesters and political opposition? It’s precisely the Emperor Palpatine scenario. And elections can be rigged – last year’s elections in Turkey are highly questioned, particularly as there was an election in June which was nullified after Erdogan’s AKP Party didn’t get the result it wanted.

It seems logical therefore that a military coup could be the only way to restore Turkish society and prevent this going any further. And in Turkey, the military is regarded as the guardian of the constitution and the principles of the secular republic: again, in essence, the military is expected to step in when a government is seen to be threatening that constitution or going off-rail.

At first glance, this is what appeared to be happening last night. And many would say ‘not a moment too soon’.

Turkish army officers and others have been accused of plotting against the present state on several recent occasions. Most recently, in September 2012, 324 soldiers were sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from 13 to 20 years, allegedly for plotting to overthrow the current leadership. Highly placed officers – including former chief commanders in the air-force and the navy have been sentenced to 20 years‘ in prison.

One can imagine that these current coup plotters will receive very harsh treatment for their operation.

But, as much as I would love to see Erdogan gone and the old Turkey restored, it isn’t that simple: and we should always be cautious when observing situations like this one.

 Turkey coup, troops 

The first problem is the question of who exactly was behind this coup attempt? Who was in charge of the military figures? And again, how much of the military did they represent?

A statement from the military group read out on NTV television said: “The power in the country has been seized in its entirety.” But the question of who represents that group was acknowledged by all international media to be ‘uncertain’.

And obviously – given how things turned out later – this was a false statement anyway.

And what if there is far more to this event than meets the eye? There are two other possibilities.

As Wily Loman has pointed out, Peter Korzun of the Strategic Culture Foundation posted an article in which he called for the Turkish military to stage a coup and take control from Erdogan’s regime. Neo-Con (and pal of the likes of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld) and former Pentagon official Michael Rubin has also been talking about an imminent military coup in Turkey; the same Rubin who part of the royal fuck-up in post-war Iraq and was also a staunch advocate for the Neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine in 2014.

Erdogan, I am reminded by reliable sources, has refused to take out another IMF loan once Turkey had paid off its previous one. And in his opposition to Kurdish autonomy or a ‘Greater Kurdistan’ state, he is opposed to the partition of Syria, Turkey and Iraq – something Washington think-tanks and Zionist strategists are very keen on.

Could this coup attempt be foreign-sponsored? Could this be Washington secretly trying to remove Erdogan?

If so, they would deny it; but it has been apparent more and more that Washington and NATO has been falling out of love with Erdogan and his regime, despite the role Erdogan’s Turkish State has played in NATO’s destruction of Syria. With a divided, volatile population and an increasingly dictatorial government, could it have been decided that it was better to remove Erdogan, who might now be seen as a liability? This is the theory Loman is adopting on his blog. I’m not sure I agree with it; but there is logic to this thought.

Remember that Washington and NATO have a history of disposing of their ‘friends’ when the time is right.

Just think back to Saddam. Saddam was an ally of Washington against Iran and the Ayatollah and was armed and propped up by the Americans for many years… until the Neo-Cons decided to destroy him and his Iraqi state completely. History is riddled with this kind of shit. Even Gaddafi – though not an ‘ally’ of Washington or NATO per se – was attacked and destroyed by NATO at a point where his regime had been cooperating with Washington and the West in the fight against terrorism and Al-Qaeda.

In short, if it’s part of the plan or the perceived ‘common interest’, Washington wouldn’t see any problem in moving against its own ally.

There is no proof of that as yet. But it is a possibility. And one wonders what Erdogan’s regime would do if it discovered this to have been a foreign-backed coup. Wily Loman wrote last night, as the coup was still unfolding; ‘What’s at stake here is nothing short of earth-shattering. Turkey is a major power in NATO. If this coup fails and it turns out via interrogation and torture that the US backed this coup attempt, Obama’s destabilization efforts in Syria would be over. And we have nukes in Turkey right now not to mention a number of soldiers, pilots and advisors scattered all over the place. Erdogan says it was the Gulenists who are behind the coup and since we are behind Gulen, it could get real messy real quick.’

I’m not sure I agree with Wily Loman’s overall take on what’s going in Turkey, but he is absolutely right to raise that question regarding Washington and foreign sponsorship.

Washington’s list of secretly-backed coups is very long: and Erdogan’s regime might be seen as a liability to NATO. As much as I loathe Erdogan and what his regime has done to Turkey, what those in Turkey who do support him love about him the most is that he is seen as a Turkish ‘strongman’ in the mold of a Putin or a Saddam – and as a leader who won’t be bossed around or manipulated by foreign interests or manipulations; not from Washington, nor the EU.

The explanation being forwarded by Erdogan  in Turkey is that this coup attempt was orchestrated by his chief political opponent.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag reportedly blamed the coup on Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish preacher currently residing in the US. A former ally of President Erdogan’s AKP party, Gülen fell out of favor in 2013.

That said, a situation where someone like this was remotely supporting the operation is the way the US would do it if it wanted to: in 2011, Libyan defector Khalifa Haftar – who had been living in Virginia, right next to CIA Headquarters – was used by Washington to promote and guide the armed uprising against Gaddafi happening two continents away. And once Gaddafi’s army was beginning to buckle under the assaults from both NATO and Al-Qaeda, Haftar was transported into Libya by the US to lead the uprising.

The third theory being propagated is that Erdogan and his people staged this ‘coup’ themselves as a false-flag.

It does seem odd that it was over so quickly; and that a military coup that was claiming to be in control of the country would allow Erdogan to waltz back in in a matter of mere hours.

They were reported to have had tanks outside Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, and yet the Sultan-President was able to return to Istanbul and the ‘coup’ was over – again, in just a matter of hours.

 President Erdogan delivers a message via social media during the failed coup attempt in Turkey, 2016 

There are good reasons for Erdogan’s people doing this.

If there were genuine fears for a long time that a coup from the military was coming – which, after all, is what the military in Turkey is supposed to do as the guardians of the state and the constitution – then *staging* a false coup would weed out many of the potential ‘traitors’ in the military who might’ve thought the coup was real and acted accordingly.

Even failing that, this event gives Erdogan’s people the basis to begin a thorough purge of the military and make sure no coup can happen again.

It also strengthens his position propaganda-wise as well, as he is seen to emerge as the great ‘strongman’ who couldn’t be overthrown – thus validating his position and deflating any hopes among his opponents, as well as the more liberal and democratic sections of Turkish society, of removing him or changing the direction of Turkish society.

A Turkish economist and international development expert notes, ‘The coup attempt is very puzzling. For one thing, it seems to have been very poorly planned. For example, most TV channels were left operating and there does not seem to have been an attempt to take Erdogan in.’

In short, some are predicting this ‘failed coup’ is in fact paving the way for a full dictatorship and lockdown under Erdogan and his regime. Basically, having already taken full control of every other Turkish institution – the judiciary, the police force, the media, academics – this would in theory be the Erdogan regime’s move to eliminate the final, and most important, institution in Turkey: the military.

Also, it is difficult to know where the infamous Turkish ‘Deep State’ stands in all of this: would it be with Erdogan and his people – or with the Gulenists?

I haven’t explored the Gulenist Movement much here: but it is a subject I will expand on in a further article – as there is a lot of very interesting information there.


All of this being said, I have no idea which theory is correct or what really happened overnight.

I am in fact mostly leaning, for now, towards a prima facie reading of the situation: that this was simply an attempted coup by a section of the military to end Erdogan’s reign and try to restore law, order and human rights to the chaotic country.

Aside from the fact that military coups for removing corrupt governments are an established thing in modern Turkey, the main reason I currently believe this to have been the case is because the coup plotters were reported on multiple occasions last night to have stated they were doing this “to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedom.”

That would be a very odd thing to have them say if it was Erdogan secretly behind it – as it would imply, logically, that Erdogan’s own regime is NOT constitutional and doesn’t respect human rights or freedom.

Either way, while I have no idea what really just happened last night in Turkey, this coup attempt – genuine, staged or foreign-backed – is just about the worst thing that could’ve happened in Turkey now that it has failed.

Because it gives Erdogan and the AKP more propaganda power; and moreover, the momentum and justification to conduct a final, comprehensive purge of the military to make sure there can never be another coup attempt.

That could essentially ensure the changes Erdogan’s regime has made to the Turkish state, society and constitution are long-lasting.

Yet, just to add to how confused I still am watching all of this, it does appear that the Erdogan regime does have a lot of popular support. And a coup (foreign-backed or  purely domestic) becomes ethically tricky when the government has so much support from the people.

This may not be over yet.

S. Awan

Independent journalist. Pariah. Believer in human rights, human dignity and liberty. Musician. Substandard Jedi. All-round failure. And future ghost.


  1. And as for me, truthisstrangerthanfiction, an “amen” and prophetic to; ‘The more we know the more we see the walls closing in and how dim the future looks save for some Divine intervention’.

    All our burning blog-like and other efforts needed, but yes, that’s where mine are most towards, ‘save for…’

  2. Good 3 point analysis… Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines once said he wasn’t going to need any more IMF loans and then his fall became headline news in the US where he eventually died while being treated in a US Military base. Ergogen may not be so naive as he’s so successfully estranged Turkey with all it’s neighbors and allies and knows the fate of fellow heads of state the likes of Hussein, Gaddhafi, Mubarak, et als.

    Interestingly, last week 2 international events seemed to unfold simultaneously and there was a stark contrast in rhetoric between Washington and France over the Nice attack and Washington with Turkey over the coup. The US President offered any form of needed aid to America’s oldest ally, but laterbonly voiced moral support to Turkey’s democratically elected government.

    If i were to add a 4th option to your analysis it would consider if Russia may have back-channeled support for a Turkish coup with hopes of re-establishing ties with their old trading partner.

    As for the people taking to the streets and the broad support demonstrated for Erdogan, it’s a classic case like with North Korea and other nations that fought and defended the torturous governents they later had to endure for decades… Erdogan can stuff ballots and hold power for another 20 or 30 years as he further reels in Turkey under an iron fist and the peole will suffer but it can be argued that they are also partly to blame.

    • I don’t know if I would ‘blame’ the people for supporting Erdogan; I mean, they may have a whole host of valid reasons (from their point of view) for supporting him, just as people who support Putin in Russia or, hell, even Trump in the US. I think the problem is we are living in such toxic, dangerous and extreme times everywhere – but especially in the Middle East.
      There are lots of Turkish people who don’t support Erdogan – but those who do are perfectly entitled to their perspective on things. And a lot of them want a strong leader who isn’t being manipulated from foreign agencies.
      Unfortunately, the conditions at the moment mean that many, many countries have moved towards the more ‘strongman’/cult-of-personality type leadership, such as Erdogan and Putin, such as Trump (potentially) – it seems to be going that way, which isn’t great: but it’s not just a Turkish thing.
      As for the Russian possibility, I must admit I hadn’t thought of that.
      You’re right that Erdogan probably isn’t naive in terms of the danger of being another Gaddafi, Saddam or Assad (or Mubarak). I’m sure he has been well prepared for that and what is happening right now seems to show that.

      • Yes, it seems that it was a matter of time before the Arab Spring made it’s debut in Turkey and that Erdogan likely foresaw he would be next on the list of major middle eastern states to be reduced to rubble or Balkanized.

        This is likely the reason he has taken the extreme steps he has to quell the opposition in every way possible including the free press; doing so that they do not get used to rouse the people against his government.

        As for the sweeping arrests and dismissals of persons in various government positions, those list were likely long in the makings and I’m led to believe we a getting a 1st glimpse of where internet surveillance could lead to in every free society. Turkey has long been a surveillance society with a strong police presense and the mechanisms are evidently in place to profile each of it’s citizens as either a friend or enemy of the ruling state. Such a level of analitical surveillance only comes with foreign guidance of a Western gendre; and it’s a heads up to individuals of our own free speaking feather since we are likely already on the radar for when our respective nation’s strong man appears and consolidates power.

        The more we know the more we see the walls closing in and how dim the future looks save for some Divine intervention.

        • That’s a very good analysis and some very pertinent observations.

  3. There also appears to be a bit of stage management to the whole coup plan. Possibly a dry run to see how much support for the real thing there would be?? Several US writers have called for a coup, but none “official Washington”. Yet the deep state exists in every nation. A part of any country. It’s possible Erdogan was told by another country that a coup was going to take place. He decided to let it play out knowing beforehand who was involved from his own or foreign intelligence. By calling out the people as he did, he discovered to what extent his power and popularity lies. Now seeing the reaction, he is in position to confidently move forward with his plans, whether foreign or domestic.

    • Yes. That sounds sound. ‘Decided’ to make the most?

      Horrible what’s happening now eh. Don’t want to watch/see. Evade viewing. For all the worse the coup-ers did – now the brute unjust backlash, probably achieving far-worse consequences. The initiating haters do so love (sic) to breed it out. Deflect where reprisals would go/if knew. Problem, solution…

    • silverpalomino2013; all interesting. I’m still entirely confused as to what really happened though.

      • Well, lets see… the best I can guess is there was Gulen/CIA backing of the plotters but another nation got intel on it – both Syria and Russia have been monitoring the “freedom fighting – moderate terrorists” speaking to “English accented” voices in Turkey. Yildrim had said Turkey wanted to repair ties with Damascus right after they settled with israel and started repairs with Russia. That obviously would have been way too much for US/NATO to take (it’s an end to the Syrian game and a turn east to China’s OBOR along with hints of wanting to join SCO) and Hakan Fidan head of MIT was released recently. That’s a lot of questionable moves in a short time.
        A 1980s style coup in 2016 was outdated and tech lacking. They forgot the first rule of any coup is to take out the head of state – both Erdogan and Yildrim were speaking on TV while these guys were claiming to have taken power. $oros and his minions were not available on such short notice it seems. In this day any hostile take over must follow the color revolution model – highly dependant on using internet and propaganda to reach the masses. When the Turkish people came out in masses to support the govt. and even opposition politicians supported govt. there was no way to run a true overthrow. At that point it would seem the Gulenists didn’t know what to do.
        Then we found out the conscripts involved were led to believe it was an exercise or drill and had no idea they were part of a coup – that part at least was done correctly, but after several hours of not getting full control a statement from Obama and Kerry signalled the end of the attempted coup. Kerry still being in Moscow helped cover the CIA trail since they are the mouthpiece for CIA, the statement was more like a coded message to in state assets.

        Here’s a good 40 minute discussion of the whole situation:
        Sibel Edmonds:

        • You seem decided that it was a foreign-backed coup attempt then?

  4. Great stuff as usual. Bit writ out+keeping off the net. -ish. Fact you come out quickly with what you have is helpful. Near as soon as happens – Bedlam ‘News’. Easier and safer-ground to wait as peer opinions emerge. But often feel stongest, nearer something happens – and when most need some clarity. Bearings. As written, getting less and less interested in reading more and more. As soon as your email comes telling me you’re up, I’m on and “that’ll do”. Few select sources. Full-stop.

    Heard one report; ‘young and ill-prepared soldiers ordered on a military excise. Erdogan’s supporters hit the streets to protest, rest stayed home and most of them suspecting he initiated the coup. French Embassy in Ankara recently closed…’ (All from a short 108Morris interview with someone in Istanbul) / Since you recently welcomed my adding sources etc. Not sure I will, partly because I tend to ramble-on more broadly and not link/links. Although big-up one of my recent wade into you tube-ville finds and now go-to commentator: HowISee TheWorld .

    As for Turkey; vengeance fierce, population divided. Don’t know which, or what combo, of your possibilities? You suggest; is this a ‘glimpse of things to come in the West’? Include post-crashing – what will go-on? Consider this era-changer, looming too precariously likely, not to pop and spew out widespread social breakdown. Turkey bosses in the Club, cartel, that Cult… they ‘know’. Are we seeing a country do what they consider necessary to ‘prepare’? Be it Erdogan/behind it, or CIAetc and opp?

    And nuts ain’t it? Tribal and religious tensions exist but not to the hype-up levels we’re T.V. etc and some alt. to this, would have us believe. Two sides are being pushed on us… Islam and the Right. Dubbed; radical and extreme. Never mind the measure? Accuracy and nuance, all thrown in and washed-up together. With the Left badgering about with Govt. to take ‘control’ – ban this and that and get border-less. All the while the silent majority are less ideological and insistent we need to ‘just get on’. One thing HowIsee TheWorld ‘amens’ is how he welcomes difference of opinion and doesn’t do in-fighting. The divide and… is everywhere. Voices locked in their thought-clan, taking ‘the world’ out by disengagement with those ‘on some other side’ through to downright hostility at being questioned. Back to ‘the cult’ – they only have a few strategies as close to their sick-heart, than have us all fighting in the streets, fuelled by media driven schism-ing. Fear and frustrations bursting previously-held temperatures. Who can cope in the kitchen? Who can hold conviction -and- openness?

    • Thanks Mark; love your contributions, as you’re virtually a poet. Also appreciate your support.
      Yeah, there’s definitely a sense emerging that a lot of those soldiers seemed confused and unsure what they were doing – the ‘training exercise’ theory is one I’ve heard elsewhere too.
      In fact, I heard directly from someone who’s brother literally came into Istanbul airport as the soldiers were trying to take control of it. And he says – according to his brother – the soldiers were acting really weird, like they didn’t know what they were supposed be doing. He says eventually they just left once they saw how many people (civilians) were at the airport. He was also saying that the soldiers didn’t have proper military symbols on their uniforms or the Turkish flag/symbols – so, if true, that’s a weird element too.
      Speaking of voices ‘locked in their thought-clan’, I kid you not – I watched a video last night (re Turkey coup) where Alex Jones actually suggested a ‘CRUSADE’ be launched by Christian countries into the Middle East. In the same video, you have people saying all Muslims in America should be investigated or ‘interviewed’, with deportations to follow. ‘IDs’ for Muslims was also suggested by someone. Some of these people need to watch Schindler’s List again.

  5. My friend in Turkey seems to think it’s the third option: fake coup (to consolidate power). Interestingly, he’s not usually a conspiracy theorist (unlike me). All said, his knowledge of Turkish history and the political climate (being a Turk himself) leads me to defer to his judgement on this matter. I haven’t known him to make rash claims in the past.

    I suppose we will see, but the “cui bono” seems to be Erdogan himself.

    Great article!!!


  6. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    “However much the military is now purged and brought into line, there may still be enough sharp division forming in the military – just as in society – to propel Turkey closer to the Civil War scenario that many have been fearing for some time already.

    As for what really happened yesterday in Turkey, more information will emerge in coming days: however, you may have to decide for yourself what you think this was – because information coming from the current Turkish state itself certainly can’t be trusted.

    Also, it has to be said, watching these unsettling reports and images from Turkey, as tanks and soldiers took to the streets and tried to impose Martial Law, one can’t help but wonder if this is a glimpse of things to come in the West, given the mounting unrest and the fears of a collapsing EU.”

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