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26 July 2016


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Colonel, All:

Patrick Armstrong's posting about the goings-on in Turkey is well worth reading: Thoughts on the Coup Attempt in Turkey – Russia Observer

Hood Canal Gardner

Just perhaps with full control of 50+ nuclear devices (Incirclik+black sites) the Sultan's real target is less Ataturk's legacy and more a "refresh" of the Ottoman Empire 'beyond' Vienna/The Gulf.

Perhaps the time has come, thanks to Erdogan and Trump, to think about reformulating US alliances based less on defense and country markets per se and more on land-sea geographic resources.

Ishmael Zechariah

Col. Lang, SST;
Here is a parody on this subject:
I will try to formulate our synopsis of what is transpiring in a day or so.
Ishmael Zechariah


Somehow it is hard to imagine this happening again with today's Turkey.



You are spot-on. In fact, this crackdown appears to have been planned for some time, with Erdogan just waiting for such an opportunity. What effect this will have on NATO and the struggle against ISIS is an unknown for now. But very troubling indeed.

Ishmael Zechariah

A comment on the article you linked to:
One of the reasons for this "coup"'s failure was the secular officers in TSK, who sat it out. They deliberately let the gulen creeps surface and be identified. That tayyip is also arresting some secular officers is just opportunism on his part. Quite a few flag rank officers who had been jailed under the sledge-hammer and Ergenekon plots of the gulenists are being recalled to active duty.
Those who impute collaboration between seculars and gulenists are quite misguided.
Ishmael Zechariah


Is there any non-Gülen organization that has been cracked down on yet?

The schools, universities and hospitals closed are, as far as I could tell, all Gülen related.

I am so far rather encouraged that Erdogan has not attacked the other parties and allowed demonstrations. CHP even demanded Gülen's extraction from the U.S. today. It does, like most other people, believe that the U.S. was involved in the coup (or at least knew about it and didn't tell).

Erdogan is right now engineering a 180 degree turn in foreign policy orientation. From west to east (Russia, China, Iran). He even lets the Syrian rebels hang in the air. He needs the support of his whole nation for that turn.

I do not believe that he will crack down on everything secular (yet). It would ruin his international standing everywhere (including in the east) and diminish his legitimacy. Why should he bother. He has a comfortable majority in parliament and all the time of the world.



IMO you are deluded. He intends to destroy secularism in Turkey. "The schools, universities and hospitals closed are, as far as I could tell, all Gülen related" How do you know that? Is it because the government says so? http://www.unz.com/article/erdogan-takes-control/ pl


Somehow it is hard to imagine this happening again with today's Turkey.

Why? About 15-16 years ago Anatol Lieven wrote a wonderful piece on non-linear nature of history. The piece, if my Alzheimer doesn't fail me, was in Foreign Affairs. It was a very symptomatic piece since Fukuayama's faux-academic delusion of the End Of History was still very popular and Huntington's magnum opus was being challenged left and right by neocons. But for some reason, Huntington's prediction of self-identification, especially with faith, was happening much faster than unfolding of the end of history. It was just history, as it always was. For me it was very clear since I experienced all that first-hand and way before Huntington's Clash Of Civilizations was published.

In the end, in Frank Herbert's Dune universe it was a feudal political order and it was well tens of thousands years into the future. I wonder if Fukuyama even read Dune to give himself a pause. Lieven pretty much was saying the same--things go and come around, Marxists called it a spiral model of society's development. In simple words--as Pink Floyd sang:

Us, and them
And after all we're only ordinary men.
Me, and you.
God only knows it's noz what we would choose to do.
Forward he cried from the rear
and the front rank died.
And the general sat and the lines on the map
moved from side to side.
Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who.
Up and down.
But in the end it's only round and round.

Race, blood, culture, faith always (I underscore--always) trump political system in the end. Turkey is not an exception, especially when one knows a thing or two about Islam. In the end, there was Iran and nobody cares what brand of clothes is being worn by people--once the cry of faith and nation is heard, elites should run. This is in a nutshell.



"it is hard to imagine this happening again with today's Turkey" Ah! you are a victim of the false idea that history has direction and evolves. pl


I do support (but only to a certain degree) spiral (that is come and go but each time on a new plane of development) view of history. I, certainly, do not accept the idea of "democracy" (the most abused political term in history) as a final point of development. As I already stated race, blood, faith are in the foundation--the thing Marxists failed to recognize. I, certainly, can understand Tolstoy's Differential Of History theory. As per phrase:

"it is hard to imagine this happening again with today's Turkey"

I simply quoted Stonevendor to address the factor of faith (and the rest of it). Turkey remained Islamic in culture even under Attaturk's secularism. I saw many Turkmen, Azeri, Dagestani and Chechen non-urban localities in my life--even after 60-70 years of the serious secular (much more serious than Attaturk's) Soviet rule, the outlook remained distinctly Islamic, bar, of course, polygamy which was an absolute no-no.


if history is a guide, Erdogan will seek control of every institution in Turkey that could possibly be a source of dissent or a foundation of opposition. This will go right down to the professional associations, Freemasons, Alliance Francais etc., charitable institutions. They must either be controlled or destroyed.

Anyone who thinks Erdogan will stop at the alleged Gulenists is tragically misguided. Now is the time to get out while you can.



Having survived the coup, Erdogan’s only choice is to consolidate his Islamic Base and neuter the Turkish Military Forces. Internationally his regime has to join in an alliance with Russia and China for protection and economic aid. The bloggers’ b and Dmitry Orlov view of him switched 180 degrees instantly when this became clear. Western media and its leaders have to ignore the loss of Turkey less Donald Trump be elected in November. The utter incompetence of the West’s leadership has been exposed. They are failing at their basic job of protecting their citizens. This is all interconnected; the dismantling of democratic governance, the rise of Corporatism, and Globalism’s Losers returning to their tribal roots for safety. Russia is the media scapegoat. The world is plunging into the abyss of a third Great War with Russia.


Disagree with Giraldi on most things he touches in that piece. Including some factual numbers he got wrong (like 20,000 imprisoned - its some 12 with 8 of them being simple soldiers who will be set free over the next days). He doesn't get "peace at home" which is an old Atatürk slogan and a Kemalist motto "Peace at home, peace abroad".)

While my first thesis was that this was probably a fake coup I have changed that after looking at some details. The coup was real. The Russians picked up the preparations and alarmed the government. The general command ordered stand down for all troops which warned the coup plotters. They decided to launch prematurely in the afternoon instead of 3:00am. Units got even stuck in traffic! The bad timing ruined it especially after the people came out.

Whatever. It is irrelevant what we believe. What the Turkish people believe is the reality with which everyone will have to live. The majority believes that the U.S. was somehow behind it (just like it was behind that Gezi park show). That is at least not implausible.

Girladi also does not consider the alternative. What would have happened if a coup would have won? Not even half the army stood behind it. Erdogan followers as well as secular folks would not be cowered (They remember 1980). There would have been massive street fights and a guerilla civil war would have started. ISIS and Jabhat would have come in from Syria to join the fight. The mess would have been gigantic (and could still go there).

The Gülen crew is just as ambitious and ruthless as Erdogan. See the Ergenok and Sledgehammer cases. Erdogan will knock it out.

He has a plurality of voters but not a 50+% majority. I don't expect that to change. He'll make a lot of loud noise, continue his Islamisation program as it was already running and (hopefully) turn down the Syria engagement.

I hate the guy but what is coming is likely less negative than all plausible alternatives.



Giraldi lived for many years in Turkey. How about you? pl

michael brenner

Yes - I know personally former students, apolitical and secular, who have been "suspended" from university and government jobs.


Just now the political decision to build Turkish Stream was made. Russian official Rossyiskaya Gazeta informs:


The link is in Russian. It will have colossal ramifications.


On a longer historical scale, the US was very happy to support/look the other way the rise of "moderate" Islam in Turkey, starting as early as the 80s, of the Evren + Ozal variety, thinking they would be more pliable. The Saudi money first entered Turkish politics back then, people like journalist Ugur Mumcu who wrote at length on these were assassinated. So the deep state took on increasing Islamist overtones, so called "Turkish-Islamic" synthesis. After the soft postmodern coup of 2007, Erbakan who was more nationalistic was eliminated as a political alternative, and the rise of AKP was set in motion, with former Demirel, Erbakan, Ozal, Ciller supporters joining the AKP and some useful idiot fellow travellers of the extreme liberal variety also sympathetic and taking care of public relations with the outside world. This coalition also included Gulenists who got stronger in the government apparatus, and after the fake "Ergenekon/Balyoz" trials of Kemalist and some Eurasianist generals, were able to entrench themselves even more in the Turkish armed forces.

The coup failed because enough Kemalist officers, rank and file soldiers, and the public opposed it. The days of coups are long past, but the problem of Erdogan remains. It is very unclear how this will play out in terms of foreign policy and in terms of the Turkish polity. Don't forget all political parties have opposed the coup.

A good English source on Balyoz is Dani Rodrik.

James Loughton

From the WAPO-


Posters there are not favorable to Sultan Tayyip's demands.



"The days of coups are long past." Do you really believe that? Why are they "past?" pl

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

My question on the Turkey coup is "How does this affect the Opium Farm and who controls it?" That is to say, Turkey is a lynchpin in the global heroin trade. Especially to Europe (including Russia). Deep state involvement in the heroin trade is key not only to backstage armaments deals but also to propping up drug laundering banks like Bank of America and HSBC.


In reply to Ishmael Zechariah 26 July 2016 at 02:28 PM

I'll take your word for it while bearing in mind our host's maxim that one should consider not only the information but its source.


Traveled to and in Turkey regularly in the 1990s (had a Turkish girl friend at that time). Several multi-weeks long trips, alone and as pair, in mostly east and south east Turkey by regular public bus and Dolmus. Living in non-tourist hotels. Contacts with (lower officer rank) Turkish military as well as with Kurds who I believe were PKK.

Not enough to really learn the country or language but enough for some impressions of the society.


There is a historic connection of the heroin trade from and through Turkey and the CIA going back to 1948.

See Heroin, Organized Crime, and the Making of Modern Turkey. Ryan Gingeras. Oxford University Press. 2014.

There are claims, though no public proof, that the Gülen organization's money was generated in that relation.


There are a few points that are often forgotten regarding Erdogan's reaction.

1) He faces the Turkish "deep State", the shady network of military, intelligence services and gendarmerie which has been forcefully intervening in Turkish life, shutting off, or attempting to shut off democratic processes no less than 9 times in the past 56 years (from Wikipedia).

2) Erdogan also faces a major ideological competitor and political adversary in the islamic Gülen movement -- which has millions of followers and is strongly represented in the State apparatus.

3) In the past 25 years, with the sole exception of Tunisia, every time a political islamic party reached power with a majority in the Near East and North Africa via a fair and square democratic election, it was subsequently overthrown by a coup: Egypt in 2013, Palestine in 2006, Turkey in 1997, Algeria in 1992. This is the first time that such an attempt is defeated.

Importantly, Erdogan's AKP, as well as Hamas and Morsi's Freedom and Justice party all derive from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Furthermore, when Necmettin Erbakan was overthrown in 1997, Erdogan was already a seasoned politician, mayor of Istanbul, member of Erbakan's islamic Welfare Party -- and was imprisoned and banned from politics for a while.

From his very personal experience and recent history in the Near East, Erdogan's merciless retaliation, including the prepared lists of suspects, as well as his unquestionable paranoid streak, are all completely understandable. What has been going on in Egypt regarding the Muslim Brothers (and other non-muslim parties and movements) shows what could have happened to him -- or what could happen if he does not root out this kind of opponents. Do not think a second that the Turkish military is more squeamish than the Egyptian one about its methods. This does not excuse Erdogan's purging methods, but this is the Near East and, alas, he has a point when he thinks it is a matter of life and death.

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