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18 July 2016

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Fred

It looks like Kemalist Turkey is dead:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/world/europe/turkey-erdogan-crackdown.html

The purge is 20,000 and counting according to this.

robt willmann

This Reuters article says that now Erdogan is purging and removing around 8,000 police officers in Turkey; 30 regional governors and more than 50 high-ranking civil servants have been removed; prosecutors as well as judges have been removed; and a purging of the civil service is underway--

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-idUSKCN0ZX07S

8,000 police officers + 6,038 soldiers + 2,745 judges + 30 governors + (> 50 civil servants) + 140 constitutional court members + 48 members of the council of state + 'X' number of prosecutors = at least 17,000 people quickly purged, including many who were detained/arrested.

The list had been prepared.

ex-PFC Chuck

Sputnik News asserts that the Incirlik Air Base is being raided by police and isclosed again. Assuming the time stamp is local Turkey time this just went up minutes ago.
http://sputniknews.com/asia/20160718/1043217638/turkey-raid-incirlik.html?utm_source=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FPpVBVpODLk&utm_medium=short_url&utm_content=bGGb&utm_campaign=URL_shortening

Kunuri

I am, from my perch here, are starting to doubt the false flag scenario.

The main reason being, no side could have calculated unforeseen factors that go into this kind of playing with fire. Coup plotters have not taken into account the power of social media, just one unknown, as well as the administration.

AKP administration may have had their lists on hand in advance.

If Gulen organization is behind this in a substantial role, I will ask who is behind Gulen-which leads me to totally uncharted territory.

The inept execution of the coup however, set to fail, may have been the message itself. The real black flag here maybe that Gulen is set up and forced to move immaturely with a fail-sure plan to flush him out, but not by RTE.

ThePanzer

What a mess.

This is outside my expertise area but I want to ask the question. What happens to Turkish military readiness as a result of this purge? I'd assume that it will demoralize the military and kneecap their officer corps of much-needed experience. Or do you think there's enough redundancy in the ranks to make up for it and/or there's enough experienced "loyalist" senior NCOs and officers to make up the difference?

Side question, also outside my range. At what point do we count a foreign base as "too hot" and draw down the overall troop numbers and especially bring dependents home? If I was stationed in Turkey I most definitely wouldn't want my family in-country...

ThePanzer

Follow up to my last. Looks like they ordered the dependents out awhile ago, thank god. Per a military times article back in March or so.

Still we've got a lot of mil and civ members over there with their butt potentially hanging out in the wind.

robt willmann

ex-PFC Chuck,

Another item that is referenced in the article you cite is that the Turkish general in command of the Incirlik air base, Gen. Bekir Ercan Van, asked the U.S. for asylum, and was told 'No'--

http://sputniknews.com/world/20160718/1043179468/us-denies-asylum-turkey-commander.html

Degringolade

OK: Maybe this is an awkward way of looking at things.

I was just reading an article:

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/obama-turkey-225659

This little gem of a quote popped out at me.

Begin Quote:

“We basically have turned a blind eye to Erdogan’s drive towards an authoritarian, one-man system of rule in Turkey,” said Eric Edelman, a U.S. ambassador to Ankara from 2003 to 2005 and a deputy secretary of defense under George W. Bush. “The president has acknowledged it, but we haven’t really done much about it, if anything.”

That needs to change, Edelman said. “If there’s anything we’ve learned from the last six years in that part of the world, it’s that one-man rule isn’t very stable.”

End Quote

You know, watching the world over the last forty some odd years, It seems to me that there is a lot less trouble when there are solid one-man rules.

Tito, the Egyptians, even Saddam prior to our losing patience with him kept the lid on things. Quadafi was irritating, but that was about it.

Maybe the Sultan is the way to go. It might be more difficult, and it might be irritating as hell and contrary to our stated missionary goal of bringing Democracy to the world, but maybe it would cost us less in the long term.

I am not advocating this, but it may be worth a thought.

turcopolier

Kunuri

the US would not push Gulen to make a coup. All the Obama Administration wants is for Erdogan to let them kiss his ass. As for the nature of the "coup" I now know exactly which senior army man betrayed the plotters to Erdogan. whether a junior level plot was betrayed by him when his subordinates tried to coordinate the thing country-wide or whether the Erdogan clique initiated the plot themselves using him is unclear as yet but past a certain point it does not matter. Be careful. Start growing a beard or come back to the States. pl

turcopolier

Degringolade

Edelman is funny. WE de-stabilized ALL those governments. pl

doug

Sir,

Well, that certainly explains the fact Erdogan had his lists prepared. Regardless of proximate cause, it's clear the coup had little chance and was something of a last desperate act. The consequences for the West will be severe.

SmoothieX12

Purely on Qui Bono merit--the coup seems to be staged. How it was in reality, I would rather wait for more verified details to emerge.

Jackrabbit

I agree with pl. ff. A real CIA-backed coup would not fail so miserably.

Junior officers would likely want to know that they had support of one or more senior officers plus US/NATO. IF they were duped, it was likely a joint MIT/CIA effort.

Why would USA/CIA/Mossad want to depose Erdogan anyway? He has been very accommodating to the Assad must go! effort. And a renewed push for Assad must go! is now underway:
>> Twisting Iran's arm by continuing sanctions and withholding $$;
>> Kerry's talks with Putin (dangling joint ops against ISIS - probably only if they abandon Assad)
>> Failing ceasefire; re-arming of 'moderates' and extremists
>> Recent ISIS-linked attacks on West for "something must be done" urgency
>> Israel says that they don't want to see ISIS defeated!
>> Etc.

Lets face it, Erdogan _was_ weakened by the confrontation with Russia. This "coup" has now solidified his power. To the benefit of the Assad must go! effort. Everything else seems like misdirection.

<> <> <> <> <>

Sibel Edmonds complains about a CNBC tweet (from 'senior US military source') that started the rumor that Erdogan was seeking asylum from Germany. She says this was in support of coup.

But we now know that this weak coup attempt had little chance of success.

IMO this rumor was probably meant to entice all Erdogan opponents to identify themselves. Rather than showing USA/CIA support for the coup, it shows USA/CIA support for Erdogan(!)

The Beaver

Got that a French tweet a/c:

https://theaviationist.com/2016/07/18/exclusive-all-the-details-about-the-aerial-battle-over-turkey-during-the-military-coup/

Haralambos

Col. Lang and others,
I just finished reading this article and found it very interesting. I would be interested to hear others' views on its applicability to Turkey and its accuracy: http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/02/02/the-turkish-complex/

I found this rather useful: "The Islam-secularism dichotomy, virtually the only framework most Western observers use in trying to grasp things Turkish, is no longer a useful diagnostic (if it ever was). We are seeing instead a recurrent cycle of conceptual patterns and associated roles—those of the 'bigman', selfless hero, and traitor—that have long characterized and destabilized Turkish political culture. These roles and their interactions are driven not simply by competing ideologies, but by on-the-ground rivalry between network hierarchies and a general fear of social chaos."

Ishmael Zechariah

Kunuri,
Good to hear from you. Be safe.
Ishmael Zechariah

different clue

Degringolade,

If Turkey was devoloping towards regularized semi-democracy and multi-level civil society and so forth, then Erdogan's drive towards one man rule is an uneccesary and unhelpful detour away from that direction of development. If so, then the Erdogists will manufacture all kinds of instablility where none existed and none had to exist. After all, Turkey was not an artificial creation like "Iraq" or "Syria" when they were first crafted. Rather, it is the leftover stub of the core of a big empire. As such, it could have a stable national existence if the Kurdish nation could be accomadated within that.

Now, all that is derailed, and will probably be burned all the way down. Incirlik will be kept closed long enough to give ISIS and the alphabet jihadis, both of which Erdogan supports, time to recover in the absence of air operations from Incirlik. Hopefully the R + 6 can prevent the "rebel opposition" from making the recovery which Erdogan wants them to make.

If Erdogan decides that a lot of secular and young Istanbulis don't like him, he and his movement will get long-range revenge on Istanbul by destroying every last park and greenspace and maybe even cutting down every single streetside tree throughout all of Istanbul. And building OttoMarts on all the clear cut spaces.

Kunuri

Albayim, I look older with a white beard, been avoiding it like a plague. And thanks, I am careful, though I am taking your word of caution as concern for my safety, and not my comments. I have been considering the idea of coming back to the States, I will know when, the next time I return to Istanbul after an overseas trip. If I get the old nausea and dread of coming back, it will be time.

ISL

Degringolade,

I disagree, there is no such thing as a one person govt. There are always multiple power centers in a society that compete, and the person at the top had better have one or more of those behind him or .... well, history is replete with dead kings, etc. For example, Assad is not a one person govt, he has the backing of the Alawites and other minorities, and now, all those who are not pro-liver-eaters. Absent a fairly wide-based support, a one man leader requires some great power to come to his aid as an occupation - e.g., the British tried here in the colonies, and even then, they had quite a bit of royalist support.

IMO a prerequisite of bringing democracy to the world is to actually have one that works and for which Americans are proud of, but it you look at the polls, 84% of Americans are extremely unhappy with the voting choice for president, congress's approval ratings are down with the slugs, and studies show that public opinion has zero effect on legislation (as opposed to $$ - but so it was under the roman emperors), so exactly what Democracy are we bringing to the world?

Personally, I would just be happy if we would stop policies that engender blowback.

jld

but it may be worth a thought.

Yes and the thought is immediate and short:
The Egyptians, Saddam and Quadafi were SECULAR and were restraining the religious nutjobs as much as possible while Erdogan is an ISLAMIST.
Happy return to the 7th century for all Turks...

Luis

Colonel, according to @Ald_Aba "most of the coup vehicle in #Istanbul were from 2 Armored Bde and 66 Mechanized Infartery Bde"(1), and apparently those brigades "were part of NATO's Rapid Deployable Corps"(2). Does it makes sense?
Thanks,
Luis.


(1)https://twitter.com/Ald_Aba/status/755095905028669442
(2)https://twitter.com/trbrtc/status/755118284781948928

Babak Makkinejad

I must admit that I had found Qaddafi of entertainment value - for decades.

Also, Egypt is not Turkey, won't be any time soon either.

Kooshy

Colonel Lang , please tell us if you can, in sight of this staged failed cope by Erdo, what would become the future relation between the US/NATO and Turkey, how much do you think Erdo and his neoislamists of Turkey can push and bribe the US with NATO tool and playing a betting price game, between US/NATO and the Russians. Don't you think that was the reason for Turkey's newly change of hearth toward Putin' Russia ?

turcopolier

Kooshy

I don't know. pl

SmoothieX12

Rear-Admiral (Ret.) Soner Pollat just gave interview to Azeri news agency Haqqin.Az (Haqqin is Time in Azeri). For now it is in Russian only, later, I expect, it will be translated into English. Admiral lays blame on Gullen and, with it, US. (Google Translate should do the trick for those who want to read it).

http://haqqin.az/news/75643

Next several days will be, I guess, filled with all kinds of statements and counter-statements.

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