A woman passes by an election poster of Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul. File picture: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters
A woman passes by an election poster of Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul. File picture: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Erdoğan’s self- coup continues

By Opinion Time of article published Jul 16, 2021

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Mirza Aydin

On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the 15 July 2016 coup attempt, the Republic of Turkey is going to commemorate the victims of the putsch in every corner of Turkey and diplomatic missions abroad.

Without waiting for any court finding, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was so quick to blame Fethullah Gülen, the spiritual leader of the movement, for masterminding the coup while the riot was underway.

The Turkish state officially declared the movement as the number one threat to the country, and a terrorist organization immediately after the bloody night.

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the statement on the very night of the coup.

“This coup attempt was staged in no uncertain terms by the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). Our government has been constantly exposing the real motives of this terrorist group and its leader, Fethullah Gülen, to all allies and partners. The foiled coup is the latest criminal act revealing the danger posed by FETÖ," the statement read.

It has been five years since the unexplained July 15 Coup attempt.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which together with its nationalist ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), holds a majority of seats in Parliament, has never allowed Turkish parliament or any international bodies to properly investigate the attempted coup.

A parliamentary investigation committee, which was formed with the approval of the Turkish Parliament, held its first meeting on October 7 2016.

It decided to listen many retired generals, former ministers and mayors, but not the key names of the state. The then Chief of the Turkish General Staff Hulusi Akar and the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) head Hakan Fidan who have never been asked to appear before the commission.

The commission consists of nine lawmakers from the AKP, four lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), one lawmaker from the MHP and one lawmaker from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). But the investigative commission ended its work on the orders of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkish opposition are still questioning the role of Erdogan and AKP members in the coup attempt.

Speaking to journalist and representatives from television stations in İstanbul on April 3, 2017, Turkey’s main opposition CHP’s leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu stated that the 15 July coup attempt was a “controlled coup”. He further claimed that Erdogan had information about plans for the coup and had control over it, but nevertheless decided to let it proceed.

Kılıçdaroğlu said his party has a dossier of evidence showing that the coup attempt was a controlled one.

While addressing a large rally of Turkish village and neighbourhood heads (mukhtars) at the presidential complex in Ankara on 5 April 2017, Erdoğan hit back at Kilicdaroglu by saying that “If you have any personal dignity, show yourself and prove it. I have never been deceived in politics nor would I deceive someone".

Former Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co- leader, Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been imprisoned since November 2016 for insulting "the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish nation, the Turkish state and state institutions and President of Turkey” accused Erdoğan for not preventing the coup plotters with the aim of consolidating his power.

In his parliamentary group speech in October 4, 2016, Demirtaş claimed Erdoğan had lied by saying that he learned the coup attempt from his brother-in-law. He said Erdoğan knew of the coup attempt long before and that biggest plot of 15 July was a coup within the coup (Erdoğan’s counter coup).

Demirtaş said all parliamentarians talk about this reality on the corridors in the parliament but all they fear for speaking the realities publicly.

Apart from Turkish opposition, foreign intelligence experts and journalists also called the events of July 15 as a coup attempt and a counter-coup.

German intelligence expert and author Erich Schmidt-Eenboom said in a program on German's ZDF television station that the faith-based Gülen movement was not behind a failed coup attempt, but that Erdoğan conducted his counter-coup. This he based on intelligence reports from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Stockholm Center for Freedom reported in April 2007.

Wayne Madsen, a retired U.S. naval officer who blogs on security and intelligence affairs, told Politurco.com last week in a live interview that July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey was Erdogan’s self-coup.

Madsen said that former President Donald Trump’s first national security advisor Michael Flynn, whose business associates have been indicted on conspiracy charges related to Flynn’s efforts to smear Turkish cleric Gülen at the behest of the government of Turkey, had several meeting with the Turkish government representatives in April 2016 to kidnap Gülen.

Madsen said that Flynn is a “military deceptive” expert and he used his skill as he praised Turkish coup plotters in his speech in the U.S, while the coup was underway but later he supported Erdoğan regime in his article published in The Hill on 8th November 2016.

Jorgen Lorentzen, Norwegian director of the documentary "A Gift from God" about 15 July coup attempt and the grave post-coup human rights violations in Turkey, said that Western Secret Services do not believe that Gülen masterminded the coup attemp and they know everything about Erdogan’s illegal activities but keep silent as Turkey is a strong NATO member.

Lorentzen, who was vacationing his summer house in Turkey with his Turkish wife and children at the time of the coup, told Politurco.com recently that the coup attempt is still mysterious and NATO members agreed not to reveal the secrets of the 15 July nights.

The last important revelations come from Turkish Mafia Boss Sedat Peker, who claimed that Turkey’s current Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu armed a large number of civilians with unregistered guns during the coup attempt. Soylu was the country's labour minister at the time. Peker shared details on Twitter that Soylu forcefully took over the many companies belonging to the Gülen followers.

It is obvious that bringing unregistered guns into the country and distributing them takes months of preparation.

It seems the Erdogan government knew about the coup attempt long ago and prepared for it. Many 15 July witnesses mentioned that some civilians fired on crowd.

The AKP never allowed autopsies on those who died on the night of the coup, hence it is not clear whether these unregistered guns were used for killing the civilians who were on street to stop the coup attempt.

Erdogan’s government has never shown any intention to shed light on the mysterious 15 July night, the incident that caused the loss of more than 200 lives.

Erdogan’s government and politically motivated Turkish courts rather continue arresting pregnant women, elders, teachers, business people who donated to the poor or who had a bank account with Bank Asia, which belonged to the Gulen movement.

More than 500,000 were investigated, almost 100,000 arrested and hundreds lost their life in the Turkish prisons under Erdogan’s post-coup purge.

Erdogan’s continues kidnapping educationalists from Kosovo to Kyrgyzstan to Kenya, violating international law, but interestingly major Western powers turn a blind eye to Erdoğan's atrocities.

Mirza Aydin is a Turkish freelance journalist

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