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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Erdogan benefits from Turkish coup attempt because it failed, not because he engineered it

Harrison Koehli

On Friday night, a portion of the Turkish military staged an attempted coup against Erdogan's government. While there is still the possibility for further internal conflicts between the government and those who supported the coup, at this point it's over. You can read our coverage of the events related to the coup here, in the SOTT editors' commentary section. Analysts in the mainstream and alternative media are now trying to put the pieces together, asking the question: "Who's responsible?" For the most part, the answers they've given so far don't account for all the evidence.

Three main possibilities are currently on offer: 1) the Turkish government's claim that the coup was organized by Turkish exile Fethullah Gulen in collaboration with the U.S. (CIA, NATO); 2) an authentic, Turkey-based military faction (usually identified as secular Kemalists) unhappy with Erdogan's 'Islamist' policies; and 3) the "#TheaterNotCoup" meme sourced to Politico's Ryan Heath, which alleges that Erdogan planned the coup as a false-flag operation, his very own Reichstag to purge opposition and solidify his dictatorial control (unsurprisingly, Gulen supports this version). None of these options quite work. Or at the very least, if one of them is true, it is not that simple.

The fact that the coup failed shows that it wasn't very "professional". It was obviously a 'rush job' and downright sloppy. While the plotters managed to take over some state media, and most social media, they did not get all of it, allowing Erdogan to appeal to the masses via FaceTime on CNN Turk. They failed to get public support by presenting a public face. They took a few key personnel hostage, bombed Parliament, but failed to detain those leaders who really mattered. These facts don't necessarily point to one particular scenario. Due to the nature of compartmentalization, it is difficult to assign blame simply based on course of events during the coup.  

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