Jerusalem Online examined who is truly behind the recent coup attempt, what steps Erdogan can take to consolidate his rule, the threat that still exists for Erdogan’s regime, what will happen following the lynching of the Turkish soldiers and the bombing of the Turkish Parliament building, the international reaction, and what the implications are for Israel.
In the wake of the recent coup attempt in Turkey, there are a lot of speculations regarding who is truly behind the recent coup attempt, what steps Erdogan could take to consolidate his rule from here, the threat that still exists for Erdogan’s regime, what will happen following the lynching of the Turkish soldiers and the bombing of the Turkish Parliament building, the international reaction to the coup attempt, and what the implications are for Israel.
JerusalemOnline interviewed Turkish dissident Rafael Sadi, Iranian dissident Shabnam Assadollahi who has contacts in Turkey, Turkish dissident Burak Ant Kilic, and an anonymous source inside Turkey in order to get to the bottom of what happened there in recent days.
An anonymous source inside Turkey hinted why some might want Erdogan overthrown: “The AKP destroyed the military; the people didn’t do anything. The AKP destroyed the judicial system; the people didn’t do anything. The AKP destroyed the educational system; the people didn’t do anything. The AKP destroyed the Ataturk Cultural Centre in Istanbul; the people did not do anything.
The AKP raped the forest preserve set aside by Ataturk and built a gross, garnish palace; the people didn’t do anything. Now, the Turks even allow Erdogan to slaughter Kurds in a phony political war. This beast even named the new third bridge in Istanbul after Sultan Yavuz Sultan Selim who murdered tens of thousands of Alevites centuries ago.
It insults about 20-30% of Turkey’s current population. If I were one of them, I would never use that bridge no matter what. Turkey has become a criminal farce. The courts are a sham.”
“The Turkish model we used to be so hopeful about has simply vanished under the rule of these illiterate mullahs,” the source related. “That unique blend of western democracy, secularism and majority Muslim culture and pluralistic society is today empty rhetoric.
On the other hand, thanks to Ataturk’s enduring solid principles and foundation in the country, Turkey has millions of beautiful people who are globally connected and ahead of their government despite the fact that they are deeply depressed, demoralized and lonely.”
The source claims that at least 40% of Turkey agrees with his ideology, among them 25% representing CHP supporters, 13% representing HDP supporters, and 7% representing Independents/Liberals: It is correct that insulting the president is a crime in Turkey punishable by up to four years in jail but the law has previously been invoked only rarely. Turkish prosecutors have opened nearly 2,000 cases against people for insulting Erdogan since he became Turkey’s president about 20 months ago.
Those who have faced trial for insulting Erdogan include journalists, cartoonists, academics and even school children. It is so ridiculous that several months ago, a Turkish man filed a criminal complaint against his wife for insulting Erdogan. In the latest ‘Reporters Without Borders’ world press freedom index, Turkey ranks 151st out of 180 countries. I guess it speaks for itself.”
The source hinted that the West should take Erdogan blaming the coup on Gulen with a grain of salt: “The AKP always manages to find an evil force, an enemy for themselves. One time it was CHP; the other time it was the Gulen movement, and maybe it will be USA next time, and the EU the other time. Anyone opposed to Erdogan’s bloody rule, like journalists, students, military people, intellectuals, teachers, anybody who opens their mouth in protest goes to jail.”
“People who side with democracy, human rights and freedom don’t trust Erdogan,” the source proclaimed. “Unfortunately, the system that Erdogan has set up is corrupt and based on the abuse of Islam for political goals.
Those who stand by him fail to comprehend that Erdogan is not a blessed man sent by God for their wellbeing. The rest of the country literally hate him. He is seen as responsible for every disaster that Turkey is facing.
The war on the Kurds, the exacerbated terror problem, the crushed democratic principles and all the violations of human rights are seen as the results of Erdogan’s ill-conceived, ill-minded and sick policies.
Many scream in Turkey that the country is about to fall from the cliff that might turn the country into the third failed state in the Middle East after Iraq and Syria. That’s why people hate him. Many understand that Erdogan is stealing their future by sticking to fascism, Islamism and ridiculous ideas. There are more journalists in prison in Turkey than in Iran.”
Given all of this, JerusalemOnline asked Turkish dissident Rafael Sadi whom he believes is truly behind the attempt to overthrow the Islamist AKP-led government.
He replied: According to the Turkish Press and the Turkish President, this coup was organized by Fethullah Gulen who lives in the US. Still nobody has any evidence to say this but Erdogan insists about this and even calls them a terror organization.
Not only that but the Turkish Minister of Social Security Uleyman Soylu claimed that the US organized the coup and asked Obama to return this gentleman, he noted. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also stated this morning that any country that protects Gulen is an enemy.
So they declared the US to be an enemy. On the other hand, Turkey closed down the Incirlik Air Base to traffic and about 15000 American staff are blocked off there. This is a kind of blackmail Turkey is doing to the US. Meanwhile, Gulen denies the allegations against him.
However, Iranian dissident Shabnam Assadollahi believes that Erdogan stands behind the coup and not Gulen: The coup was engineered and plotted by Erdogan himself. It was a deliberate move to bring out all of the extremist Muslims onto the streets, asking all the mosques to call for Islamic Jihad from 10pm onwards, calling for prayers via loud speakers in all of the cities introducing himself as the messenger of God, a prophet, who is completing what is written in the Quran.
Assadollahi insists that it was not a real coup: It was orchestrated theater planned by Erdogan and the AKP Party with the help of MIT. If it was a real coup, Erdogan would have gone into hiding trying to protect the nation from future harm such as being shot by the army and not begging the nation to leave their homes at 10PM in order to march out onto the streets.
If it was a real coup, why would Erdogan tell the people that he was going to meet them at the Istanbul Airport and while in the air not a single bullet hit his airplane?
Nevertheless, Assadollahi stresses that many elements in the Turkish Army are fed up with Erdogan’s totalitarian regime and in the past, they had planned to overthrow the government in order to prevent Erdogan from changing the constitution and weakening the role of the army in Turkey. We know that in 2010, over 46 top generals were arrested.
However, she also does not have a positive view of Gulen: “I believe both Erdogan and Gulen are neocons for the ‘moderate Islam project’ but it failed. Gulen was the spiritual leg of the project and Erdogan was the political leg. They worked together in putting the military back in the barracks. The political leg got out of control.
Gulen whom in my opinion is a Khomeini like religious figure might have started an uprising in the army but since Erdogan has the Police and MIT spies, he used this for his interests and planned it in order to implement his dream, building a permanent leadership for himself to rule over Turkey with the help of the refugees and the imams.”
Turkish dissident Burak Ant Kilic has a different perspective: “I think this was a coup attempt by Gulen supporters in the military. Gulen is a whole subject of his own. He has been getting support from Islamists in Turkey for the past 35 something years, investing in Islamist schools all around the world, saving underprivileged yet intelligent kids from horrible economic conditions and training them in the best schools, preparing them to be the foot soldiers of a possible future Islamic Revolution.
Erdogan used this educated and skilled Islamist to take over the military and intelligence when he first came to power. Until very recently, they were denying that Gulen was involved in the state and the government despite huge protests from the seculars.”
However, there was recently a split between the Gulenists and the AKP: “After 2011, some strange things started to happen between the AKP and the Gulenists. A serious power struggle began, leading to the famous tapes leaked to the press of various government officials including Erdogan openly discussing their corruption and various other plans among it a false flag operation that would give Turkey a reason to invade Syria.
The attempted coup seems to have been done by Gulen loyalists in the army and that’s probably one of the main reasons it didn’t get massive support from within the army, which in spite of everything is known to be a defender of secularism and Ataturk.
I guess they did not want to trade evils but of course it’s just a guess. The evidence suggests that the AKP found out about the coup plan by these loyalists and were going to arrest them early Saturday morning so they had to get a premature plan into motion and failed.”
When asked what steps Erdogan might take to consolidate his rule following the coup attempt, Sadi does not believe he will do anything of the kind: “Erdogan must be much more delicate and precise regarding Turkish democracy.
He has to show the entire world his love for democracy. If he is existing in favor of democracy, he will use this till the end of his life.” Assadollahi strongly disagrees: “As many as 6,000 were arrested including many from the judiciary because they are pro-Ataturk and pro-secularism.
Erdogan will use this coup in order to start an anti-democratic movement that will result in adding Shariah law to the constitution. Erdogan has been urging the public to come out onto the streets.
Over 85,000 mosques in Turkey have been reciting Quranic verses over loud speakers over the last 24 hours and they have been calling upon the nation to stand in solidarity with Erdogan, a messenger from God who is like a prophet that will fulfill the Quran’s promises.”
Kilic added: “From my personal connections including the high brass, I know that the army decided not to interfere with politics a couple of decades ago and they seemed determine to keep that decision. In my opinion, they see Erdogan and the AKP as some sort of birth pain for a true democracy in Turkey and are willing to tolerate him as much as possible.
I don’t know the limits of that tolerance but I think as long as Erdogan manages to juggle them, there is nothing that would stop him from turning Turkey into an autocratic Islamo-fascist state with populist tendencies. I don’t know if Erdogan will ever be proclaimed Sultan.
I imagine to keep the international community at bay, he never will but he might as well. He is the sole ruler of Turkey now and is beyond any law and prosecution despite all of the evidence, who is openly using religion for political ends.”
JerusalemOnline asked Sadi what the Turkish government meant when they said that they have crushed the coup but the threat still remains. He explained: “That means that they couldn’t catch yet all of the guilty elements of the coup.
And they did not know where the rest of the people are that they did not find yet. Of course, there are more people around that could be dangerous.” On this, Kilic concurred: “They seem to think there are still some sleeper cells in the government and the army. From what I heard, a couple of groups in the army keep resisting officials but I don’t think it’s that important anymore.”
“Erdogan and the AKP have been banking heavily on social tensions in Turkish society, using populism and hate speech to gain votes from the ignorant masses so this might just be their internal politics reflex to keep their supporters on edge as much as they can,” he proclaimed.
“These people are fed conspiracy theories and non-existent enemies. Also Erdogan might seek a referendum to change the presidential system in order to give him immense powers.
He might mix the change of the constitution with capital punishment, which is something the Islamists have been wanting for a long time. So the more he makes people believe there is a great danger, the more votes he will get.
I don’t have high hopes about a Turkish Spring as long as Turkey’s secular democratic people feel abandoned by the army and the rest of the world. Erdogan has no problem taking lives and neither do his followers.”
Regarding the lynching of the Turkish soldiers and the burning of the Turkish Parliament, Sadi had the following to state: “Whatever happens in the country is under the responsibility of the elected government. They have to find the responsible parties and bring them to justice. All of the videos and pictures exist and even the names of the killers are very well known. Erdogan did not tell them to kill soldiers. He told them to go out onto the streets. Probably, some of them misunderstood the order.”
Assadollahi perspective is a bit more sinister: “The lynch mobs are part of Islamist social movements in Turkey. They brutally tortured and lynched those young and inexperienced soldiers. It is reported that those who attacked the soldiers and slit their throats were ISIS terrorists residing in Turkey assisted by the AKP Party.
It is a flashback to how the PLO helped Khomeini in 1979 and Khamenei in 2009 in the aftermath of Iran’s Second Revolution by bringing in hundreds of Special Forces from Iraq and Iran against the uprising. Erdogan is using the same tactic.
By the way, the bombing of the Turkish Parliament was planned by Erdogan himself, a symbolic show just like the Reichstag fire incident.
Erdogan also built a new parliament building a while ago and was planning to demolish the old building so the bombing will make it easier for him to move the Parliament to the new building after the coup is defeated.”
Kilic concurred: “Lynch mobs are a natural part of Islamist social movements. These moderate Muslims are just a step away from openly becoming ISIS or another version of it, as you can easily see if you check their social media.
There is a large portion of the Turkish center right that will go where the wind blows. In one day with the right push, they can turn from your everyday neighbor to head-chopping militants as seen countless times in other Arab failed states.
It’s hard to declare who is responsible for a lifetime of bad education and social brainwashing but it’s definitely Erdogan and his Islamist Party that benefits from them staying this way.
The general theory about the AKP doing it themselves I just don’t buy. It’s too big and complicated for the AKP to handle. But will they use this opportunity to create a new wave of self-victimization to get what they want? Definitely!”
Sadi claims that the international community is supporting Erdogan and Turkish democracy: “No one can support the coup and this was clear before the coup also. The Israeli government must also support democracy. The EU will not support any illegal actions as well.
The Arab world is also supporting Erdogan except for Assad and Sisi.” Kilic has a different perspective: “The international community was genuinely surprised in my opinion. I’m guessing that way because they waited until it was all over to pick their side and make any meaningful comment about it.
One thing that is going to be a problem for the US is that the press is claiming that war planes for the coup attempt were refueled in Incirlik Airbase by the Americans. If this is true, the US might want to give up Gulen to soothe the air. Apart from that, their initial reaction was to ask for any evidence regarding Gulen’s involvement in the coup, which is reasonable.
If the AKP manages to provide such evidence, things might change. Regardless, Turkey is one of the most important NATO members so Obama, Canada, and the EU will automatically support Erdogan in order to thwart the rise of Russia and China.”
The question remains, how will all of this affect Israel? Sadi claims that the Reconciliation Agreement needs to be confirmed by the Turkish Parliament, the very place that was bombed Friday night: “As soon as this agreement will be confirmed by the Turkish Parliament, the agreement will be in force and we will be able to work on the main issues, namely the cancellation of the cases against the Israeli soldiers and commanders.
And the essential point is the payment of the compensation. So everything will be as planned and no barrier will remain to exchanging new ambassadors. I believe this will happen in the near future, maximum one month.”
Kilic believes that recent developments will actually hasten the Reconciliation Agreement with Israel: “He keeps losing general public opinion in the West and peace with Israel would definitely have positive implications for him, although I don’t think in the long run an Islamist Turkey would be in the interest of the West.
The 18th biggest economy in the world with all its ties under radical hands would create an unprecedented danger for the Middle East and the world.”