The Mystery of Turkey’s Failed Coup

The failed Turkish coup and President Erdogan’s harsh reprisals have left more questions than answers, including who was really behind the botched putsch and why, reports Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria

More than two weeks after Turkey’s dramatic failed coup, what exactly  happened remains shrouded in mystery leaving only speculation that has hardened into “fact” in the absence of convincing evidence.

Two main theories have emerged: The first is that this was yet another in a longline of CIA-backed coups. The other is that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan either staged or let the coup happen to give him the opportunity to consolidate his rule through a vicious and ongoing purge of his perceived enemies.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses citizens in front of his residence in Istanbul on July 19, 2016. (Photo from official website of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses citizens in front of his residence in Istanbul on July 19, 2016. (Photo from official website of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey)

The first theory has now passed into the realm of “fact” because some commentators unquestioningly accept that the CIA tried to remove Erdogan for suddenly seeking to repair relations with Russia, Iran and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Assad is a man Erdogan has squandered substantial political capital trying to overthrow for five years.

This theory asserts that defeating the coup was a “victory against the U.S. empire” because Erdogan has defied Washington by suddenly moving Turkey into the multipolar camp with a view towards Eurasian union, rather than the European Union.

“Suddenly” is the key word. What led to Erdogan’s apparent about-face?  His Syria policy of supporting ISIS and opposing Damascus, Moscow and Teheran completely blew up in his face. He failed to overthrow Assad. Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane damaged Turkey’s economy (when Russia imposed retaliatory sanctions). ISIS turned on him, attacking Ataturk Airport. He was on the ropes. Erdogan is a supreme survivor. He’ll switch enemies and friends on a dime if need be. He’s proven no loyalty but to himself.

Tactical or Strategic?

For the moment, Erdogan’s shift instead appears to be a short-term, tactical, move, to ensure his survival. Time will tell whether it is also strategic. It’s too early to declare he’s turned his back on the U.S., NATO and the European Union and joined the multipolar world. I doubt Moscow, Tehran and Damascus fully trust Erdogan’s overtures as a long-term commitment, willing as they are to feel him out.

The Turkish government, though not Erdogan himself, has blamed the U.S. for the coup. A hardline conservative newspaper that backs Erdogan, Yeni ?afak, has even named U.S. General John F. Campbell as “one of the top figures who organized and managed the soldiers behind the failed coup attempt,” citing “sources close to ongoing legal process” against those arrested for the coup. It said Campbell “managed’ more than $2 billion to pay for the coup through CIA links with UBA Bank in Nigeria.

Without named sources or documentary evidence, which covert operations by their nature rarely yield, it’s easy to blame the CIA. In this case, the speculation rests on two assumptions, the first is the supposed U.S. reaction to Erdogan’s pivot East. But as Phil Giraldi, a former CIA agent who was stationed in Turkey, has pointed out the coup plotters and other Erdogan opponents hated his Syria policy and would welcome his rapprochement with Assad and a move East.

The coup’s motive may have instead been to stop Erdogan, who sees a Sultan in the mirror, from continuing his march to one-man rule. The coup leaders called themselves the Peace Council, claiming they wanted to restore democracy and overthrow a tyrant who is ruling unconstitutionally. (Erdogan is already ruling as though Turkey has changed to a presidential system, though the referendum he wants hasn’t yet been held.)

The “Terrorists”

The second assumption is that Erdogan’s arch-enemy, the Pennsylvania-based imam Fethullah Gülen who Erdogan blames for masterminding the coup, is a CIA asset running a “terrorist” organization. Erdogan calls anyone who disagrees with him a “terrorist”: academics, journalists, Kurdish members of the Turkish parliament. I’m surprised he hasn’t called Pope Francis a terrorist for calling Armenia a genocide.

The only evidence offered connecting Gülen with the CIA is a letter written by Graham Fuller, a former CIA agent once posted in Turkey, in support of Gülen’s 2006 U.S. green card application. Fuller himself has condemned the coup and his blog is often highly critical of U.S. Middle East policy.

Fetullah Gulen, leader of Turkey's Gulen movement.

Fetullah Gulen, leader of Turkey’s Gulen movement.

Gülen communicates daily to his followers around the world in sermons viewed over the internet. These as well as his other communications must be monitored by the Turkish government. Evidence that would stand up in a U.S. court of Gülen ordering the coup is what Washington would need in Erdogan’s frantic extradition request for Gülen. The quality of that evidence could determine whether Gülen was behind the coup. Of course, if you already believe the CIA did it, you won’t believe what a U.S. court says.

Even without proof, it can’t be ruled out that military men inspired by Gülen may have been involved (with secular Kemalists). But Gülenists have been more numerous in the police than the military.

I was the first American reporter to interview Gülen for The Wall Street Journal, when I visited him in his Pennsylvania compound in 2010.  I’ve studied the group the past six years, getting to know dozens of his followers, visiting schools in the U.S, Turkey and elsewhere.

In my research, I have been on the inside living with his followers while teaching English at one of the schools. Religion is not taught. It is not in the curriculum. The idea that these are jihadist madrases, or that Gülenists are extremists or terrorists is beyond absurd as anyone who knows them will attest.

One such person is John Esposito of Georgetown University, one of America’s leading experts on Islam. In this video interview, Esposito calls Gülen’s a  “pluralistic” movement “unique” to Islam.

Though I disagree with Gülen on certain things, notably his lack of criticism of Israeli treatment of Palestinians, it is ludicrous to accept Erdogan’s branding of his followers as terrorists. The Gülenists have no political party. It is a social movement that does however seek to influence Turkey’s political direction. They were almost certainly behind the leaked audio of Erdogan telephone calls exposing his corruption in a real estate deal.

The New York Times reported that my interview with Gülen, in which he took Israel’s side in the Mavi Marmara incident, led to the first open breech in the uneasy alliance between Gülen and Erdogan. The leaked telephone calls were the last straw. Erdogan fired and arrested policemen and judges who dared investigate the corruption allegations.

In response to the coup attempt, Erdogan has shut down every Gülen-affiliated institution in Turkey by decree, including thousands of schools, foundations and charities. He finished the job of shutting down all of its media properties.

“A Gift From God”

In all, 60,000 people in the military, civil service, judiciary and academia, who couldn’t possibly have all been involved with the coup, have either lost their jobs or been arrested in Erdogan’s ruthless retaliation. Amnesty International says some have been tortured.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a message on the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. (Turkish government photo)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a message on the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. (Turkish government photo)

Worse for the coup plotters, their gambit has fortified his mounting absolute rule, which brings us to the other theory: that Erdogan either staged or allowed the coup to happen. Gülen himself alleges it was staged. His followers name an Erdogan-loyal general, Mehmet Disli, who they claim gave the order to start the coup.

Because Erdogan knew of the coup hours before, there is a stronger possibility that he let it happen to smoke out disloyal officers, confident his handpicked brass would crush it. They may have played along with the coup and then double-crossed the coup leaders once it was underway. It would be a seriously amateurish attempt to go ahead without the consent of the top military leadership.

Erdogan seized the chance the coup afforded him, which he himself called “a gift from God,” to solidify his rule over Turkey like a Gulf monarch, while accruing international support and even sympathy.

Erdogan’s Rise to Power

At this point we need to step back a moment and look at Erdogan’s slow rise to power and how he took control of a hostile, secular military.  Erdogan deceived plenty of people in Turkey, but especially in the West. He was seen as the leader of a model Islamic democracy who would put the military under civilian control.

Erdogan’s AKP party is essentially part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mohammad Morsi named his Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood party after Erdogan’s — The Justice and Development Party. The Brotherhood’s strategy is to gain power through elections and then gradually implement an Islamist agenda, as opposed to attempting to seize power violently like Al Qaeda or the Islamic State — like the Mensheviks, rather than the Bolsheviks.

I took part with a small group of reporters interviewing Erdogan at the United Nations in New York in 2009. At the time his strategy of getting the Turkish military out of politics, in which they had intervened in four coups, seemed convincing. He sought to root out the Ergenekon underground network of organized crime, military and intelligence officers in the Turkish Deep State in a move that appeared to be in favor of civilian-led democracy.

But as the Turkish opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the People’s Republican Party (CHP), told me in a one-on-one interview in Washington in 2014, Erdogan arrested the wrong people supposedly involved in the Ergenekon conspiracy. Many innocent people were falsely charged at a time the Gülenists supported the move to get the military out of politics.

In fact Erdogan was cleverly replacing the brass with his own military men and seized control of the Deep State. His actions, especially after the failed coup, show that democracy has not been his motive.

Would the CIA have organized a coup without the support of the top brass? Would the CIA have moved so quickly on what might just be a short-term tactical shift by Erdogan? Were Gülenists involved in the coup or was it Erdogan’s version of the Reichstag fire? These are questions that may never be answered leaving us mired in speculation — a poor substitute for the facts.

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist based at the U.N. since 1990. He has written for the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Johannesburg Star, the Montreal Gazette, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. He can be reached [email protected]  and followed on Twitter at @unjoe.

31 comments for “The Mystery of Turkey’s Failed Coup

  1. Curious
    August 15, 2016 at 10:52

    No one picked up on Gladio running Turkey since ’52? Nor the fact that only 5 European countries have had the fortitude to even delve into the organization. I find this interesting since the “illuminate” is bantered about so easily.

    Maybe some day the coup will name it’s players and Gladio will not be as foreign to the informed people on this site.Also, the false flags in many parts of Europe may be more planned than one thinks.

  2. Cuneyt
    August 6, 2016 at 20:12

    I think people should also watch this advertisement as well. It has first published 9 months 10 days before the coup.

    People also should watch this very short movie about Gulen Movement in US.

    These schools are all over the world in 170 countries! The graduated students from their schools made this coup. They leaked to police departments, media, courts, schools, hospitals etc.. . Its been 50 years since they are digging my country. Sure this is CIA backed up movement but why? Why do they let them to build schools in USA as well? Here is the answer.. They want to create a new religion by the mixture of all religions. That’s called “dialogue”. The mastermind is of this movement(not F.Gulen) will became God and we became the slaves. This is a 100 years project.

    Turkiye is suffering very bad metastatic cancer. World second biggest army is on his knees now.
    Everything we see this month was like a dream..In a moment, I found my self in around Leopard tanks shooting people, 2 cobra helicopters flying 80 feet over me and shooting general staff building and innocent people, F16 super sonic bombs. Its like a holywood movie but the blood was real. :( Now I am very happy to keep up the democracy but this is not the end.

  3. Cuneyt
    August 6, 2016 at 19:25

    You don’t believe illuminati, do you? I didn’t believe illuminati exists as well. Now you can believe that Gulen movement is superior than illuminati. They are like air. They create a storm but you still can’t see it.

    The world will soon realise the mastermind behind this movement but it will be too late.

  4. Katie
    August 5, 2016 at 09:47

    Sybil Edmonds seems to have some information: CIA-Gulen Driven Turkish Police Forces Aided & Abetted the Failed Coup Plot

    The three most important regiments involved in the Turkey Attempted Coup plot and implementation have been part (members) of NATO’s Rapid Deployable Corps (NRDC) since 2003.

    A group of plotters of the failed Turkish Coup Attempt used a WhatsApp group to communicate with each other. Based on well-documented information and established identities gathered from these intercepted communications, at least three out of the five coupist regiments were (and still are) part of NATO’s Rapid Deployable Corps. Further, the group used the emblem and slogan used by NATO’s Rapid Deployable Corps: “Peace at home, peace in the world.”

    The intercepted communications also expose the role of the CIA-Gulen network within Turkey’s police force, and how it readily welcomed and aided the Failed Coup Attempt.

    There’s much more. A video report, documents of the communications between the five regiments involved in the coup, the false NBC report that Erdogan left the country, a very interesting story, indeed.

  5. August 5, 2016 at 09:24

    I have to say no, and no again concerning the motive for the putsch.
    The motive for the putsch was desire of the democrats to eliminate IS before November elections.
    Politicians in US are well aware that Iraqi army is not up to the task.
    Faluja was bridge too close for Iraqi but the rest of IS cities are bridges too far.
    US desire was to force Turkey to participate in the destruction of IS.
    Obviously Erdogan refused and so putsch followed.

  6. Brad Owen
    August 4, 2016 at 07:23

    It looks like the failed coup, and resultant purges, is doing more to remove Erdogan than if it were successful: instead of Erdogan the martyr of democracy it’s Erdogan the enraged tyrant. The people will themselves, drop him.

  7. Baykus
    August 4, 2016 at 07:00

    There are a couple of questions that may put events into perspective:
    – Why were the families of US service people warned and evacuated a few days before the coup? (If I am not mistaken)
    – The Gülen movement has put its signature in Turkish politics by putting almost all of nationalist and Kemalist generals in jail. Can a movement such as this be ever considered innocent? (The rest is PR.)
    – From the outside, it may look as if Erdo?an’s position is much stronger today. Do you think, after the coup, he can find someone is his immediate circle to put an absolute trust in?
    – The immediate result of the coup is the near abolition of an entire army, which was one of the biggest in the world. There is no one left (one third of all generals arrested immediately) to raise a voice against anything. Would such a result serve Syrian/Russian interests or US interests? Keep in mind that the army used to publicly oppose going into Syrian territory to create a temporary buffer zone.

    I believe that the Gülen movement is a CIA asset whose mission in Africa is much more valuable than the one in Turkey. His organization and misconduct has been well documented for the past thirty years.

    Turkey will never turn east in the foreseeable future, but might become undesirably independent for the West, despite Erdo?an’s policies. Erdo?an is a pragmatist who can play ball in every kind of pitch. As a victim, he has a trump card now and he will try to spend it bit by bit, slowly.

  8. jimbo
    August 4, 2016 at 02:11

    Young Turk Cenk Uger says in his analysis that it is pretty clear from the frightened look on Erdogan’s face when he plead for help on Face Time that he hadn’t planned the coup.

  9. F. G. Sanford
    August 4, 2016 at 01:12

    Erdogan sees in the mirror a sultan, he’d look more sincere in a hat and a caftan,
    The plan he began courting Fethullah Gulen, whose schools were a haven for CIA spies.
    Corporate money makes bedfellows strange, Pepe Escobar noticed a strict dominatrix:
    She’s deep in cahoots with a right leaning runt, her spectrum annexes the whole stock exchange.
    The voters are drawn to her rapacious…stunt, claiming now is her turn, it’s a fair compromise.

    Each pundit now claims that Vlad Putin’s a thug, and that Trump is so crazy he’d chew on a rug,
    CEO’s fund it, they won’t pull the plug, Webster Tarpley now practically foams at the mouth,
    He refuses to certify Dr. Stein’s plan, though both would endorse taxing Wall Street excess-
    “She’s immoral”, he adds, “She’ll help elect Trump, and everyone knows he belongs to the Klan.”
    Economic reform might upstage Tarpley’s show, so maybe he’s jealous, but that’s just a guess.

    The cold war is back, the public’s been played, they’re told Putin shaves with a double-edge blade,
    Hillary’s email was easy to hack and the stuff she deleted was personal gossip,
    But Trump stands accused of inviting that thug to retrieve all her yoga and wedding plan stuff,
    “It’s treason!” they claim, “It’s not just a bluff! Putin could dive into Hillary’s…personal letters.”
    The difference is more than a casual toss-up, a nuclear war could could go up in a puff!

    Fuller diminishes Gulen aspersions, though some may recall those regime change incursions,
    Relying on Afghan Jihadi excursions, he and Brzezinski applied that old plan-
    The one that Mackinder in nineteen-o-five, would surely remember if he were alive,
    Haushoffer borrowed it, just take a look, it ended up later in Adolf’s first book!
    The theory of “Heartland” got nicely retreaded, they’d use it to devastate Afghanistan.

    The voters don’t read much, they might take affront, if they knew a bit more about Hillary’s runt.
    The Brotherhood Muslims with lobbies and such, endorsed him explicitly, not without reason,
    Hillary’s full spectrum dominant stand might not play so smoothly if she were to tutor us,
    Subterfuge serves when deceit is…in season, campaign donations arrive from all corners.
    But such are the trivial notions at hand, the public will vote for a candidate’s…animus.

    Vlad is so evil, and he’s such a thug, and Trump has eleven distinct diagnoses,
    Jill Stein is devoid of apparent neuroses, but she must have secrets swept under the rug,
    Webster Tarpley may hemorrhage cranial veins, but Kagan and Bloomberg support TTP,
    Goldman Sachs and the Koch brothers’ financial gains are sure to affirm that the choice was correct:
    Erdogan and that thug are a terrible threat, so trust in Graham Fuller, and give that full-spectrum dominatrix some respect!

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 4, 2016 at 03:00

      I like that this site has a few CIA people post articles here. I think that Graham Fuller is a very under estimated news maker, for good or bad. I’m not here to judge or any of that, but all I can say is the oligarchs have some crazy plot writers. Oh, I’m watching Trump on television right now, so it’s for me all animated at this point. Hold on I’m checking my Meds. The system is in count down to the last 97 days before this screwy election is over. No body likes Hillary….urg.urg,ur… What must she do to secure this thing? Hillary 97 million $ spent on ad’s in 6 states Trump 876k ????? What must we do…is Mitt voting for her yet? What about that new lady May in England? The world has gone Mad, and when does one just do a coup? General Quarters gets practiced daily in many places…. So when does it get real? When Bill’s back in the White House is when…. Caution Interns! You though the Clinton 8 years were something, you ain’t seen nothing yet! I hope she truly loves her grandchildren..because there won’t be no saving New Zealand, and growing up in an elaborate under ground city won’t be healthy….so Madam President Do The Right Thing.

      Ps … I just overlook Tarpley on his Trump stuff, but by reading him I’m learning a lot about Nazi Germany.

  10. Curious
    August 4, 2016 at 00:46

    To other readers:

    I cannot claim any knowledge about the following organization, but if one is interested in the facts, or potential facts, the former Turkish defense minister mentioned the involvement of the Operation Gladio in Turkey running in many states and countries for years, and also in Turkey. This is the first time I have heard about this organization and the “stay behind” soldiers in place after WW2. Apparently, he thinks this network still is operating and was part of the coup attempt.

    There is information on and a book by author Dr. Daniele Ganser & interview is also mentioned on this site. There are also confirming documents on the net if anyone is interested. I personally know nothing about this, but the former defense minister did. I’ll just mention this for consumption by others (it’s also a bit frightening too) and some readers may know more about Gladio. I know nothing about it. says Turkey has been ruled by Gladio since 1952.

  11. luis alberto chavez
    August 3, 2016 at 23:45

    the author of this article is not in total control of all information. The infiltration of the state by Gullen and the CIA are not something new.
    Long before of failed coup, analysts had been making the connection between Gulen, infiltration of the Turkish state, and the CIA. As political analyst Osman Softic wrote in 2014:

    “Given that the Hizmet sympathizers skilfully [sic] infiltrated some of the most sensitive structures of the state such as the police, intelligence, judiciary and public prosecution, it is quite plausible that this movement may have served as a convenient mechanism for destabilization and even overthrow of the Erdogan government, by much more powerful and sinister international actors… Gülen himself may have become a convenient pawn in their attempt to destabilize Turkey.”

  12. Bob in Portland
    August 3, 2016 at 13:22

    Any time Graham Fuller’s name comes up I look the other way for truth. That the CIA was behind the coup is the more believable of the theories, but we will have to wait for more information.

  13. David Smith
    August 3, 2016 at 11:27

    I have difficulty accepting that this was an actual coup attempt, although I do not presume to know what happened. The main problem for me, if this was a real coup attempt, was that the plotters did not seize Erdogan himself as their first move, and it seems they did not even try, and that makes me very suspicious.

  14. Kiza
    August 3, 2016 at 07:02

    The author’s third version is the most likely: “Erdogan let it happen to smoke out disloyal officers, confident his handpicked brass would crush it. They may have played along with the coup and then double-crossed the coup leaders once it was underway.” Therefore, it was a semi-false-flag coup, in which CIA was not involved. I am the last person to be defending the morality free CIA, but CIA is much more professional in selecting people to do a coup for it to fail so miserably as this one (in my mind is an image of a curled and blooded soldier on the ground kicked to death by the civilian Erdogan supporters). This is not the only reason why I defend the non-US involvement in this coup, there is plenty of other circumstantial evidence that this coup was staged.

    As the author says, the Russians and the Syrians are going along with the new/old Erdogan, but do not expect much. Erdogan will flip back to US and EU again at the first opportunity. The Russians are desperate to get the Turkish Stream gas pipeline going after the US blocked the Southern Stream, using its worthless Bulgarian puppets, at a disastrous outcome to Bulgaria. But the Russians will make sure that their investment into Turkish Stream is extremely limited due to Turkish instability.

    Turkey will remain an unstable country for a long while, which will limit most investment and make the life in Turkey hardly bearable. The Sick Man of the Bosphorus has returned:

    • Erik
      August 3, 2016 at 10:19

      I agree that Erdogan apparently let it happen, but that does not tell us who instigated or backed the coup. The success of a coup instigated by the US seems to depend upon the plotters’ abilities, not those of the US. They apparently had US-supplied Cobra gunships with US-trained pilots attacking all of their intel HQs, and Erdogan’s resort was hit by land and air shortly after he fled. Consider the alleged 2 billion coup budget, the close connections with US military, the CIA connections, the failure of the US to warn Erdogan despite better intel than Russia, the recent similar coups in Ukraine and Egypt, the irritation of Israel at his reversal on Syria, the end of Obama’s term, and the current election season.

      That the coup attempt failed does not exonerate the US. The US side may not have cared much whether it would work if they were merely responding to an Israeli bribe. They may have given excessive assurances of support, or may have overestimated the value of fashionable new systems or the strength of their following, or underestimated Russian intel or the strength of opposition. Or they may have simply bungled it like the Bay of Pigs.

      The important question is why the US did this. Obviously it was not merely haste to moderate the Islamic trend in Turkey, it was to thwart the turn to Russia-Syria-Iran. Who benefits? The Brzinski anti-Russia loonies and/or US politicians on the Israeli payroll. It may well be those 51 alleged State Dept interventionists, or just Hillary fans in the dark state and military, not necessarily the CIA. They would want to strike now in case Trump wins and cuts the military budget, and to get more Hillary campaign bribes from Israel.

      • David Smith
        August 3, 2016 at 11:44

        “Erdogan’s resort was hit by land and air shortly after he fled”. AFTER? How about BEFORE? Very convieniant for Erdogan.

  15. Erik
    August 3, 2016 at 05:09

    The facts will eventually emerge, but we are not really in a fog without sufficient fact for present purposes. The probability of US coup backing is extremely high: the alleged 2 billion budget, the close connections with US military, the CIA connections, the failure of the US to warn Erdogan despite better intel than Russia, the recent similar coups in Ukraine and Egypt, the irritation of Israel at his reversal on Syria, the end of Obama’s term, and the current election campaigns needing Israeli bribes.

    The idea that Erdogan instigated the coup is fairly silly, regardless of who he is: he would not likely gain by an unprecedented charade, he was warned of it; and it appears that he simply allowed the plotters to identify themselves and commit a treason so that they could be purged. The bitter condemnation of Erdogan began only when Israel was opposed, so it is propaganda regardless of the facts.

    The Gulenists may be rather decent folks, but the apparently enormous funding is not likely from ordinarily penniless sources like their charter schools. They probably do have US covert backing, and that may have been partly quite well intentioned, although we may doubt the wisdom and intent of marketing a great white hope for Islam.

    But we should doubt the apparent decision to employ coercion to install a favorable regime, rather than using persuasion and humanitarian assistance, encouraging cultural and political development. Regime change is unlikely to reduce suffering except during genocide or where democracy was overthrown, whereas the US usually overthrows democracies. A humanitarian success requires a stable result, unopposed by insurgency or militant factions. It is expensive for the benevolent states in blood and treasure. We haven’t seen that calculus in the West, just ignorant bullying and self-righteousness, usually right-wing anti-socialists, and in the midEast this has been motivated primarily by Israeli campaign bribes.

    So until much more fact emerges, it is fair to presume that the US was responsible by some means, and whether it was trying to install Gulenistas or military plotters, it was probably doing so for Israeli campaign bribes and salaries for bullies, not for any humanitarian cause.

  16. Frank Legrand
    August 3, 2016 at 04:48

    Staged coup or not, fact is he has absolute power in Turkey now and by throwing mud at Europe and the US he urges the diaspora in Europe to pull the turkish flag and take to the streets. RTE and Gülen started to forge an islamic state in the ’90 and the failed coup will give him the support of all the muslims in the world. The 5th column is allready in Europe and the millions of African and Asian muslims are rattling the fences to escape poverty and tyranny and bring it to the old (colonial) continent.
    There is no deterrent western policy and by alienating Russia and China the US and Europe fail to make a strong position against the horde backed by the oil states.
    Am I wrong or am I wrong?

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 4, 2016 at 02:19

      Your not wrong, but after reading the details you gave, you got me hiding under the bed. Give me a couple days and I will give you an argument, but for now you make sense. The one thing I want to know about is why has Bibi visited Vlad three times this year so far. I found it interesting that what I have learned, is Israel is doing more business than ever with Russia. America shouldn’t take any of that to serious, and the next time it comes up at the UN on a NPT Middle East enforcement, then Bibi would understand what friendship is. And, oh Bibi you owe us one big one for America taxpayers & veterans who put their effort into fighting the Israeli Yinon Plan….no big one. America by even pulling back by slowly closing all their many bases stretched across this earth, it would still continue to be a giant in the international defense alignment.

      To what you were saying Frank, I sometimes think that Saudi Arabia will go down. I just wonder where our new Israeli leadership will take our new Madam. What could counter weight up against Gulen?

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      August 4, 2016 at 16:42

      What anti-refugee propaganda. Not only that, he’s made a deal with the E.U to not let refugees in to the E.U, although Turkey has the most refugees in the world. There are many anti-Semites on commenting on this website, but there are a few Islamophobes too.

  17. voxpax
    August 3, 2016 at 04:39

    Elected yes, but then….
    Erdogan is motivated by an absolute fear of being caught, tried, and jailed for his corruption and other crimes. This is the main explanation of his radical shifts of policies and positions. He will do whatever is necessary to stay in power. This core motivation is influenced by emotional instability and a serious case of grandiosity. He’s burned nearly every bridge to anyone who might support him. His final act will be a civil war

    • Sam F
      August 3, 2016 at 06:03

      It seems spurious to be making psycho-denunciations against a particular leader. What leader has no “emotional instability and …grandiosity” especially after a coup attempt? Most leaders would be considering “radical shifts of policies and positions” under the circumstances. The same considerations would support a favorable interpretation.

      Your concern appears to be the corruption investigation. But however bad it may be, it would be swept under the rug for Hillary or Trump.

      So perhaps your concern is Erdogan’s prior purges. Are they more anti-democratic than the US oligarchy packing the Supreme Court or the DNC or the State Dept, or Israel renting the US military for pennies on the dollar using US foreign aid to bribe politicians. It may be undemocratic, but democracy looks to be in much worse shape here than in Turkey, so it is not really a case against Erdogan in particular.

      Finally I don’t see the case that Erdogan would cause a civil war. Against whom? They already have the PKK problem and now an ISIS problem. Who would stir that up other than the US? Perhaps you are suggesting that, and suggesting blaming Erdogan for it.

  18. voxpax
    August 3, 2016 at 04:37

    A reminder, in 2012 Saudi King sent 100Mio $ to an institution run by Erdogan’s family. Gulen’s Islam is not of the Mecca, Wahabi, Selefi style. Result; clash, hate, reciprocal destruction….Wahabism, Muslim Brotherhood, global Islam fantasies are running out of options, actually all is good news. Proof that religions are not to be part of future world. The same goes for all the christian/jewish players who are still trying to be a factor.

    • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
      August 3, 2016 at 19:16

      THANK YOU although I disagree with you that that cabal does it because of RELIGION…….Most of them do NOT even believe in God. It has become part of their subconscious to dominate……….Thanks again…..

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        August 4, 2016 at 16:40

        What a bunch of bullshit. Your bigotry is disgusting.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      August 4, 2016 at 16:39

      Fuck you. You blame the Jews instead of blaming white leaders.

  19. Casey
    August 3, 2016 at 03:31

    I agree with much of Joe Lauria’s overall analysis in this article, inasmuch as I think it is just as possible that Erdo?an’s administration have orchestrated a “false flag” self-coup as it is that the Gülenists and/or other “deep state” faction(s) of the opposition have attempted an authentic coup d’état against Erdo?an (and I certainly recognize that, whatever variation of these scenarios may be the case, Erdo?an’s administration have exploited the abortive putsch to justify further expansions of authoritarian policies in the usual ham-fisted manner).

    However, some evidence complicates Lauria’s specific assertion that “[t]he idea that these are jihadist madrases [sic], or that Gülenists are extremists or terrorists is beyond absurd as anyone who knows them will attest.”

    For example, FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds testified under oath that Gülen had ties to “US authorities” and that his organization financed terrorism in Central Asia by way of their support for radical madrassahs, both inside and outside the United States, as part of a witness deposition during the Schmidt v. Krikorian case heard before the Ohio Elections Commission in 2009 (see relevant transcript on pp. 94-99 here:, and video recording of the relevant section here:

    Former chief Turkish intelligence adviser Osman Nuri Günde? has made similar allegations in his 2010 memoir “Witness to Revolution and Near Anarchy,” wherein he claims that Hizmet-affiliated madrassahs sheltered 130 agents of the Central Intelligence Agency in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan alone, citing the CIA’s ties to Gülen’s movement (see here: For her part, Edmonds elaborates further on the substance of these charges (see here: Similarly, a report referenced in Turkish court testimony by the late Dr. Necip Hablemito?lu (who was mysteriously assassinated in 2002) also corroborates Gülen’s ties to the CIA (see here:

    A diplomatic cable from 2005 released by Wikileaks also substantiates “[a] belief in parts of the U.S. government that [Gülen] is a ‘radical Islamist’ whose moderate message cloaks a more sinister and radical agenda.” The cable goes on to state that “[t]his concern apparently stems in part from FBI documents that Gulen supporters received through a recent FOIA request in the U.S” (source: Further analysis of Wikileaks cables and other sources concerning Gülen’s movement can be found here (see here:

  20. Jack
    August 3, 2016 at 01:59

    Zachary, that’s a great link.

    What I find amusing is that although all Turks, whether supporters of Erdogan or not, are against this coup attempt and condemn the plotters, the Western media still makes it look like Erdogan vs. secularists, autocracy vs. democracy, etc. It is if the coup was successful when autocracy would have come, not when the democratically elected president of Turkey stays in office. Even his harshest critics have supported Erdogan in Turkey during these events, while the Western media is busy trying to depict the Islamist Gulen as some innocent little kid. How much more can one hurt democracy than send soldiers and kill innocent civilians?

  21. August 3, 2016 at 01:36

    Very helpful analysis and questions. In my opinion, Erdogan is motivated by an absolute fear of being caught, tried, and jailed for his corruption and other crimes. This is the main explanation of his radical shifts of policies and positions. He will do whatever is necessary to stay in power. This core motivation is influenced by emotional instability and a serious case of grandiosity. He’s burned nearly every bridge to anyone who might support him. His final act will be a civil war

  22. Zachary Smith
    August 2, 2016 at 23:34

    I’m not exactly satisfied with the author’s determined defense of the Gulen character, but since I don’t have any clear notions of my own, that’s all I can say about the issue. In the course of trying to make sense out of the Turkish coup, I did run into an interesting article.

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