Turkey in Wonderland

To borrow a phrase from Alice in Wonderland, events and questions regarding the “rabbit hole” failed coup in Turkey get “curiouser and curiouser”.

Erdogan has blamed the Turkish military, top aids, the US, and cleric Gulen who is in exile in Pennsylvania.

Gulen and the commissioner responsible for Turkey’s EU application raise the possibility Erdogan himself is behind the plot.

Questions Mount

  1. Why didn’t the military shoot down Ergdogan’s plane when they had the chance?

  2. Why did Turkey have the list of military and judicial judges prepared in advance?

  3. What about fabricated stories about who was responsible?

False Flag Fears

The above questions hint at a “false flag” operation.

The contemporary term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them.

Prepared in Advance

It is not your average conspiratorial blogger who asked question number two above, but rather the the EU commissioner dealing with Turkey’s membership bid.

Mish's Trend Analysis

Please consider Turkey government seemed to have list of arrests prepared: EU’s Hahn.

"The swift rounding up of judges and others after a failed coup in Turkey indicated the government had prepared a list beforehand, the EU commissioner dealing with Turkey’s membership bid, Johannes Hahn, said on Monday.

Following a failed coup attempt on Saturday, Turkish authorities on Sunday rounded up nearly 3,000 suspected military plotters, ranging from top commanders to foot soldiers, and the same number of judges and prosecutors.

“It looks at least as if something has been prepared. The lists are available, which indicates it was prepared and to be used at a certain stage,” Hahn said."

“I’m very concerned. It is exactly what we feared.”

Fabricated Story

Earlier today ZeroHedge commented Turkey Caught Fabricating Story Of Who Is Responsible For “Military Coup”.

“ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about Turkey’s state-run news agency saying a former Air Force commander has confessed to a role in a failed Turkish coup attempt. The prosecutor now says the commander denied having a role. A corrected version will be sent.”

We do not yet have a “corrected” version.

Rebel Jets had Erdogan’s Plane in their Sights

Reuters reports At Height of Turkish Coup Bid, Rebel Jets had Erdogan’s Plane in their Sights.

“At least two F-16s harassed Erdogan’s plane while it was in the air and en route to Istanbul. They locked their radars on his plane and on two other F-16s protecting him,” a former military officer with knowledge of the events told Reuters. “Why they didn’t fire is a mystery,” he said.

Extradition Stories

On July 18, 11:02 AM the Wall Street Journal reported Turkish Cleric Urges U.S. to Refuse Extradition Request

On July 18, 11:28 AM Reuters reported Turkish cleric Gulen says Erdogan Behind Coup, Willing to be Extradited.

Turkey Crackdown Goes to Erdogan’s Inner Circle

Yesterday, the Financial Times reported Turkey Crackdown Goes to Erdogan’s Inner Circle.

"The arrest on Sunday night of Mr Erdogan’s aide-de-camp, Colonel Ali Yazici, a man with unfettered access to the president, showed how deep the conspiracy to topple his government ran.

At least 29 generals and more than 20 colonels are among the nearly 6,000 arrested, while 3,000 more remain at large, according to Turkish officials. The alleged ringleader, ex-air force chief Akin Ozturk, will be charged with treason, according to an official.

Fears were growing that Mr Erdogan would use the coup to target the independent judiciary. More than 2,700 judges and prosecutors have been fired, including two members of the highest court. The government has yet to tie them to the putsch.

As the arrests gathered pace, Mr Erdogan called the coup “a gift from God to cleanse the army”. So many soldiers have been detained that some have been locked in schools in Ankara."

Turkish Officials Blame US

In addition to blaming enemies far and wide, top Erdogan officials also pointed the finger at the US.

US Secretary of State John Kerry labeled Turkey’s Claims of US Involvement “Irresponsible”.

"The Obama administration lashed out at accusations made by senior Turkish officials that Washington was behind Friday’s attempted military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling such charges “irresponsible”.

“The US is not harbouring anybody; we’re not preventing anything from happening,” John Kerry, US secretary of state, told CNN on Sunday. “We have always said: give us the evidence, show us the evidence. We need a solid legal foundation that meets the standard of extradition in order for our courts to approve such a request.”

The dispute over Mr Gulen threatens to upend an already tense relationship that Washington has relied on in its ongoing offensive against Islamic State militants in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

In a rare interview with the Financial Times and a small group of other reporters at his central Pennsylvania home, a frail Mr Gulen denied any involvement in the plot. He suggested that Mr Erdogan’s allies may have staged the coup in order to crack down on Gulenists in the government.

“I don’t believe that the world takes the accusations made by President Erdogan [against me] seriously,” Mr Gulen said through a translator. “There is a possibility that it could be a staged coup [by Mr Erdogan’s AK party] and it could be meant for further accusations.”

Former Erdogan Ally Imam Fethullah Gulen

Mish's Trend Analysis

Long before Friday’s attempted coup, the battle between Mr Erdogan and Mr Gulen was marked by the dismissal or reassignment of thousands of judges, prosecutors and police officers.

While Turkish officials say such moves were necessary to rid the bureaucracy of Gulenists plotting against the state, the crackdown has been depicted internationally as subverting the rule of law — a potential complicating factor in any court case outside Turkey itself.

Turkey at War with US?

On July 16, Reuters reported Turkish PM: Any country that stands by cleric Gulen will be at war with Turkey.

Any country that stands by the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen will not be a friend of Turkey and will be considered at war with the NATO member, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday.

The government said that followers of Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States for years, were behind the attempted coup by a faction of the military on Friday.

The government accuses Gulen of trying to build a “parallel structure” within the judiciary, education system, media and military as a way to overthrow the state, a charge the cleric denies.

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