All over the world in different countries, cultures, tongues, and colors are people who have the same basic desire for happiness and respect from his fellow men. We are the same all over as members of the human race. If we honor each other's boundaries with propriety and consideration our voyage thru life can be rich in knowledge and friendship..........AMOR PATRIAE
PEOPLE AND PLACES
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Erdogan’s Turkey: When Knives Cut Both Ways
“A Leader should be like a father… he helps the country grow, teaches it, provides for its future. Erdogan? He is no father to Turkey.” – Turkish citizen on the streets of Istanbul.
On the streets, cafes, and carpet shops of Istanbul a very different story than the one presented by western media is developing about the true allegiance of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. While he continues to play a dangerous international game between Russia and the NATO/ Israeli/ US alliance, his biggest future enemy walks the streets of his realm… the Turkish people. And he knows it.
While walking the ancient hilly streets here in Istanbul, where the ill-fated Occupy/ Turkey movement and the purported, “coup” once reared its populist head in the huge Taksim Square, police presence here is massive, intentional and obvious.
Since the coup of July 15, 2016, most street corners now have patrol cars sitting idly, their flashing lights always on, two cops per car, sitting inside doing little but smoking fat non-filtered Turkish cigarettes and staring at the passers-by.
Turkey: ‘Coup attempt’ is highly dubious and suspicious
We ain't buying it - is that the smell of a burning Reichstag?
Hitler had the Reichstag burned down to consolidate the Nazi grip on power; did Erdogan have Turkey’s parliament nuked to achieve the same result?Just what did and did not happen in Turkey yesterday is going to take some time to establish; however, the key thing to takeaway from the whole sorry debacle is that the dictator Erdogan is still in power and his grip on power was not weakened by the ‘coup’ attempt but rather, strengthened, especially in terms of popular support among the masses.Media organisations such as Dogan, Hurriyet and others were still operating and putting out pro-Erdogan information, including updating their websites, long after they were supposedly seized by the coup plotters.Gordon and I were monitoring the Turkish news websites while all this drama was being played out; they continued to operate and the tone of their coverage did not alter one iota – it remained steadfastly pro-Erdogan. At the same time, Gordon was on Skype with the Kurdish security in Erbil and it is our impression that Kurdish leader Barzani had been warned in advance.This was a very strange coup, there were no apparent leaders, no-one came forward to make statements to the public or to try to garner support; quite clearly, even during a coup, Erdogan’s ego would not allow any criticism of himself or his regime. Who lead this coup? We have no idea as no-one came forward. This is clear proof that the whole deal was a pantomime, a set-up designed to bolster Erdogan’s regime after it had suffered a series of foreign policy failures.pro-Erdogan civilians standing on a Turkish army tank in IstanbulA real coup would have accused him of rigging elections, cosying up to Israel, accepting bribes from Saudi monarchists, peddling ISIS’s stolen oil in partnership with his son and Barzani, the Kurdish strongman and, most insidious of all; killing the ‘golden goose’ by losing the EU Visa deal due to Brexit.We have noted Erdogan’s role in:
aiding in the terror attacks in France along with his partners Israel and Saudi Arabia, perhaps even the Nice attack itself, we aren’t sure yet, but ALL of the others.
his refugee game and his partnership with Merkel, not only brought about Brexit but will likely gut Turkey’s greatest market, the European Union, leaving it a broken and empty shell
what’s with the apology to Russia, oh please, we weren’t buying that one
If we know Erdogan is behind these things, then rest assured any real coup plotters inside Turkey would know all this and more besides; they would have had the TV stations they supposedly seized to make these accusations and charges against Erdogan but instead, all we got was a short and obtuse statement read out by a newscaster.Israel modified 13 F-16s in 2013 to enable them to carry nukes, we expect that it was one of these f-16s that flew low over Ankara and dropped some type of low yield nuke on the parliament building; in effect that explosion was a flash bang designed to gather people’s attention; no doubt it will be spun by the Erdogan regime for it’s own propaganda benefit in the coming days. Five Israeli-trained Saudi specialists were brought into Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey last year, ostensibly in order to oversee Saudi air missions; however, no such missions took place, no Saudi aircraft joined them at Incirlik. We now strongly suspect that we saw some of their handiwork in play last night.The plasma ball of the nuke that exploded outside Ankara’s parliament building last nightVT’s resident expert on all things nuclear, US Dept of Energy Physicist and former UN/IAEA nuclear inspector Jeff Smith was able to immediately identify the explosion at Ankara’s parliament building as that of a small, low yield 4th or 5th generation nuclear device, a lithium-deuterium bomb using very little uranium and producing no EMP or dangerous fallout but making a big bang and bright flash.Do not be surprised if Erdogan and his media people spin this attack on the parliament to their own benefit; they will doubtlessly propagandise the event – a ‘burning of the Reichstag’ in order to further secure Erdogan’s death grip on power inside Turkey. We are very curious to see if he acknowledge the use of a nuclear weapon, which would be the first time since Nagasaki in 1945 that any government has done so.
Defiant Turkish civilians (pictured middle) reclaimed the country from their own military after helping to end a coup by the army to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ordinary Turks confronted rifle-wielding soldiers, laid in front of tanks (pictured inset) and helped police officers to arrest rebels (top left and right) in an effort to take back control of the country, ignoring a curfew issued by coup plotters designed to allow the army to bring down the government unopposed. President Erdogan called on people to take to the streets, leading to reports of groups of soldiers surrendering at several key locations in Ankara and Istanbul, including Bosphorus Bridge, where 100 rebels laid down their arms and submitted themselves to advancing civilians and police officers. Some 104 plotters were killed (shown bottom left) after the coup attempt to bring down the Turkish government, while 160 people - at least 41 of them police and 47 civilians - fell as 'martyrs'.
Turkish president Recep Erdogan broadcast to the nation of FaceTime calling on the population to take to the streets to oppose a military coup. Loud explosions were reported in Ankara with military jets spotted flying low over the city. The military announced it had deposed the government to protect civil right and because of the growing terrorist problem along Turkey's border with Syria. Erdogan claimed he is still in control during his FaceTime broadcast. Troops seized strategic locations such as airports and bridges. The United States and Russia has expressed concern over developments as has Turkey's neighbour Iran.
'We have taken control': Turkish military open fire on civilians as they launch coup to depose Islamist government – while President Erdogan 'hides in a hotel room' and Facetimes a TV station to urge his supporters to fight for him
Turkish troops have launched a military coup according to the government with helicopters firing on capital Ankara
Turkish PM Binali Yildirim told reporters: 'We will not allow this attempt' although the military said they are in control
Explosions and gunfire have been reported in several locations with fast attack jets patrolling over the skies
The Turkish military claimed they have taken power in order to protect the civil rights of the population
President Recep Erdogan has used 'FaceTime' to call on the population to take to the streets to oppose the coup
Turkish military has killed 17 police officers in the first reported fatalities in the army's bid to overthrow the Islamic government of Recep Erdogan.
The state-run Anadolu agency said the victims died at the special forces headquarters in Ankara.
Earlier there were reports that he building had been attacked by helicopters.
Elsewhere troops have opened fire on civilians attempting to cross the river Bosporus in Istanbul in protest to the military coup.
Soldiers seized strategic locations across Istanbul and Ankara in an effort to overthrow the Islamic president Recep Erdogan.
Also, a bomb has hit the parliament building according to the state's press agency as the security situation in the country becomes more perilous.
Several police officers and parliament workers were wounded as an explosion ripped though the building.
An eyewitness claimed the blast was 'massive' and shook nearby buildings.
Intelligence sources close to Erdogan claim the situation is back under control while factions in the military insist they are now in charge of the county.
A Turkish government jet has just landed in Istanbul, having taken off from Dalaman, near where Erdogan was believed to have been on holiday.
The Gulfstream IV is believed to be Erdogan's government jet. Turkish government sources claimed the president was aboard the aircraft.
Scroll down for video
17 police are believed to have died after military helicopters attacked their headquarters building in central Ankara, pictured
A man lay down in front of a tank on the approach to Ataturk airport in Istanbul as citizens took to the streets to oppose the military coup
The man then stood up and took off his shirt in an effort the present the tank from taking position in the airport
Unarmed civilians carried a man believed to have been shot by Turkish troops away from the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul
A tank in central Ankara drove over a car as protesters clambered aboard preventing it from moving across the city in Turkey's coup
Eyewitnesses have reported shots being fired in Ankara several hours after members of the military attempted their coup
Troops have established checkpoints across strategic locations in cities around Turkey and have imposed martial law
After several hours of protests, protesters began clashing with troops amid reports that civilians have been shot by soldiers
Turkish agency reports bomb has hit Parliament in Ankara
According to reports, several people have been injured after troops opened fire on civilians who attempted to cross the bridge over the Bosphorous.
Erdogan urged his supporters to ignore a military curfew and take to the streets to oppose the attempted takeover.
He told followers on FaceTime to resist.
He said the uprising attempt was being run by a minority within the armed forces and said it would be met with the ‘necessary response’.
It is understood that Mr Erdogan fled the country in a private jet.
The Turkish military has announced it has taken control and overthrown the government of Recep Erdogan as troops round up police and attack the capital Ankara.
The nation's national intelligence spokesman said the coup had been 'repelled', although troops and heavy armour continued to hold strategic locations in Ankara.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg backed key ally Turkey's 'democratic institutions'
He said: 'I call for calm and restraint, and full respect for Turkey's democratic institutions and its constitution. Turkey is a valued NATO Ally.'
Stoltenberg added: 'I have just spoken to the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. I am following events in Turkey closely and with concern.'
US Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke with Cavusoglu. He stressed America supported the democratically-elected civilian government.
The Pentagon also stressed they were monitoring the situation. They said there taking steps to ensure the safety of US personnel and their families at in Incirlik airbase.s to ensure the safety and well-being of diplomatic missions and personnel and civilians throughout Turkey.
Pro-government supporters resist military coup with force
Civilians lay in the street in front of tanks to prevent them from rolling through Ankara as part of the ongoing military coup
Civilians took shelter behind a number of vans near the Turkish radio and television offices after an explosion ripped through the building
President Erdogan used 'FaceTime' to talk to a journalist on private run media to claim he was still in full control of the country
During the bizarre broadcast , Erdogan called on people to resist the military and ignore the military's curfew and take to the streets
Eyewitnesses have posted photographs of a large explosion in the capital Ankara amid the Turkish military takeover
Supporters of Erdogan clambered on top of a tank in Ankara to prevent it from taking a strategic position in the city
Turkey's government has called for people to take to the streets in order to protest against the military's attempted takeover
Turkish intelligence sources said the coup had been repelled although heavily armed troops continued to guard the streets
Erdogan urged his supporters to block the military and prevent them from seizing control of the country as part of the coup
Loud explosions have been heard across Ankara with reports of an explosion occurred at the state-run television building.
Turkey's state-run news agency reported military helicopters have also attacked the headquarters of TURKSAT satellite station on the outskirts of Ankara and the Ankara Police headquarters.
Dozens of tanks were seen moving toward a palace that is now used by the prime minister and deputy prime ministers.
Also, it was claimed that internet access within Turkey has been severely restricted with social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook blocked.
A civilian car tried to stop one of the tanks, but it rammed through the vehicle as those in the car escaped.
The Istanbul based first army commander Umit Dundar claimed those involved in the coup 'represent a small group' claiming 'there is no cause for concern'.
He told the Anadolu state-run news agency: 'We are working to solve the problem here. They represent a small group within the First Army Command. There is no cause for concern. We are taking the necessary precautions with (soldiers) who have not joined them and remain within the military chain of command.'
'Shoulder to shoulder against the coup': People chant in streets
Police gathered near the Turkish General Staff building in Ankara as the country edged closer to a potential civil war
Erdogan's supporters ignored the military's curfew and assembled in front of soldiers who were stationed in Istanbul's Taksim square
Soldiers remained calm in Taksim square in Istanbul as supporters of President Erdogan clambered on top of statues in protest to the coup
A man covered in blood points towards the Bosphorus bridge where troops opened fire on civilians protesting against the coup
Eyewitnesses have reported attack helicopters firing machine guns in the capital Ankara in a bid to depose the Islamic government.
Also there are reports of that a Turkish Air Force F-16 has shot down a Sikorsky helicopter over Ankara.
The government claimed the jet destroyed the helicopter which had been 'hijacked by coup plotters'.
The military said they have taken control in order to protect human rights, however, prime minister Binali Yildirim said only a 'faction' was involved.
Fast attack jets and helicopters were heard above Ankara and Istanbul after the military confirmed they had seized control of the country,.
Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge were both closed after the military deployed roadblocks.
Tracer fire from Turkish military helicopters was spotted over Ankara with fast attack jets flying combat air patrols over the city.
President Erdogan is reported 'as safe'. A spokesman for the Turkish government claimed the coup has been unsuccessful and they are still in power.
Erdogan used FaceTime to talk to a journalist on a privately run TV station to stress he was still in control of the country and warned of retaliation.
He urged the Turkish population to take to the streets and protest against he coup. The military has imposed a curfew and has ordered people to remain indoors.
Injured civilians were evacuated from the scene by ambulance as people stood up against troops involved in the military coup
Large convoy of tanks roll through the streets of Turkey
Tanks and armoured personnel carriers protected barricades with dozens of infantry troops in support of the coup
Soldiers fired shots into the air to disperse supporters of Recep Erdogan from Taskim Square in central Istanbul
Tank drivers used their massive machines to drive over cars which had been used to block the road in central Istanbul
Commanders ordered their tanks to continue forward despite being blocked by civilians who parked their cars in the street
Thousands of people took to the streets after Prime Minister Binali Yildirim branded those involved in the coup as 'traitors'
Protesters tried to block the military tanks using their cars, however, some commanders refused to stop their mission
Erdogan is reported to be in a 'safe location' but is believed to be in Marmaris, near the popular resort of Bodrum.
He said the uprising attempt was being run by a minority within the armed forces and said it would be met with the ‘necessary response’.
There are conflicting reports that Erdogan may have fled the country on a private jet.
On FaceTime, he said: 'I certainly believe that coup plotters will not succeed. I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports. I never believed in a power higher than the power of the people.'
He said he was still president and commander in chief. He vowed the insurrectionists would pay a 'very heavy price'.
Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala says very effective units from the chief of general staff's office, the Turkish armed forces and the police are responding to the attempted coup in the country.
Ala says they are responding to 'gangs who have taken cover in certain locations'.
He spoke by telephone to NTV television and also encouraged Turkish citizens to 'fearlessly go out and support our security forces'.
He says: 'We think it would be right for them to go out to the airports, to the streets, especially to the main arteries. As long as they do that this gang's attempts... they will be defeated no matter what.'
He added 'this is a gang that considers nothing sacred, not the people or the nation. They're taking certain actions.'
The security situation has got progressively worse during the evening with reports of the first deaths in Turkey's latest military coup
Military tank seen running over car on the streets of Istanbul
Turkish people appear to have heeded Erdogan's appeal to take to the streets to protest against the military takeover
Turkish police officers, believed to be loyal to the regime, have been massing near Taksim Square in Istanbul
Erdogan was elected president in 2014 after becoming prime minister in 2003 and served as the Mayor of Instanbul from 1994 to 1998.
He founded the Justice and Development Party, known as the AKP in 2001 and led it through three general elections.
He then stepped down as leader in 2003 when he was elected President.
He comes from an Islamist political background and is described as a conservative democrat.
He has proved to be a divisive character in Turkish society.
Erdogan has become increasingly unpopular with more educated and modernised people but he has denied wanting to impose Islamic values in the country.
Thousands of supporters in the city of Yozgat, about 100 miles east of Ankara demonstrated against the attempted military coup
Also in Bayburt, which is 50 miles south of the Black Sea, thousands of people protested in front of the Town Hall against the military
He has said he is committed to secularism but supports people’s rights to express their religious beliefs openly.
The party which he founded, AKP, suffered a dip in the polls last summer, but regained popularity again after Turkey’s worst suicide bombing in history last November.
He remains well-liked among the more traditional Muslim community in Turkey, who supported his bids to criminalise adultery and introduce alcohol-free zones in the country although they ultimately failed.
Mr Erdogan owes much of his political success to the stable economy over the last decade.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Vladimir Putin was 'deeply concerned about the news coming from Turkey'.
Peskov said Putin was being briefed by foreign ministry and intelligence services.
The Foreign Office has advised British citizens in Turkey to avoid public places
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweeted that he was 'very concerned' by the events unfolding in Turkey.
He said: 'Our Embassy is monitoring the situation closely. Brits should follow FCO website for advice.'
Witnesses photographed a Turkish F-16 flying a combat air patrol over Ankara amid claims the military has seized control of the country
Tanks and armoured personnel carriers have seized the main airport in Ankara as well as strategic bridges in Istanbul
The Turkish military has launched an attempted coup to overthrow the government according to reports
The Turkish military has detained unarmed civilians, pictured, minutes after the coup was launched
Troops across the country have taken positions in strategic locations according to witnesses
Military jets doing laps in the sky over Ankara in Turkey
In a statement sent by email and reported on Turkish TV channels, the military said all of Turkey's existing foreign relations would be maintained and that the rule of law would remain the priority.
According to the military tonight's action will 'reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated'.
The military statement went on to say that 'all international agreements and commitments will remain. We pledge that good relations with all world countries will continue'.
According to the address read out of state TV: 'A curfew has been imposed until a second order.'
The military signed the statement on behalf of the 'Council for Peace in the Homeland'.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said he hoped the crisis in Turkey would soon be resolved while preserving peace, stability and a respect for 'continuity'.
Turkey's top general has been taken hostage at the military headquarters in the capital Ankara after an attempt to bring down the government, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
'General Hulusi Akar has been taken hostage by a group in the military who attempted an uprising.'
President Erdogan has vowed to retaliate against the military. He appeared on a private TV station on a mobile phone which was held up to the camera. He is currently in an undisclosed location.
His officials claimed that Turkey’s democratically elected government and president remain in power.
There are conflicting reports on whether Erdogan is still in the country. His prime minister has vowed to 'retaliate in kind'.
Helicopter opens fire as Turkish military launch attempted coup
Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, pictured, described tonight's coup as illegal and has vowed to retaliate
Witnesses have claimed there have been reports of an explosion near a police academy in Turkey
Soldiers blocked Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge which was lit in the French colours in solidarity with Nice
Turkish President FaceTimes TV station to try and rally support
Defiant citizens block tanks as Turkish military launch coup
Monkeys turn tables on owner after he held a knife at them
Troops have rounded up police officers loyal to the government, according to witnesses.
CNN Turkey showed two military vehicles and a group of soldiers lined up at the entrance of one of the bridges in Turkey's biggest city.
A Turkish official who did not want to be named said soldiers had been deployed in other cities in Turkey, but did not specify which ones.
Dogan News Agency reported the national police directorate summoned all police to duty in Ankara.
Turkish fighter jets have been reported over Ankara.
The military said they have moved due to 'rising autocratic rule and increased terrorism'.
Jet seen flying low as Turkish military launch attempted coup
A statement from the Turkish military was read out on state TV, pictured, citing the growing terror threat as the reason for the coup
Gunfire has been reported with fast attack jets lying combat air patrols over Ankara.
Yildirim on Friday denounced what he said was an 'illegal attempt' by elements in the military after bridges were partially shut down in Istanbul and jets flew low over Ankara.
'We are working on the possibility of an attempt. We will not allow this attempt,' he told NTV television by telephone, without expanding on the nature of the move but saying it was by a group in the Turkish military.
'Those who are in this illegal act will pay the highest price,' he added, saying it would not be correct to describe the move as a 'coup'.
Yildirim did not provide details, but said Turkey would never allow any 'initiative that would interrupt democracy'.
Earlier, military jets were heard flying over the capital, Ankara.
Media reports said ambulances were seen in front of Turkey's military headquarters.
Fast attack jets and helicopters have been reported over Ankara.
Gunshots have reportedly been heard near the presidential palace in Ankara.
Heavily armed troops have seized strategic locations across Ankara and Istanbul although the Government claims they are still in power
Turkish troops have seized Taksim Square in Istanbul amid conflicting reports that they have successfully overthrown the government
Erdogan, pictured, held a press conference outside a hotel room in the holiday resort of Marmaris and has vowed revenge
Turkish officer allegedly says 'Go home, armed forces took over'
The mayor of Ankara has also reportedly called people onto the streets.
Yildirim didn't provide details, but said Turkey would never allow any 'initiative that would interrupt democracy.'
'We are focusing on the possibility of an attempt (coup),' Yildirim said. 'There was an illegal act by a group within the military that was acting out of the chain of military command. Our people should know that we will not allow any activity that would harm democracy.'
Earlier, military jets were heard flying over the capital, Ankara.
The Dogan news agency says one-way traffic on the Bosporus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges were blocked. Video footage showed the bridge being blocked by military vehicles.
All flights into Ankara and Istanbul have been cancelled.
The Saudi foreign minister in Washington said he is not willing to speculate as to what is currently happening.
All flights from Istanbul's Ataturk Airport have been cancelled/
Turkey's armed forces said on Friday they had taken power in the country to protect the democratic order and to maintain human rights.
The government claims the coup has not been successful however the military said have taken full control of the country
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Turkey to avoid all 'bloodshed' amid reports of a coup.
In a joint press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Lavrov said that 'problems in Turkey need to be resolved in accordance with the constitution'.
S oldiers blocked entry to Ataturk Airport where four tanks were stationed
Two other tanks and a military vehicle were stationed in front of the VIP terminal. The report said the soldiers had entered the tower and stopped all flights.
News reports said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was safe and would make a televised statement soon.
Turkey is an important member of NATO in a vital strategic location.
According to the White House: 'The president's national security team has apprised him of the unfolding situation in Turkey. The president will continue to receive regular updates.'
There are reports of major explosions in Ankara at the site of the Turkish state TV station.
European airlines have begun diverting aircraft that were en-route to Turkish airports after being alerted to the coup.
The Turkish army regards itself as the protector of Turkish democracy, a philosophy made up of secular ideals created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - the founder of the modern Turkish Republic.
There have been three major coups in the past 50 years with thousands killed as a result of military intervention and social and political unrest.
The first coup took place in 1960 as political tension reached boiling point between the government, led by prime minister Adnan Menderes and president Celal Bayar, the opposing parties and the armed forces.
The administration began to re-open mosques and opened new religious schools as well as calling for people to pray in Arabic rather than Turkish. It also imposed new press laws banning critical articles in newspapers.
After periods of unrest Menderes was forced to employ martial law. The government was eventually toppled and the president, prime minister and several cabinet members were arrested. Menderes was later executed.
While there was not a coup in 1971, events in this period would contribute to military intervention in nine years time.
Turkey had sunk into a recession, with their currency failing - causing protests in the streets with often violent demonstrations and attacks from right-wing organisations.
The military intervened and prime minister, Suleyman Demirel resigned with a right-wing temporary government put in place.
The 1970s were a time of immense political and social unrest in Turkey with thousands being killed and 11 prime ministers taking control.
A military coup was announced on TV in September 1980 with the army establishing martial law.
The government was dissolved and naval officer Bulend Ulusu became prime minister for three year,s before he was succeeded by Turgut Ozal.
While there was a stability that came with the military rule but hundreds of thousands of people were executed, tortured or went missing during this period.
After the Islamist Welfare Party took power in 1996 the armed forces suggested a series of policies that it urged the Government to take.
The following year it ensured changes including a headscarf ban at universities and an eight-year education programme to ensure that young people did not enrol at religious schools - were put in place.
Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan resigned and was slapped with a five-year ban from politics.
Turkish military declares takeover of country, top officials reportedly taken hostage
Turkish military declares takeover of country, top officials reportedly taken hostage
Turkey’s government appears to have been overthrown in a coup, as the military claimed taking control over the country.
“Turkish Armed Forces have completely taken over the administration of the country to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and the general security that was damaged,”the military said in a statement.“All international agreements are still valid. We hope that all of our good relationships with all countries will continue.”
Around midnight local time, a TRT anchor announced the country was now run by a “Peace Council” that will ensure the safety of the population.
Tanks have been posted outside Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport and in other locations in the city.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag reportedly blamed the coup on Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish preacher currently residing in the US. A former ally of President Erdogan’s AKP party, Gülen fell out of favor in 2013.
President Recep Erdogan is reportedly on vacation in the southern Turkish resort town of Bodrum.
About half an hour after midnight local time on Saturday, Erdogan appeared on CNN Turk (via Skype), issuing a statement blaming “parallel state” for the coup, calling for people to take to the streets, and vowing “We will overcome this.”
Tanks have been posted outside Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, while armored vehicles were photographed outside TRT offices. All flights from Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport have been canceled, Reuters reported citing a witness.
The Turkish military announced it was seizing power in the country “to protect the democratic order and to maintain human rights.”
Update from Press TV – International reaction: 7:15 pm EST
Erdogan supporters have taken to the streets. It could be a long night…Jim Dean
Global reactions pouring in
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed his deep concern about the crisis in neighboring Turkey in a message on his twitter account, saying “stability, democracy and the safety of the Turkish people are paramount.”
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sain on Saturday that bloodshed should be avoided in Turkey, and that the situation should be settled within a constitutional framework. He also called on his countrymen in Turkey to stay indoors.
The Russian foreign minister made the statement during a joint press conference with his US counterpart John Kerry, who also expressed hope for peace in Turkey.
“I hope there will be stability and peace and continuity within Turkey, but I have nothing to add on what has transpired at this moment,” Kerry was quoted by US media as saying.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called for “restraint” in Turkey after the attempted coup.
“In constant contact with EU Delegation in Ankara & Brussels from Mongolia. Call for restraint and respect for democratic institutions #Turkey,” she wrote in a tweeted from a regional summit in Ulaanbaatar.
This is a current event, happening right now as I write, so details are a bit sketchy but the basic narrative seems clear – the Turkish military, or perhaps a faction within it, has launched an uprising against the Erdogan regime.
Gunfire Heard in Turkish Capital; Military Jets, Helicopters Seen Overhead
America’s leading NATO ally in the Middle East has fractured into pieces following an apparently successful military coup to “restore the rule of law and democracy.”
Controversial President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to have lost control of Turkey with military forces seizing control of the state sponsored television station saying that they were forced to seize control due to what they view as dictatorial mandates by the country’s leader.
Calling themselves a “Peace Council” on the TRT news station, the military forces have declared that they will be announcing the country’s new constitution shortly that will provide robust protections for human rights and the rule of law while laying out a transition towards democratic rule.
The Turkish military conducted the coup on Friday evening with initial reports indicating gunfire had broken out in Istanbul and Ankara while tanks and F-16s had been deployed in an apparent attempt to put down the military coup.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says that the government remains in control and that the coup participants will “pay dearly,” but reporting on the ground by the RIA news agency corroborated by the AFP indicates that the country’s President Erdogan is in a mad scramble to escape the country via the Ataturk International Airport.
The Turkish military said that they will be reading the new constitution over television in the hours to come.
Erdogan’s Conundrum: What Could Trigger Military Coup in Turkey
The current state of affairs in Turkey is triggering concern. Ankara is facing the dangerous combination of deepening political polarization in the society, a slump in economic growth, and escalating tensions both at home and abroad.
Unlike the political and economic turmoil in the 1970s and 1990s, the current crisis is largely a result of the conflict between Turkey’s pragmatic domestic and foreign policy and its actual push for leadership, Pavel Shlykov, an associate professor at the Asian and African Studies Institute of the Moscow State University, said in his report.The current Turkish crisis can be described with several specific features.
First, all spheres of the country’s political and social life as well as all its state institutions are engulfed in the crisis.
Second, public incertitude is growing about the future. People realize that the existing model of social and political development is jaded.
Third, the Turkish military is gradually building up its political influence, thus laying grounds for a military coup.
Fourth, recently the Kurdish problem has entered the new stage, and the situation in south-eastern Turkey can be described as a lukewarm civil war between Turkish troops and Kurdish forces.Furthermore, the conflict in Syria is influencing Ankara’s foreign and domestic policy.
Finally, the political prospects of the ruling Justice and Development Party (founded by Recep Tayyip Erdogan) are vague in the current environment.
Erdogan and the Turkish military
In his report presented at the Carnegie Moscow Center, Shlykov analyzed the question: is a military coup possible in Turkey?
Active involvement of the military in political processes has been part of Turkish history. In the 2000s, Erdogan announced the reforming of relations between the military and civic institutions. Under his political course, the military would not dictate its policy to the government.
A military coup in Turkey would be possible if three criteria are met simultaneously: further deepening of the political crisis, a rising external threat, and the spike escalation of the Kurdish issue. And currently, all of the above is evident, according to the analyst.
After Ankara suspended the peace process with Turkish Kurds Erdogan had to form some kind of a tactical alliance with the military elite who he oppressed in 2007-2008.
The cooperation between Erdogan and the military became obvious in autumn 2015, during a military operation in south-eastern regions mostly inhabited by Kurds. At the time, Ankara gave a blank cheque to the army command. In order to take advantage of the situation, Erdogan admitted that his previous policy toward the military was wrong. Moreover, he found a scapegoat for his “mistakes” – exiled Turkish preacher Fethulah Gulen currently residing in Pennsylvania.
Troops parade with Turkish flag on August 30, 2013 in Ankara during celebrations for the 91st anniversary of Victory Day, with ceremonies held at Ataturk’s Mausoleum known as Anitkabir in Ankara, Turkey
Of course, at the present time the Turkish army is one the most powerful political forces in Turkey. But it is unlikely to stage a coup (like it happened in 1960, 1971 and 1980), Shlykov pointed out. The military doubts they would enjoy broad public support.
In the modern Turkey, the army also plays another important role – to counterbalance Erdogan’s risky foreign policy ambitions. A year ago, the military barely prevented him from invading Syria, and the situation repeated last month.
The Kurdish problem
Turkey has been facing the Kurdish issue in its current state for over 30 years. According to estimates, there are 15-20 million Kurds in Turkey, which accounts for 15 percent of the population. At the same time, the Kurdish minority has historically been highly atomized.
From a political perspective, Turkish Kurds can be divided into three groups: nationalist supporters of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), Alawite Kurds supporting leftist and social-democratic ideas, and the religious conservative majority (50 percent of the population) who in the 2000s were loyal to Erdogan’s party.The support of the Kurdish majority for the Justice and Development Party played in to the hands of Ankara. Thus, the conservative majority was excluded from the Kurdish problem and was integrated into the country’s social and political system. But everything changed after the Syrian war began and when Daesh (also known as Islamic State/ISIL) appeared. In this situation, the Kurds proved their readiness for national and political consolidation.
Kurdish refugees from the Syrian town of Kobani are seen at a refugee camp in the border town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province February 1, 2015
After Ankara refused to help the besieged Kurdish town of Kobani at the Syrian-Turkish border, the conservative majority abandoned their loyalty to Erdogan and his party. They were even more disappointed after dialogue between the Turkish government and Kurds stopped.
Another important factor destabilizing Turkey is the porous 822-km-long border with war-ravaged Syria. Extremists are coming to Turkey from Syria not only to recover from wounds in Turkish hospitals (Erdogan has repeatedly been criticized for this) but also to stage terrorist attacks, undermining country’s national security.
However, according to the report, the rising threats to national security will not consolidate Turkish society, but instead will only deepen its political rifts. Unlike before, the military standoff with the Kurds is not broadly supported by Turks.
The Syrian trap
In 2015, the developments in Syria were not favorable for Ankara. After the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian jet last November Turkey lost the chance to influence the situation in Syria.
Over the past weeks, Turkey’s pro-government media has reported that now is the perfect time to intervene into the Syrian conflict. However, those reports were aimed only to consolidate public opinion.
Turkish soldiers stand guar near the Turkey-Syrian border (File)
There are several reasons that Turkey is unlikely to launch an operation in Syria.
First, in technical terms, any ground operation would require aerial support. Currently, the Syrian airspace is controlled by the Russian Aerospace Forces, and Turkish jets will not be allowed there.
Second, an intervention in Syria would have serious diplomatic problems for Ankara. The operation would be supported by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies. However, it will spark a conflict with the US and Russia. What is more, during such an operation the Turkish military would have to fight on several fronts at the same time; against the Syrian Army, Daesh, opposition groups, and Kurdish militia. It is obvious that Erdogan is not ready to take the risk.
Finally, if Turkey becomes involved in the Syrian war, they would also end up fighting the Kurds in the south-eastern parts of the country. Consequently, the conflict may spread across the entire of Turkey.
Turkey at a crossroads
Since the era of Kemal Ataturk who tried to create a controllable opposition force in Turkey, all experiments with democracy have turned pear shaped.
In his first years in power, Erdogan launched a number of political and economic reforms aimed at integrating with the European Union. Until 2007, his course was viewed as modernization. But then, especially following the 2010 constitutional reform, the setbacks began.
Currently, Turkey is at a crossroads. The choice is between a super-presidential republic ruled by Erdogan and further development as a liberal-democratic European-like state but with some specific characteristics.
The future of Turkey depends on its leader. According to the constitution, the head of state is Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. But in fact, power is concentrated in the hands of President Erdogan.
A handout image made available by the Turkish Presidential Press Office on January 29, 2015, shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) shaking hands with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at Presidential Palace in Ankara.
Davutoglu is Erdogan’s protégé and is much weaker as a politician than Erdogan. But if he could find courage to restrict Erdogan’s power chances for a liberal Turkey would significantly improve, the analyst noted.
Rift with Russia
After Turkey shot down a Russian bomber in Syria in late November tensions between Moscow and Ankara turned into hostility. Any improvement is unlikely in the coming future.
Shlykov outlined three possible scenarios for Russian-Turkish relations.First, Russian and Turkey may reconcile.
Second, in order to normalize ties with Russia, Turkey may sacrifice one of its high-profile politicians, by shifting responsibility for the incident.
Third, a road to reconciliation may be very long. In this case, neither Russia nor Turkey would be ready to compromise, and the conflict would dry out in the long-term perspective.
Update 5:40 pm EST
Erdogan has made a statement live from a hotel in the mediterranean holiday resort of Marmaris: (machine translation from Turkish)
Marmaris; the Grand Yazici Mares Hotel in a statement that President Erdogan “You know have been approached structure is focused team. To be overcome in this. All the people in airports, challenge, I’m waiting on the street. We will overcome in this. Our nation get comfortable. It has made the necessary statement of Prime Minister ., including the police involved, we will punish most severely, “he said.
Erdogan said: I am my country at the moment the President telling what that very clearly, all members of the party of which I am the founder, as well as national constituting will Cumhurun I invite you to challenge him our particular cities and squares of our cities, we will be hand in hand with our people and the need for those who dare course there We’ll give. This I believe to be successful coup.
Today, this development is moving really attempt unfortunately a minority in our Armed Forces. of this known structure, it encourages parallel restructuring, a move that top minds in their use. Our country, unity, togetherness, unity, I believe for the movement against this nation will give them a good answer will receive the necessary punishment.
Turkey is not a country to be sold cheaply at a time such uprisings and Pennsylvania than in a country that is not managed.
Updates: 5:30 pm EST… Gordon
Hurriyet Daily News reports that Erdogan was flown out of Ankara airport, current whereabouts unknown
Ankara airport is closed, tanks are parked in front of the terminal.
The state-run Anadolu Agency is reporting that Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar is being kept as a hostage with a group.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to make a statement, broadcaster CNNTürk said.
A CNNTürk reporter said a helicopter shot at the General Staff headquarters in Ankara.
CNNTürk reported that two buses full of soldiers entered the headquarters of the state-run TRT in Ankara. Channels started to broadcast weather forecast only.
Turkish prime minister confirms coup attempt. Russian press confirms military in control. Syrian government confirms military in control in Istanbul, no report from Ankara. Erbil reports shock in Kurdish region.
Gunfire has been heard in the Turkish capital, and there are reports of unusual military activity, with a military chopper opening fire near the national intelligence headquarters.
On Friday, gunshots broke out in the Turkish capital of Ankara with witnesses saying that military jets and helicopters could be seen flying overhead. There has also been military helicopters spotted overhead in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul according to Reuters.
There are also multiple reports of a large military operation, with soldiers deployed in Hatay Province.
Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim has stressed that nothing will harm Turkish democracy, while also adding that the military action is being taken without the proper chain of command.
All police and security forces personnel in Ankara have been told to report in, and reports indicate that military personnel are disarming regular police forces in Ankara and Istanbul.
Bridges over the Bosphorus in Istanbul have also reportedly been closed by Turkish military police.
Tanks have also been reported in Istanbul.
Sources indicate that Facebook and Twitter have been blocked in Ankara. The Turkish prime minister has confirmed that an unauthorized campaign of military violence has been undertaken against the government with some calling it a coup.
A gunfight has now broken out in front of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s palace.
Turkish military has now released a statement saying that they have seized control of the government.
The Turkish military has taken to television to say that the “power of the country has been seized in its entirety” and that the Turkey’s leadership have been detained by the troops which conflicts with official statements by the government saying that President Erdogan is in a safe location.
All flights in and out of Turkey’s Ataturk Airport have been cancelled according to Reuters.
DETAILS TO FOLLOW
We have little word from Ankara of events there, not least because Both Twitter and Facebook have been blocked.
Doğan News Agency have reported that all police personnel have been ordered to report for duty and there are reports of gunfire being heard and jets flying low over the city.
However, Istanbul is in complete lockdown, military units are on the streets in large numbers, all bridges across the Bosphorus are blocked by Gendarmerie and a curfew is in place.
In a phone call to broadcaster NTV, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that Turkey is facing an uprising attempt from inside the army.
Six different police uniforms can be observed along with those of three different branches of military garb. The uniform seen most is a simple, very new looking royal blue and black jacket with “Polis” emblazoned on the back in white six inch letters.
While some carry automatic weapons and/or pistols, these jackets are also worn by women whose only weapon seems to be a purse, young Turks in jeans who stand in groups observing the crowd, and rough looking characters in jeans and track shoes who walk about, fingers on the triggers of Kalashnikovs.
In the tourist centers, such as Galata Bridge, police indiscriminately accost Arab looking passers-by; demanding their passports. They leave the many Asian and very few Caucasian tourists alone.
Nowhere in Istanbul is this police presence not obvious. The grim faces of these gendarmeries have already had the desired effect on the people. Istanbul is unusually unfriendly. From the airport staff to bus drivers, and subway attendants they too showcase the same dark, narrowed eyes of suspicion exemplified by the police presence. These are the faces of the new Turkey. Erdogan’s Turkey.
This fact is not lost on the Turks who believe the coup of 2015 to be manufactured, similar to Hitler’s Reichstag Fire, thereby providing him the reason to put tens-of-thousands of Turkish citizens- judges, doctors, journalists, and teachers- in prison while next arranging his Supreme court to his fancy which allowed for a new national constitution which gave him virtually unchecked power over every aspect of Turkish life.
Considered at that time by the western power triumvirate to be well within their sphere of influence, western media has given all of this a pass by failing to report it or fabricating false truths of support that are as distorted as the 2016 coup itself.
Consider the false western narrative that 1) There was an externally influenced coup to unseat Erdogan and 2) it was authorized by Fethullah Gulen from his hiding place in America. To the Turks, these mistruths fail to reveal that Gulen and Erdogan shared power and business interests for more than 15 years as the latter continued to grow in power and that they have always been and continue to be very close friends.
Here on the streets, they add to this illumination that Erdogan came out unscathed in this coup while conveniently out of the country and avoiding arrest while the coup was actually a paltry effort at best being little more than the closing of the Galata Bridge by a few tanks that restricted the exit of the people from Istanbul’s “modern city” and Taksim square where the Turks had gathered en mass.
The result of this convenient theatre was that Erdogan immediately culled from them the intelligentsia of Turkey, without any evidence of their participation, off to prison. Per 1936 Germany, this was step one… and carried out to perfection.
This rouse continued as this past week as Erdogan again continued to demand the return of his supposed arch-enemy and past best friend Fethullah Gulen. “If you’re not giving [Gulen] to us, then excuse us, but from now on whenever you ask us for another terrorist, as long as I am in office, you will not get them,” stated the Turkish president. Rather than arrest him, should he be handed over, to the Turks it is more likely that the two would, in reality, sit down for a nice chat and a tulip glass of strong, delicious Turkish tea.
Although predominately missing in the Western press, none of this is any secret to the Turks who are also well aware of Erdogan’s propagation of ISIS by being the financial pipeline of Syria’s stolen oil to Turkish ports, his use of Kirkuk air base to bring new ISIS fighters to the Syrian border and shipments of US weapons into Syrian opposition hands… long before the western media finally acknowledged this obvious truth.
Incorrect news reporting would have one believe that the Kurdish vs. Erdogan issue resides exclusively outside the Turkish borders in Northern Syria in proposed Kurdistan and that Gulen is its sponsor while tucked safely away in the US. Missing here is the fact that Gulen is not Kurdish and that of the 80 million Turkish citizens, more than 25 million are Kurdish and all lived in Turkey in harmony for centuries.
Most of Turkey still do. But Erdogan demonized the Kurds by falsely blaming them as well as “religious cleric” Gulen in his growing effort to divide the country along religious lines. This is merely convenient propaganda since the Kurds like the rest of Turkey love their country and would prefer continued peace.
Many believe that Erdogan’s goal is a civil war; a war that he believes will make him all-powerful as one side of the country fights the other and then reaches out to him for salvation. This appears to be accurate.
President Erdogan’s penchant for creating chaos was clearly shown this week when, as reported to by the Libya Herald, Greek authorities confirmed they had boarded and seized a ship carrying potential explosive making materials from Turkey to Misrata, Libya intended for US-backed leader Haftar. The Hellenic Coast Guard Headquarters confirmed this. Further, this is one of the ports previously used to export Syrian oil stolen by ISIS. Further, at this point, nothing moves within Turkey without Erdogan’s approval.
With this, Erdogan is an example of US foreign policy. He does not mind internal chaos in fact many Turks believe this to be his actual goal for their country: Civil war.
Many Turks report their distaste for their president’s recent theatre appearance in supposedly supporting the Palestinians in lieu of the US president Trumps decision to rob them of a Jerusalem capital and note the unreported news that in the aftermath of the tragic, peaceful Mavi Marmara attempt to bring needed supplies to Gaza- during which nine people were slaughtered by Israeli IDF soldiers- that before Israel would agree to pay cash provided as reparations to families of the dead Turks, Erdogan did then agree already to allow Israel to take Jerusalem for their capital.
Although unproven, it is fixed in the opposition voices and does share the ring of truth considering that in the wake of the series of US hurricanes this past year, FEMA required aid recipients to sign an oath to Israel… not America.
There is now a caution in the people’s voices when one travels in Turkey; a hush that invades every political discussion or prognostications of what will befall this pluralistic society. The coup and its results are in the minds of all, as is the massive purge of innocent Turks.
Here, Erdogan ignores history and human nature, preferring to believe in the current examples being shown by El-Sisi in Egypt, MBS in Saudi Arabia, Netanyahu in Israel, Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen and worldwide US hegemony: that his new military might makes him right no matter what and that force will override the fundamental desire of the Turks for peace and freedom.
his, of course, ignores the historical results and demise of Hitler, Mussolini, and Pol Pot. When one speaks with Turks, there is anger in their eyes despite the hushed tones of hopeful resistance. One Turkish Kurd distilled this reality:
“ The history of Turkey, back to the time of Ataturk [who gained Turkish independence from the World War One Allied powers] … even before… is that of the knife. When war comes- if it does- Erdogan will meet the Turkish again. Then, he too will meet the blade of the knife!”
After a beautiful six mile walk through the streets and along the massive rock lined harbour that passed through this military gauntlet and now finally arriving at Taksim Square, a similar police presence comes into view surrounding the square.
A huge white, military vehicle- seemingly an exact copy of the US made MRAP- with machine gun turret- sits parked, a fence ringing it while its black uniformed operators play cards, smoke and drink coffee just behind. They too are not friendly.
These, like the many other multi- uniformed police here in Istanbul are Erdogan’s troops. Like their master, they are not loyal to the Turks….they are loyal to power for power in a failing Turkish economy is job security: theirs.
The Turkish economy is in dire straights and many Turks believe this is yet another tool that Erdogan intends to use to divide their country via discontent. Istanbul is an amazing city full of examples of splendour, its ancient mosques reaching skyward across the hills that overlook the harbour of commerce that has been here for millennia.
This city is worth any traveler’s money, but tourism is a fraction of its former pre-coup days despite the Lira crashing in value. Although this is January and the slowest tourism month of the year, shop owners and cafe operators report that the tourist income in substantially down since the coup.
On a normally busy Friday night restaurants are virtually empty, their many tables and chairs sitting vacant. The hawkers for each sing out their friendly solicitations, but there is a tone of desperation and futility as they try to attract travellers.
While a declining economy may be the beginning of Erdogan’s fall from grace, many believe this is part of his ultimate plot. This opinion is not only bolstered by the many Turks, but by the foreign economic western press. A Feb. 6, 2016, article by The Economist stated clearly what many Turks already suspect:
“… sustained growth will require a change of attitude, beginning at the top. A sophisticated market economy cannot be run by offering favours for loyalty… Similarly, companies that own media outlets have been cut out of business in other fields if they fail to toe the line. Firms with the right contacts, say critics of the government, have done well, winning not just direct state contracts but privileged access to deals. “They [Erdogan’s Gov’t] used to be giving, sacrificing for the public good,” says an Istanbul news editor. “Now they are taking, using all the redistributive power of the state.”
These comments are much more important given the facts that Turkey was debt free in June of 2013 after having completely paid off all IMF loans but that now, since the coup Erdogan has already driven Turkey back into more than a US$500 billion debt or over 50% of GDP…in less than five years!
On the long walk back from Taksim Square and now approaching the famous Blue Mosque and another huge square, the Hippodrome, which sits in front of the mosque with Istanbul University at one end. Even on this day something strange is happening police presence is suddenly even more dramatic and surrounds a series of all-black US style SUVs and all-black stretch limousines.
Anyone attempting to get near is frisked and searched. The cops are very unfriendly. A helicopter circles over head. Once inside this fenced cordon, I ask if anyone speaks English and a nice man offers his help. “It’s the president,” he whispers since there are six police with automatic weapons within earshot. ” Its Erdogan!”
As we pull back from the metal barricade to chat more, I wonder how many professors here are still missing from their students and classrooms. This stranger tells me that he is Syrian from Palmyra having moved his family to Turkey after his hotel was destroyed due to an American bombing. He would like to leave Turkey, but is jovial, good-natured, despite his loss, offering to show his hospitality at his home later that day. Preparing to depart, with a hearty handshake he concludes our conversation.
“All people should be able to be free,” he says smiling. “They should have chances…to have a future for their families… to have peace… to have…” and he stops searching for the right word.
“Happiness?” offered this reporter. “Inshallah [if Allah [God] wills],” he agreed.
Here lies the problem. For in Turkey God has little influence on the values of the new king.