Like many autocratic leaders, Erdogan was quick to blame members of opposition and sympathizers of Gulen Movement for the coup attempt. He particularly singled out the United States-based Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen as the mastermind of the coup, even when it is on record that the highly-respected cleric publicly condemned the coup when it was still on.
What really happened on the night of July 15, 2016 in Turkey? Why thousands of judges and prosecutors were the next day? Why hundreds of journalists were arrested and media outlets shut down after the coup attempt by Erdogan? Was the failed coup attempt Erdogan’s Reichstag Fire?
Erdogan became quite successful in his two very basic goals right after the coup. First and foremost, for putting all the blame squarely on the Hizmet movement, led by Gulen, and then carrying on a huge cover-up to hide other segments of the coup plotters. The problem is, while he has been quite successful in Turkey – he was not able to convince many in Europe and in the US.
A year later, Western intelligence officials and top Turkey analysts aren’t nearly so sure of Gulen’s complicity. Earlier this year, German spy chief Bruno Kahl revealed that Ankara has failed to convince the BND foreign intelligence agency that Gulen was behind the ill-planned and executed coup plot. “Turkey has tried to convince us of that at every level, but so far it has not succeeded,” Kahl told the German weekly Der Spiegel in March.
Mr. Erdogan’s own statements have also raised questions about the sequence of events. In an account posted on the president’s website, Mr. Erdogan said he was first warned of unusual military activity at 4:30 p.m. by his brother-in-law. He tried to contact Mr. Fidan and Mr. Akar around 5 p.m., he said but was unable to reach either of them.
The report uncovered a critical information that the plot was actually kicked off on July 11 with secret orders given by generals who corroborated with Turkey’s autocratic President Erdogan’s defense and intelligence chiefs in disguising the plan as unconventional action plan. Only a handful men were let into the secret plot while many were led to believe a drill or an urgent response to a terror threat is underway.
“Last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey [was] nothing but a false flag orchestrated by Turkey’s autocratic President Erdoğan and his henchmen to create a pretext for [the] mass persecution of critics and opponents in a state of perpetual emergency,” SCF concluded.
Last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey is nothing but a false flag orchestrated by Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayip Erdoğan and his henchmen to create a pretext for a mass persecution of critics and opponents in a state of perpetual emergency, a new detailed study titled ‘July 15: Erdoğan’s Coup’ by Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) concluded.
A report drafted by Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 has repeated an earlier claim made by the party’s leader suggesting that the coup attempt was a “controlled” one and that there were some Turkish authorities who knew about the coup plans but did not take any measures to prevent it.
While the narrative voiced by Erdogan and echoed by the Turkish press blamed Gülen exclusively, many Turks and diplomats quietly harbored suspicions that Erdogan planned and staged the coup himself as a Turkish equivalent of the Reichstag Fire. That may once have sounded like a fringe conspiracy, but increasingly it seems the likely genesis of events last July.
Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute just gave us a pat on the back confirming our original assessment of July 2016 that Erdogan had staged the July 2016 coup. Several career Turkish military officers make a persuasive case that Erdogan’s narrative is false and that the coup was essentially Turkey’s equivalent of the Reichstag fire.
So, if Erdogan’s narrative is flawed, what are the alternative theories? On the surface, much doesn’t add up. Now, several career Turkish military officers — none of whom are followers or supporters of Gülen — have compiled from open sources a lengthy report analyzing the coup. They have authorized me to share the Dropbox link where they have made it accessible.