Turkey’s Erdogan and July 15 coup

Gulen likens Erdogan to Hitler
Gulen likens Erdogan to Hitler


Date posted: July 31, 2017

Nurudeen Sani

Just few days ago, a chilling  footage in one of the international television stations brought to the fore the ugly memories of the July 15, 2016, aborted coup in Turkey.  It was during the one year’s commemoration of the coup, which saw to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowing to “rip the heads off” of terror groups and plotters who tried to put an end to his more than a decade-long dictatorial rule.

More than 250 innocent Turks paid with their lives to ensure that Erdogan rule was not truncated by the coup plotters on that fateful July 15, 2016, while the President hibernated and disappeared into an unknown destination.

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.

Though the July 15 failed coup was not the first in that country, the many conspiratorial theories and the Turkish government heightened brutality aftermath of the coup has continued to tilt my belief that the coup was just a well-crafted master script which was activated by Erdogan to silence critics and any finger of opposition in Turkey. Yes, many leaders in the past have used phantom coups to consolidate their grip on power by jailing perceived political enemies and sometimes send them to the hang’s man noose.

During the dark days of military regime in Nigeria in the mid-1990s, many influential figures  like General Olusegun Obasanjo, who later became President, General Shehu Yar’Adua, and a host of other critics of government were all sent to jail over a coup that was believed to be designed to topple the government of late General Sani Abacha. Hence, the recent revelation by Sweden-based Stockholm Centre for Freedom (SCF) in on the Turkey’s coup has further cemented my belief that some power-drunk leaders can go to any length to perpetrate themselves in office.

According to the international Centre, last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey is nothing but a false flag orchestrated by Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayip Erdogan and his henchmen to create a pretext for a mass persecution of critics and opponents in a state of perpetual emergency.

The centre in a new detailed study titled ‘July 15:Erdogan’s Coup, said from  available data, the coup indictments, testimonials in court trials, private interviews, reviews of military expert opinions and other evidence collected by researchers, it is fairly confident that this attempt did not even qualify a coup bid in any sense of military mobilization which was unusually limited in numbers, confined in few cities, poorly managed, defied the established practices, tradition, rules of engagement and standard operating procedures in Turkish military.

“This was a continuation of a series of false flags that were uncovered in the last couple of years under the authoritarian rule of Erdogan regime and it was certainly the bloodiest one,” the centre said.

“Erdogan appears to have tapped on widely circulated coup rumours in Turkish capital and staged own show to steal wind and set up his opposition for a persecution,” the President of SCF, Abdullah Bozkurt, was quoted to have said.

Judging by Erdogan antecedents on how he had blatantly used the term ‘parallel state’ to badmouth and demonise sympathisers of the Gulen movement  in Turkey but without getting the desired result of suppressing them, the coup could as well be the best bet and the smokescreen of his  government to silence the group and other opposition elements. This was what played out during the referendum in Turkey which was carried out under the emergency power of the president.  Erdogan won big time by securing imperial presidency, consolidating his gains, stifling the opposition and even launching cross border military incursion into Syria for which he had been itching for too long.

The Turkish president, who appear to have unquenchable penchant for brutalising and detaining those who dare have a different political orientation from the one shares by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), reportedly called the July 15, 2016 coup attempt as “a gift from God, as he now wields absolute power to do and undo anything he wishes to the detriment of the freedom of the Turkish people.

Today in Turkey, most media organisations and private schools have been shut down, thousands of public servants kicked out from government service,  thousands of judges, teachers, doctors, military officers all thrown out from work. Many more who are not so lucky, including journalists, members of opposition, among others are now in detention without trial for allegedly taking part in the coup with no any iota of concrete evidence linking them to it.

Erdogan may have succeeded in silencing his opponents by carefully reaping the political capital of the July 15 coup attempt, but surely, he cannot come clean of involvement in the coup no matter how black he would paint those he accused of being behind it.

Sani, a social commentator, wrote in from Kano.

Source: The Nation , August 1, 2017


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