Appearing on TV that night, Erdogan claimed no pre-knowledge of the incident and immediately blamed Gulen supporters in the military. However, Western governments and observers were not convinced. Experts noted the implausibility of a civilian living on another continent organizing a military coup and not being detected by U.S., Turkish or other intelligence agencies.
“July 15 was a terrifying incident. We still haven’t solved the mystery behind it. However, I can easily say it wasn’t a coup. … We must examine the results of such occurrences. Who benefited from it? They played [with us] under the pretext of a [fake] coup, and the government, one person [Erdoğan] profited handsomely from this, taking over the whole country,” Ataklı said.
Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) appears to have staged a rocket attack on the palace of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan three days after a failed coup in order to bolster the perception that the threat of a putschist attempt was still alive and to rally public support for the government.
The failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 in Turkey and the infamous Reichstag fire in Germany in 1933 had many similarities, with both allowing the leaders of those countries to amass more power to oppress their opposition, journalist Can Dündar said in his commentary for German Radio Cosmo on Thursday.
A year after the Turkey’s coup attempt, there are still many questions that need to be considered. Ismail Sezgin of Hizmet Studies, in this video, summarizes the findings that makes the coup attempt so curious and the positions of the Turkish Government, Gulen Movement, and Turkey’s Western allies.
Turkish-Armenian linguist and writer Sevan Nişanyan, who escaped from a prison in İzmir in July, shared his take on a failed coup in Turkey last year, saying it was staged in order to cleanse the Turkish military of followers of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
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.