I was surprised when I heard of the coup attempt Friday in Turkey. Who was left in the ranks of the officer corps, I wondered, to mount a coup? Turkey’s president and sultan wannabe Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had already purged the military of officers who were disloyal; who did not buy into his dream of a revived Ottoman Empire.
Now there are more indications the coup attempt may have all been a setup, allowed to occur or perhaps even encouraged by Erdoğan’s intelligence apparatus, to create the pretext for the Muslim strongman to move faster toward his caliphate, a dictatorship.
European Union commissioner Johannes Hahn told the media that Erdoğan’s swift rounding up of officials accused of taking part in the coup indicates Erdogan’s government made the purge list before the coup: “It is exactly what we feared. 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.”
A total of 7,543 military officials and judges have been arrested for involvement in the coup. Another 10,000 police, state governors, and civil servants have been suspended.
That’s very speedy detective work, don’t you think? In most democratic nations it could take years to establish all the members of a conspiracy that the Turkish government claims ran into the many thousands of people.
The soldiers arrested in the coup seem to have been patsies, saying they were told they were simply doing military manoeuvres. Several witnesses said the streets in Istanbul were full of police in the hours before the coup, possibly put in place to arrest the coup plotters.
Some are comparing the coup attempt to the 1933 Reichstag fire in Germany, which Hitler used as an excuse to consolidate his power.
It’s been clear for some time that Erdoğan wants absolute power. When he was mayor of Istanbul, Erdoğan once said: “Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off.”
Erdoğan intends to wipe out dissent in Turkey once and for all. He’s not a friend of democracy or the United States and could be around for a long time.