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The Mystery of Turkey’s Failed Coup


The failed Turkish coup and President Erdogan’s harsh reprisals have left more questions than answers, including who was really behind the botched putsch and why, reports Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria

More than two weeks after Turkey’s dramatic failed coup, what exactly  happened remains shrouded in mystery leaving only speculation that has hardened into “fact” in the absence of convincing evidence.

Two main theories have emerged: The first is that this was yet another in a longline of CIA-backed coups. The other is that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan either staged or let the coup happen to give him the opportunity to consolidate his rule through a vicious and ongoing purge of his perceived enemies.

The first theory has now passed into the realm of “fact” because some commentators unquestioningly accept that the CIA tried to remove Erdogan for suddenly seeking to repair relations with Russia, Iran and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Assad is a man Erdogan has squandered substantial political capital trying to overthrow for five years.

This theory asserts that defeating the coup was a “victory against the U.S. empire” because Erdogan has defied Washington by suddenly moving Turkey into the multipolar camp with a view towards Eurasian union, rather than the European Union.

“Suddenly” is the key word. What led to Erdogan’s apparent about-face?  His Syria policy of supporting ISIS and opposing Damascus, Moscow and Teheran completely blew up in his face. He failed to overthrow Assad. Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane damaged Turkey’s economy (when Russia imposed retaliatory sanctions). ISIS turned on him, attacking Ataturk Airport. He was on the ropes. Erdogan is a supreme survivor. He’ll switch enemies and friends on a dime if need be. He’s proven no loyalty but to himself.


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