On the 27th of February 1933 and the German parliament building is literally on fire. There’s been an arson attack which will go down in history as the Reichstag fire, killing 160 people.
This alleged coup attempt was used by Hitler as an excuse to order mass arrests of his opponents and to suspend civil liberties. Consequently, the dictator cemented his grip on the country and eliminated all opposing political leaders, regarding the tragic event as “a sign from God”.
Fast forward to Friday 15th of July 2016, a military coup was staged in Turkey. Media channels started broadcasting footage of military planes flying above Ankara and tanks blocking main roads around the country. This time they didn’t have to burn down anything. A show of guns was enough to instill panic.
The coup focused on the two largest cities and key power centers of Istanbul and Ankara, and blocked all borders and airports for several hours.
Here are the main events that followed the large-scale mobilization of troops:
– As soon as word gets out, most media channels are shut down. Only a few remain operational all of them controlled by Erdogan’s associates.
– The only information broadcast is that of military planes and tanks patrolling around the country.
– Other than poor quality footage, there’s a message sent throughout the world saying: President Erdogan is safe and sound, the coup has failed, but there are still military personnel who haven’t surrendered yet.
– In a matter of hours, everything is back to normal, civilians take pictures on tanks with the Turkish flag, and mass arrests ensue.
Erdogan was quoted making some outstanding political claims.
Firstly, he regarded the coup as “a gift from Allah [God]”, saying it will help identify “members of the gang”, who will “pay a heavy price for treason”.
Secondly, he attributed the events to exiled preacher Fetullah Gulen, denounced as “an armed terrorist organization leader”. Gulen is one of the main leaders of the opposing Sunni movement, who is currently living in rural Pennsylvania, in a self-imposed exile. He has reject all accusations and denied having any involvement in the coup.
Last but not least, let’s take into account what happened immediately after the coup. Erdogan is known for having little if any tolerance to critics. It’s no surprise that in the following days, 2,745 judges have been removed from their offices. Official sources also claim 2,839 military staff; including soldiers and senior commanders have been arrested in the following days.
After taking it all into account, we could expect an early election with an outstanding
majority of votes, probably guaranteeing another decade of “democratically” elected dictatorship. This is extremely important for the U.S. national security and involvement in the Middle East. One of the key positions in our military effort is the air base of Incirlik, on Turkish territory. The base’s commander was arrested and the base was shut down and thoroughly searched over the weekend.
It’s dangerous how it will all play out regarding the U.S. military implication in the area, and the relationship with Turkey, one of the strongest military allies of NATO. After the coup, President Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim sent a direct message to President Obama, saying:
Any country that protects Fethullah Gulen will be an enemy of Turkey.
Dear Mr. President, I told you this before. Either arrest Fethullah Gulen or return him to Turkey. You didn’t listen. I call on you again, after there was a coup attempt, extradite this man in Pennsylvania to Turkey. If we are strategic partners or model partners, do what is necessary.”
A formal request to extradite Gulen, containing evidence of his involvement in the coup, was received by U.S. officials and is currently being translated. This could pay out in a number of ways.
We know for fact that Obama has soldiers in Turkey, as well as a number of military investments in NATO allies in Europe. Turkey is one of the few countries in the area with outstanding military presence, capable of battling Russia, ISIS, and even the U.S. on its own. Everybody knows this. From this position, Turkey could easily seize the Incirlik air base, in order to force Obama’s hand into arresting and sending Gulen. This would eliminate one of the most notable adversaries of the current regime.
However, Gulen has been in exile for 16 years. It could be the case that over the years, his influence had decreased and Erdogan is only using him as a reason to justify his next actions, which could be directed at American citizens. If this is the case, and the two seemingly rivals are actually working together, it could mean a lot of trouble for the U.S. and NATO.
In 16 years, a spiritual leader can gather
a very large number of supporters. Erdogan can use this situation to launch attacks on U.S. troops engaged in the Middle East. This would severely destabilize NATO, offering a great opportunity for any of America’s enemies to make a move. Gulen could then launch attacks from within the U.S. and the worst is yet to come. As of now, U.S. government will have enough reasons to declare martial law.
As it all boils down, Turkey will have a very strong dictatorship, with little if any U.S.
involvement in the region. The U.S. will officially become an authoritarian state under military rule. Both governments will have the same power over their people, as scientists have over their lab rats – total control over the whole population.
Seeing it all as a global plan to control the masses might seem a little far fetched. However, it’s at least odd how come, most acts of terrorism or social and political unrest occur on Fridays. Over the weekend people are distracted and couldn’t care less about such global issues. One might think it’s only a coincidence, although one would first have to notice these facts.
What do you think Obama should do in response to recent events in Turkey? How do you feel about U.S. troops stationed in and defending a Muslim dictatorship, which is also a NATO ally? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.