Turkey coup: Foreign plot or staged coup

July 17, 2016 6:47 am

In this photo, Turkish Air Force General Akin Ozturk is seen on the far right.

Some of the soldiers detained in have reportedly told interrogators they were not aware they were part of a coup attempt.
They had been told by commanders they were taking part in military maneuvers, the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper has reported.
Some soldiers said they understood they were part of a coup when they saw civilians climb on tanks.
Turkish
televisions have shown footage of soldiers surrendering to people and
special forces police without resistance, their hands behind their
heads.
According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, all soldiers involved in the attempted coup have been taken into custody.
A
Turkish official told reporters that six senior army commanders were
arrested in connection with the failed coup, including General Akin
Öztürk, who in the 1990s was the Turkish military attaché to Israel.
The
64-year-old Öztürk, who later served as the commander of Turkey’s air
force, served in his country’s Tel Aviv embassy from 1998 to 2000.
He
stepped down as air force commander last year, but continued to serve
on Turkey’s Supreme Military Council. Prior to Friday’s coup attempt he
was a celebrated military leader, boasting medals from his own air force
as well as from NATO.
According to a Turkish official, those
behind the attempted coup had been preparing for some time to overthrow
the Turkish government.
Accusations of US role
The
most dramatic fallout from the event, however, was suggestions by
Turkish state officials that the US was involved in the failed coup.
The
accusations by Labor and Social Security Minister Suleyman Soylu, in an
interview on Turkish TV, forced US Secretary of State John Kerry
Turkish to call Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and warn that those
claims could harm ties.
Kerry “made clear that … public
insinuations or claims about any role by the United States in the failed
coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations,”
State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
The
first aftershock came as the Incirlik airbase used by the United States
forces lost its electric power and local military authorities have
closed movement in and out of it.
Ankara and Washington have
already clashed over US support for Kurdish militants in Syria, which
Turkey regards as terrorists trying to carve out an independent state in
the region.
Staged coup for crackdown?
Ankara
is also angry with Washington for giving refuge to Turkish cleric
Fethullah Gulen, whose followers Turkey blames for the failed coup.
On
Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the US to extradite
Gulen but Kerry suggested that his country would do so if Turkish
leaders “present us with any legitimate evidence that withstands
scrutiny.”
Gulen said the attempted overthrow may have been
staged. “There is a slight chance, there is a possibility that it could
be a staged coup,” Gulen told reporters in Pennsylvania. “It could be
meant for court accusations and associations.”
Turkish authorities rounded up nearly 3,000 suspected military plotters on Saturday and ordered thousands of judges detained.
Erodogan
said that the coup leaders would “pay a heavy price” as his ally and
deputy prime minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu announced that the government
is considering bringing back the death penalty for the plotters.
“This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army,” he said in Istanbul.
French
President Francois Hollande said he expected there would be a period of
repression in Turkey in the aftermath of the failed coup.
A
successful overthrow of Erdogan would have marked another seismic shift
in the , which is grappling with a Takfiri menace and
foreign-backed militants fighting to topple Iraqi and Syrian
governments.
There are already suspicions that the US and its
allies are creating “managed chaos” in the Middle East with the aim of
weakening regional countries and propping up Israel. 
Warning of further instability
Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned that the coup attempt in Turkey increases the threat to stability in the region.
“Moscow is most concerned at the latest events in Turkey,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The
flare-up of the domestic political situation against the backdrop of
the existing terrorist threats in this country and the armed conflict in
the region brings a heightened risk to international and regional
stability.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged Turkey to
avoid “bloodshed,” saying its problems needed to be resolved “in
accordance with the constitution.”
In Iran, Parliament Speaker Ali
Larijani hailed “the victory of democracy and national will over a
desperate bid” to topple the government.
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