Turkey: 6,000 arrested following coup, but that doesn't make it an inside job

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/18/turkey-6000-arrested-followi.html


The “what did you do over your Summer” essays are going to be great this fall.

  1. Erdogan staged a coup, somehow staging 300 livestreams and convincing (or tricking) people who genuinely hated him and had pledged themselves to his downfall to cooperate;

Huh? Sorry, just trying to follow the logic here. When tanks are rolling down the street and helicopter gunships are firing at police stations, what - in terms of bystander reactions - need be staged? Of course the livestreams and reactions are genuine.

I am of course more inclined to accept a simple explanation as opposed to something more outlandish, just trying to get a handle on what the argument is here.




I once asked a financial advisor what she’d advise people to do in the event of a market crash. She said “Have some cash on hand, and keep a shopping list.”

It’s pretty clear that Erdogan had a shopping list. It may have been drawn up as vaguely as “here are all the people we don’t trust,” or he may have conceived it specifically as “these are the first 6,000 we need to nail when the opportunity presents itself.” Either way, the coup has given him the “cash” he needs to make some snap “purchases”.

And it’s pretty clear that PNAC had their own shopping list (of which the Patriot Act was only one part; Rumsfeld’s “Go massive. Sweep it all up” directive, which gave us the endless fountain of joy that is New Iraq, was another).

Presumably Those Who Think They Know What’s Best For Us spend some time war-gaming possible scenarios and drawing up plans for what they’ll do when they get the opportunity. Which raises the question: what have they got in store for us next, and what are the required enabling conditions for them to put it into effect?


Thanks for the reminder about Simon Power :mad:

The rebels’ first mistake was not quietly killing erdogan and his cronies as their first move that night.
I read they took prisoner almost a thousand officials and police.
Again, executions should have happened immediately, particularly given the rebellions’ precarious position.

It’s almost like they didn’t have it in them, or that they believed somehow that they could just play musical chairs with the seats of power.

Or 2.b.) Elements in the military caught wind of the fact that Erdogan was about to purge them and proactively initiated a coup in an attempt to forstall him. The fact that the coup plotters seemed very unready may be seen by some as evidence of this.


When things like this happen, I find myself wondering if history will ever know the truth?

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To add some sympathy here: I’m sure there is anti-gun legislation ready to go in the USA. Unfortunately gun slaughter is no longer shocking enough to pass it. But preparedness is not of itself evil, and lack of it is not noble.

I’m kind of thinking 2b)
These guys saw that a purge of secularists in the military was coming no matter what they did, and thought this was their only chance.

Captured my thoughts on 9/11 nicely.

Though I wouldn’t rule out that the warnings were heard…

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Whatever the reasons behind it, everything I hear makes me think that Turkey is going to move farther away from secularism, which will be bad for Europe. I hope we do not start hearing about mass executions.


I don’t understand what they’re saying about the livestreams here. The military wasn’t livestreaming anything right? The only livestreams I heard about were from protesters and random bystanders, but obviously those don’t give any evidence one way or another about who was behind the coup attempt. Clearly there were soldiers on the streets as depicted in those livestreams, what else do the livestreams prove?


Yeah that was my same thought.

Requisite mention of Erdogan’s $615 million presidential palace:

Requisite mention of Erdogan’s habit of gnawing on whole, raw fish:


Um, I know Bush is satan and all, but from what I recall reading at the time, most of the Patriot act was a laundry list of things law enforcement wanted going back at least to the 90s. It wasn’t just drafted in January of 2001.

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Requisite mention of the fact that the source of the Gollum meme was punished by stripping him of access to his children.


Turkey is on the precipice of something, but what isn’t exactly clear. The concern seems to be the rise of an Islamic state, but purely in terms of what’s most likely, I think we’re going to see the rise of a kleptocratic conservative right wing state with an Islamic bent where the alternative was a khakistocratic conservative right wing state with a French-style secularist bent. I tend to see the end of the Turkish deep state as a blessing in disguise long-term, however. The short term consequences aren’t great, but you can either have a democratic process or you can have a cyclic putsch system that engages whenever people are on the verge of getting something they want. The former yields imperfect results while the latter yields monumentally imperfect results long term.