Saturday, July 16, 2016

Istanbul, Not Constanti-No-Coup

At this point the coup attempt in Turkey by parts of the military to unseat President Erdogan has failed utterly, and now the cleaners are coming.

Some 2,839 soldiers, including high-ranking officers, have been arrested over an attempted coup that is now over, says Turkey's PM Binali Yildirim.

In a night he called a "black stain on Turkish democracy", he said 161 people had been killed and 1,440 wounded.

Explosions and gunfire were heard in Ankara, Istanbul and elsewhere overnight and thousands of Turks heeded President Erdogan's call to rise up against the coup-plotters.

It is unclear who was behind the coup.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed a "parallel structure", in a clear reference to Fethullah Gulen, a powerful but reclusive US-based Muslim cleric whom he accuses of fomenting unrest.

However, in a statement, Mr Gulen rejected any suggestion he had links to the events, saying he condemned "in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey".

All this happened as US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Moscow meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over the future of Syria, Turkey's neighbor (which Erdogan has been supporting for years militarily).

The CIA playbook on a military coup is pretty standard worldwide: make sure your guys get all the necessary A's.

  • Armed forces
  • Airwaves
  • Airports
  • Allies
  • and the Asshole in charge you're trying to overthrow.

By my count, the junta had precisely none of those in hand when they pulled the trigger.  Erdogan was on vacation in the resort city of Marmaris, 400 miles away from Ankara or Istanbul.  His forces took the airports, defended State TV, and protected his allies in parliament.  It was a botched job from the word go, so comically inept that I'd almost believe Kerry and Lavrov decided to help Erdogan clean out his pool filter of idiots in exchange for staying out of Syria in the future. Almost. (Can't rule out stupid people being stupid.)

Shorter version: If you come at the king, best not miss.

They missed.

It's going to get nasty in Turkey.

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