After Turkish President Recep Erdogan reportedly called the failed coup "a gift from Allah" some have suggested that the whole coup was faked so that Erdogan could suspend civil liberties and order mass arrests of his opponents.Some have even compared it with the 1933 arson attack on the German parliament building.
The theory seems very improbable as Erdogan had difficulty even getting to communicate with the Turkish people and seemed genuinely frightened.
At first the coup seemed to be going well.
One twitter user suggested that it was probably a real coup that could have been vaguely known beforehand but was allowed to go ahead since it was known that it was weak and would not be successful. This at least is possible but more likely Erdogan simply did not know of the coup.
Erdogan blames the coup on the Turkish preacher living in exile in the US, Fethullah Gulen, whose Gulen movement Erdogan describes as "an armed terrorist organization".
At one time, before 2013 Gulen and Erdogan were allies but Gulen supported and even encouraged investigation of Erdogan and one of his sons for corruption. Erdogan accused Gulen of being behind the charges. Now he is on Turkey's most wanted terrorist list.
Turkey is demanding that Gulen be extradited from the US to Turkey.
For his part Gulen has been one of those who have claimed that the coup might have been a fake organized by Erdogan himself. While Gulen may have encouraged the coup, there was obvious dissatisfaction within the army although top officers did not seem to participate and police in Istanbul sided with Erdogan. Gulen denies he had anything to do with the failed coup.
There is no doubt that Erdogan will use the coup as an excuse to purge the armed forces of any potential opponents. He has already cleared out many from the military and from the judiciary who were possible opponents. Turkish TV claims that 2,745 judges had been removed from their offices after the coup attempt. It is hard to believe that so many judges were supporting the coup.
All opposition parties opposed the coup even the Kurdish party badly treated by Erdogan. However, Erdogan is likely to use the coup attempt as a reason to crack down further on any opposition.
Erdogan already is criticized for repression of the media. It is reported that since 2014 a total of 1,845 journalists, writers, and critics have been charged with insulting the president which carries a potential jail sentence. Erdogan in this respect is following in the footsteps of Egyptian president El-Sisi and the Gulf monarchies. El-Sisi supported the coup since Erdogan is supported by the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt blocked the UN Security Council from passing a motion condemning the coup.
While Erdogan's position may be strengthened in the short term a large minority are much opposed to his increasing authoritarian actions combined with his reliance on support from Islamists. His suppression of the Kurdish minority is infamous.
While Erdogan has begun to improve relations with Russia and Israel, his relations with the United States are under considerable strain. Turkey appears to be developing into an unstable country with too much power in the hands of a president who wants to stifle any opposition.
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.