Reports were being released claiming the military of Turkey has taken over the country and declared martial law in an attempted coup to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Gun fire, military vehicles, tanks, jets, helicopters and troops have been reported entering and flying over the cities of Istanbul and Ankara. Bridges into the city remain closed and all flights into and out of the country have been cancelled. Police at bogazici bridge were disarmed by the soldiers.
BREAKING: Tanks open fire around Turkish parliament building; gunfire heard at Istanbul airport – Reuters witnesses
— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) July 15, 2016
Self claimed military leaders were stating they have captured high level members of the government and are now in control of the country. Other leaders of the government have responded by saying this is only an attempted coup, it has not succeeded yet. Right now this is more of a mutiny on behalf of the military, not a full blown revolution. At this point no one is certain who is in control of the country, but the military is saying they are doing this for the people, to restore democracy. Funnily, none of these actions or commands were authorized by real military leaders. Contrary, the presidency of Turkish military staff had been captured by them. So it was not a military coup. Especially, because it was only a very small part of the Turkish military and they were not obeying their supervisors, but someone else. Speculations say, and most Turkish TV stations, it was a planned coup by Fethullah Gülen, the Islamic leader who was convicted as a traitor by the Turkish government after it was revealed that he was cooperating on a multinational level with the CIA (he had built a cult around himself, claiming things like he is the messiah and that god was talking to him, he had also built a large network of Islamic schools around the world).
The Turkish governmental TV station TRT had been captured by the mutinous soldiers and the news speaker was forced to read the pirated message from the teleprompter. They claimed that they (the military) took over the government, and that Erdogan & Co. would be brought to court.
Shortly after that Erdogan made live speech via skype on his smartphone claiming that he is still well and alive and that the soldiers are lying, the government is still in place and operating and he called on the Turkish people to go peacefully on the streets and defend the democracy and shame the soldiers who tried to overthrow the government forcefully with military power and vehicles.
This is not the first time a military coup has been attempted in this country. For this reason, starting about four years ago, President Erodgen started a massive campaign to dismantle and weaken the military to prevent something like this from happening. He removed leadership, put soldiers on trial and imprisoned generals. These actions have only speed up and intensified in recent years, likely the one of the primary reasons for the military coup is attempting to overthrow him today.
But President Erodgen has also angered many citizens within the country, accused of acting more of a dictator than a democratically elected President. As President he has essentially shut down the free press, imprisoned journalists and banned social media. Terror attacks in the country have only increased any many people blame this on the poor leadership of Erodgen.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of this whole situation surrounds NATO and the geo-strategic position of Turkey in the War on terror. Turkey is a member nation of NATO, the only Muslim majority country in the world involved in the alliance. Per the rules of NATO, any attack on a member of NATO is an attack on all the members of NATO. The military has stated on Turkish state television that it will uphold all ties and relations to NATO and will uphold their commitments to other member nations.
Members of the Pentagon are drawing similarities of today with the military coup of Egypt in 2013 which saw the removal of Mohammed Morsi. Since his departure, then general and now President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has attempted to repair Egypts relation with the west and has even gone to work trying to dismantle the radical Muslim Brotherhood. By all accounts, US – Egypt relations have done nothing but improve since he took control of the country in 2013.
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Erodgen have been rivals on several key political issues, chief amount them Erodgen’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Though no one is certain who is in control of the country right now, Pentagon analysts are indicating that if a military coup is successful, it may actually be of great benefit the United States and NATO military partners which will help build a stronger partnership between the two countries/the region in general against ISIS and the war on terror.
The US military has an important base in Turkey, regularly conducting missions to Iraq and Syria from here. Turkey is also extremely critical to international politics based on its geographic location, literally bridging the gap between Europe and the Middle East. Turkey also control sever important shipping lanes throughout the Mediterranean and also controls several crucial oil pipelines throughout the region. The implications of this coup are more far reaching then most people realize.
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