Erdogan disappeared for several hours
“For the larger units, they simply would not have been able to give any order without encountering in response to a reasonable question: who are you anyway?”
The attempt of a military coup in Turkey choked by the morning, despite the fact that in the first hours the insurgents acted quite decisively, especially in Ankara. It seemed that they were working “according to the textbook”: the buildings of the general staff and the government, the main channel of the government television, the editorial board of the largest pro-presidential newspaper were seized, social networks, cellular communications and broadcasting of foreign television channels in Turkish were partially blocked (BBC, Euronews and CCN) . In Istanbul, the largest airport is blocked, and then traffic is blocked on two bridges over the Bosphorus, and at first only in one direction (it was impossible to move from the European part of the city to the Asian, where military facilities are located), and then finally. Armored blocked parliament. Captured the headquarters of the ruling party.
For several hours Erdogan disappeared. Then it turned out that he was on holiday in Bodrum at some sanatorium called the “safe place.” While he was gone and the most exalted commentators practiced studying the globe to find a place where the Turkish president, quarreling with almost the whole world around, could get asylum, several of his advisers (most actively Hasimi), Prime Minister Yildirim and, which is paradoxical, liberal, and not moderately Islamist-minded journalists.
The main broadcasters of the government’s point of view were not the national TV channels and the media, but the “globalist” ones, primarily CNN Turk. At the same time, Erdogan and his entourage learned phenomenally quickly the word democracy and simple rules for its use on the world media. Hasimi and Yıldırım called on everyone to support not President Erdogan and his political position, but the democratic structure of the Turkish state, which “bequeathed to the great Atatürk”.
At some point, CNN’s Turkish employees phoned Skype to Erdogan and broadcast his message to the people live directly from the smartphone screen. Erdogan also pressed not on some of his own views and ideals, but on the fact that 52% of voters voted for him in the last election, therefore, he was lawfully elected, and the military were trampling on democracy. In this context, his appeal to the people to take to the streets under the bullets of the rebels “to defend democracy” did not look so cannibalistic, and this position was quickly picked up by the “great” CNN.
Now many will be tempted to explain the failure of the insurrection by “popular protest” and Turkish society’s rejection of military coups and dictatorships, which on average occur in this country once in 10 – 15 years. Supporters of “active citizens” street actions, as it were, received a solid argument in defense of “direct democracy”, which can supposedly stop the largest military machine in Europe and the Middle East in a few hours, and vice versa - it seems that non-violently to overthrow any regime that is not too democratic.
That is not necessary. It was not so
Rebels just turned out to be small. From the very beginning, when the insurgency became publicly visible, from the very beginning, when the Sultan Mehmet Fatih bridge in Istanbul was half-billed from some part of the 2 Army Corps, the question hung in the air: who is in charge of all this? To the naked eye, it was clear that there was no chain of command. In and around Istanbul (at the Gallipoli base, for example), there is a giant army grouping from all points of view: the two-force 1 field army with a total strength of about 120 thousand troops, from which the 3 army corps is directly under command of the armored division NATO. And in the largest and most important city of Turkey, only a few “Sparks” (tank + armored personnel carriers) chaotically moved, several of which were easily captured by the “simple people”, who, in full accordance with the peculiarities of the national character, began jumping on armor and waving flags, chanting speeches about democracy and Erdogan (I still do not understand how they are still connected with each other). "Capture groups" of important objects consisted of a maximum of 10 people under the command of officers of the rank from captain to lieutenant colonel.
Things went better in Ankara, but no objective information came from there, except for active participation in the rebellion. aviation, which caused reasonable questions to the Air Force commander General Mehmet Erten. But when it became clear that the chief of the General Staff, Hulusi Akar, was taken hostage, the situation began to clear up. Moreover, in Ankara, one of the main targets that was attacked from the air was the headquarters of MIT - the infamous intelligence and counterintelligence, stronghold and support of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the main "hater".
Among the leadership of the rebellion there was no one more senior than the colonel. Now, with the suggestion of Erdogan and Yıldırım, the instigator of the military coup attempt is called the retired colonel Muharrem Köse, a former adviser to the minister of defense, allegedly dismissed for contacting the party of Imam Abdullah Gulen. Colonel Mehmet Oguz Akkush, Colonel Erkan Agyn and Major Dogan Uysal included in the Peace Council organized by the rebels. The whole company did what it could: it tried to seize power in an extremely militarized country with no more than an armored battalion and a pair of helicopter units. For the larger units, they simply could not have given any order without encountering in response to a reasonable question: who are you anyway?
There is evidence that Muharrem Köse was killed, and along with him in an exchange of fire with police and special forces at the building of the general staff in Ankara, 16 lieutenant colonels were also killed. One would like to call all this “the rebellion of the gray lieutenant colonels,” but after the active participants in the insurgency, 29 colonels and five generals are now removed from their posts, and this is only the beginning.
So big things are not done, dear
After the “Ergenekon” case (arrest in 2003 – 2004), more than 200 were high-ranking officers, famous politicians, journalists, public figures and lawyers who allegedly prepared a military coup and were also going to remove Erdogan) historically formed the officer’s structure army corps. This was done both by the hands of MIT, and through the promotion of Erdogan’s party supporters and the practice of “moderate Islamism” to officer positions. This eroded the officer corps, and finally it was eroded to such an extent that the role of the army as guarantor of a secular state and centralized power, which was really bequeathed by Ataturk, was reduced to zero. So much so that graduates of schools imam khatyb without special professional officer training were appointed to captain and major posts, especially in the provinces (in Turkey, universal military service, military service is considered an honorable duty, "deviators" are subject to obstruction, and therefore any a man in the country has the skills of military training). The army was embroiled in a tedious and low-prestigious civil war in eastern Anatolia against the Kurds, and in recent years also in Syria. Moreover, officers' purges were campaigning in nature, people were fired or discriminated against for inadvertently speaking a word, either by denunciation or by MIT.
Counterintelligence has created for itself the image of an omnipotent mechanism for monitoring the situation in the country, and especially in the army. At the same time, when Erdogan came to power, it was MIT who was the first to undergo total cleaning, and not so much on the basis of ideology, but rather on the “professional origin of the employees”. All employees and foreign intelligence (directorate of foreign operations), and especially counterintelligence, once recruited into the special services from the field army were cleaned in dozens. As a result, the proportion of MIT employees with a military background dropped from 35% to negligible 4,5%.
The fact is that all the previous four military coups in Turkey, when the army, "according to Ataturk's precepts," "corrected" the presumptuous secular authorities, were in practice organized by MIT and its predecessor, the National Security Service. They took upon themselves both the practical side of the organization of the coup and formulated priorities.
For example, in 1960, the fight against corruption (the prime minister and ministers of finance and foreign affairs were simply hanged), in 1971, the “restoration of order” and the suppression of radical local terrorism and the excesses of all against everyone (communists, Trotskyists, bektashei, pro-Albanian radicals , Sufis), in 1980, also the cessation of political violence.
At the end of 70, Turkey stood on the verge of a civil war between right and left political forces, before martial law was introduced by generals Kenan Evren several dozen people were killed in street clashes. There is an opinion that this war was a manifestation of a “hybrid war” (although there was no such term then) between the USA and the USSR for Turkey, although the reality is, of course, more complicated.
Finally, in 1997, the army forced the government of Islamist Erbakan to resign and rewrote the laws of the country, making them even more secular.
Erdogan not only reformed MIT, he allowed the approximate counterintelligence officers, people from his party who did not have a military past, to turn the once influential organization almost into a private shop. It has become common practice to recruit relatives at MIT; in the provinces, service in counterintelligence became almost a family business, which contributed to the creation of a “personal devotional regime” and an Erdogan personality cult. At the same time, the counterintelligence functions grew immensely, and it became unhealthy to compete with police intelligence, that is, it turned into essentially the secret police of the sultan.
MIT was also responsible for ensuring the foreign policy, if I may say so, Erdogan doctrine. This structure is engaged in trade weapons, supports Islamist and semi-Islamist groups in Syria, "develops" the Kurds and drives crude oil across the border. This is not to mention the usual petty corruption, which is simply given to the hereditary and "closely related" counterintelligence at the mercy.
Such an exciting life at some point played with MIT the usual unfunny joke in these circumstances. They no longer have enough time to fulfill their main function: to look after the army, especially after the defeat of the network of conspirators "Ergenikon" to the skies raised the authority of Erdogan and his entourage. The president even initiated several demonstration processes over the conspirators of the past decades in order to finally humiliate and crush the remnants of the professional officer corps. For example, in 2012, 94-year-old Gen. Kenan Evren, who stopped the civil war of the end of 70, was brought to trial. He received a life sentence and died in the 2015 year. And this monstrous act got off Erdogan.
And now MIT frankly missed the "gray lieutenant colonels." It is possible to trace such a semi-handmade conspiracy of the “battalion level” more difficult than endlessly listening to senior officers of the general staff and hanging each brothel with cameras. But after the recent events, the MIT building in Ankara, into which the angry helicopter pilots, evidently slapped several NURSs out of a sense of revenge, can no longer be restored, and the organization itself can be dismissed right up to the accountants. It is clear that Erdogan will now concentrate on the complete dispersal of the army, for which he will need human counterintelligence potential, but in an ideal society, the authority of both the Turkish president and his entourage and counterintelligence must fall to the freezing point.
You can shoot busts of Ataturk
But even more unpleasant consequences await the very idea of Turkish statehood. In principle, it is already now possible to start removing Ataturk busts from pedestals of varying degrees of artistic value, which reproachfully look at you in Turkey almost everywhere (well, except perhaps it is an all-exclusive resort area). The system that Kemal Pasha, Inonu, and others invented from scratch to save the remnants of the Ottoman people from a monstrous defeat, ordered to live long. Ataturk ordered the Sufis to be hanged on pillars right where they met a person in characteristic clothes, and now almost Bektashi and Mevlevites are a separate political force. Atatürk’s army was both a closed corporation for officers and a social integration school for provincial boys from the poor families of Eastern Anatolia. Now it is the patrimony of Imam-Khatibov dropouts. The authority of power under Ataturk and Inony and the authoritarianism of Erdogan with his public democracy differ as the Moon and the Sun. And taking advantage of the moment, Erdogan will finish off Ataturk’s republic in its very foundations.
And it will be a completely different Turkey. And not only by its internal structure, but also by the nature of foreign policy behavior. The Greek army at night from 15 to 16 July bristled, of course, by inertia and the habit of looking east through the scope. But the very fact of such events in a country that claims to be a regional leader and breaks completely and alone into European structures can change the very place that Turkey Erdogan, in contrast to Turkey Ataturk, is in the world political system.
The euphoria of Erdogan’s victory touts everyone around
Hysteria behavior, strange traits of Erdogan's character - not some of its unique feature. The exaggerated nature of emotions, behavior on the verge of anguish is a birth trauma of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern peoples. And now Erdogan and his 52% of voters will easily capture the euphoria of victory, the results of which (euphoria, not victory) haunt everyone around - from Kurds to Greeks with all the stops in Syria.
The “gray lieutenant colonels” did not have any political idea, unless, of course, it was assumed that they simply did not have time to make it public. But they had time, they somehow controlled the state building, even if they were physically in the number of ten soldiers headed by a major. But among them there was no one who could cope with the organization of the live broadcast. And no one who could be shown in this live broadcast accusation of Erdogan or some kind of ideological construction of a military coup. Because we just do not know what they wanted, except to dislodge the annoying president. And therefore you can safely forget the strange reasoning that Erdogan, they say, went to reconciliation with Russia, and no one knows what to expect from the lieutenant colonels. And, they say, the military specifically shot down a Russian bomber in order to substitute the "good" Erdogan for breaking up with Moscow.
But it was Erdogan and his ministers who poked every five centimeters of airspace that technically crossed Russian planes a couple of times before everything happened. These were the people of Erdogan who armed the Turkomans, brought oil, traded weapons, falsified the facts and supplied Al-Nusru with projectiles, setting it at Kurds. It is with the sanction of Erdogan several times a month Turkish “Phantoms” enter the Greek islands, imitating a bomb attack. It is he who personally bargains with Europe, then openly threatens the unfortunate Old World with another Great Migration. It is his Foreign Minister Chavushoglu who cherishes the dream of restoring the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans through multimillion-dollar injections and the “restoration of Turkish cultural values” in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, in Bulgaria and Albania.
A military coup, of course, is unconstitutional by definition. The ideologized American and European systems of foreign-policy thinking were perceived by him in precisely this way, and it is difficult to criticize them for it. But Turkey is a special country, to transfer to it automatically some global ideological constructions of European origin and European thinking, to put it mildly, is wrong. There, only in 1920, cinemas were allowed, and people lost consciousness when they saw moving pictures on the wall. There, an exaggerated attitude to the printed word, just like in the USSR and Russia, journalists and writers are the real rulers of thoughts. There, the system of behavior and speech is only slightly powdered with a pan-European and secular bloom, and in general has not changed since the time of the Ottomans. And with this givenness must be considered. Especially now, when the very state system of Turkey will change before our eyes, and public sentiment will finally shift to extremely radical flanks. And no one is better: neither Erdogan, nor the lieutenant colonels, nor Gülen, if he really was involved in the coup attempt, although it looks very doubtful.