August 16, 2016

30 astonishing questions Turkey coup attempt leaves us with

Veysel Ayhan

1. There is no precedence in history of a coup which was done by blocking bridges. Rather than closing the Bosporus Bridge, the coup-plotters could have used the same military force to prevent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim from making statements on television channels. Why didn’t they do it?

Turkey coup

2. There is no military coup in the world in which president, prime minister or even a single cabinet minister has not been detained. How can this be explained?

3. Is it not strange that despite the fact that all the military coups happen before dawn, this coup attempt was made during the prime time when almost everyone is awake?

4. Is it normal that except junior and non-commissioned officers, hardly any senior commander was seen that night on the streets; and that those soldiers didn’t even know what they are up to and what they have to do?

5. While making statement at the airport Erdogan said "there was a movement at 15.00 hrs". Also, it is now known that the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) warned Erdogan about the coup attempt at 16.30 hrs.

If he had made a statement and had called citizens on streets at that time, coup attempt wouldn’t have been made, soldiers wouldn’t have left their barracks and hundreds of people wouldn’t have died. Why was he silent?

6. In his own words, did he wait for “God’s gift” that is, the coup attempt to call people on streets? Why did he delay the statement for six hours?

7. As Erdogan learnt about the coup attempt at 16.30 hrs, instead of moving to a secret location and making a statement from there, why did he choose to fly to Istanbul where junta’s fighter jets were still airborne?

8. Despite the well-known fact that Istanbul’s Ataturk airport was under siege during the coup attempt, what could be the logic behind Erdogan flying to the same airport?

9. Despite the fact that everyone can easily track Erdogan’s flight on, why did he not chose to fly with another aircraft but ATA?

10. How did Erdogan trust the pilots of F16s that were escorting his ATA airplane?

11. As a person who is afraid of being assassinated and who has established a food test laboratory in his Palace due to the fear that he might be poisoned, how could Erdogan board the ATA aircraft despite the high risk of being hit and it being an open target? Is it not the same thing as saying "hit me please"?

12. Is it normal for the prominent media outlets like NTV, CNN Turk, Dogan Haber, Anadolu Ajansi to relentlessly report from the very beginning when nobody even had any idea of what was happening that “the coup attempt has been made by the sympathisers of the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (FETO) in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK)”, and for Erdogan and Yildirim to start every statement with this sentence?

13. Why the Turkish parliament was hit when the real target of coup-plotters were Erdogan and his Palace? How can it be explained that the F16s hit the parliament but missed a bigger target - a 450,000 square meter Palace - and was only able to bomb its garden?

14. Is it normal to raid the Palace which is protected by hundreds of heavily armed guards and where thousands of employees work by only three commanders and thirteen soldiers, and them too being detained by policemen at the entrance?

15. Why Military Commanders went to attend a wedding ceremony despite learning about the coup planning at 16.00 hrs?

16. With hardly fifty soldiers the coup-plotters could have seized the satellite network Turksat which would have enabled them to stop all unwanted broadcasting or they could have raided the directorate of telecommunications to control the internet traffic, but they didn’t. Why?

17. When the MIT had informed almost every state authority about the coup planning at 16.00 hrs, why the state broadcaster TRT wasn’t secured and coup-plotters’ announcement wasn’t prevented?

18. Is it not strange that immediately after the coup announcement on TRT, its employees returned to their desks and continued their broadcasting as usual?

19. Why Twitter and other social media websites were not blocked and the Internet wasn’t slowed down that night as in the event of even a small terrorist attack?

20. When a gag order is issued on reporting of even a small terrorist attack, why such an order wasn’t issued during a military coup attempt?

21. During the Gezi Park protests in 2013, Erdogan was extremely anxious but that night he was remarkably relaxed. And his son-in-law was even grinning. How can it happen when hundreds of people were dying on live television?

22. Is it possible that there will be 100 Gulen-sympathising generals in the military and they will tolerate litany of abuses and slanders of Erdogan against him for three years? And that they will wait until all the institutions and corporates close to Gulen movement are taken over by the government and all Gulen-sympathising officials are purged from state institutions to launch a coup attempt?

23. Is it true that the brother of the deputy leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AP party) Major General Mehmet Disli and other high-ranking officers initially backed the coup attempt but later withdrew their support?

24. After the coup attempt the civilian government has purged lot more state officials than a military junta would ever do. Was the coup attempt an excuse for the following purges?

25. On the morning following the coup attempt two members of the Constitutional Court, Alparslan Altan and Erdal Tercan were unlawfully arrested. Arrest warrant was also issued against 140 Supreme Court and 48 council of state members.

Detention order was issued against 2,745 members of the judiciary, state judges and prosecutors. What do they have to do with the coup attempt? Was the list prepared before-hand?

26. The ministry of interior suspended 8,777 staff from central and provincial headquarters. Were the policemen behind the coup attempt?

27. Ministry of Education suspended 15,200 employees and cancelled the licences of 21,000 teachers working in private educational institutions. The justification shown is "the probe following the coup attempt". How have 50,000 people been probed within 48 hours?

28. Has the unconstitutional profiling by MIT been used to purge almost 100,000 people within three days?

29. If the coup-plotters had succeeded in ousting the government, would they have carried out purging on this scale?

30. Would it be wrong to call these purges unattempted coup?

(Translated from the Turkish by Mohammad Behzad Fatmi.)

Published on DailyO, 20 July 2016, Wednesday