Only days from presenting rosy picture of NATO unity we are watching serious exchange of accusations between Turkey and USA after failed (maybe fake) military coup in Turkey. It is just a war of words but very indicative of real NATO unity. USA is finding it more and more difficult to maintain their “Russians are coming” narrative in Europe. Well, someone is coming from the east but it might not be Russians after all – they seem to be more interested in building Eurasian economical space together with China.
The United States expressed concern that their longtime NATO ally and critical regional partner believed that Washington would try to overthrow their government calling the claims “harmful to bilateral relations.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry told Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavosoglu on Saturday that public claims suggesting that American officials masterminded the failed coup attempt in Turkey were categorically false and were harmful to relations between the two longtime NATO allies.
Earlier in the day Labor Minister Süleyman Soylu created a firestorm when he publicly claimed that Washington was behind the coup in Turkey.
“The US is behind the coup attempt. A few journals that are published there [in the US] have been conducting activities for several months. For many months we have sent requests to the US concerning Fethullah Gulen. The US must extradite him,” said Soylu.
The attempted coup has left 265 people dead and over 2,000 wounded across the country. Erdogan’s regime has responded by cracking down with fury imprisoning 2,745 opposition judges and arresting over 2,800 soldiers alleged sympathetic to the coup bid.
On the other side such called western media seem to be pushing narrative that basically accuses Turkish establishment of staging military coup in order to take full control over military and judiciary in the county.
What began as a brainstorm erupted into a full blown conspiracy theory when a Politico reporter poured gas on the fire claiming that his Turkish source believed the coup was a staged performance.
Social media is abuzz with new claims that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faked the coup attempt against the government after the country’s leader called the botched overthrow “a gift from Allah.” Posting under #TheaterNotCoup social media users ask aloud whether the whole think was an elaborate scheme for the Turkish strongman to garner even more control.
Erdogan had fallen out of favor among Western leaders in recent months after repeated crackdowns on journalists, legal maneuvering to outlaw dissenters, forging a constitutional amendment revoking legislative immunity for opposition lawmakers, and seizure of nearly full control of the country’s executive and legislative powers with the tacit consent of Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
Turkey’s government has already wrangled together over 2,8000 soldiers and 2,745 judges who are claimed to have conspired against the Erdogan regime and who now all face treason charges. It is unknown whether any of these targeted soldiers or jurists were opponents to Erdogan’s strongman form of government, but ultimately not involved in the plot at all. Regardless, the prison doors have now shut on the leaders primary political opponents.
“This means it [the failed coup] will be followed by a real coup by Erdogan himself, and the last remnants of democracy will be lost,” suggested one social media pundit.
The alleged mastermind of the coup according to Turkish officials, Fethullah Gulen, also trafficked the idea that the coup was staged saying “I don’t believe that the world believes the accusations made by President Erdoğan. There is a possibility that it could be a staged coup and it could be meant for further accusations [against the Gülenists].”
Whether the coup was ultimately fact or fiction, the world has been fundamentally changed by the horror descended on the streets of Istanbul and Ankara on Friday with the advantage clearly going to the coup’s survivor.
Turkish establishment signaled to their western allies from NATO it could take measures that would seriously affect alliance.
Turkish officials are preventing access to and from the air base until they complete “anti-coup” operations effectively leaving America’s nuclear arsenal in the hands of the same Erdogan regime that just accused Washington of masterminding the coup.
Movement in and out of the Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey was blocked on Saturday by local military authorities, a distressing sign for the future of NATO which stores US tactical nuclear weapons at the base.
“Local authorities are denying movements on to and off of Incirlik Air Base. The power there has also been cut,” the US consulate in Adana said in a message. “Please avoid the air base until normal operations have been restored.”
The closure of the airbase also led to a halt in US air strikes against Daesh. CNN Turk was told by sources that Turkish authorities did make an exception for US aircraft that had already been deployed on mission before the airspace was shut and allowed them to land at the base for refueling.
US tactical nuclear weapons now rest in the hands of a Turkish government willing to openly accuse the United States of seeking its demise under the leadership of an aggressive autocratic ruler who fancies himself the next Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
The instability of Turkey which faces pressures from the 2.75 million Syrian refugees seeking asylum, Kurdish opposition, Daesh terrorists, and a military that has shown a willingness to turn on the country’s president may force NATO to ultimately pull its nuclear weapons stockpile from Incirlik airbase before the country descends into chaos.