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New documents surface on July 2016 coup bid

New documents continue to emerge regarding Turkey’s still-controversial coup attempt, shedding light on the unknown aspects of the failed putsch.

The blacklist of Turkish Army members by Erdogan Regime months before July 2016 coup attempt is the same as the martial law-list announced by coup plotters on the night of the 15th of July, exiled Turkish journalist Adem Yavuz Arslan reported.

“The rank of some military officers were miswritten and even those mistakes were identical in both lists”, Arslan said.

Arslan published the relevant documents by listing common mistakes in both lists.

Erdogan regime’s blacklist turned into command echelon list of martial law regime

According to Arslan, the real actors of the attempted coup made an enormous mistake by turning the blacklist prepared before the coup into the alleged command echelon list of the subsequent martial law regime, saying such a mistake could spoil the whole story.

Arslan further pointed to the fact that the ordering of both lists is also the same.

Arslan called attention to an important detail saying “All military officers who started serving in 2010 in Turkish Land Forces Command were blacklisted, except for one: Eren Şen. Eren Şen appeared in a court as a witness and said ‘As a member of Gulen Movement, I told everything I know about this movement to the competent authorities”.

A group nominated by Erdogan of former politicians and soldiers had prepared extensive blacklists and submitted them to Intelligence Office, Police Forces and Presidency of Turkey, Arslan claimed. Those people admitted their efforts to blacklist army members who allegedly have ties to the Gulen Movement.

Colonel Köse uncovered the connection between two lists

Colonel Muharrem Kose tried to demonstrate how these two lists are the same with their identical mistakes in a trial on 22 September 2019 heard by Ankara 25th Heavy Penal Court where he stood as a defendant on charges of plotting a coup, Arslan said. The judge first had refused to hear his claims, but upon his lawyer’s insistence, he was given a short time to explain them at the end of the trial. Kose claimed that the list of “Gulenist army officers” -drafted before the coup attempt and filed in the court documents- is a blacklist and it is the same document as the one announced as “martial law list”. He supported his claim by providing some concrete examples.

Tuba Özkan who was serving in the Turkish Air Force as a sergeant in Diyarbakır province on the night of the coup bid was recorded as an officer of Turkish Land Forces in the blacklist. The same mistake was also made in the martial law list published on July 25. Arslan gives many examples of common mistakes seen in both lists and argues that there is no real coup attempt but rather an operation launched by the Turkish intelligence service. Referring to Erdogan’s words of “a gift from God” for the coup attempt, Arslan asserted that Erdogan could dismiss thousands of military officers whom he sees as the only obstruct in his way.

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AKP regime to appoint 3,000 trustees to headman posts

It was alleged that a list of 3,000 names was created so far to replace elected headmen with appointed trustees. According to the incoming information, the number of headmen to be replaced by a trustee might increase to 5,000 or 6,000, including the villages and neighborhoods.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) won the last local elections with relative success in 3 metropolitans, 8 provinces, and 56 districts/towns. But the outcome was not as it was declared on the day of election by the Supreme Election Committee.  The government has appointed trustees, starting from the metropolitan municipalities, ousting elected mayors over alleged `terror` links. The mayors were not only suspended but also arrested and put in prisons due to the charges of having links to the terrorist group YPG/PKK.

A de facto state of emergency

Turkey has met with the `trustee` phenomenon before the so-called July 2016 coup attempt. Then, it continued with the state of emergency created after July 15. The pretext is always the same, resourcing terrorism or associating with terrorism. Although the state of emergency has been officially abolished, its powers are above the current situation. Turkey encounters a severe state of the emergency period even though the state of emergency is de jure no more. Everything is executed through the Ministry of the Interior at the behest of the palace.

After the last election, the AKP regime mortgaged to the will of the people through trustees. The HDP has won 67 municipalities so far, nevertheless, 24 trustees have been appointed to the municipalities, including HDP’s most important municipalities. Extorting the will of the electorate with the trustees, the government makes the calculations of lowering the oppression to the lower level.

Next in line are headmen

It was alleged that a list of 3,000 names was created so far to replace elected headmen with appointed trustees. According to the incoming information, the number of headmen to be replaced by a trustee might increase to 5,000 or 6,000, including the villages and neighborhoods.

Almost all of the trustees that are supposed to be appointed to the headman posts are to replace headmen elected in the Eastern and Southeastern regions. The list also includes the village and neighborhood headmen in the west. The headmen criticizing the government are targeted on the pretext of `terror links`. The ruling party will appoint pro-government people to the headman posts in the villages and neighborhoods as a trustee. Sometimes a teacher or an officer may be decided as trustee and AKP provincial and district organizations will determine it.

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Syrian Operation Overshadowed Domestic Political Aims of Erdogan

Most of the Western military analysts are not successful in understanding the real reasons of Turkey’s recent military operations in Syria, by the reason that not truly comprehends the true extent of the Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian tendency.

FATİH YURTSEVEN

Since 2010, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gradually accumulated all governmental and administrative power by cunningly eliminating his political opponents such as Suleyman Soylu (former leader of Democrat Party and current Minister of Internal Affairs) and Numan Kurtulmus (former leader of People’s Voice Party and current vice president of Central Executive Committee of AKP), who had heavily criticized the President, by inviting them to his party. Within 17 years, Erdogan has also managed to control the vast majority of the media, which normally has a critical role in enlightening and influencing Turkish society with respect to the appropriateness of the Turkish military operations in Syria. Today, every segment of Turkish society is under the heavy influence of the government-led media, which professionally shapes the public perception regarding the “victories and enemies” of the “leader of the century”. In March 2016, President acquired the sufficient power to dismiss the elected Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu without stating any legitimate reason. The western-minded military cadre was the only remained obstacle in front of Erdogan to force the Turkish army to enter into the territory of Syria behind the Free Syrian Army, which includes brutal fighters. The fake coup attempt on July 15, 2016 was “the gift of God” for the President to get rid of the top officers such as Akın Ozturk, former Commander of Turkish Air Force, who strictly rejected any kind of Turkish military involvement in Syria.  The first major military operation, Operation Euphrates Shield, started on August 24, 2016, only one month after the dismissal of nearly half of the top officers in the wake of July 15, 2016. According to a joke, Napoleon Bonaparte envied the President’s media and said that if I had had such a proponent media, I would have foisted Waterloo as a big victory to France public.

The President lost his chance to continue his political life within the parliamentary democracy due to his family’s involvement in the corruption allegations. In a normal democratic country, independent courts would question the illegal actions of both the government and its members. The president decided long ago to ruin the parliamentary democracy in Turkey and establish a one-man rule both to passivize his enemies and rule the country based on his wills like a private company. For this reason, President had to make up a series of military victories in a foreign country to create a strong image similar to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The President called July 15 fake coup attempt as the new independence war of Turkey. According to polls before July 15, most of the Turkish citizens were not willing to support the new tailor-made presidential system, which would give superpowers to the elected President. After July 15, the supports for Turkish-style presidential system significantly increased. But it was not enough for the President. Because this support should have continued during the long and challenging constitutional amendment process. During a military operation in a foreign country, it is natural to observe the increase in the nationalistic sentiments. Operation Euphrates Shield gave the desired opportunity to divert the Turkish public attention away from the debates about the details of the new presidential system. This operation was also extremely functional for the President to maintain the public support for the new presidential system at a required level. Before the constitutional referendum on April 16 for the ratification of new presidential system, the President reached one of the “brightest” victory in Syria with the help of Operation Euphrates Shield.

The emergency state in Turkey was in force more than one year before the start of Operation Olive Branch. After a controversial referendum for new presidential system in 2017, nearly %51 of Turkish population accepted the AKP’s proposal for new administration system. The other major Turkish military operation was Operation Olive Branch, which started in January 2018. What a coincidence, this operation ended on March 18, 2018, which is the anniversary of the Canakkale (Gallipoli) Victory.  Normally, Turkey would elect its new president in November 2019. On the other hand, on 18 April 2018, President Erdogan stated that “Our preference has been to try to hold out till the date in November 2019. However, whether it be the cross-border operation in Syria or the historic developments in Iraq and Syria has made it so that it is paramount for Turkey to overcome uncertainty”. As it is seen from the statement of Erdogan, the military operation in Syria became the main reason for the snap presidential election in Turkey. Turkish media had to apply self-censorship due to the heavy atmosphere in Turkish political environment. Just one month after the start of the operation, 786 people were detained due to their social media messages about criticizing the Turkish military operation in Syria. Moreover, more than 1500 crew of Turkish Armed Forces (including jet pilots and controllers) who have attended operation Olive Branch was seperated from their uniform just a few days after the end of the operation due to have been in a relationship with Gulen movement. Of course, people who were poisoned by government-led media couldn’t dare to ask “If this crew were betrayer, why did they participate such an important operation? If they are not betrayer why were they removed from Army?” With the help of rising nationalism, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected as the first president of new system on 24 June 2018. Nevertheless, Erdogan could not live happily after ever as the strong president of Turkey. Because the Turkish economy heavily deteriorated due to the populist policies of Erdogan to become the first president of Turkey.

Rising inflation and unemployment are the waking call for the Turkish society about the future damages of the new presidential system. In the local election on March 31, 2019, Turkish citizens gave a strong warning to Erdogan, who lost the major cities of Turkey including Istanbul. However, Erdogan had entered a dead-end-street long before and did not have the chance to improve the economic and political conditions of Turkey. Because of the wrong foreign policy preferences, nearly 4 million Syrian refugees have come to Turkey. Turkey’s inactivity against ISIS after 2012 and participation of foreign fighters to ISIS via to Turkish border strengthened the position of YPG in Syria as a legitimate actor, which wants to establish a Kurdish state in the North of Syria. The insufficient Turkish military cadre, which appointed after July 15, 2016, does not have sufficient level of courage to explain the negative consequences of the military operations in Syria by using the members of Free Syrian Army. Today, the main problem for Turkish citizens is the catastrophic consequences of the long-lasting economic crisis in Turkey. Nearly every one out of four adults in Turkey is unemployed. Almost half of employed people are working for minimum wage designated by government. The government has imposed new taxes to close the huge budgetary deficit. In such a political environment, Erdogan clearly knows that he will lose the supports of Turkish citizens. The “Operation Peace Spring” started in such an adverse political atmosphere and temporarily gave Erdogan the kiss of life. Einstein stated that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”. It is the insanity of Erdogan to force Turkish military forces in the wrong direction for the sake of preserving his power. And, it is time for the military analysts in Western countries to predict the future detrimental consequences of Erdogan’s usage of Turkish military in an uncontrolled way.

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It would take until 2030 if we had purged them in the normal bureaucratic process – AKP Deputy

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan interpreted the controversial July 2016 coup attempt as “a gift from God.”

Erdogan implied that the members of the Gulen Movement were easily cleared from the state in this way. Erdogan’s deputy made a similar statement three years later.

AKP Deputy Chairman Numan Kurtulmuş mentioned that “It would take until 2030 if we tried to get them out of the civil service by the regular bureaucratic system.”

Kurtulmuş participated in a program in a Youtube broadcast and responded to the criticism about the dismissal of 150 thousand public service employees in mere weeks.

Mentioning aggravated life sentences given last week in the context of the purge against the Gulen Movement and referring to the thousands of convictions in the courts so far, Kurtulmuş stated that “If we had expelled them from the state [institutions] by the standard procedures since July 15, we would not have been able to purge them from the civil service until 2020 or 2030. The State has taken such an urgent extraordinary measure to protect itself. We also have established a mechanism for those who are expelled from the civil service that they can apply for.”

Kurtulmuş responded to the criticism that even the people who have been tried and acquitted achieve no result from the appeal mechanism and could not return to their public duties. According to Kurtulmuş, being acquitted by the judiciary system does not mean to prove that one is not a member of the organization:

“There is no direct relationship between being acquitted and membership in the organization. One may have been acquitted of the alleged crime, but that does not mean he is not a member of the organization. You already put forth membership in the organization with other evidence. Membership in the organization is certain, but he/she didn’t commit a crime.”

According to the laws of the Republic of Turkey, contrary to Numan Kurtulmuş’s statement, membership in a terrorist organization is punishable by at least 6.5 years in prison.

However, thousands of former public employees who were acquitted and proven innocent by the court are still not reinstated. According to these public employees, the state has “blacklists” so acquittal does not make any sense if one’s name is included in these lists.

Fatih Murat Coşkun is just one of them. Coşkun, who was expelled from his post in public service after the failed 2016 coup, was acquitted of all charges in his trial after being arrested for 8 months. Coşkun proved that he was not a member of a terrorist organization through a court ruling but he could never return to his post.

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