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September 1, 2016 / 28 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Coup’

Turkey Escalates Media Crackdown in Wake of Failed Coup

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Two advocacy groups, NY based Committee to Protect Journalists, and DC based Freedom House, on Wednesday sounded an alarm about the arrests of more than a dozen Turkish journalists since the weekend, and the shutting down of dozens of media outlets by the Turkish government. The move was given a single, unified reasoning: all these individuals and outlets are accused of being affiliated with dissident Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who is living in exile in Philadelphia but, according to the Edrogan government was behind the recent military coup attempt.

CPJ Europe and Central Asia program coordinator Nina Ognianova told the Voice of America: “We’re obviously extremely concerned about the developments, particularly against journalists, but this sort of behavior from the government is nothing new. For months, the Turkish authorities have gone after journalists who were critical of their policies. It’s escalated now and in the post-coup period.”

News outlets in Turkey reported on Wednesday that the Turkish government had ordered the closing of 45 newspapers, 23 radio stations, 16 TV channels and three news agencies. An Istanbul prosecutor issued detention warrants for 47 former employees and executives of Zaman, a media group accused of links to Gulen.

Journalist and former parliamentarian Nazlı Ilıcak, who was on the Zaman detention warrant, was arrested in the Bodrum district of the Aegean province of Mugla early on July 26. She was pulled out of her car and taken to the Bodrum Police Station, and then sent to Istanbul for legal actions.

Five other journalists: Yakup Sağlam, İbrahim Balta, Seyit Kılıç, Bayram Kaya and Cihan Acar, have also been detained so far, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

Freedom House official Nate Schenkkan told VOA that unofficial lists circulating on pro-government social media sites suggest at least 150 other journalists could be targeted, many of whom may have no ties to Gulen.

State Department spokesman John Kirby voiced the US concern about press freedom in Turkey: “I think we’d see this as a continuation of … a troubling trend in Turkey where official bodies, law enforcement and judicial, are being used to discourage legitimate political discourse.”

The crackdown on Turkish media dates back to December 2013, when Turkish prosecutors launched a massive corruption investigation of associates of then-Prime Minister Erdogan, which resulted in a government backlash and mass arrests of journalist. Since 2013, Freedom House has set Turkey’s press freedom status a at 71 out of 100, with 100 being the worst. This shameful score is certainly going to be increased soon.

David Israel

Erdogan Wouldn’t Let Elders Of Zion Plan His Fake Coup

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

{Originally posted to the satirical website, PreOccupied Territory}

Ankara, July 18 – Frustrated members of the shadowy Jewish conspiracy that runs the world admitted today that they took a back seat to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in planning the false-flag attempt to depose him over the weekend.

Insiders among the Elders of Zion told reporters today that while Erdoğan, at his own insistence, successfully planned and managed the operation to make it seem a coup was taking place, and then exploited those developments to seize even tighter control of the country than before, his handling of the execution betrayed the hand of a relative amateur, compared to the elegant, seamless way in which Conspiracy activities through the generations have been orchestrated.

Elders pointed to the clumsiness with which certain important details of the would-be coup attempt were cobbled together. “Many of the soldiers taking part had no idea they were conducting anything more than an exercise,” noted H, a member of the Supreme Council of Elders, which gave final, if reluctant, approval for Erdoğan to handle the ruse himself. “For a coup to be believable, you need the armed forces to be behind it, not just a few units with some others along for the ride.”

H also noted the obvious way in which the president swooped in immediately after the coup was suppressed with ready lists of officials, commanders, and government or media figures to arrest or silence over their alleged involvement. “Erdoğan didn’t even maintain a pretense of investigations into who was behind the coup. The whole thing came off looking like a grade-school student trying to cover up some unexcused absences. It’s embarrassing to see.”

Other Elders confirmed that Erdoğan would no longer be allowed to handle such fateful operations with nearly as much autonomy anymore, if at all. “In fact we’re considering pulling in the reins on a whole bunch of activities that until now have been managed by proxies, given the sloppiness of this fiasco,” said L, also of the Supreme Council. “We might have to take a more hands-on role in the South China Sea, for example. Not that [President of China] Xi [Jinping] has been anything less than reliable, but I’m sure he’ll understand that at least for the foreseeable future, we can’t run the risk of such poor handling of our plans recurring – and in a much more strategically significant place than some backwater such as Turkey.”

In terms of China specifically, allowed L, there could eventually be more leeway for the local leadership to take initiative, as a mass conversion to Judaism is already on the table in Beijing to help the country better navigate international banking.

PreOccupied Territory

Turkish Tourism Worst Casualty of Failed Coup, Terrorism

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Turkish Hoteliers Federation head Osman Ayık told the Hürriyet Daily News that Turkey must improve its reputation abroad in order for its troubled tourism sector to prosper again. “The confidence factor that Turkey projected abroad has eroded,” Ayık said. “There is a certain perception in Europe about Turkey and arrivals from the continent have seen a sharp decrease. We need to take steps to reverse that trend.”

Tourism is an essential part of the Turkish economy, employing 8% of the country’s workforce, and it has taken a severe blow from the failed military coup this past weekend, and earlier in this year of relentless terrorist attacks, with a 10% decline in arriving tourists in the first quarter of 2016. According to Euromonitor International, the number of international visitors to Turkey is expected to decline by 5.2% overall in 2016.

Since the coup attempt, the Federal Aviation Administration has not allowed US airlines to fly to or from Istanbul and Ankara, and has blocked all carriers, foreign and domestic, from flying into the US from Turkey even indirectly. The State Department warned US citizens to avoid travel to the tourism sites in southeastern Turkey, and the UK Foreign Office issued an advisory to its citizens against travel to Turkey because terrorism threats are still high there.

Roenen Karaso, a VP in Israel’s tourism company ISSTA, told The Marker that Turkey is “a dead destination. Today we’re talking about bottom prices for mini-vacations to Turkey for 40% less compared with last year. For instance, three nights in motels, all included, in Topkapi or Kremlin in Antalya (Turkey’s resort destination on its southern Mediterranean region, known as the Turquoise Coast for its blue waters) will cost a family (two parents with two children) $400, compared with $600 a year ago — and there are still no takers.”

Karaso said that even connecting flights, the bread and butter of Istanbul’s international airports which until the coup continued to thrive despite the threat of terrorism, “are starting to show a decline of about 10% in orders compared with the previous Sunday.”

For Russian, European and Israeli vacationers, Turkey is not in the cards this summer, which will go down as Turkey’s lost summer. Efraim Kramer, CEO of tourism website Eshet Tours, told The Marker that tourism rates in Turkey “have come down because the Russians have stopped traveling to Turkey, and the Germans and English travel there less as well. We’re seeing an international phenomenon of tourists from Christian countries avoiding Muslim countries — we’ve seen it in Egypt, Tunisia and Marocco, and now in Turkey, too.”

Ayık told the Hürriyet Daily News that “the most fundamental lesson to be learned is to be in harmony with the world. It is the gist of our job. Our sector is one that goes hand-in-hand with peace. That’s why Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s statement that we will increase our friends and decrease our enemies will have a positive reflection on our sector. No matter how beautiful your country might be, if you don’t get along well with your neighborhood that means serious trouble for tourism.”

JNi.Media

Israel Rising: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, False Flag Coup, and the Rise of the New Sultanate

Monday, July 18th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Israel Rising website}

There are times when rulers reach a zenith in their power.  Some of them fall away and others find a way to reverse course and rise again.  The failed coup in Turkey over the weekend marks the lowest point Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It also marks that moment that Erdogan shifts Turkey from a secular democracy to a neo-sultanate once and for all.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used the failed coup to do what he has always wanted to do.  He has wasted no time in purging the Turkish courts and military of secular members and tightening his grip on the country.

The real question though is why did this coup involve only junior members of the military? If it had such support how could it fail so miserably?

There are many answers, but one likely possibility is that Erdogan himself could have staged the coup in order to give credence to his wanton desire to take full control over Turkey. If this seems far fetched, Erdogan has been accused of false flag attacks before. One such incident was uncovered last year and reported at Shoebot.com: “Twitter whistleblower Fuat Avni claimed on Monday that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ordered the intelligence agency head to stage a false assassination plot against his son Bilal Erdoğan in order to blame the Gülen movement.”

Others have reported that Erdogan himself has been quite open on the need to use a false flag operation to make an excuse for sending troops into Syria.

The coup attempt in the last 24 hours has been very weak, lending fuel that this was indeed a false flag attack.

Erdogan has always been quite clear in seeing his role as one of a reinstated sultan, presiding over an expansive rebuilt Ottoman Empire.  Since he has become president, Erdogan has increasingly solidified control, while expanding Islamic influence throughout the Republic of Turkey. No one should forget that it was Recep Tayyip Erdogan who made the following statement: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers…”

Russia Will Not Wait

If it becomes clear that Erdogan is in fact strengthening his grip in a far more complete way than he already has, Russia will not hesitate to make moves to check Turkey in order to ensure Erdogan can do little harm to Putin’s influence in the region.

In the coming weeks the rapprochement moves that had been underway between the two countries may very well become frozen if Putin feels the need to put the Turkish ruler back in his place.

Israel will Stay Neutral

Despite reconciliation between Israel and Turkey, the last thing Israel wants is a newly emboldened Erdogan.  If Erdogan is really about to transform Turkey into a sultanate, Israel will think twice before restarting weapons sales to its military.  With Russia and Israel building a closer friendship the two will be in coordination. This means that Israel is quietly positioning itself in opposition to NATO’s strategy in regards to both Russia and Turkey.

The USA is Backed Into a Corner

Obama quickly mumbled support for Erdogan.  This, even as Erdogan is holding troops USA troops hostage until the United States extradites Muhammed Fethullah Gülen, the Turkish preacher Erdogan claims is behind the coup.

It is too early to see what Obama will do, but most probably nothing. Afterall, Turkey is a NATO ally and is needed as a forward base to bomb ISIS. Look for Gulen to be extradited or this to be settled quietly behind the scenes.

Erdogan has always been focused on spearheading political Islam at a regional level.  The question isn’t whether he wants to be a sort of neo-sultan, but how. I think we have just seen the first steps in Erdogan’s strategy.

 

{Guest author, Micha Gefen is a government policy analysis for Israel Rising}

Israel Rising

Turkish Chief Rabbi, Muslim, Christian Leaders Condemn Coup

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

The head of the Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate, Mehmet Gormez, Orthodox Christian Patriarch Bartholomew I and Hakham Bashi (Chief Rabbi) Ishak Haleva on Saturday issued a joint declaration condemning the coup.

“From wherever and whomever it comes, terror and violence cannot be displayed as a legitimate thing and it cannot be supported,” their statement said, adding that “those who have faith within them cannot approve any killing, as murdering a human being is no different than murdering the whole humanity.”

“We hope terror will be wiped out from Turkey and the world,” the statement concluded. “May God protect our country and all humanity.”

Rabbi Haleva was the deputy to Rabbi David Asseo for seven years and became the new Hakham Bashi after his death in 2002. As a 7-year-old, he came with his father to Istanbul from Edirne, near Turkey’s western border with Bulgaria and Greece, to study in a Jewish school. As a teenager he studied in a yeshiva in Israel to become a rabbi. According to his acquaintances, Haleva was a prankster in his youth, and he still maintains a humorous, informal manner, peppering his words with folksy Hebrew and Turkish sayings.

David Israel

Erdogan Blames Former Military Attaché to Israel and Muslim Peace Advocate for Coup Attempt

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

One of the senior military officials mentioned in the flurry of accusations in Turkey over who exactly was responsible for the failed coup attempt Friday night was former air force commander Akin Ozturk, who was the Turkish Military attaché to Israel between 1996 and 1998. Ozturk, who commanded the Turkish Air Force between 2013 and 2015, is suspected of being the leader of the coup attempt, according to a Hurriyet report.

Ozturk has been a member of the Turkish Supreme Military Council since August 2015, and government media reports have claimed that he may have decided to launch the uprising before an upcoming meeting where his possible links with Turkish opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen were to be raised.

Akın Öztürk / aksam.com.tr

Akın Öztürk / aksam.com.tr

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged President Obama on Saturday to extradite Gulen, a Turkish preacher, former imam, writer, and politician, founder of the Hizmet (service) movement, who is living in self-imposed exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

“They [Gulen supporters] were like a tumor within the military, and now this tumor is being removed,” Erdogan told a crowd in Istanbul less than 24 hours after the end of the coup. “I told you [the US] to deport or give this person back to Turkey. I told you that this person was in a preparation for a coup against Turkey, but I could not make you listen to me,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan Reiterated his demand, “I repeat my call on the US and president Obama, give this person back to Turkey.”

Gülen is actively involved in the societal debate concerning the future of the Turkish state, and Islam in the modern world. He has been described in the English-language media as an imam “who promotes a tolerant Islam which emphasizes altruism, hard work and education.” He teaches that the Muslim community has a duty of service (hizmet) to the “common good” of the community and the nation and to Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world; and that the Muslim community is obliged to conduct dialogue with not just the “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians), and people of other religions, but also with agnostics and atheists.

Some 2,839 military personnel involved in the coup attempt have been arrested, and 20 pro-coup soldiers, including some senior officers, were killed during the attempt to overthrow the government. An estimated 194 Turks were killed overnight in the coup attempt.

On Friday just before 11:00 PM local time military jets flew over Ankara, and both main bridges from Asian to European Istanbul were closed. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said military action was being “taken outside the chain of command,” calling it an “illegal attempt” to seize power by “part of the military.” Tanks were posted in Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport. Internet users within Turkey were blocked from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The Turkish Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar was taken hostage. The coup took place while President Erdogan was vacationing in south-western Turkey.

Between 11 PM and midnight, helicopters bombed the police special forces headquarters and police air force headquarters outside of Ankara, leaving 42 dead and 43 injured. Satellite telecommunication Türksat headquarters near Ankara was also attacked, and two security personnel were killed.

Just before midnight, soldiers occupied Taksim Square in central Istanbul. At about the same time Turkish soldiers entered the buildings of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), in Ankara. Soldiers forced anchor Tijen Karaş to read out a statement saying that “the democratic and secular rule of law has been eroded by the current government” and Turkey was now being governed by a “peace council” that would “ensure the safety of the population.” The statement also read that “Turkish Armed Forces have completely taken over the administration of the country to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and general security that was damaged. […] All international agreements are still valid. We hope that all of our good relationships with all countries will continue.” This was “done to preserve democratic order, and that the rule of law must remain a priority.” The statement ended with a declaration of temporary martial law, promising a new constitution “as soon as possible.” Eventually TRT was taken off air.

Pro-coup soldiers surrender in Ankara / Anadolu Agency

Pro-coup soldiers surrender in Ankara / Anadolu Agency

Bombs struck near the Turkish Grand Assembly, injuring 12, two of whom were in critical condition. There were reports of shelling from the air of several locations in the capital Ankara, including the ruling AK Party headquarters, the presidential complex, and the General Staff.

MPs from all parties converged on the Assembly and inscribed on the wall of the main session hall a declaration that “Sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the Nation.” They then moved into a bomb shelter to hide from the airstrikes.

A Turkish army F-16 reportedly shot down a Sikorsky helicopter, and aircraft belonging to the army continued to fly over the capital to repel any attacks on key buildings.

Reuters reported that in early Saturday the coup had “crumbled” as crowds defied the rebelling military units and gathered in major squares of Istanbul and Ankara to oppose the coup. Pro-coup soldiers eventually surrendered to police in Taksim Square, Istanbul. At 5:18 AM Atatürk airport had been completely cleared of pro-coup forces and police later surrounded the coup forces inside the Turkish army headquarters, calling on them to surrender. There was a skirmish there between 6 and 8 AM, after which the coup was by and large over. Ümit Dündar, head of the First Army, was appointed as the Army’s Acting Chief of Staff.

JNi.Media

Turkey Under Martial Law; Coup Attempt by Turkish Military

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Gunfire was heard in the Turkish capital of Ankara late Friday as the Turkish military announced it was seizing control of the country, Reuters reported.

The military released a statement saying its armed forces have ‘fully seized control’ Turkish state television was seized by an entity calling itself the “Turkish Peace Council,” and the military chief of staff was taken into custody.

It was not possible to reach Israeli or U.S. contacts via social media; international journalists said social media access has been blocked.

Some 2200 U.S. troops and 1500 foreign U.S. citizens were warned to “shelter in place and stay indoors” late Thursday night.

Military tanks were seen rolling through the streets and low-flying jets were flying sorties overhead, eyewitnesses told Reuters.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed that a group within the military has indeed engaged in an attempted coup.

Eyewitnesses told international media they saw the jets and helicopters flying above Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city and an ancient metropolis straddling both the continents of Europe and Asia, once known to historians as Constantinople.

According to the Turkish Daily Sabah website, both bridges in Istanbul that span the mightly Bosphorus strait that separates the two continents have been closed to traffic.

As of five pm Friday afternoon New York time, it was not yet clear what the outcome will be, but it is clear that whatever the outcome, the ramifications for the State of Israel will be serious either way.

Israel and Turkey had just reached a reconciliation agreement barely two weeks ago after a six year freeze in diplomatic ties. There are numerous Israeli business owners, artists and musicians who live in Turkey and/or travel to and from the country.

It remains to be seen how the current state of affairs will affect Israelis, Jews and Americans who are currently in Turkey, as well as those who regularly do business with their Turkish counterparts and travel in and out of the country.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/turkey-under-martial-law-coup-attempt-by-turkish-military/2016/07/16/

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