Let’s be honest, this scenario, as crazy as it sounds, did cross the minds of many. It took Politico’s Ryan Heath, with one tweet, to set off a firestorm debate as to whether the recent botched, and utterly sloppy coup in Turkey was completely staged by Erdogan in order to strengthen his power.
Would Erdgoan take such a risk in order to rule over Turkey with complete impunity? Perhaps…Erdogan is a ruthless and calculating dictator who is dedicated to his messianic mission.
Below is Ryan Heath’s tweet, which has now set off the trending hashtag, #TheaterNotCoup.
— Ryan Heath (@PoliticoRyan) July 16, 2016
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.
The theory originated when Politico’s European correspondent Ryan Heath said that a Turkish source of his believed that the entire debacle was a staged performance citing the fact that the government was able to communicate with everybody in Turkey via SMS text message and that Erdogan would be able to “clean” the military of secularists and install hardline Islamists in both the judiciary and the armed forces stripping away any constitutional check on the leader.
Conspiracy theory, most probably. However the case can be argued, and made, that Erdogan was indeed behind the coup, especially if one examines various aspects of the event…how it unfolded, as well as the convenient outcome that now gives Erdogan unlimited power.
The coup attempt did have its price, leaving at least 265 dead and over 2000 wounded.
Would Erdogan place his very own citizens in such harm’s, way in order to carry out his vision for a ‘New Ottoman Empire’?
— maria mallas (@MallasMaria) July 16, 2016
#TheatreNotCoup We’ll see a change in the constitution for worse, which secularism will be gone and Islamist motifs will be in what a shame
— Aycan Karadag (@karadagaycan) July 16, 2016
Who/what was damaged/harmed during #TheatreNotCoup:
– the Turkish parliament
– the Turkish Army (leaders taken hostage)
– the citizens.
— Subsidiarity Man (@SubsidiarityMan) July 16, 2016
Erdogan’s arch nemesis, and the alleged mastermind of the coup (according to Turkish officials), Fethullah Gulen, quickly floated the idea the coup was staged:
“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].”
Sputnik News further examines the possibility of Erdogan staging coup…
Turkey’s President was emboldened following the events that unfolded on Friday with the very future of Europe hanging in the balance with the EU all but praying that Erdogan would hold on. If Erdogan’s regime fell, Europe faced the specter of several million additional refugees flooding into the continent – a reality that would all but mark the end of the economic union and result in a near immediate end to the Schengen open borders agreement.
The United States found itself in a similar predicament with Turkey serving as NATO’s primary launchpad into the Middle East to attend to the crises in Syria and Iraq. If Turkey fell and the United States lost access to the Incirlik air base the US fight against Daesh would could to a screaming halt.
Faced with those realities, the preview of what a world without Erdogan would look like may very well have been a godsend for the besieged leader of Turkey, but it may also be a nightmare for the United States.
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.