Erdogan and conspiracy theories about the attempted coup d'etat

An attempted coup which started overnight as a group of the military took key positions throughout Turkey was stifled over the course of about a half of a day.

By the afternoon Saturday, the head of the country's National Intelligence Organization said operations to end the putsch were essentially completed.

The rash pace with which the government suffocated the movement has led some in Turkey and in the West to ask the question: Was the attempted coup staged by the nation's most powerful politician, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan?

The move seemed highly amateur, leading the renowned Turkish author and journalist Ahmet Sik to consider that maybe the coup plotters could have been forced into early action as the government got wind of the plans.

That would explain why police forces, which are generally loyal to the government, had been bulked up ahead of the attempt.

It's also worth keeping in mind that this isn't the first failed coup in Turkey. Another failed attempt was made in 1963.

Given Erdogan's influence, it probably wouldn't have been impossible for him to stage a coup.

Five generals and 28 colonels were among the suspected ringleaders, who could have been working with Erdogan.

But Erdogan announced publicly that they would have to pay "a very high price," presumably meaning long prison sentences. Some supporters have even called for the death penalty.

It's also not clear how the officers would have profited from the situation if it were staged.

Nevertheless, there still could be a very good reason for Erdogan to stage a coup.

The politician has been pushing for the introduction of a presidential political system, thus granting more power to him.

Erdogan is, however, already the most powerful political figure in the country and even before the putsch attempt had reasonable chances of having his wish for a presidential system granted.

It seems to be a huge risk to take for something he could possibly obtain without such extreme measures.

Even though Erdogan is known as a risk-taker, security experts still aren't convinced that he would go that far.

One Western security expert said: "It's like setting your house on fire and hoping that it doesn't burn down."

Additionally, Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and others close to Erdogan looked nervous as the military movements began during the night.

However, things in Ankara did look suspiciously calm in the days leading up to the night when the military made its move.

But sources close to the government also had an answer for that: Erdogan was making up for missed holiday that he couldn't take at the end of Ramadan because he was at a NATO summit in the Polish capital, Warsaw.

Last update: Sat, 16/07/2016 - 20:08

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