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John Pilger: Why Clinton is certainly more dangerous than Trump

© US Embassy/Flickr
Presidential demon-o-cratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The following is an edited version of an address given by John Pilger at the University of Sydney, entitled 'A World War Has Begun'.


I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, "Where is that?" If I offer a clue by referring to "Bikini", they say, "You mean the swimsuit."

Few seem aware that the bikini swimsuit was named to celebrate the nuclear explosions that destroyed Bikini island. Sixty-six nuclear devices were exploded by the United States in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958 - the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima bombs every day for twelve years.

Bikini is silent today, mutated and contaminated. Palm trees grow in a strange grid formation. Nothing moves. There are no birds. The headstones in the old cemetery are alive with radiation. My shoes registered "unsafe" on a Geiger counter.

Standing on the beach, I watched the emerald green of the Pacific fall away into a vast black hole. This was the crater left by the hydrogen bomb they called "Bravo". The explosion poisoned people and their environment for hundreds of miles, perhaps forever.

Comment: See also: Hillary proffered as alternative to Trump, no one cares she's a warmongering psychopath


Cell Phone

Turkish coup WhatsApp revelations: Orders to kill civilians, 3/5 coup regiments part of Turkey's NATO Rapid Deployable Corps

A group of plotters of the failed Turkish coup attempt used a WhatsApp group to communicate with each other. Bellingcat has transcribed, translated, and analysed the conversation, thereby cross-referencing the messages with photos, videos, and news reports of the evening, night, and morning of July 15-16.

The transcript is composed of two different sources. The first source is a video which was uploaded to Twitter in the morning of July 16, and appears to show the conversation on the phone of a surrendered, captured, or killed coup plotter. This video revealed the WhatsApp conversation from its start at 21:15 to 22:45. The second source is 21 photos that show the rest of the conversation, has already been transcribed. The photos are courtesy of Al Jazeera Türk's Selahattin Günday, and we are thankful that he was willing to share them with Bellingcat. We owe many thanks to "Has Avrat"[1] for fully translating the transcript, as well as contributing to the analysis. All times mentioned are in the local time zone, which is EEST (UTC+3).

This article will chronologically highlight and analyse most the most striking parts of the transcript, including the following:
  • The WhatsApp group consists of high-ranking military officials, mostly of the Turkish Land Forces, including two Brigadiers and eleven Colonels;
  • The group is just one coordination group of the coup attempt, as it focuses on (predominantly) land forces in Istanbul and Sakarya only. There were likely other coordination groups for actions elsewhere in Turkey. It is thus important to bear in mind that this is a snapshot of the conversation of some of the coup plotters, and not a full picture;
  • At least one member of the group communicates with "Ankara", where the coupist headquarters was located (probably in Akıncı Air Base);
  • At least three out of the five coupist regiments are part of Turkey's NATO Rapid Deployable Corps;
  • The conversation and communication between the coup plotters appears to be chaotic, as several numbers still had to be exchanged amidst the attempt;
  • Traffic congestion is a problem throughout the night, and so are private broadcasters;
  • There is a constant repetition regarding taking their superior hostage, the Commander of the First Army;
  • Air support is requested many times, including the suggestion to strike the Bosporus Bridge;
  • As the morning breaks, the coup plotters realise it is over. "Shall we escape", a Colonel asks. "The choice is yours", he gets as response. "We have not decided yet. But we have left our position. I'm closing the group. Delete the messages if you want".
A full transcript in both the original Turkish and translated English of the WhatsApp conversation can be viewed and downloaded here as a PDF-file.

Comment: Not only were the regiments NATO for 13 years; they even used their NATO-assigned slogan "Peace at home, peace in the world" as the name of their WhatsApp group. Sibel Edmonds comments:


According to the German magazine FOCUS, British GCHQ "intercepted phone calls, e-mails and SMS from within the Turkish government apparatus saying that the purges would start next day and that Gulen should be presented as the mastermind of the coup" a half-hour after the shooting started. So as Christoph Germann tweets, a NATO source leaks info to a German magazine suggesting a NATO ally staged a coup. Right. And if they really had the capability to receive these messages, surely they intercepted the messages from the actual coup plotters. But did they warn their 'ally'? Nope.


Stormtrooper

Ominous threats of civil war now being issued from cops across the U.S.

With increasing frequency, law enforcement personnel - including prominent sheriffs, police chiefs, and other command-level officers - are overtly stating that they are at war with the public they supposedly serve. Few have been as candid as a self-identified police officer and combat veteran named Brandon Obie.
"A lot [sic] of these thugs don't realize that a lot [sic] of us officers have spent a lot [sic] of our time downrange stepping in the sandbox and are ready for a righteous fight if they want to bring one," snarled Obie, his spelling reflecting the undemanding intellectual standards of his profession, in a comment posted on a law enforcement-oriented Facebook page. Identical sentiments were expressed by Major Travis Yates of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Police Department, who lectures nation-wide on officer safety issues and editor-in-chief of the publication Law Officer.

Display

Alexander Dugin speaks on the coup d'etat in Turkey: Officials say considering leaving NATO, want stronger ties with Russia


Alexander Dugin
Transcript of video:

Greetings, you are watching Dugin's Guideline. At the end of last week, an attempted coup d'etat took place in Turkey. It was thwarted.

It just so happened that on Friday, July 15th, I was live on Tsargrad TV from Ankara speaking about the terrorist attack in Nice. Who could know that literally just a few hours later, a coup would begin.

And so here is what happened. Given that during my visit I had met with a number of senior officials in Turkish politics and in particular with the mayor of Ankara, Ibrahim Melih Gokcek, the overall picture of the political alignment of forces in Turkey on the eve of the putsch seemed to me to be completely clear. That very same Ibrahim Melih Gokcek, a figure very close to President Erdogan, told me during our conversations of a parallel state, paralel devlet in Turkish, which the sect of Fethullah Gulen succeeded in establishing in Turkey. This sect has its headquarters in the US, in Pennsylvania, from which a developed network of agents of influence which have penetrated Turkish society are managed. Melih Gokcek confessed that he had not immediately figured this out, but that it had later become clear that CIA-managed structures were operating under the guise of humanitarian programs and charity.

Comment: There is also speculation going around Russian media that Russian special forces had a hand in helping Erdogan:
According to this theory, it was Russian Spetsnaz who successfully evacuated Erdogan to the Case De Maris Hotel shortly before the assault on the Grand Yazici Club Turban where he was previously located and where 8-10 militant groups managed by the CIA violently broke in only to find an empty room.

It is difficult to say how much truth there is in this version, but there is the fact that President Erdogan's first appeal to the people to take to the streets against the rebellion was relayed through social networks while he was still in some kind of "unofficial" shelter with lace curtains on the windows. And then suddenly the center of the country's governance was taken back into is hands while covered on a flight by Russian air forces to Ankara, allege such sources. Why the rebel pilots of the Turkish Air Force failed to shoot down the president's Gulfstream IV with TC-ATA registration, if they indeed already had it in their sights, is also up for speculation.

"Of course, it cannot be said that Erdogan was saved by our guys, Russians," Yuri Pershikov, an information analyst specializing in Turkish affairs commented on these reports. "Reports have appeared that some of our electronic warfare systems deployed in Russia and Syria blocked the navigation equipment on [Turkish] air force bases. Information has also appeared that Erdogan's plane was caught by two Turkish aircraft but they were, for some reason, unable to shoot. Afterwards, reports appeared that our air forces and satellites were involved. For sure, we will hardly find out whether this is true or not, but we can assume that they could have suppressed the guidance systems of these planes. Russia has the technological capabilities to have helped and supported Erdogan."



Pistol

Breaking: Shooting at shopping mall in Munich, multiple deaths reported, shooter still at large

© RT
Multiple casualties are reported in a shooting at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, Germany. Police confirmed that shots have been fired in the mall but gave no information on casualties.

Reports on casualties differ. According to the local Muencher Abendzeitung, 15 might have been killed in the center, while German NTV channel puts the death toll at 10.

One person has been killed and 10 injured, according to police cited by AFP.

An assailant has shot people in a cafe located in the shopping center and at a railway station, German BR24 news reports, citing eye witnesses.


Comment: Update 1

Initially it was reported that one of the three shooters committed suicide. That has been countered by later statements from police that all three shooters fled on foot and are still on the run. Six people were killed, with injured in the double digits. The manhunt is reportedly their largest police operation in a decade.

Update 2

It appears as if the Germans are allowing the Americans to write their ongoing narrative. Police have announced a "cautious all-clear", claiming that they discovered a body near the scene of the attack, identified as the shooter. Their tweet says, "We found a man, who killed him himself [sic]. We assume, that he was the only shooter." Munich PD said there is a "high probability" he acted alone, and that he was identified "within the framework of Interpol". "Acting alone", especially when there were multiple reports of multiple shooters, tends to mean that the other suspects got away and the police have no intention of pursuing them (often because they are working for the police in the first place! or intel agencies). The death toll is now nine, plus the shooter. Sputnik adds:
On Friday, a shooter took aim at shoppers at a mall near the 1972 Olympic stadium, an attack that left at least ten dead and another 20 hospitalized leaving German officials to scramble to piece together the motive and the nature of the incident.

​Earlier in the day, the police believed that there were three shooters responsible citing eyewitness accounts from individuals on the scene. Conflicting reports came in as to the identity of the shooter and the motive for his attack. Some witnesses said that the shooter was cursing immigrants and Turks while yelling at victims that he was German. Another witness, however, claims that the shooter yelled "Allahu Akbar" before training his weapon on children.
It would be interesting to know the identities of these witnesses. Any guess why their accounts don't match up with each other?

Update 3

The gunman has been identified as Ali Sonboly, an 18-year-old German-Iranian born and raised in Germany who lived with his parents. (Picture of the boy here.) Just hours before the shooting, he allegedly hacked into the Facebook profile of "Selina Akim" to lure victims to the McDonald's near the shopping mall by offering them free food. Police say there is no evidence "whatsoever" linking him to ISIS. He had been receiving psychiatric and medical care for depression. Neighbors describe him as quiet, normal and shy.

At this point, his motives are unclear. Police reportedly found articles on killing sprees and the English book Why Kids Kill at his home. Police are saying there is an "obvious link" to the 2011 Norway massacre and Anders Breivik, and that he was "obsessed" with mass shootings. Classmates say he once used an image of Breivik on WhatsApp. He apparently had used the gaming network Stream to threaten to kill other gamers.

As for those earlier reports of multiple shooters, according to the Guardian, "the police chief said two people who fled the area quickly were investigated but had 'nothing to do with the incident'." Here are accounts of the witnesses mentioned in the last update:
A woman named Loretta has told CNN that she was in the McDonald's when a man with a gun came out of a bathroom and began shooting. "I come out of the toilet and I hear like an alarm, boom, boom, boom. He's killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can't run," she recalled. Loretta claimed that she heard the shooters yelling "Allahu Akbar!", a Muslim call to praise god, that is also shouted by Islamists during deadly attacks.

At the same time, a video that appeared online show a man shouting "I'm German, f*** foreigners" as he walks across the roof of the shopping mall's car parking.

According to locals, the shopping mall is located near the Hasenbergl district, an area densely populated with immigrants.



Binoculars

Why the claim that the Russians warned Erdogan about the coup may be true

Whilst the Russians will never confirm the Iranian news agency reports they tipped Erdogan off about the coup even if they are true, the facts do point to a leak and it is plausible it originated in Russia.

Sergey Gladysh has written for The Duran a piece about the reports from the Iranian news agency Fars that the Russians tipped Erdogan off about the coup in the hours before it happened.

The Russians will never publicly confirm the truth of these reports, which concern the highly classified work of their intelligence agencies. However, consider the comments made about the reports by Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin's spokesman:
"I don't have such information and I don't know the sources, to which the news agency Fars is referring."
Note that this is not a denial. As such it is the strongest indication to date that the Fars reports may be true. Peskov is almost certainly telling the truth when he says he doesn't know. However he would have presumably by now been told - and would have made a public denial - if the Fars reports were untrue.

If the Russians did tip off Erdogan about the coup that would explain many of its mysteries and would explain why it failed.

Comment: Al-Monitor provides some more details:
The basic reason the coup failed was its premature birth. How? First, the coup was planned for a later date but was moved up. Then the rescheduled coup, which was to have started at 3 a.m. July 16, was moved up yet again by five hours, to around 10 p.m. July 15, after the coup attempt was discovered.
...
With the indictments in last week's Izmir espionage case, the Turkish judiciary was gearing up to target about 1,000 Gulenists in the TSK prior to the supreme council meeting. With so many detentions just before the meeting, the government was intending to compel the TSK command to carry out mass purges.

When the coup planners learned of that intention, they moved up the date to precede the council meeting. This turned out to be a suicidal move.
...
Al-Monitor's sources said coup leaders had planned to move at 3 a.m. to take over by 5 a.m., when people would be asleep and streets would be empty. But this didn't work. Around 4 p.m. July 15, 11 hours before the coup was to start, the national intelligence service MIT learned from radio and telephone intercepts of TSK personnel known to be Gulenists that some units were gearing up. MIT informed the chief of general staff at 5 p.m. At a meeting at the chief of general staff headquarters, officials decided to close Turkish air space to all flights as of 6 p.m. and bar military units from leaving their barracks. While that order was being written, Land Forces Commander Gen. Salih Zeki Colak was called to the general staff headquarters.

By 7 p.m., coup plotters realized that their plan was exposed and were able to take Akar hostage. ... At the end, the plotters couldn't get Akar's signature, so they sent out an order signed by a brigadier general and launched their coup around 9:30 p.m. — that is, 5½ hours before the planned time. The first indication of the rash, reckless actions by the Istanbul wing of the coup was sending out small units commanded by junior ranks to streets on the pretense of exercising or fighting terror.
Put the two together, and this is essentially the scenario SOTT proposed on Behind the Headlines on Sunday, and in our Tuesday Focus: Erdogan benefits from Turkish coup attempt because it failed, not because he engineered it. These latest data points put the picture into more focus: 1) Erdogan is aware of the possibility of a coup, but perhaps lacks specific intelligence of when it will occur, 2) the plotters move the date ahead due to the threat of planned purges, 3) Russian intelligence provides Turkey with intel suggesting the coup will happen very soon, at 3 am, 4) MIT perhaps confirms this, air space is closed, military units are confined to barracks, 5) the plotters decide to go ahead with it while they still can.


Alarm Clock

Terror Attack in Nice: One Frenchman Speaks Out

The goal of the terrible terror attack in Nice on July 14th was to divide French society between Muslims and non-Muslims. But who is really responsible for the new mass killing of ordinary French citizens? One Frenchman, at least, seems to understand the truth.

Clipboard

Failed Turkish coup attempt wasn't a "false flag" power grab by Erdogan - and here's why

The failed coup attempt against Erdogan provoked a flurry of excited polemics in the alternative informational space, leading to the emergence of two competing hypotheses. The author already published his own analysis on how this was actually a sloppy, last-ditch move by the US to frantically offset the game-changing geopolitical consequences of the surprise Russian-Turkish detente, but the other main theory that's going around is that this was all a false flag attempt by Erdogan to seize more power.

The False Flag Theory

There are plenty of reasons why this is believable, not least of which is Erdogan's involvement in other false flag plans such as the aborted 2014 mission to attack the Suleyman Shah tomb in northern Syria as a pretext for launching an all-out invasion. The Turkish strongman has also been implicated in the terrorist bombing campaign that broke out in the southern part of the country last summer and was eventually used as the grounds for relaunching hostilities against the Kurds.

Advocates of the "false flag coup" theory point to Erdogan's immediate retribution against political opponents as alleged proof that he initiated his country's regime change drama in order to give him a reason to carry out more purges and complete the Islamification of the constitutionally secular state. Actually, it was already widely known that the President had a long list of political enemies that he was progressively dealing with one by one, and that the Muslim Brotherhood-inspired Salafization of society had been gradually enabled through internationally recognized "democratic" means (however flawed and manipulated they may be). Erdogan didn't need a "false flag coup" to continue with this years'-long and drawn-out agenda, though it did admittedly accelerate his plans.

In arguing against the "false flag coup" theory, it's relevant to bear in mind that Erdogan is the consummate politician and never misses a chance to exploit a crisis to his benefit. After the re-establishment of his power in the wake of the failed coup, Erdogan saw an unprecedented moment to take out all of his enemies in one fell swoop, which is exactly what he's in the process of doing right now. Still, this doesn't necessarily prove that he wasn't "in on it" all along.

Comment: If there was any doubt before, this and other information we have been following about the attempted coup in Turkey should provide further proof as to just how far and how willing the U.S. is prepared to go in order to instigate and support chaos, destabilization and destruction on a world-wide scale.


Attention

Breaking news: Military coup under way in Turkey - Jets, troops, helicopters surround government buildings

© Emrah Gurel/AP
Where Europe meets Asia: Turkish soldiers under the command of the coup plotters block the Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul, which is lit up in the French national colors in sympathy with victims of the terror attack in Nice, France.
Part of the military is attempting a coup in Turkey, the country's Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said, following reports of military jets and helicopters flying low over Ankara and Istanbul.

"Some people took illegal action outside of the chain of command," Yildirim told news network NTV. "The government elected by the people remains in charge. This government will only go when the people say so," he added.

According to the PM, Turkish security forces were doing what needs to be done to resolve the situation.

The Turkish military has issued a statement saying that it has taken over power in the country from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"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 the general security that was damaged," the military said. "All international agreements are still valid. We hope that all of our good relationships with all countries will continue."

CNN Turk later reported that president Erdogan, was safe, despite claims by the military that they've taken over.

A military helicopter has reportedly opened fire in the district of Ankara where the Turkish National Intelligence Organization headquarters is situated.

Comment: Things be heating up! Erdogan looks like he has sung his last tune.

This coup attempt comes after a dramatic turnaround in Turkish-Russian relations in the last couple of weeks, with Erdogan doing a 180-degree turn to say that Turkey would now cooperate with Russia against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

And now this.

20th century Turkey has had a number of military coups. A major scandal erupted there once Erdgoan came to power, revealing the existence of a secret network of 'Gladio' operatives (termed 'Ergenekon' in Turkey), who effectively ran the state from the shadows on behalf of the High Cabal of Western Powers.

‌The question is, is this coup because of the very recent change in Erdogan's attitude to Russia and Syria? Like Joe Quinn wrote last year about and the shoot-down of the Russian jet last year, the military/civilian intel infrastructure in Turkey is pretty much Gladio/NATO-made and owned.

This is the 5th coup in Turkey in the last 55 years. Turkey has historically been riven with internal factions vying for power. Erdogan and his Freedom and Justice party tried to sideline the other factions. First the Kemalist Turkish nationalists (Turkish military and deep state) who are mainly secular, and second the supporters of the super-rich Turkish businessman Fetullah Gulen who is exiled in the USA and resides there at the pleasure of the CIA etc.

Who exactly is behind this coup remains to be seen, but Erdogan himself has been pointing the finger at Gulen for a while now, and even blamed him for the shoot down of the Russian plane last year.

If true, then this is a CIA coup. Let's face it, it's not like they are new to the practice.

Erdogan and his coterie were such a bunch of idiots though, so it's hard to not see the back of him as a positive thing.

Interestingly, just two days ago, the French government closed its embassy in Istanbul, citing 'security concerns'.

Another possibility is that Erdogan saw the coup coming, then made a last-ditch effort to buy himself a protector by realigning his government with Russia.

We shall see...

Update 1

The military has taken over state broadcaster TRT and imposed martial law with the aim of " reinstating constitutional order, human rights and freedoms."

Erdogan appeared via cell phone on CNN Turk, saying the coup "will be overcome" and calling on the people to help in any way they can. (Translation: the situation is dire!)
According to Reuters, the coup attempt occurred when Erdogan was on vacation outside the country. In his TV appearance, the president said he was returning to the Turkish capital of Ankara. The authorities would take all"necessary steps," he said, adding that he didn't believe the coup backers would succeed.

There have been unconfirmed reports that Erdogan's plane has been diverted inside the country, but airports in the Turkish capital had already been closed by the military with all flights diverted.

NBC News reported that Erdogan's aircraft has been denied permission to land in Istanbul, citing a source in the US military. The latest report claims that the Turkish president is seeking asylum in Germany.
There are reports of gunfire and explosions at police special ops HQ in Ankara and at the state broadcaster. A helicopter was spotted opening fire over Ankara (videos at link). Meanwhile, crowds are angrily confronting the tanks pouring into Ankara...

Update 2

There are firefights in the streets of Ankara, presumably between military and police. (Follow the link for videos.) Also at the Turkish Presidential Palace. The military has reportedly used tanks and opened fire on crowds of civilians in Istanbul protesting the coup on the Bosporus bridge. Tanks have surrounded Parliament and opened fire. Some soldiers appear to have been arrested by police. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been shut down in the country.

Forces local to Erdogan have reportedly shot down a helicopter with an F-16 jet. 17 police have died in firefights against the coup fighters at this point, reportedly from helicopter fire. Helicopters appear to be firing on civilians too, and Sputnik's headline calls it a "massacre".

Turkish FM Cavusoglu says John Kerry has expressed "his support and solidarity with the lawfully elected Turkish government". Prior to that, Kerry (who is still in Moscow, speaking with Lavrov) expressed hopes for "stability". Moscow called to avoid "bloodshed". Army units were ordered out of Iraq. Reports that police, MIT, 1st Army Command, Navy, and parts of Air Force and Special Forces are still loyal to Erdogan, who has blamed Gulenists for the coup. Rumors are floating that he was denied asylum in Germany and is now trying for the UK. Peskov says Russia will consider asylum if a request is filed, and offered this non-committal statement: "Currently, the amount of information makes it impossible to give a clear definition of what is happening in the country."

Update 3

Obama seems to have given Kerry his marching orders: support Erdogan's government. Stoltenberg has called for "full respect for Turkey's democratic institutions." Gulen's movement (blamed by Erdogan for the coup) have condemned the military's actions. Parliament has reportedly been bombed from the air (video of the moment of the explosion). The Istanbul governor is saying the coup has been suppressed, mutineers being arrested, including one high-ranking officer.

Update 4

PM Yildirim has declared a no-fly zone over Ankara. 104 coup soldiers have been identified, some detained. 12 people were injured in the parliament explosion. Buildings reported as bombed besides parliament: Ministry of Interior, Intelligence, Armed Forces HQ, Police HQ, army buildings. Current reports suggest the coup has failed.

Update 5

Syrian opposition groups are speculating that the coup was attempted because of Turkey's support of Islamists (so says a member of the Syrian Democratic Forum) and their "role as a mediator and a playground for terrorists from around the globe" (Hmemim group member Tarek Ahmad). Meanwhile, the mutineers have taken CNN Turk (from where Erdogan gave his last to messages via FaceTime) and Dogan Media. Gunshots were heard during CNN Turk's live broadcast. Soldiers have reportedly entered Hurriyet's offices as well and are taking hostages. Contrary to all the rumors, Erdogan has arrived at Istanbul's Ataturk airport and plans to address the nation.

Update 6

Erdogan gave a defiant speech at Istanbul airport, blaming the Gulenists and promising they'd pay, receiving the appropriate response, regardless of what institution they're from. He also called the coup a "gift from God", anticipating the purge of disloyal members of the military. He confirmed that Turkey's Secretary-General had been kidnapped, and fighter jets were dispatched to take out the helicopter attacking parliament. He says the hotel he was at in Marmaris was bombed after he left.

TRT TV has been retaken by the government. Parliament suffered a new series of blasts and a new round of shooting has broken out around parliament. Casualty numbers so far: 6+ dead in Istanbul, 160+ in hospital. 60 dead in Ankara, mostly civilians. Over 130 people have been detained for involvement in the coup attempt.

According to AKP member Zeynap Jane Kandur: "Turkey has come together. All three major party leaders have come out, even opposition, so all four main forces, have come out speaking against the coup. This is very important that all four political leaders have come out with the same statement," Kandur said stressting that "Turkey has become unified. Everyone has gone out to the streets, they are claiming the country back. Turkey has had so many coups in the past 50 years, it simply cannot happen anymore. Turkey is not a place for the coup any more."

Leader of the coup alleged to be Colonel Muharrem Kose, former officer discharged in March 2015 (the same month the neocons started speaking out against Erdogan and floating rumors of a planned coup) for his alleged links to Gulen.

Update 7 - Saturday, July 16

The coup has failed. Last night, military rebels lost control of military HQ; some were killed during the fighting, and hundreds surrendered. Intense gunfighting resumed briefly in Ankara and Istanbul. Overall, 2839 servicemen were arrested and stripped of their military titles, including 5 generals and 29 colonels. Many of the arrested troops are claiming the were told they were taking part in military exercises and were unaware it was a real coup attempt. Chief of Military Staff Hulusi, Akar, who had been taken hostage, was released and taken to a safe location. 104 coup supporters were killed during the fighting. 2745 judges have been suspended, with arrest warrants issued for 188 members of Turkey's supreme courts. Casualties: 265 people killed, 1440 injured. Traffic through the Bosphorus Strait is back to normal. (Photo gallery from the events of last night here. Videos from RT.)

Parliament will hold an emergency session today. Border guards have been warned to increase security in order to stop coup supporters' attempts to flee Turkey. Eight supporters have apparently already landed in Greece via helicopter, and others have seized a naval frigate from the Golcuk base, holding the navy's commander hostage. The air force's commander was also captured by coup plotters while attending a wedding ceremony. (All three high-ranking hostages have now been released.) Movement in and out of the US/NATO Incirlik base has been blocked, according to the US consulate. (The base houses US nukes.)

The pilot who shot down the Russan jet last year was reportedly involved in the coup; he has been tied to Gulen. Gulen, of course, categorically denies any involvement in the coup. Kerry, for his part, said they will need to see evidence of Gulen's involvement before considering an extradition request. Yildirim criticized the US for harboring "this leader of the terrorist gang".

Update 8

Turkish govt is saying all areas of government are now back under their control, but say it is still to early to say whether the threat is entirely eliminated. The leader of the coup has been revised: now claimed to be General Akin Ozturk, former commander of the air force. Another high-ranker now detained: General Adem Huduti, who commanded the army corps 'protecting' Turkey's borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran. The Malatya Garrison Commander Avni Angun, and the Third Army Corps commander, General Erdal Ozturk, were also detained.

Groups such as al-Qaeda, Ahrar al-Sham, the FSA, all voiced support for the Turkish government overcoming the coup. In contrast, the U.S. called the coup attempt a "Turkish Uprising" in a U.S. Embassy statement. Turkey has clearly chosen a side, and it's not the States: PM Yildirim said any country that stands by the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen will not be a friend of Turkey and will be considered at war with them. Kerry has told Turkish FM Cavosoglu that Turkey's claims of U.S. involvement have "hurt relations" between the two countries, and called on the Turkish govt to follow the rule of law in the aftermath. Access to Incirlik's US nukes are still restricted, and the power to the base has been cut. In other words, Erdogan is now (temporarily?) in control of U.S. nuclear weapons. U.S. jets can't take off to engage in their "anti-Daesh" airstrikes. They can't be pleased. Cavusoglu says that several Incirlik servicemen were detained due to links to the coup attempt. Some are already predicting the end of NATO.

Rumor: "Turkey jets which bombed #Ankara refilled from fuel tankers took off from Incirlik airbase!!" Another: "Journalist @sahmetsahmet says police was to arrest coup leaders yesterday before they mobilise, that led the coup pic.twitter.com/UdXViNUf1V" ("there's a report saying a anti-Gulen operation was in final stages & ignited the coup attempt - the lists were ready") Officials say they found post coup plan lists of new governors, heads of govt agencies. Gulen is now blaming Erdogan for the coup (he's not the only one), saying it was staged to purge the Gulenists and military, and comparing Erdogan to Hitler.

Coincidentally, RT suffered a massive DDoS attack when the coup started, and another when their live coverage stream began.

Update 9 - Sunday, July 17

Incirlik base is back open, and the Americans are launching "anti-ISIL" strikes again. Incirlik's commander, General Bekir Ercan Van, has been detained for complicity in the coup attempt. The Turkish PM announced that over 190 civilians died during the fighting, over 1400 injured. The U.S. State Department is warning of a heightened terror threat in Turkey after the failed coup. They would know, wouldn't they? One of Erdogan's chief military assistants has been detained - the total is now over 6000 suspected coup supporters arrested. The 8 soldiers that sought asylum in Greece have been arrested. Tsipras said their asylum requests will be quickly examined "with absolute respect" to international law and human rights treaties.

Meanwhile, thousands are celebrating the end of the coup attempt in Taksim Square. In a prior speech in Istanbul, Erdogan further poked Obama: "Dear President Obama, I told you this before, arrest Fethullah Gulen or return him to Turkey. You didn't listen. I call you on you again, after the coup attempt - extradite this man from Pennsylvania to Turkey. If we are strategic partners, do what is necessary." Since the U.S. will probably never extradite Gulen, Erdogan is essentially saying they are not strategic partners with the U.S. This meshes with Turkish govt statements that they will go to war with "any country" supporting Gulen. The Turkish Labor Minister said explicitly: "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."


Light Saber

Pepe Escobar on coup in Turkey: Hell hath no fury like a teflon Sultan

© Sputnik/ STR
When Turkish President/aspiring Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan landed at Istanbul's Ataturk airport early Saturday morning, he declared the attempted coup against his government a failure, and a "gift from God."

God apparently uses Face Time. It was via that iconic iPhone footage from an undisclosed location shown live on CNN Turk by a bewildered female anchor that Erdogan managed to call his legion of followers to hit the streets, unleash People Power and defeat the military faction that had taken over state TV and proclaimed to be in charge.

So God does work in mysterious mobile ways. Erdogan's call was heeded even by young Turks who had fiercely protested against him in Gezi Park; were tear-gassed or water-cannoned by his police; think the AKP governing party is disgusting; but would support them against a "fascist military coup." Not to mention that virtually every mosque across Turkey relayed Erdogan's call.

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