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Tue, 27 Sep 2016
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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.

Comment: See also:


Top Secret

US Congress releases slightly-redacted '28 pages': It's official - The Saudi regime had a role in carrying out 9/11


"All this nonsense and game playing with this so-called 28 pages is a ploy to divert attention from the actual criminals," American sociopolitical psychologist Walt Peretto says.
The long-awaited 28 pages of a 2002 congressional report on the 9/11 have been released, and a section indicates that prominent members of the Saudi Arabian government were involved in planning and financing the terror attacks.

The declassified documents were released by Congress on Friday and released them the same day, release of the documents confirmed suspicions that the terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks - most of whom were Saudi nationals - likely received support from high-ranking Saudi intelligence officers.

"While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may have be connected to the Saudi Government," the report states. "There is information, primarily from FBI sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers."

However, the report states that the precise extent of the suspected involvement of the Saudi officials isn't clear.

Comment: See: 60 Minutes, 28 pages and the limited hangout: The truth about the Saudi connection to 9/11. Also: Miraculous passports and trashed laptops: What do 9/11 and the Belgian bombings have in common?

So the US government knew, for the last 15 years, that the Saudi regime had a hand in 9/11.

And it was best buddies with that regime throughout the period.

If this doesn't make every patriotic American wonder about who was really behind 9/11, and everything that has happened since, we don't know what will.


Heart - Black

Terrorism with a "human face": The history of America's death squads

Death squads in Iraq and Syria. The historical roots of US-NATO's covert war on Syria.

This article was first published by Global Research on January 4, 2013. It is also published as a chapter in Michel Chossudovsky's book The Globalization of War, America's Long War against Humanity. Global Research Publishers, 2015

In recent developments the Chilcot Report has revealed the role of Latin-american style death squads in Iraq.

© Unknown
El Salvador Death squads
The recruitment of death squads is part of a well established US military-intelligence agenda. There is a long and gruesome US history of covert funding and support of terror brigades and targeted assassinations going back to the Vietnam war.

As government forces continue to confront the self-proclaimed "Free Syrian Army" (FSA), the historical roots of the West's covert war on Syria - which has resulted in countless atrocities - must be fully revealed.

From the outset in March 2011, the US and its allies have supported the formation of death squads and the incursion of terrorist brigades in a carefully planned undertaking.

The recruitment and training of terror brigades in both Iraq and Syria was modeled on the "Salvador Option", a "terrorist model" of mass killings by US sponsored death squads in Central America. It was first applied in El Salvador, in the heyday of resistance against the military dictatorship, resulting in an estimated 75,000 deaths.

The formation of death squads in Syria builds upon the history and experience of US sponsored terror brigades in Iraq, under the Pentagon's "counterinsurgency" program.

Book

Reviewing Mark Curtis' new report: The New Colonialism, Britain's Scramble for Africa

Africa is facing a new and devastating colonial invasion driven by a determination to plunder the natural resources of Africa, especially its strategic energy and mineral resources. That's the message from a damning new report from War On Want 'The New Colonialism: Britain's scramble for Africa's energy and mineral resources' that highlights the role of the British government in aiding and abetting the process.

Written and researched by Mark Curtis, the report reveals the degree to which British companies now control Africa's key mineral resources, notably gold, platinum, diamonds, copper, oil, gas and coal. It documents how 101 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) - most of them British - have mining operations in 37 sub-Saharan African countries and collectively control over $1 trillion worth of Africa's most valuable resources.

The UK government has used its power and influence to ensure that British mining companies have access to Africa's raw materials. The report exposes the long-term involvement of the British government (Labour and Conservative) to influence and control British companies' access to raw materials. Access has been secured through a revolving door between the political establishment and British mining companies, with at least five British government officials taking up seats on the boards of mining companies operating in Africa.

Comment: When not speaking directly to the public, the British establishment is quite open about their true approach to foreign policy: securing resources, despite how many people they have to destroy. For more on the UK's current legacy, see SOTT's interview with T. J. Coles: Behind the Headlines: Britain's Secret Wars.


Dollars

Deutsche Bank requests €150 billion bailout to EU banks

© www.euractiv.com
Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, fired shots at Germany's financial EU hegemony when, during a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, said:
"If this non-performing loan problem is worth one, the question of derivatives at other banks, at big banks, is worth one hundred. This is the ratio: one to one hundred."
Renzi was referring to the massive, trillions of derivatives Deutsche Bank is carrying on its books. According to Renzi, Italy may have issues, but "other" European banks have much bigger problems.


Comment: Deutsche Bank's derivative exposure is a whopping €54.7 Trillion. In comparison, Germany's GDP is €2.74 Trillion.


© www.welt.de
David Folkerts-Landau, chief economist Deutsche Bank
Zerohedge provides context on Italy's banking woes..
In the aftermath of Brexit, much of the investing public's attention has turned to Italian banks which are in desperate need of a bailout as a result of €360 billion in bad loans growing worse by the day (and not a bail-in, as European regulations mandate, as that would lead to an immediate bank run) to avoid a freeze and/or collapse of Italy's banking sector. This has pushed stock prices - and default risk - on Italian banks to record levels. So far Italy's bailout requests have mostly fallen on deaf ears, as Germany's political leaders have resisted Renzi's recurring pleas for a taxpayer funded rescue. However, as we have alleged, and as the Italian Prime Minister admitted last week, the core risk for Europe is not just the Italian banking sector but the biggest bank of all in Europe: Deutsche Bank.
While we are just coming off the roller coaster ride that was the UK referendum, the European Union is about to go through another nausea inducing ride where not one, but two, very big EU players are about to get hammered. The messenger of more bad EU news, David Folkerts-Landau, the chief economist of Deutsche Bank, who has called for a multi-billion dollar bailout for European banks.

Comment: Banking Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and counting on the same results. Without consequences these criminals will never, ever voluntarily change the dynamic. With all the bailout money supplied by the taxpayers to rescue these behemoths, banks should be considered bought and paid for by the citizens, and under public ownership.


Eye 1

The US has legalized murder against its own citizens and created state terror to deal with those fighting back against oppression

© Max Becherer / AP
A protester yells in front of police headquarters after officers arrived in riot gear to clear protesters from the street in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday
Police officers carry out random acts of legalized murder against poor people of color not because they are racist, although they may be, or even because they are rogue cops, but because impoverished urban communities have evolved into miniature police states.

Police can stop citizens at will, question and arrest them without probable cause, kick down doors in the middle of the night on the basis of warrants for nonviolent offenses, carry out wholesale surveillance, confiscate property and money and hold people—some of them innocent—in county jails for years before forcing them to accept plea agreements that send them to prison for decades. They can also, largely with impunity, murder them.

Those who live in these police states, or internal colonies, especially young men of color, endure constant fear and often terror. Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," calls those trapped in these enclaves members of a criminal "caste system." This caste system dominates the lives of not only the 2.3 million who are incarcerated in the United States but also the 4.8 million on probation or parole. Millions more are forced into "permanent second-class citizenship" by their criminal records, which make employment, higher education and public assistance, including housing, difficult and usually impossible to obtain. This is by design.

The rhetoric of compassion, even outrage, by the political class over the police murders in Baton Rouge, La., and near St. Paul, Minn., will not be translated into change until the poor are granted full constitutional rights and police are accountable to the law. The corporate state, however, which is expanding the numbers of poor through austerity and deindustrialization, has no intention of instituting anything more than cosmetic reform.

Chess

Pepe Escobar: NATO paranoia versus Eurasia integration

© REUTERS/ Jerzy Dudek
As the NATO summit in Warsaw gained traction, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov could not contain a wry observation; "We aren't the ones getting closer to NATO's borders."

This is a statement of fact. But NATO does not dwell on facts; only myths. One of the Beltway's ironclad myths is that NATO periodically drags the US back into its "traditional role" of guaranteeing the security of Europe. It's actually the other way around; Washington periodically needs to re-imprint on European vassals the absolute need for more NATO.

For too long NATO had been focusing on "out of area" operations; since at least 1993, when the concept first sprang up.

Colosseum

Brexit: Let the UK do itself in

Once again European bigotry exposed

Oh, that poor old United Kingdom! Armies of political commentators based on all continents are now feverishly trying to define to what extent the Brits got fooled, or how severely they will soon get punished for their 'bold move'.

All over Europe, the neo-Nazis and other right-wingers are celebrating, while most of 'liberals' are panic-stricken, running around like a herd of headless chickens, or howling at the moon at night in despair. The Euro-left (as pathetic and bogus as "Euro business class" on domestic European flights) is trying to put the recent referendum into some sort of philosophical perspective, blabbering something about a working class rebellion against the ruling elites.

Some Europeans are even blaming Mr. Putin for the outcome of the referendum, while others see behind the outcome of the vote the specter of an "American conspiracy" or even a "Zionist lobby".

Things are much more simple. A few million bigoted British voters, many of them old retirees and traditionally conservative, even racist bunch, got scared that their country was soon about to be invaded by unkempt hordes of refugees, or more precisely - by 'un-people' (to borrow from George Orwell's lexicon). While for others, the referendum became a way to express their frustration with the fact that the British working class has lately been getting an increasingly awful deal (read: an increasingly smaller cut from that enormous global loot plundered by both Europe and North America).

Pirates

Independence Day: Celebrate 240 years of profit-driven genocide

© countercurrents.org
American Imperialism
Independence Holiday in the USA becomes a time when citizens tend to reflect on the nations two hundred forty year history.

It is a history typical of six European empires in the areas of genocide and plunder.
Genocide: 1. the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation. plural: genocides [Google Dictionary]
Americans hoping to make US mass murderous crimes against humanity that are prosecutable under Nuremberg Principles law appear to be less than genocide, attempt to employ the old and outdated dictionary meaning of genocide wherein its scope and intention is defined as the utter and complete extermination of a group, race or nation.

The USA, like its parent colonial power the British Empire, before it, has had its undeservedly wealthy elite through their private speculative investment banks continually investing in genocide in order to both maintain its power over society, accumulate capital and extend its power wherever and whenever regardless of laws, regardless whether religious, common or statutory.