The Turkish Armed Forces are fighting both in the PKK Kurdish area and in the framework of the Inherent Resolve operation led by the United States against ISIS. This partially explains the scarce amount of ground forces available for the July coup against President Recep Tayyp Erdogan and his AKP.
The "Justice and Development Party", founded by Erdogan himself, resulted from the merger of various Islamist and conservatives parties in 2001. The Turkish Constitutional Court started the procedure for the forced closure of the AKP as early as 2008, but the request for ceasing the Party's activity was quashed by a single vote, although the Turkish constitutional judges continued to suspect the Party of "anti-secular activities" which, however, led to the 50% decrease of the public funding to the AKP.
President Erdogan’s Party is mainly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood which, with its web sites and propaganda, makes it an example of effective and “Muslim-oriented”, not "Islamist", policy - the so-called “conservative democracy”, just to use its terminology.
However, with a view to better understanding the relationship between this Party, which is now a party-State, and the Armed Forces, reference must be made to the Ergenekon issue. Ergenekon was the name of a clandestine network operating within the Turkish Armed Forces, which was destroyed by President Erdogan's government in 2009. The organization still persists within the many military networks and it may also have spurred the recent coup.
In the Ergenekon case, the actions of the police - loyal to the AKP regime - were rather ambiguous. As many as 194 military, including high-ranking officers, were accused of plotting to overthrow the institutions and the Parliament, as well as stealing State secrets and organizing “terrorist” armed groups.
The failed coup is probably the result of old Ergenekon networks which, however, have no longer access to the intelligence services’ top leaders or to the still powerful judiciary, not yet loyal to the AKP rules.
The slapdash attitude with which some very recent actions have been carried out by the putschist Armed Forces, in their July attempt to take power, would suggest a misplaced trust in secret structures of the judiciary and the police forces, now full of AKP activists, as well as the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).
Let us analyze the coup sequence, which can also clarify the political sense of the military operations that took place in the night between July 15 and 16 last. It is also highly likely that the military action has been stepped up by the fact that the rotation of the middle and top ranks of the Armed Forces would be implemented on August 1, 2016. Many members of these military ranks had already been involved in the coup of which there was talk in the international secretariats and NATO services for at least three months.
As stated by President Erdogan, the coup leaders included many officers linked to the movement of Fethullah Gulen, of whom we will analyze the role played in Turkey today. They included Akin Ozturk, the Air Force Chief of Staff, Colonel Muharrem Kose and other high-ranking military.
The coup had been announced on Friday night, with a document of the military that called for "a return to constitutional order, democracy, human rights and the rule of law". The blockade of the "Ataturk" airport with tanks lasted approximately two hours, until the mass of "citizens" - or more probably AKP militants – forced the tanks to step aside. No putschist can go against the will of the people they want to "liberate" and the mass of unarmed people is the best weapon to stop any kind of weapon system.
Hence, a new countercoup by the mass and the rank-and-file organizations, probably already alerted, invaded the streets and forced the tanks to retreat or stop, while the military perceived the use of the worst weapon against a coup, namely their isolation vis-à-vis the people.
The Armed Forces commanders appeared on TV, dissociated themselves from the actions underway and ordered the troops to return back to their barracks. However, it is unthinkable that the commanders-in-chief did not know anything about the coup being prepared. Clearly they let it go on, probably with a view to taking command and control at the right time, but the operation had been designed with a too small military shock mass to cover the sensitive targets, over and above other technical errors which are amazing for those dealing with military matters. In fact, the intelligence headquarters were not hit severely. It is worth noting that the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) displays Ataturk’s profile on its coat of arms. There was no effective bombing of the Parliament and the other government buildings, which had to be destroyed in the first phase of the coup.
In short, everything suggests that all the Turkish Armed Forces wanted to test the strength of the AKP regime so as to launch the final operation at a later stage. Some press sources claimed that the tension among the coup forces broke out when the government clearly gave the order to fight not against, but in favor, of ISIS in the future configuration of the Syrian region.
If the US-Russian axis is strengthened - as it appears from the latest statements made by both countries - Turkey, which wanted the Sunni part of Syria, will be marginalized. Hence, nothing better than starting again the old game of the more or less secret support to Daesh-Isis.
It is true that the putschists closed some social media, but not all of them and, after a short period of time, TV started to broadcast again.
A coup is primarily a psychological warfare and communication operation. Indeed, it is strange that the NATO troops and their officers were not trained to these techniques, which are now part and parcel of the basic training of any officer of the Alliance. It is also strange that there was no reaction in the NATO centers, as the F-16 fighters of the putschists rose into the skies. There was no report, nor alarm.
The Incirlik base, which paradoxically hosts a powerful Command and Control centre of the Alliance, was also one of the points of the military rebellion, under the eyes of the United States and the other nations present. It is worth recalling that, at the Incirlik base, the Turks cut the light off during the coup, while now the base hosts drones, A-10 aircraft, KC-135 tanker aircraft and part of the US elite units, along with the advanced weapons of other Member States of the Alliance participating in the Inherent Resolve operation.
Furthermore, NATO did not even monitor President Erdogan’s jet, which was flying for at least five hours, and was not even attacked by the putschists’ air force that, at the time, was still in control of Istanbul skies.
The Turkish President has his own intelligence network, made up of militants from his Party, who owe everything to him, as well as MIT officers and ordinary citizens capable of penetrating the Turkish "Kemalist" and secular networks, still very widespread among the population.
Another factor to be noted is Fethullah Gulen’s movement, who President Erdogan immediately laid blame for the failed coup. Gulen’s movement is certainly present, albeit secretly, in the Turkish society. The Imam, who currently lives in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, is the leader of a vast movement known as Hizmet. It is a sort of Islamic sect (Gulen founded the AKP together with Erdogan) and a network of businesses, magazines and newspapers, schools and universities, while it is assumed that at least 10% of the Turkish population follows Gulen and his movement. A movement which preaches peace with the Anatolian Alevis, the Kurds, the Christians and the Jews. It promotes a mystical Islam closely reminding of the Sufi sects which, together with the Italian Masonic lodges operating in Thessaloniki and Alexandria, covered up the development of the "Young Turks" movement. Years ago, according to French sources, the Islamist leader Gulen began a vast operation to infiltrate his followers into the Turkish Armed Forces and even into the intelligence services, which have never been fully trusted by President Erdogan.
Gulen’s probably involvement in the coup - as denounced by President Erdogan – may be real, but it is completely irrational to connect Fethullah Gulen’s Islamist and pacifist preaching with the overtly Kemalist and secularist Armed Forces that carried out the failed coup. The link, if any, is to be found in the attitude of the United States, at first silent, then reluctant, and finally supporting the AKP "democracy".
Turkey cannot be destabilized. The whole Alliance's policy, and not just in the Middle East, is at stake. If a coup must be carried out, it must be organized with almost all the Armed Forces, which have also been penetrated by the secret "Stasi" of the AKP and the Presidency that now do no longer trust anyone and aim at creating a great universal hub of the Middle East oil and gas, also thanks to the recent agreement with Israel and Russia.
A further source of enrichment for President Erdogan, who does not turn his nose up at any bakshish and is considered to be one of the richest men in the world. Not to mention his family: his son Bilal is connected with the clandestine networks selling the ISIS oil, while his son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, former Energy Minister and current Prime Minister, is well-known for his oil operations off the record.
The real Turkish coup will take place when President Erdogan’s regime can no longer financially support its "militants" and when the people becomes aware of the immense wealth accumulated by the President behind the back of the much-proclaimed "Turkish people".
At that juncture, the masses will support the military. They will force the useless, silent and ridiculous EU to take a stance on the Turkish issue, without hiding behind the mirage of "fair elections" – indeed dubious.
The EU should wonder about the real use of the 3 billion euro per year it grants to Turkey to keep migrants on its territory.
Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori is an eminent Italian economist and businessman. He holds prestigious academic distinctions and national orders. Mr Valori has lectured on international affairs and economics at the world’s leading universities such as Peking University, theHebrew University of Jerusalem and the Yeshiva University in New York.
He currently chairs "La Centrale Finanziaria Generale Spa", he is also the honorary president of Huawei Italy, economic adviser to the Chinese giant HNA Group and Khashoggi Holding’s advisor.
In 1992 he was appointed Officier de la Légion d'Honneur de la République Francaise, with this motivation: "A man who can see across borders to understand the world” and in 2002 he received the title of "Honorable" of the Académie des Sciences de l'Institut de France."