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Turkey's Failed Coup, Why The Official Line Doesn't Add Up

Who knew what and when? Questions linger two months after the coup attempt was quickly stamped out.

In Istanbul the night of the attempted coup
In Istanbul the night of the attempted coup
Aydın Engin

ISTANBUL — It has been more than two months since the coup attempt in Turkey, ample time, we might have thought, to learn what really happened that Friday night . And yet urgent questions linger, questions that the AKP government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prefers to leave unanswered.

First, a brief summary: detected signals of extraordinary activity within some military units reached the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) and the headquarters of the chief of general staff at 2.00 p.m. on July 15, according to one claim, and at 4 p.m. according to another.

Despite this intelligence:

*The headquarters of the chief of general staff, when informed of the coup attempt , gives orders for planes and helicopters not to fly and the armed vehicles not to leave the bases. The orders were ignored … it is known that some force commanders and high-ranking officers were attending a wedding that night. Some of them were apprehended at the wedding by the coup forces.

*The chief of general staff and his second-in-command were apprehended by the coup forces at their offices. They were manhandled as they were brought to the Akincilar Base, which was believed to be the nerve center of the coup.

*Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim attempted to travel to Ankara from Istanbul by car. But worried about being captured by coup forces, he then hid at the house of a government official in Kastamonu province.

* President Erdogan , as if he is mocking us all, later says that he heard of the coup attempt from his brother-in-law. If he was hearing about the coup from his brother-in-law, six or eight hours after the intelligence had reached to the officials, then the responsible parties should be at the at the center of this coup.

*The chief of general staff was rescued from his captors. Then it was discovered that the general accompanying him back to his offices was one of the coup plotters.

*The strange nature of all these facts are apparent to everybody; but each of these people — from those who transmitted the intelligence, to the president and prime minister, to those who went to the wedding, to politicians and high officials with or without uniform whose whereabouts or what they were doing during that six (or four) hours is yet unknown — all still have their positions.

Each of these paragraphs of affirmations are really questions. Accepting that they remain unanswered is forsaking our rights as citizens under the Constitution. I am a citizen and I won't forsake my right. I will keep asking questions until they are answered.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Israel's Choice Right Now: Halt "Collective Punishment" Or Lose U.S. Support

As fighting has resumed and intensified in the southern area of the Palestinian territory, more and more criticism builds from around the world. How much longer can Israel fight this war for if it loses the support of even its most steadfast allies?

December 1, 2023, Khan Yunis, Gaza: Palestinians carry an injured man following the Israeli bombing on Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza

Saher Alghorra/ ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — Can Israel wage its war in Gaza without caring about the opinion of its allies?

Since fighting resumed in the Palestinian territory on Friday, serious disagreements have emerged with the United States and, to a lesser extent, with France . It is the disagreements with the U.S. that carry significant consequences: Washington plays a vital role in this conflict by supplying weapons and deploying a considerable military apparatus to deter the regional expansion of the confrontation.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here .

This weekend, both Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Vice President Kamala Harris expressed serious reservations about how Israel is conducting its operations. The issue at hand is the massive aerial strikes on densely populated areas, resulting in a considerable number of civilian casualties.

These criticisms came after Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel last week on the eve of the resumption of hostilities, urging Benjamin Netanyahu to change to a strategy that better protects civilians. Israel chose not to heed this advice, resulting in the current diplomatic tensions.

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