Weimar Turkey?

What can be said about recent events in Turkey?

First, it is exceedingly difficult to understand what has transpired. There is no shortage of speculation on the causes and consequences of the events of 15 and 16 July. Some argue that the coup was “staged”, mainly in the sense of being designed by or at the behest of Recep Erdoğan and his close affiliates. Turkey has considerable experience with strategy-of-tension campaigns, including false flag operations, and it is not beyond reason to think that the coup—a suspiciously ill-conceived and poorly executed affair—could have been planned as a means to consolidate and further augment Erdoğan’s power. Others contend that the intervention was quite “real”, in the sense that factions within the armed forces took independent action to supplant the state apparatuses over which Erdoğan’s forces wield considerable control. Clumsily designed and brutally implemented though it clearly was, the intervention was, they insist, an authentic attempt to overthrow Turkey’s new order, whether in the name of some kind of neo-Kemalism (as the coup plotters’ public statement suggested), Fethullah Gülen’s rival Islamist movement (as Erdoğan and his allies have since claimed), or for some other cause.

We do not know if either of these accounts holds water, or if some strange combination of the two is closer to the truth. If the past is any indication, it is likely that we will never know, at least not fully and convincingly. And at the end of the day, the reality is that having to choose between a “real” coup and a “staged” coup is essentially indistinguishable from having to choose between dogshit and horseshit ...

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