The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intentionally did not prevent the coup attempt that took place in the country in mid-July 2016, according to former Turkish military intelligence chief Ismail Hakki Pekin.
During an interview with the Turkish channel KRT, the former head of intelligence in the General Staff said that the ruling party knew about the coup attempt and did not stop it, but rather allowed it to develop in a planned manner, as reported by the Turkish newspaper “Zaman.”
Pekin added, “I believe they thought they could deal with this coup attempt, perhaps they thought they could easily eliminate the coup plotters, and in this case, they would appear as heroes of democracy in the eyes of the people. I criticize this thinking they had, many people died in the coup, and it was possible to eliminate them differently.”
He continued, “The state knew that there would be a coup attempt, perhaps they were not able to determine the timing precisely.”
Pekin pointed out that the coup attempt on July 15th was used as a pretext to accuse individuals of new charges, saying, “It was not a crime for these people to own money in banks and engage in other activities.”
He further explained that Erdogan, based on his purging of followers of the Gülen movement, began to establish the system he desired, and that he was forced to cooperate with the Eurasians despite not being a Eurasian himself.
It is worth noting that after the failed coup attempt, a wave of arrests swept the country and targeted more than 160,000 individuals, including detainees, dismissals, and dismissals, from police officers to pilots to teachers to businessmen. Erdogan and his allies portrayed the failed coup as the work of enemies conspiring against Turkey.
The president is accused of persecuting his opponents who had no connection to the coup attempt. Hundreds of academics were expelled from their jobs, including those who signed a petition demanding that the government cease its military operations in the Kurdish areas of the country.
For his part, Erdogan attacked these individuals, describing them as “pseudo-intellectuals” and a “fifth column” carrying out the wishes of foreign powers and terrorists.
At one time, the religious figure Fethullah Gülen was an ally of Erdogan for several years, and he assisted him in purging secularists from the Turkish army.
However, when the corruption scandal erupted around Erdogan in 2013, he accused Gülen’s followers of wiretapping his phone calls and fabricating evidence against him. Gülen became Erdogan’s number one enemy, accused of leading a “parallel state.”
The coup attempt was considered by the government as confirmation of its suspicions, and it directly accused Gülen of plotting the attempt and demanded that the United States hand him over.