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Turkish Coup Missed Its Target Narrowly

Updated on July 19, 2016

The recent military coup attempt was a coup gone wrong- but by the thinnest of margins. Erdogan narrowly missed capture and death by minutes and seconds as the coup began. At first, it seemed as if the plotters really did not plan well since the target was on vacation and because the first things during the coup is to seize or kill the target. Yet, this did not happen because of just bad timing and lack of will to fire.

According to Turkish reports, the military coup had six F-16s under their control and many helicopters with SWAT teams, not to mention thousands of police and military tanks and assets on the ground. There are still 42 helicopters and 14 naval ships missing. The admiral of the Navy remains MIA. Many SWAT teams are missing. The F-16s that the rebels had flew from the US base at Incirlik. That explains why its airspace was shut down soon after.

The first missed opportunity for the rebels remains a mystery. As President Erdogan was flying back home from Marmaris, two rebel F-16s had locked their radars onto his aircraft and its escorts. Erdogan was a dead man flying. Just a simple trigger was needed to be pulled, yet, neither rebel pilot could do it. One can only suppose that the pilots were not devout rebels.

The second missed opportunity was while in Maramis. Turkish gunships and aircraft bombed suspected locations where he was at, yet, Erdogan, seemed to be just one step ahead and not present when the bombs hit. The same can be said for the SWAT team of 25 ferried in by helicopter and descended on the hotel he was at to seize him when the coup began. Again, Erdogan, had just left minutes earlier for another location and was not there! The same bad timing happened to PM Yildirim in Instanbul.

A few of the missing 42 Blackhawk helicopters sought refuge in Greece once the plot failed. Their passengers requested political asylum. As the Turk helicopters entered Greece airspace, they were met with two Greek F-16s. Turkey has requested they be returned. The occupants were part of an elite commando unit. So far 1,563 military officers have been arrested, while 5 Generals and 29 Colonels were ceased of their duties from the Turkish Interior Ministry. But the number grows. The former commander of the Turkish Airforce, Akin Ozturk, is believed to be the leader of the coup.

The coup was doomed from the start because Erdogan had been told of its possibility while on vacation. This early warning kept him one step ahead of the rebel forces.


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