Turkey’s failed coup attempt was a staged operation for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to eliminate the opponents of his government, according to an American author and radio host.
Last weekend’s coup was a “false flag operation” and “Erdogan is taking full advantage of it,” Stephen Lendman told Press TV on Tuesday. The failed coup attempt was planned in advance by Erdogan or by elements in his government, he added.
“He admitted that he knew about what was to take place hours before it happened,” Lendman said.
“In his case, it would be to roust out the opposition forces, elements to his regime so he can arrest them, put them in prison, try them, or maybe just kill them,” Lendman said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned Turkey not to go too far with its ongoing detainment and ouster of thousands of military personnel, police officers and judges accused of involvement in the coup attempt.
The top US diplomat, who delivered the remarks on Monday at a meeting of the European Union’s 28 foreign ministers in Brussels, said that Turkey may lose its membership in the NATO military alliance if it fails to maintain democratic principles.
Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952.
“We will certainly support bringing the perpetrators of the coup to justice but we also caution against a reach that goes beyond that and stress the importance of the democratic rule being upheld,” Kerry told journalists.
“A lot of people have been arrested and arrested very quickly,” he added. “The level of vigilance and scrutiny is going to be very significant in the days ahead.”
Kerry noted that NATO “has a requirement with respect to democracy, and NATO will indeed measure very carefully what is happening.”
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also warned Ankara on Monday that reinstatement of the death penalty for those involved in the coup attempt would spell the end to Turkey’s years-long bid to join the EU.
“No country can become an EU member state if it introduces death penalty,” she said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently suggested that Turkey may reinstate the death penalty, a measure the country abolished in 2004 as part of its effort to join the EU.
At least 6,000 military and civilian personnel have been arrested across Turkey after the failed coup and the crackdown is expected to be widened, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Sunday.
The European commissioner for regional affairs, Johannes Hahn, suggested Monday that Erdogan had already been ready for a crackdown.
The arrests showed “at least [that] something has been prepared” because “lists are available already,” Hahn said.