It's the Monday morning following a failed coup d'etat in Turkey, and apparently the less the mainstream media reports about what's really going on at Incirlik Air Force Base, which hosts more B61 tactical nuclear bombs than any other single American installation in Europe, the better. This story about lax security surrounding U.S./NATO nuclear weapons in Belgium and historically at Incirlik AFB from The New Yorker published on Sunday, is the exception to the media blackout that proves the rule. Nobody's talking and few servicemen want to talk on their Facebook or Twitter feeds about what's been happening the last few days at the strategic NATO air base.
UPDATE 1 01:30 Eastern time July 19, 2016: It's Tuesday morning at Incirlik AFB, and as of six hours ago, the power was still off. Stars and Stripes the military oriented newspaper had this to say:
But trust us, there's no sign of a U.S.-Turkish rift, everything will be just fine with NATO's 2nd largest military (despite rumors of missing patrol boats or corvettes to go with missing attack and transport helicopters), which is now being ruthlessly purged and demoralized. - JWS
(See previous RogueMoney post by @BanksterSlayer:
The Erdogan Purge Begins)
Very Little Information Breaking Through Incirlik AFB News Blackout
Another reason for Erdogan's wrath at Incirlik: 'confessing' coup soldiers reveal WhatsApp was used to communicate by the plotters, meaning NSA/GCHQ's '5Eyes' listening post at the NATO base almost certainly caught wind of the coup before it was underway via the NSA's backdoors into the App
While there's no indication that any gunfire or explosions happened at the base which were falsely reported over the weekend, there's also no report that the electricity has been restored as of 7:00 a.m. local time Monday after being cut off by the 'local authorities'. Since Incirlik has been a NATO base since 1952 and is one of the largest American installations in Europe, there's no shortage of backup or generator power for vital functions, and no indication that food trucks have stopped rolling in or that there isn't enough water for bathing or drinking. But we still don't know when American and other NATO personnel at the base will be unrestricted and free to leave the base grounds strategically located close to the Mediterranean and the 'Syraq' area of operations (AO).
Turkish police carried out the arrest of Incirlik's Turkish commander, Brigadier Gen.Bekir Ercan Van, as well as ten soldiers and one police chief also based in the Adana area. That may well have been the condition for the lock down, which was rumored to be linked to Erdogan's demand that the U.S. extradite fugitive cleric Muhammed Fethullah Gülen, a longtime CIA asset living in the Philadelphia suburbs of Pennsylvania. Thus far Secretary of State John Kerry has been non-committal about Ankara's demands and Erdogan loyalists statements that any government harboring Gulen cannot be considered friendly to Turkey.
Gulen's Extradition to Turkey in Return for Incirlik AFB Full Operations Resumption?
As for Americans living or traveling in Turkey, they're going to have to make connecting flights to Europe or elsewhere to get back home, because the Federal Aviation Administration has reportedly halted via the FAA Turkish Airlines and other non-stop flights from Anatolia to the United States.
Incirlik AFB's Reported Role in the Failed Coup Spearheaded by the Turkish AF -- With Erdogan Loyalists Alleging Gulen Agents in the Military Behind the Shoot down of the Russian SU-24 Last November Also (Poorly) Executed an American Green-lit Coup
According to Obama White House special anti-ISIS envoy Brett McGurk, flight operations have resumed at the base including strikes against Islamic State targets over fifteen hours ago. However we don't have clarification on whether the rumors about Turkish jets taking off from the base and being refueled by American KC-135 tankers before buzzing the nation's capitol as part of the coup are true.
The rumors that Erdogan's plane was in the gunsights/missile lock of Turkish F-16 pilots but that they did not pull the trigger apparently were true. What retribution the pilots feared against themselves or their families if they were found to have shot down Erdogan's visible on civil radars/transponder-squawking Gulfstream plane, probably killing everyone one board, remains unknown at this hour. Also unknown -- the whereabouts of several Incirlik-based Turkish AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, of the type that allegedly fired on pro-Erdogan civilians gathered in the streets to oppose the coup.
Nonetheless, we have the Turkish Foreign Minister implying U.S. involvement in the plot by pointing the finger at Incirlik AFB based Turkish officers whose jobs involved routine interaction with American and NATO counterparts. We also have seen the anti-Washington Mayor of Ankara quite probably meet with Russian Eurasianist ideologue Alexander Dugin on Thursday, the day before the coup. Melih Gokcek, whose previous condemnation of the American Ambassador was reported by RogueMoney in January, also added that the pilot who shot down the SU-24 was a Gulenist traitor who participated in the coup against Erdogan.
Here's what my Swiss/White Russian Floridian friend The Saker had to say about the coup:
We don't even know for a hundred percent if this coup was in fact authentic or partially staged. The evidence and ineptitude of the coup compared to previously well-executed putsches by the military, most recently in the late 1990s and in 1980, strongly points to the plot having been hopelessly infiltrated and compromised by Erdogan loyalists from the start. What's evident is that Erdogan has called the coup 'a gift from Allah' and is busily purging the judiciary, the military and other institutions of anyone who may have opposed him or been suspected of opposition -- a list that now apparently includes 6,000 people arrested, most of them servicemen.
The Sultan's Islamist Followers Show a Frightening New (Actually Old) Turkish Face to the World in Beating and Torturing Hapless Soldiers
The neo-Ottoman Sultan's vengeance has been terrible, with conscripts who claimed to have only been told they were part of an exercise stripped to their underwear and beaten by Islamist mobs after offering no resistance. At least one soldier was reportedly lynched and beheaded, though the beheading allegations are disputed at this hour by pro-Erdogan 'moderate' Islamists on Twitter.
Syrian 'refugees' with long beards as well as identifiable Turkomen fighters from northern Syria took to the streets in a counter-coup with mosques reciting calls to prayer and resistance every hour from their minarets. Erdogan's oft-quoted line that, “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers..." in this case turned out to be true.
Politically Radioactive Turkey Now Has Nowhere to Go But East for Help
Even if you were a Russian intelligence officer observing the failure of an alleged U.S.-inspired coup from the perch of the Russian Embassy in Ankara, the scenes of open Islamist in Syria-style single digit salutes to Allah and shouts of 'Allahu Akbar' would have to be disconcerting. But in the short run, to the extent that the coup has badly screwed up U.S.-Turkish relations and created another huge crack in the structure of NATO, the Kremlin can shrewdly exploit the situation by quietly offering Erdogan's floundering economy some lifelines. In the medium to long term, standing behind Putin and the astonishing about face in Erdogan's posture from stony belligerence towards Russia last November to renewed face to face talks with the Russian leader set for a few weeks from now in early August, has to be China.
The Chinese know in the long run there is no 'New Silk Road' linking Europe to Eurasia and the Middle Kingdom without the Turks or the strategic Bosporus that Turkey controls. Thus, regardless of the Chinese and Russian leadership's shared distaste for Erdogan -- and Beijing is fully aware that Turkey's intelligence services have sponsored Uiyghir and East Turkistan jihadists -- they need to look past the Sultan's reign towards cementing Turkey in the Eurasian bloc.
Despite abandoning a proposed air defense contract to buy Chinese knockoff versions of Russia's long range S300 SAMs, Erdogan knows only Russia and China can help his country's floundering, political unrest and refugee-swamped economy now. And the realization of Erdogan's eastward turn in desperation, having beaten off a weak pro-American plot to oust him, is what has Washington's foreign policy Establishment and the presstitutes who serve it so nervous this week.
This article from the neocon Daily Beast's resident Trotskyite Syria jihadist fanboy Michael D. Weiss is typical of what we've seen in the last 48 hours, as Turkish officials have left their population with no doubts as to which foreign power stood behind or abetted the alleged Gulenist plot.
If Erdogan is No Longer 'Our SOB' Against Russia and Assad, Is It OK for MSM to Claim The Sultan Co-Created ISIS Now?
Reading between the lines of Michael D. Weiss' article, which talks about the 'fight against ISIS' there's a reason the piece leaves out Turkey's indispensable role as a supply base and recruitment hub for the 'moderate' anti-Assad jihadists.
Neocon fanatics like Weiss simply don't want to contemplate what may happen if Erdogan is sufficiently pissed enough with the CIA to shut down the TOW anti-tank missile storing warehouses on the Turkish side of the Syrian border. Nor do they want to consider how quickly many of their beloved 'freedom fighter' jihadis who aren't actually Syrians will simply cut and run back to Turkey if cut off from arms shipped to the so-called 'Free Syrian Army'. Especially at this decisive moment in the war when having failed to prevent their comrades from being encircled in Aleppo city, the jihadists need these weapons the most.
Granted, Langley and Washington have a certain amount of leverage over Erdogan -- including his well documented ties to ISIS and no doubt secretly recorded by NSA phone calls discussing his family's personal enrichment from the Islamic State's illicit oil trade. But the risks for the Langley boys of throwing out such juicy kompromat for the media to eagerly pick up as part of making Erdogan the 'fall guy' for ISIS' spectacular rise are obvious, as we've pointed out since August 2015: not every foreign leader is ready or willing to be thrown under the bus without naming names in D.C. or Langley concerning who told him to supply arms to what jihadis that eventually formed ISIS in 2012-13. Nor can the media including NATO propaganda outfits like EU Stratcom (@EUvsDisinfo) easily 'memory-hole' their poo-pooing of Russian allegations of Erdogan's personal and family ties to the Islamic State from last November/December.
In other words, if WE (post)Western media say Erdogan is tied to ISIS it must be accepted as gospel truth as part of throwing him under the bus; but if the Russians say it it's crude Kremlin propaganda intended to divide NATO. Such 'heads I win, tails you lose' bullshit is part of why NATO and the EU are falling apart and losing credibility with the peoples of Europe if not mostly non-awake Americans in the first place. Such an about face in the mainstream media's script would engender almost as much cynicism as David Cameron's failed 'a vote for Brexit is a vote for Putin/ISIS' rhetoric ahead of the June 23rd vote in the UK.
Other Cocaine Import Agency Leverage Points on Erdogan: More Goodies for the PKK to Use in Killing Turkish Soldiers, Physical Assassination Threats and Heroin/Human Trafficking
Since Erdogan has no character in international eyes left to assassinate and little regard for further revelations concerning himself, his relatives and associates ties to ISIS, there are just a few other pressure points against him. One is obviously the card already being played, which is the Kurdish PKK militants killing more Turkish troops. Given the demoralization of the Turkish Army in its current state and disorganization from a Stalin-esque purge of commanders all over the country, the opportunity for a full scale Tet Offensive by the PKK is real -- as is the prospect of an 'oopsie' moment when a CIA warehouse full of TOWs gets captured by the Kurdish militants.
The "ISIS is us-IS" boys have after all used the same tactic of 'accidental' drops of ammunition to Daesh in Iraq or their moderate 'anti-Assad rebels' abandoning equipment to ISIS in Syria on multiple occasions. But the one thing they won't be able to use going forward is the Turkish Army as cannon fodder against Assad or an increasingly Iranian-dominated government in Baghdad: Turkish troops quietly pulled out of their base at Bashiqa near Mosul over the weekend, and the prospect of a Turkish occupation of a 'buffer zone' in northern Syria is now dead and buried. So forget about fighting the Syrians and Iranians much less the Russians to the last Turk, neocons.
The other threat Washington can make to keep Erdogan in line is the oldest one in the book: physical assassination. However remote that prospect seems now, perhaps via some Alevi or Kurdish patsy who can then be tied to the defeated remnants of the secularist/Gulenist 'Deep State' seeking to avenge their arrested and tortured colleagues. The other threat is sanctions, whether overt or more likely, given the awkwardness of formally sanctioning a NATO member state, of the informal and underworld kind. For starters, we've already seen the Federal Aviation Administration ban on Turkish Airlines flights to the U.S. is one such measure in mild form.
A sudden 'shocked, shocked' discovery by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that Turkish athletes competing in the Rio Olympics have been doping almost as much as there Russian competitors might also happen. Turkish owned businesses in Europe might suddenly come under attack by Gladio-type 'right wing anti-Muslim nationalists' who are actually CIA assets. There could even be, with talk of the Turkstream pipeline being revived between Ankara and Gazprom, some sort of pipeline explosion along the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan corridor or the Russian-fueled gas pipes to the Balkans and Europe.
However, the primary 'sanctions' against the Turks the Empire of Chaos can inflict would revolve around the criminal underworld of the Turkish economy. That is, the trafficking in narcotics out of Afghanistan and Central Asia as well as in Syrian refugee women and boys that has exploded since 2002 and 2012, respectively.
Expect further revelations from pro-Erdogan Turkish media about Incirlik AFB's U.S. military abetted role as a hub of the Afghan heroin trade after CIA inspired media suddenly get a lot more interested in cheap smack and pre-teen Syrian girls for sale in Ankara and Istanbul. Despite the best efforts of compromisers on both sides, the war of 'kompromat' between the gangsters of the Beltway and northern Virginia and of Istanbul/Ankara has just begun.