Weekly Geopolitical Report – The Turkish Coup, Part I (July 25, 2016)

by Bill O’Grady

On Friday, July 15, reports out of Turkey indicated that unusual troop activity was underway which suggested a coup was in progress.  In the U.S., as afternoon turned toward early evening, it was abundantly clear that elements of the Turkish security services were attempting to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  As the hours wore on, a countercoup was launched by supporters of President Erdogan and the tide turned.  By the next day, it became obvious that the coup had failed.

There has been a great deal of speculation surrounding the failed coup, including that President Erdogan had engineered a “false flag”[1] operation.  Supporters of Erdogan blamed the shadowy cleric Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamist leader from Turkey who lives in self-imposed exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.  Some have also accused the U.S. of fostering the coup.  In the aftermath of the dramatic events on the 15th, the Erdogan government is engaging in a massive purge of the military, the judiciary and education.

In light of the coup and the potential changes that may be occurring for a key U.S. ally in a volatile region of the world, we believe a detailed examination of this event is in order.  Thus, we are publishing a three-part report on the coup.  This week’s edition will examine the failed coup within the historical context of Turkey.  Next week, we will discuss the coup and the countercoup.  Part three will examine the post-coup purge and its impact on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy.  We will analyze market effects at the conclusion of the third report.

View the full report


[1] A covert operation executed in such a fashion as to assign blame for the actions to parties other than the ones who actually planned them.