Obama Denies Advance Knowledge of Turkish Coup

Insists US Had No Involvement in Failed Coup

Speaking at the White House today, President Obama denied unequivocally that the US had any prior knowledge of last week’s failed military coup in Turkey, calling on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to make sure everyone in Turkey knows the US wasn’t involved.

The early US reaction to the coup has raised a lot of speculation, as Secretary of State John Kerry, during the coup, issued a tepid comment just urging “stability.” The US only condemned the coup when it became clear, later that evening, that it was going to fail.

Turkey cut power to the Incirlik Air Base, where many US warplanes and dozens of US nuclear weapons are based, and jailed the commander as a co-conspirator to the coup. That, and Turkey’s blaming of cleric Fethullah Gulen, exiled to the US, as being behind the plot, are likely the source of a lot of the speculation.

The US has been keen to keep its ties close to Turkey, whoever ends up running it, and the Obama Administration is understandably eager to distance itself from any suspicion. This is a key part of why the US has been so reluctant to seriously criticize Turkey’s post-coup purge, and why Turkey feels comfortable pressuring them to extradite Gulen without any evidence.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • ericsiverson

    I wonder if President Obama could say the same thing about The Ukrainian coup

    • Adriaan de Leeuw

      As he Authorised a billion dollars for it it would be difficult to say Ukraine wasnt known to him!

      • curmudgeonvt

        As the DOS has been known in the past to go rogue and do things on their own from their own over-large budget, its not a guarantee that Obama knew. Not saying he did or didn’t. He does have a track record of seemingly being detached from stuff that happens on his watch.

        • Mark Thomason

          The CIA’s “covert” programs even more so, and more at issue in Turkey since they are running the Syrian war from Turkey, present in large numbers, and unhappy with Turkey’s obedience to their latest schemes.

        • MvGuy

          I suppose one can do things that the POTUS doesn’t know about: But without someone being fired or demoted…????? Seems 2 me if no one gets fired then that amounts to an admission for the cognosceti.

          • curmudgeonvt

            Obama has a track record of not having the stones to stand his ground in the past. The only one I can remember who was “fired” might be Stanley McChrystal and I’m willing to bet he was looking for a way out from under BO’s “leadership” and told him exactly what he needed but did not want to hear. Just a guess…

      • MvGuy

        Wasn’t it 5 billion that V.N. bragged was put into “democracy biulding” ie destabilizind the elected president. It’s the V.N. brand of democracy. AKA…..??????

  • ericsiverson

    The big question is did Erdogan have prior knowledge of the coup in Turkey ?

    • Mark Thomason

      No, that is the excuse offered up by the people who committed this crime, and it furthers suspicion of US involvement.

    • I have a feeling everyone knew something and that Gulen is a patsy. This is some heavy deep state sh*t. It may be a while before we get the full picture, if we ever do.

      • MvGuy

        Hard to believe that with all the prisoners they are holding that THEY will not find out the how, who and why. And don’t forget wiki liaks.. I believe that the folks at NEUZ BUWD will have the skinny on this B4 long. Just go to boilingfrogsblogspot.com. z There is a video there of S.E. predicting this fate for out pal R.E. that wuz made six months ago.. Turkey is her beat and if anyone outside Turkey is going to learn the facts and tell the world, it will be her. It’s odd how she is persona nongrata……at this site. One night six months months or a year ago she made a comment in the comments section how she is saddened by aw.c never publishing the stuff she sends to them… Next thing A.K. posts a reply calling her an joo hating know nothing witch..and as I remember it our pall T.K…… joined in berating her…. I commented WTF is going on here… This woman has been silenced by the COTUS… I myself believe that anyone who gets silenced by Congress MUST have something important to say….. Did I mention that B4 she went public and started with the dirty laundry up on the cloths line, she held top clearances while working on info from gob mint perloined info… So believe what you want, but be aware of the aforementioned.

  • Mad_Prof Mad_Prof

    Obama was hedging his bet until it was clear that Erdogan was going to win.
    The US supported Erdogan when it became obvious he will would be the victor. US administrations have a long history of instigating , supporting coups and therefore , no one should be surprised if Turks consider Obama’s administration suspect number 1.

    • John Wells

      Correction: “if the Turks consider the United States suspect number 1.”

  • John Wells

    Russia would make a better ally and friend than Turkey (or Israel for that matter).

  • Mark Thomason

    It was not just Kerry’s tepid response that caused suspicion.

    Any fair reading of our media would show overwhelming support here for the coup among “opinion leaders,” and particularly among the neocons and Dem hawks who dominate US policy in the region.

    They have since been resentful of the failure of the coup, even pretending without a shred of evidence that it was phony, just to explain the failure.

    This reaction can only cause one to think that the insiders to whom these “opinion leaders” have access, the insiders whose positions this access journalism reflects on every issue, were very much part of the coup.

  • arnieus

    When you lie as much as Obama your words are just foul wind.

  • Careful Observer

    It’s almost impossible to believe that this wasn’t directly orchestrated by the United States – despite the 9/11ish conspiracy types who would like to think Erdogan was behind it all.

    Think about it:

    1. The coup attempt was potentially carried out by Gulenists, a group that has considerable influence in both the Turkish military and police.

    2. Gulen lives in the United States and has long been thought of as a US “asset.” No way the US via the CIA and NSA wouldn’t have known if this guy was plotting a coup in Turkey if he was doing such a thing. If he was involved, they knew – period.

    3. Gulenists were accused of stealing millions of dollars in the US, the FBI investigated, and the whole thing was swept under the rug. It’s not like they tried very hard to convict their asset.

    4. One of the pilots that shot down that Russian jet is rumored to be a Gulenist who also participated in the coup. That Russian jet just also happened to have been shot down after the Russians started attacking US-backed rebel terrorists in Syria. It wouldn’t have been hard for the US to have orchestrated that attack through Gulen’s connections if they had wanted to. That attack just also happened to separate Russia and Turkey diplomatically and economically – both things that US neocons desire.

    5. The US has refused to extradite Gulen without clear “evidence.” In other words, if he is extradited, Turkey will torture him and he will spill the beans concerning his US connections, providing ample evidence of American involvement.

    Watch to see if the US refuses extradition even if Turkey produces evidence of his involvement (or if the US privately pressures them to drop their request and it is swept under the rug in exchange for some major concession). That will be clear proof of US involvement.

    6. Turkey had begun the process of restoring relations with Russia before the coup and had even been rumored to have offered them the use of Turkish airbases — a big no no for US neocons.

    7. Turkey had offered to normalize relations with Syria’s government just before the coup. Also, a big no no for US warmongers intent on overthrowing that government just as they did Ukraine and Libya’s.

    8. There is a video on the internet showing the coup plotters trying to seize the hotel where Erdogan was staying. He left 30 minutes prior to them getting there. That was no coincidence; he was tipped off. If he had been warned by the US, his rhetoric would be different. However, if he had been tipped off by the Russians……

    9. The US has a long track record of doing this kind of thing. We don’t even have to go back that far: Ukraine, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and Cuba – all governments overthrown or almost overthrown by US meddling during the past 15 years. In fact, they tried overthrowing Cuba’s government back in 2010 with a knock-off Twitter program funded by shell companies in Asia. During that same time, US neocons also publicly discussed overthrowing Iran’s government by supporting protesters.

    This has US paw prints all over it.

    10. Turkey and Russia have discussed (and are probably moving forward with) a major pipeline through Turkey. That would be an economic boon for Russia. Also, a big no no for US neocons who want to rule the world with no competitors. The US has worked very hard to destabilize Russia. That pipeline would undo all of that. However, a new government that hadn’t reached out to Russia in recent weeks might not be so willing to go forward with such a pipeline. Strange that such a government would also have been headed by a guy who lives in the US and is close to US interests. Wink. Wink.

    Think about it.

  • I wonder what would happen if Erdogan discovers that the US was somehow involved. With the CIA’s track record, it’s not out of the question.

    Would we have a repeat of 1979, only with nukes?

  • Neuromancer

    No surprise. Obama only knows what he reads in the newspapers.