Michael Rubin, an analyst from the USA who says the coup attempt in Turkey on July 15 was a 'scheme', claimed that Doğu Perinçek, the leader of the Patriotic Party and his team or other groups who might be vindictive due to unjust treatment may carry out an assassination attempt targeting President Erdoğan.
Served as a consultant on Iraq and Turkey to Pentagon and former US President George W. Bush in 2000s, Rubin’s article for American Enterprise Institute (AEI) attracted a lot of attention in Turkey last week.
In his article quoted also by Newsweek, Rubin wrote: “Whoever is behind the coup attempt, Erdoğan knew of the situation hours before the actual attempt. However, the third coup might be the harshest one which can take Erdoğan’s life.”
Rubin also said, “A coup might be in order” before July 15th
This was not Rubin’s first article on the coup attempt that might happen in Turkey. He also wrote another article on the possibility of a coup d’état in Turkey in last March. After this article was published on AEI, Rubin answered Diken’s questions and said, “What I wrote last week was not a prediction about the coup or an article to encourage it. I have only made an analysis based on assumption. So, I was seeking the answer for the question, ‘How would Turkey react to a possible coup in Turkey. The reaction to what I wrote showed how the speculations wrecked the nerves.”
Rubin commented on the outcome of a possible coup d’état in Turkey as follows: “Coups are movements with rare good impacts. Even if their short-term influence may be good, they form wounds and resentment in the long run. But let’s not fool ourselves. Even though it has neither the authority nor the will to do so, if Turkish Armed Forces seizes control of the government, this would not be stabbing democracy. Because it’s not currently possible to say democracy exists in Turkey at the first place.”
‘Erdoğan’s own coup attempt’
Diken reached Rubin, who talks about a new possibility for coup in his recent article once again…
When we interviewed you before the July 15th, you mentioned a possibility of a coup d’état in Turkey.
Does what you saw on July 15th comply with what you mentioned that day?
What I said that day was not intended to defend the coup, but it was a general analysis regarding Turkey. If what happened confirms my analysis, this only shows that what I wrote was not a conspiracy theory. Unfortunately, because the freedom of press is at a low level in Turkey triggers news based on conspiracy theories. Erdoğan worked hard to drag media to these low levels and transform it to a tool that would support him at all costs. Remember what went on after July 15th… Erdoğan did not only arrest the journalists linked to Gulen, he even had liberal journalist with no ties to Gulen arrested. The reason of this was clear: Erdoğan tries to eliminate everyone he sees as his enemies in his own ‘coup attempt’ attempt after the coup attempt.
Pro-AKP media wrote USA is behind the coup attempt several times. What do you think about this issue?
USA has nothing to do with the coup attempt. While pro-Erdoğan media writes on the contrary, documents presented by the government to USA only stated Gulen is involved in this attempt. If Erdoğan or the government thought that USA is behind the coup, then why did they only talk about Gulen in the documents?
‘World thinks Erdoğan is behind the coup’
Are you one of those who say “If USA was behind the coup attempt, then it wouldn’t have failed”?
It was really clear that the coup attempt would fail. If the putschists planned to take down the government, then why did the soldiers put barricades on the bridge and bomb the Parliament? Have you ever seen anything like this at the coups happened in Turkey before? What happened that night does not go beyond making people think that July 15th is a scenario of Erdoğan. The only ‘allowed’ theory on July 15th in Turkey is that Gulen is behind the coup attempt… However, this is not how the world thinks. Rest of the world thinks that Erdoğan and his supporters are behind the coup attempt.
In your recent article, you talk about the possibility of a new coup attempt in Turkey. What do you base this on?
In fact I didn’t mean “a new coup attempt”. What I was trying to say was “a new attempt”. There may be assassination attempts to kill Erdoğan.
Turkey is divided and polarized to an extent that was never seen before. This is a disunity even sharper than the Menderes era and 1970s. Erdoğan supporters in Turkey are maximum 50%. Erdoğan thinks he can intimidate others with the vast majority who supports him without peace and stability in the country, but he is wrong. Erdoğan does nothing but marginalize the others with this method. He imprisons, fires thousands of people and leaves them penniless, he leaves anyone who doesn’t think like him hopeless. With all these events, the Kurdish trouble stays right where it is and the country’s economy is going downhill. Therefore someone who is marginalized by Erdoğan could carry out an assassination attempt against him.
‘They might want to take revenge from’
So, in your opinion, which group may be getting ready to assassinate Erdoğan?
There are rumors stating that Perinçek group will stage an assassination attempt against Erdoğan. Perinçek and his group seem to support Erdoğan in order to get rid of their enemies. Just like Erdoğan collaborated with Gulen sect in order to remove the barriers. But this should not be forgotten, people and movements have always been revengeful throughout the history of Turkey.
As for the current issues… Erdoğan really insists on participating in the Mosul operation. How would this insistence affect relations with USA?
There are two problems here. First of all, Mosul is an Iraqi city and the government does not want Turkey to be involved in the operation. This was the main reason of Erdoğan’s recent Lausanne criticism. He wants to insert Turkish forces into Mosul using history as an excuse. The second problem is that both Baghdad and Washington agree that Turkey supports ISIS. Therefore, they don’t want Turkey to help the organization’s leaders in Mosul escape.
Yesterday, Kremlin’s spokesperson declared that Erdoğan and Russian President Putin are negotiating a deal on Russia selling air defense systems to Turkey. Would such a deal cause tension in relations with NATO?
A similar crisis happened when Turkey wanted to buy missiles from China. Erdoğan might think he is making a smart move. Turkey can even benefit from this in the short run. However, such moves would have a negative impact on Turkey’s prestige in the long run. Erdoğan thinks he is blackmailing USA for Gulen’s extradition. What he does not get is that the judiciary system in USA is independent.