All the indications suggest the US had no part in the coup. However Erdogan and the Turkish government think otherwise and it is their opinion which matters.…
Before discussing the question it is important to say that the answer so far as Turkey itself is concerned may no longer matter. The conviction appears to be taking hold in Turkey – including amongst some members of its government and with Erdogan himself – that the US was in some way behind the coup. That in itself will be enough to cause relations between the US and Turkey to become strained. In international politics very often it is what people believe rather than what is true that most matters.
The first thing to say is that at this stage we simply do not know. The information that would enable us to say for sure is simply not there. The investigation of the coup is still at a very early stage. Coup plotters are still being rounded up and questioned, and paper and electronic trails are still being followed up. It will take months or even years before trials follow – if they ever do – and before we start to get definite answers to the questions like the one about the extent, if any, of US involvement in the coup.
The second thing to say is that when people talk about a coup or a coup being US backed they are using a blanket term that covers different things. There are coups in which the US is not initially involved but which it backs after they succeed (eg. the coup which overthrew the Argentinian dictator Juan Peron in 1955). There are coups of which the US has foreknowledge and to which it gives the green light (eg. the Vietnamese coup against President Diem of 1963, the Brazilian coup of 1964 and the Turkish coup of 1980); and lastly there are the coups which the US actively orders and organises (eg. the coup in Iran in 1953 and – despite continued US denials – the coup against President Allende of Chile in 1973). All these coups are in a sense “US backed” but they clearly fall into different categories.
There is no doubt that if the coup against Erdogan had succeeded the US would have backed it after the event, just as in 1955 it backed after the event the coup that overthrew Peron, and to that extent it is legitimate to say that if the coup had succeeded it would have been US backed.…
Before leaving this subject there are two further points I do however want to make.
The first is that my whole case obviously depends on the assumption of at least a measure of rationality on the part of Obama and his officials. Against that I have to accept that US policy in recent years has become increasingly detached from reality. Indeed I have written about this at length. However if US policy makers really are now so detached from reality that they took the frankly crazy step of instigating or colluding in a coup against Erdogan in Turkey, then they are much crazier and more dangerous, and the situation in the world is far worse and far more dangerous, than up to now I or I suspect anyone else has suspected. It really would be a case in that case of us needing to reach for our fallout shelters. Fortunately everything we know about the coup suggests otherwise.
The DuranWhy the US Almost Certainly Was Not Involved in the Turkish Coup