A staunchly pro-government journalist in Turkey has suggested that “strange developments” are taking place against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and its leader President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, hinting that they may face another coup attempt similar to an abortive putsch that took place in July 2016.
“Since I was accused of being paranoid when I wrote about the possibility of a coup attempt four months before July 15 [2016 coup attempt], the same thing is likely to happen again. But there are just some strange things going on, I’m just saying. Let me finish my article, in which I predicted an upcoming coup with the headline: We are ready,” Sabah columnist Hilal Kaplan wrote in her column in the daily on Wednesday.
Kaplan, who frequently accompanies Erdoğan during his visits to abroad, was recently appointed as a board member of Turkish state broadcaster TRT, leading to criticism and skepticism about her credentials for the post.
The journalist made the claim about an upcoming coup attempt at a time of growing anger against Erdoğan and his government due to their poor handling of wildfires that have been ravaging Turkey’s southern and western coast since last Wednesday.
Referring to a recent article by Steven A. Cook for Foreign Policy with the headline, “Cracks Are Growing in the Erdogan Regime,” Kaplan said Cook is “human trash” who wrote a similar article several days after the July 15 coup attempt in 2016.
Quoting Cook’s article in Foreign Policy, which said, “Along several dimensions, Turkish politics today is more unstable than at any time in recent years. This doesn’t mean that there will be another uprising like the one that began over Gezi Park during the summer of 2013 or that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in danger of being overthrown. But Erdogan’s capacity to establish and maintain control across the country seems compromised, which raises the prospects for large-scale protests, increased violence, and political struggles at the summit of the state,” Kaplan said the writer’s remarks reminded her of developments leading up to the July 15 coup attempt.
According to Kaplan, Cook is a sociopath who thinks Muslim societies do not deserve democracy and how every Muslim country that defends their interests against the West should be made to bow before dictators.
Kaplan’s claims have been met with widespread suspicion, with many accusing the journalist of trying to divert attention from the government’s incompetence in handling the wildfires and keeping the public busy with the talk of another coup attempt.