"Why They Didn't Fire Is A Mystery" - Coup Pilots Had Erdogan's Plane In Their Sights And Did Nothing

Tyler Durden's picture

Looking back at the failed Turkish coup, one question that nobody has been able to answer is why, if the coup was indeed a serious attempt at government overthrow, did the organizers not do the first thing that military coups have done since time immemorial: either capture, or simply eliminate the existing ruler, the vacationing president Erdogan?

The following brief story will only add to the confusion (or maybe not).

As Reuters reports, at the height of the attempt to overthrow Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, the rebel pilots of two F-16 fighter jets had Erdogan's plane in their sights. And yet he was able to fly on.

The government narrative, completely fabricated as it may be, is the following:

Erdogan said as the coup unfolded that the plotters had tried to attack him in the resort town of Marmaris and had bombed places he had been at shortly after he left. He "evaded death by minutes", the second official said. Around 25 soldiers in helicopters descended on a hotel in Marmaris on ropes, shooting, just after Erdogan had left in an apparent attempt to seize him, pro-government broadcaster CNN Turk said. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had also been directly targeted in Istanbul during the coup bid and had narrowly escaped, the official said, without giving details.

Flight tracker websites showed a Gulfstream IV aircraft, a type of business jet owned by the Turkish government, take off from Dalaman airport, which is about an hour and a quarter's drive from Marmaris, at about 2240 GMT on Friday.  It later circled in what appeared to be a holding pattern just south of Istanbul, around the time when a Reuters witness in the airport was still hearing bursts of gunfire, before finally coming in to land.

It is what happened during Erdogan's trip that is confusing. Again from Reuters:

The Turkish leader was returning to Istanbul from a holiday near the coastal resort of Marmaris after a faction in the military launched the coup attempt on Friday night, sealing off a bridge across the Bosphorus, trying to capture Istanbul's main airport and sending tanks to parliament in Ankara.


A senior Turkish official confirmed to Reuters that Erdogan's business jet had been harassed while flying from the airport that serves Marmaris by two F-16s commandeered by the coup plotters but that he had managed to reach Istanbul safely.


"At least two F-16s harassed Erdogan's plane while it was in the air and en route to Istanbul. They locked their radars on his plane and on two other F-16s protecting him," a former military officer with knowledge of the events told Reuters.


"Why they didn't fire is a mystery," he said.

Actually, now that we have seen the unprecedented crack down on all political opponents including the start of what is set to be a historic witch hunt, it is no mystery at all.

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EuroPox's picture

Totally fake!  I was watching his plane on Radar24 - anyone could see it!  How did he know it was safe to fly and land at Istanbul if it was not all fake??

His plane was in the air very soon after the 'coup' began - no way he would do that unless he knew he was safe.

BlindMonkey's picture

I'm just amused by how transparent the false flag is.  Usually, TPTB put a bit more effort into it to make it convincing. I guess they were counting on Pokemon Go to keep the attention spans where they need to be.

E.F. Mutton's picture

Maybe they've started outsourcing their False Flags to India?

ali_baba's picture

I'm not sure it's fake. Erdogan was cosying up to Russia. It is possible that the CIA organised this at short notice and fucked it up. Wouldn't have been the first time. This should push Turkey away from Europe/USSA/Israel and into Russia's sphere of influence.

Of course, everything at this point is conjecture.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

As soon as I heard that there was a coup, my first question was:  Where's Erdogan?  Has he been arrested?

And the answer was no.  So I knew immediately it was all bullshit.  Wouldn't seizing Erdogan be central to the whole coup???

johngaltfla's picture

Maybe those pilots were paid to stand down...after all Erdogan apparently had outside help:

Did Saudi Arabia Help Erdogan with the Attempted Phony Coup?
HowdyDoody's picture

The F-16 stuff is all based on the words of an unknown ex military officer with 'knowledge of events'. Geez. I wonder which military he was ex? US I bet. If he had real 'knowledge of events' and was not active in military that suggests CIA/equivalent aka Department of Truth and Honesty.

Erdogan has also purged a large number of military officers and others from all umits of the military including the heads of units fighting the Kurds. That does not strike me as the thing any Turk leader would do unless that was no alternative. Stripping out the top layer of a large military has got to have a negative imapct on military effectiveness.


sun tzu's picture

Of course, I have never heard of a dictator purging military officers before LMAO!!! 


The ignorance posted on ZH is sad and amusing at the same time. 

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

Everything is based on undiscovered sources or government or opposition lies

This is why God gave us hunches

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Plausible deniability is all that's required on the world's kabuki stage.

johngaltfla's picture

Plus Erdogan has to cover for his son who is dealing arms "allegedly" to ISIS using Saudi/Qatari seed money.

johngaltfla's picture

Nope, not in the least. And Saudi/Qatari seed money made sure it was crushed quickly. Those generals who did not participate took the money and ran.

NotApplicable's picture

Perhaps that's why he used the word "phony?"

True Blue's picture

And, is the Turkish military really so inept that this 'coup' ended (except for the purges of course) within 24 hours?

Are they still sticking to the 'because the citizens took to the streets in support of Ergodan' lies?

But hey: that whole Reichstag fire thingy worked out so well in the past, just stick to the playbook, right?

johngaltfla's picture

Well stated True, this has Reichstag fire written all over it.

Oldrepublic's picture

The Saker is in agreement with that theory. I posted the link in a earlier story today

BobEore's picture

Cosying up to Russia. More like

completely capitulated to Russia... the week previous. After 'completely capitulating to the other 'partner's' demands just prior to that. After which tag team event - the real coup occurred.

The weekend's theater contains no mysteries for the seasoned movie goer. Certainly not in regards to the planes.

The jet would have flown out of Bodrum Airport, the nearest civilian tarmac to the resort hotel he was staying in. The only other options would have been the naval base at Aksaz or the military airport near Mugla. Both of which would have made it easy to disallow the plane from ever taking off. At Bodrum, any real coupmeisters would have taken control of the tower and/or runway and ditto - the plane would never have left ground. Open -  and Shut.


The Sultan has abdicated - long live the Caliph. For a while!

risk.averse's picture

hey ali_baba, I have a bridge I want to sell you. It's called the Golden Gate, in SF have you heard of it? Its yours for 50 bucks. Interested?

[good grief, man...this "coup" was a fake as a 3 dollar note. Wake up]

Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

This isn't the first or last bit of Turkish Theater we've seen from Erdogan and his cronys. Cheap parlor tricks, too bad so many of the Turks have fallen for his deception and brutality.

Mr. Universe's picture

This reminds me way too much of the Angry Birds movie. Damn lying pigs.

NurseRatched's picture

Fighter escort???

No, no, no!!

Those were the exact same warplanes that Hillary evaded in Iraq when she was Secretary of State!

Just ask Hillary - she had to make a rapid, corkscrew landing and it almost killed her!  Really!  And now the same thing happened to the Turkish Obama.


zeronetwork's picture

Turkish 9/11, I suppose.

chinoslims's picture

were zionist involved in this one, too, i wonder?  if so, how?

conscious being's picture

The arrested coup leader, Brigadier air force general Bekir Ercan Van, the commander of Incirlik Air Base where many coup plotters were arrested, was the Turkish military attache to ... wait for it ... Israel ... of all places.

Let us consider the implications.

Good call ChinoSlims. Why all the downvotes? Pavlovian Hasbra Hive spasm?

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

Fake Coup too buddy! Tylers, can please cwnsor the language around here.

DosZap's picture


He orcestrated this, what idot army tries to do a Coup d' etat with 2700 troops?.Sound like an excuse for Erodgan to HOUSE CLEAN the secularists.

And he did.

Who does this sound like( a special Police Force trained and numbered at approx 4000?),Hello?,a page from the Bummers book.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

'Fake Coup', you say?  Glad you agree...


Kirk2NCC1701    CounterPartyVice  Jul 15, 2016 9:26 PM

I want to be the 1st to go on ZH record, that.... THIS IS A FAKE COUP, A STAGED COUP.

Cooked up by Erdogan and his cronies, to give them clear sailing to steal all remaining power and to give them the appearance /cloak of 'democratic legitimacy' against Rebels, etc.  IOW... Unlike Assad in Syria, who is not 'out tyrant', Erdogan is allowed to squash all Resistance, because he is 'our tyrant'.

Note also that Turkey is to resume full relations with Israel in two weeks.

Bottom line...



Kirk2NCC1701   Kirk2NCC1701 Jul 15, 2016 10:10 PM

Futher... looking at the Coup attempt, it looks to limited and poorly executed to have been started by Senior Staff.  This looks like a mid-level attempt.  What a better way to smoke out residual Resistance AND have the cpver/pretext for more autocratic power under Erdogan, than to have a FALSE FLAG COUP.

Obama and Clinton both jumped on board with the same buzz words:  "Legitimately elected Government", etc.

I find it too convenient in its timing, i.e. on the heels of the Nice attack, which gives plenty of distraction for the masses.  I would not be surprised if this Lone Nutjob was groomed by intelligence services, to do what he did.  As I said before: "Forget Jason Bourne and Treadstone 1.0.  This is Treadstone 2.0: DISPOSABLE ASSASSINS; Low-cost nutjobs, pre-selected, conditioned and on psycho-pharma drugs. 

Oldrepublic's picture



this is what a real coup d’etat looks like in a Middle Eastern State,

 The July 14, 1958 coup d’ etat in Iraq.

King Faisal,II the regent and Crown Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Said were assassinated during this coup.

YHC-FTSE's picture


Yeah. Spot on, though I thought it was the real deal supported by either of the super power belligerents - Kremlin backed or Pentagon backed for supremacy over Syria/ME. I didn't have the foggiest idea who they were and what the coup leaders' allegiances were and said so at the time, but I reckon you are probably right about this being a staged coup. 

Re: Disposable assassins. Intriguing idea - DENIABLE OPERATORS are highly trained and thus expensive, so low cost, conditioned and drugged nutjobs make economic sense. Conditioning is an interesting concept and I suspect that there are certain people in any population who fit the profile: Addicts, estranged, angry, lonely, abusive/abused, confused individuals who can be turned with a combination of suggestions, hypnosis and psychotropics into killers or just made to do their normal job such as driving trucks blind to pedestrians. 

conscious being's picture

YHC, another idea. There was a real coup in the works, but it was exposed as an acknowledgement of the appology to Russia. Kind of a thank you. Webster Tarpley wrote in March this year about a coup in the works for Turkey. So, for the coup plotters it was now or never and bungled because they weren't quite ready.

Plotters running away. Greece arrested eight men aboard a Turkish military helicopter which landed in the Northern city of Alexandroupoli at midday on Saturday.

YHC-FTSE's picture


Who knows what lies in the hearts of men? But one of the things I enjoy most here at ZH is the exchange of ideas I hadn't considered. Thanks mate, it's certainly food for thought.

3Wishes's picture

There was a Helicopter gunship attacking the only media outlet that opposes Erdogan, Go Figure.

Nicaraguarules's picture

Erdogan told his military it was a drill.  He then watched hundreds die and then arrested any judge or prosecutor that opposed him in the past. 6000 so far.  No one in Military will be charged or if they are they will be used as scapegoats for his master plan.  Sociopath like 99% of all power hungry and corrupt politicians.   Power grab.  nothing more. Get used to it.   

Panic Mode's picture

They are his bitchez.

AlaricBalth's picture

Rebel pilots? Most likely escorts.

Derezzed's picture

False flag or fabricated coup to ensure full power ...

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

See #2 in Kirk's Guide to .... Military Coups for Dummies*

Kirk2NCC1701 Jul 16, 2016 10:54 AM


1. Plan it through at macro and micro level.  Be sure to have enough of the right people who can mobilize more military people.  You will need hundreds on standby, with thousands or tens of thousands to mobilize within the hour.   If the odds of achieving this goal don't look good (>90%), do NOT bother to attempt coup.

2. Arrest (and if necessary, execute) Leader being overthrown: President and Prime Minister.  You will say that they "died in a shootout during arrest attempts."  If the odds of achieving this goal don't look good (>90%), do NOT bother to attempt coup.  

3. Make a List of Key Targets that and People who need to be taken in the Political & Economic Capitals:

   A. Key Leadership

     - Military Leadership (that is likely against the coup)

     - Police and Secret Police leadership

     - Mayors of Ankara and Istanbul

     B. Key National Infrastructure

     - News Stations, Social Media, Telecoms.  Managing the Message and Narrative is crucial.

     Go on air, make announcements (Reason, Mission, Reassure, Call for calm, etc) and appear to control situation to keep the Sheeple calm.  Mission = "To uphold Constitution, Preserve Democracy & Rule of Law for benefit of The People, and protect them from organized criminals who have hijacked country for personal gain".  You need to "freeze" counter-coup attempts with this key PR move.

     - Key Airports and Bridges

     - Parliament/Congress, Key Ministries (Defense, State, Treasury)

     - Large city squares closed, to prevent large masses from building counter-coup

     - Power & Water stations, for targeted and rolling brown-outs, to front-run counter-coup attempts.  People won't be in the mood to protest when there's no power or water.  Blame Opposition.


4. Free Journalists and political prisoners from jail, and parade them to the world Media, as PR and legitimacy to coup.

5. Arrest top cronies of Regime, seize luxury assets (planes, yachts) and parade actual or proclaimed assets to Media. More PR as to your 'good guy' role and their 'bad guy' lifestyle.  Publicise the suicide of the President, but keep it believable.  The death of others will have to wait and happen quietly:  heart attack, stroke, suicide, car accident...

6. Call for democratic elections in 3-6 months after peace is established and maintained, and freed dissidents and journalists are re-integrated into society.

7. Announce the rioting and looting will be met with street justice of Martial Law.  No large gatherings or demonstrations (even pro-Junta) will be permitted for 3 months.  Peace, Order and Rule of Law will be maintained at all cost.

8. Political Parties may work peacefully to prepare for Elections.

9. Call for and establish Border security, to prevent outside Agents/Groups from forming a counter-coup or chaos.  Especially along known troubled parts of the border.

10. Reach out to world and world leaders that country is in good hands, that will maintain Peace, Order, Rule of Law & Constitutional Rights, and relations with Allies and friendly countries.  More than appearance of Legitimacy, you want explicit Approval of "Temporary Reboot under Military Supervision" (because Military Coup is such a burdened and loaded word).

Follow through.

The extent to which these Key Points are upheld or not upheld will determine the likelihood of a successful Coup and a "Civilized Reset For The People".


peddling-fiction's picture

11. Count the votes yourself in the free election that ensues.

Multi's picture

Wow Kirk, that's a thoughtful plan.

Have you ever worked for an US Embassy around the world by any chance?

Vageling's picture

It's the very fundementals for a successful coup. And he does break it down in the level of importance! Your coup starts when teams go in killing the head! The rest is to control the breakdown. They should have send a team on the President and his PM! Shoot them and say they died during a shootout because they didn't surrender. These guys have guards so easy to sell. Then you shut anyone up who is a risk.

Smerf's picture

I hope ISIS doesn't have access to Flght Tracker.