If Turkey is ejected from NATO  a real coup d’état from the highest levels would most likely follow. Given that there are actually still enough generals alive who are capable of thinking in strategic terms.

Turkey could fall foul of NATO’s “requirement with respect to democracy” if it fails to uphold the rule of law in the wake of an attempted coup, the US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned.

The Turkish government’s response to the failed coup has alarmed both the US and the EU, after it described the plotters as a “cancer” which had to be “cleansed” from public institutions.

A State Department spokesman has suggested it is “too soon to say” if a clampdown by the Erdogan government could jeopardize Turkey’s membership of NATO.

But NATO’s leadership has made it clear that a commitment to “uphold democracy, including tolerating diversity” is one of the five core requirements for members of the alliance.

Around 8,000 police officers have been suspended across Turkey following the failed coup, with more than 6,000 people in the army, the judiciary and other state bodies arrested as part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s response to Friday’s events.

Erdogan has said the people who attempted the coup “must pay,” and that the government will consider introducing the death penalty for people believed to have committed traitorous acts against the state.