Purges in Turkey

Monday, July 18, 2016

Over the weekend, I saw reports of a coup in Turkey, quickly followed by reports that it had failed. This morning, I am seeing speculation that the country's Islamist leader, Recep Erdoğan, may have faked a coup. At the very least, he plainly sees the opportunity to purge Turkey of opposition and consolidate his power, as an article in the New Yorker explains. That article ends on the following ominous note:

During his speech last night at the Istanbul airport, Erdoğan referred to the attempted coup as a "gift from God." Erdoğan is usually a precise speaker, but in this case, perhaps in his excitement, he showed his cards. With the coup attempt thwarted, he will no doubt seize the moment. In recent months, Erdoğan has made little secret of his desire to rewrite the constitution to give himself near total power. There will be no stopping him now. [format edits]
As an added bonus, Erdoğan, is blaming the events on a former ally (who lives in Pennsylvania) and his followers in Turkey. Erdoğan has already indicated he will ask for the cleric to be extradited from the United States. His language about that matter indicates that he will treat a failure to comply as a betrayal. Has Erdoğan shown us "his cards," or is he really just naming the obvious, that Turkey is finished as a semi-free country, and with it, an alliance?

-- CAV


RT said...

Erdogan knows he can do whatever he likes and the EU and US will make noises, but can do little else. Since he has so much support from his citizens, he can be the next Ottoman Caliph.

Gus Van Horn said...

Indeed, I think it's worse than that: Erdogan has an excellent chance of getting the U.S. to fork over that cleric, even if there is incontrovertible evidence that the latter had nothing to do with the coup, staged or otherwise.