Friday, July 15, 2016

My Thoughts on the Unfolding Turkish Coup

I think I can shed some light on what is going on in Turkey, so I will.
1) The country's government was secularized by Mustafa Kermal who is known as the Father of Turkey, or "Ataturk", in the earlier part of the 20th century. Since then the secularist, or "Kermalist" have generally held power in Turkey and the military there is taughtsecular principles.
2) The secularist are corrupt, and people get tired of them. So they vote for the islamic parties as a protest vote, knowing if the islamist take things too far the military will step in and kick them out. This has happened (four?) times recently in Turkish history.
3) Turkey is obsessed with becoming part of the EU. For this reason the military has shown great restraint and not thrown any coups lately. This has enabled islamist to take things farther than previously would have been allowed.
4) US policy in the region (i.e. invasion of Iraq) has pissed a lot of people off in Turkey, and has strengthened islamist support more than in the past.
5) Ergodan, the islamist current president of Turkey, has used points 3 & 4 above to really push Turkey in a more islamic direction. Ergodan recently rewrote the Turkish Constitution and replaced mentions of secular Ataturk with the term "the founder" and basically removed some of the secular controls in the old version. Ergodan has also recently consolidated power by firing and forcing out / replacing many of his more secular leading opponents both in government AND in the Turkish military, which is kind of unprecedented. Ergodan has been removing strong secularist generals in the military, and snubbed a potential coup a few years ago successfully and tried a lot of senior military leaders for treason.
I guess the secularist have finally had enough. Due to the attitude changes I'm not sure how this coup will play out. I hope things settle down with the minimal amount of life and property loss as possible. I'm more of a Kermalist so I'm not sorry to see Ergodan ousted, but I'd really, really hate for this to get ugly.
Turkey is an interesting country full of beauty and history. The people there are mostly nice to foreigners. I'd hate to see it be ripped apart by civil war. Hopefully this will end soon.

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