25 July 2016, American Enterprise Institute’s Michael Rubin analyzes the coup in Turkey

Here, AEI’s Michael Rubin puts forth an even handed and thoughtful analysis of the coup in Turkey. Rubin’s piece, titled, “What happened in Turkey? And what comes next?,” suggests several possibilities regarding who was behind the coup:

  1. “…Erdoğan (Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) blamed Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric and former Erdoğan ally…”
  2. “…Traditional Kemalists, those who follow the secular and pro-Western principles laid out by modern Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.”
  3. “…Erdoğan himself sparked the coup as a sort of Reichstag fire.”

Rubin asserts that, post coup, “Erdoğan is on the warpath”…and that “he believes he has a carte blanche to target enemies at home and perhaps abroad as well.”

Rubin has been proven right so far. Erdoğan has ordered the arrest of thousands, including 42 journalists, 31 academics, 100 generals and admirals, and some 9,000 security and military personnel.

This is curious because if so many people were backing the coup, it seems reasonable to postulate that it might have worked, or at least it would have lasted more than a few hours before being rolled up.

Regardless of the technicalities behind the coup, it is obvious that Erdoğan is using the event to massively clean house. Because he has been instituting Islamist jihadist policies since assuming office in 2014, which are completely counter to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s policies that modernized the country along secularist lines, Erdoğan’s purging of the government and society is seemingly paving the way for a more extremist country. In short, he is fundamentally transforming Turkey away from the vision of Atatürk. An Islamist republic might be the end goal. Time will tell, and it will tell soon.

Sources and further reading:

Michael Rubin, “What happened in Turkey? And what comes next?,” American Enterprise Institute, 17 July 2016.

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