Reports of a military coup in Turkey are of no surprise; they are even to be expected. Since the foundation of the modern Turkish state with the Ottoman Empire’s collapse, the military has made its core mission to secure the country’s sovereignty and good standing in the community of nations. For the generals, the challenged government is in breach of these precepts.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has always been an unpredictable politician – he plays Turkey’s modern secular foundation against today’s populist political Islam. He has always played both sides against the middle. This was a grave mistake. He has never understood the powers that he has unleashed. Importantly he was repeatedly purged the Turkish military for the same reasons.
Turkey’s ambitions have always been a soul divided against itself. There are EU aspirations, but there are also neo-Ottoman ambitions. Erdoğan has never been able to square the two. It appears the military has forced his hand.
Erdoğan’s foreign policy has been a disaster for Turkey. What was supposed to be a “no problems foreign policy with neighbors” has resulted with Ankara isolated and dismissed.
Erdoğan has fought a losing war in Syria – a war that actually threatens the very existence of Turkey. Erdoğan has alienated Russia – an important trade relation. Erdoğan has alienated the EU with its refugee policy tactics. Erdoğan has alienated Washington – the Empire does not entertain lightly the antics of armatures.
The west will color-coat the seeming coup. It never liked Erdoğan – he never was in line with the “correct agenda.” Thus is the fate of useful idiots……
Peter Lavelle is host of RT’s CrossTalk debate program. His views may or may not reflect those of his employer.