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Coup in Turkey? No Real Surprise…

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 02: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the media following talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery on November 2, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Earlier in the day the two leaders attended a celebration to mark 50 years of Turkish immigration to Germany. On October 30, 1961 Turkey and what was then West Germany signed an agreement that paved the way for the migration of Turkish "guest workers" to Germany. Germany in the early 1960s, which in many ways was still recovering from the devastation of World War II, required foreign labour to fill its industrial workforce, and the influx of immigrants from Turkey, Italy, Greece and other south European countries made Germany?s "economic miracle" possible. Today large numbers of Germans with Turkish roots are an integral part of German society, though integration and assimilation remain a contentious issue, especially for more recent Turkish immigrants. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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.

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