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Thursday, December 8, 2016

The conflict between Erdogan and the Turkish military intensified


In the Western press there were publications about what the Turkish military returned to the political weight. This threatens the position of the President of the country. Erdogan’s hostility to the military is clear – the Turkish army has repeatedly “corrected” the presidents and Prime Ministers, making a coup. And not the fact that the United States would stand behind the current Turkish leader.

After 13 years in power, Erdogan’s in power and the systematic marginalization of the military once again begin to increase their influence in Turkey. The Turkish military and the generals are gradually returning as a major player in Turkish politics. This writes the influential American newspaper The Wall Street Journal.

“Washington will not sympathize with Erdogan as he sympathized with the deposed President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi”

The Turkish military, which has experienced four coup d’etat in 1960, had been marginalized after the rise to power of the moderate Islamist leader of the party of justice and development Recep Tayyip Erdogan. However, after the outbreak of war in Syria, in which Turkey is de facto directly involved, and the civil conflict in the South-East with the Kurdistan workers ‘ party (PKK), Erdogan is forced to accept the increasing role of the military.

The American edition emphasizes that the Turkish army into the Central force in political decision-making in the sphere of national security, and this, in turn, can not disturb Erdogan.

Military vs Erdogan

“The Turkish military are the only force that is able and, most importantly, wants to “put the brakes” Erdogan and to create a system of checks and balances against him”, – said the publication of a former officer of the Turkish army of Gurcan Metin, who currently works as a military analyst in one of Istanbul’s centers.

Syrian company has strengthened the friction between the conventional Turkish Islamists headed by Erdogan and the military. Overall, the military have been skeptical about Turkey’s participation in the Syrian war. In addition, the plans of Erdogan to create a buffer zone in Northern Syria and send the Turkish special forces in Syria and Iraq were perceived by the military with bayonets. It is the firm position of the military is not allowed Erdogan ambitious and openly intervene in the Syrian crisis, writes Wall Street Journal.

The possibility of a coup

Such a point of view in the US and the EU pursued by many. So, the American expert on the Middle East and Turkey, former Pentagon official Michael Rubin predicted a military coup in Turkey in an article published on the website of the American enterprise Institute.

Turkey understands that Erdogan leads her to the brink, and the Turkish military is also aware of this. “If the Turkish military tries to overthrow Erdogan and to hide his inner circle behind bars, will they be able to get away with it? Yes, from an analytical perspective, not from the point of view of the approval action of this kind,” says Rubin.

Washington will not sympathize with Erdogan as he sympathized with the deposed in 2013, the President of Egypt Mohammed Morsi. Both Democrats and Republicans are ready to work with the new regime, says Rubin. Turkey’s membership in NATO will not be a hindrance for a possible military coup, he added.

Got out of control?

Recall that in recent months, Turkey’s President began the persecution of his political opponents, jailing members of the opposition. Moreover, Turkey is systematic pressure on the media, closed publications and Newspapers.

The supply chain of the IG Syrian oil in Turzunzade with this earlier this month, Erdogan threatened to dissolve the country’s constitutional court. Erdogan accused it of violating the Constitution in connection with the release of the two journalists who were arrested earlier for the publication of the secret supplies of weapons to Syrian jihadists by the security services of Turkey, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

“Conflict increases and becomes ideological in nature”

Chief editor of the magazine “Problems of national strategy” the Russian Institute of strategic studies (RISS), a political analyst Azhdar Kurtov said in an interview with the newspaper VIEW that the conflict between the Turkish military and Erdogan has a long history, but today it is amplified by the events in Syria and Iraq.

“The relationship between Erdogan and the officer corps very difficult. Indeed, the military are very unhappy with Erdogan. The events in Syria and Iraq have intensified the conflict between them. Historically the military has always had tremendous power and honor in Turkey. Moreover, it was legalized in the Ataturk. Then the military made three coups (in 1960, 1971 and 1980 – approx. OPINION), and another almost did in 1997. With the arrival of Erdogan, the army’s role has changed,” the expert reminded.

The interviewer noted that with the coming to power of Erdogan and the military were removed from power. “The fact that the main feature of the Turkish military is their commitment to the protection of the secular traditions of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,” – said Kurts.

A special role of army in Turkish politics associated with the figure of the founding father of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal – a career officer in the Ottoman army, commander during the First world war, the winner in the war of independence 1919-1923. A close associate of atatürk in the war, the chief of staff and successor as President, Ismet inönü was actively present in the Turkish politics until 1972. And, as mentioned above, the army has always perceived itself as the guarantor of Republican and secular character of the state.

“Tradition breaks Erdogan, spreading the Islamic principles, – said Kurts. – As a result of the conflict between them increases and becomes ideological. Whatever may be said Erdogan, he purposefully and deliberately leading Turkey toward Islamic rule. The military is against it.”

Three and a half revolution

The aforementioned instances of open intervention of the army in Turkish politics were generally on a similar scenario.

In 1960, General Cemal Gursel, who had resigned from his post as commander land forces (because of their disagreement with the Prime Minister, the leader of the democratic party of Adnan Menderes, who used the army to quell the student riots), made the coup and the first thing said that Turkey will follow the precepts of Ataturk, and at the same time – commitments in the framework of NATO.

In 1971 in Turkey has intensified as the leftist – workers and student movement, and Islamist and nationalist organizations. Including declared itself known afterwards “the Grey wolves”. The confrontation between left-wing and right-wing ultras led to a wave of violence and a series of explosions and attacks. The Pro-Islamic national order Party, which was headed “spiritual father” of Erdogan, Necmettin Erbakan, was eager to power, openly denying the secular nature of the Republic.

Moderate justice Party, headed by Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel (later four times held the post of head of government), could not cope with a situation that once again forced the army to intervene. The General staff released a “Memorandum” – in effect an ultimatum, after which the Prime Minister was ousted by the military. However, by the end of the decade the situation was again destabilized. The actual civil war, which launched, on the one hand, the “Grey wolves” (attacked not only political opponents, but also representatives of national minorities), and on the other – Maoist “Revolutionary road”, the intensification of fundamentalist party of Erbakan and the instability in power again led the military to “press the brake”.

January 1, 1980, the chief of the General staff General Kenan Evren and commanders of branches of the military and gendarmerie called for President Fahri Koruturk and handed him another Memorandum, with a warning – if the government can not cope with the situation, “the army will fulfill its duty for the protection and guardianship of the Republic”. After the coup the army (which has taken power under the slogan of saving the country from fascism, communism, Kurdish separatism and religious sectarianism) acted very harshly: 50 people were executed, from 250 thousand to 650 thousand were imprisoned, 1.6 million were in the black list. Whatever it was, the violence failed to bring down, but the economic situation to stabilize.

And finally, “nedoperevorot 1997 was done without violence – who was then Prime Minister of the country’s moderate Islamist Necmettin Erbakan is the political mentor of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has resigned under pressure from the military.

The “Ergenekon Trials”

In 2007, Erdogan, who for five years held the post of Prime Minister, apparently, “played in advance”. It was announced on the disclosure by police officers of the conspiracy, which involved several high-ranking military officials of the security service, businessmen, Union leaders and public figures from among the opponents of the regime. In particular, the conspirator was declared the Secretary General revocability workers ‘ party of Turkey Dogu Perincek, was sentenced to 117 years in prison.

Under the version of militiamen, members of the conspiracy belonged to the secret organization “Ergenekon”, associated with the army circles. Erdogan’s critics believe the case was fabricated for the sake of “cleansing” the opposition-minded representatives of the military elite and most consistent critics of Erdogan’s “moderate Islamism” among the Kemalists.

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