The Coup in Turkey must be seen in light of the Constitution of Turkey of which there can be more than one at any given time. The one the government runs on can be different than the Founding Principles of the Republic of Turkey (an approximate translation) while the leaders in Turkey often make small changes kind of personalizing the constitution to their tastes. The Founding Documents (as we will refer to them) task the Turkish Military with keeping Turkey a secular democratic nation and to guard against any Islamist takeover of the government or a dictator cancelling elections and ruling by fiat (not just a small car). The military was prepared to remove Erdogan once before and had told NATO command as Turkey is a member of NATO. Turkey has also been attempting to join the EU, perhaps they can replace Britain now, and back then really thought they were close. The EU backed strongly by George W. Bush demanded the Turkish military back down because civilized nations do not do things this way. Erdogan having gotten wind of this replaced most of the Generals with his puppets. Still, the Turkish military, even with Erdongan’s puppets, take their Constitutional duty very seriously plus a number of these puppets have retired and younger officers promoted and we believe it is these commanders pulling to change the government and undo the Islamization done by Erdogan.
So the military acting on their Constitutional duty to keep Turkey secular are attempting a coup, something which would have been easy back in 2005 but will be more difficult as Erdogan controls a very militarized set of police forces and has his own military he keeps as a personal guard. The free world will be fed this blah blah blah coup evil blah bad coup, blah blah no true democratic nation operates blah blah and so forth. Know that when Kamil Ataturk ruled Turkey at the end of World War I and the end of the Ottoman Empire which was ruled from Turkey, he made a Constitution as a Muslim man who understood the Islamic directives for Islamist Sharia to be the law of the land but had seen how democratic nations with their individual freedoms and market driven economies had made mincemeat of the Ottoman forces with modern weapons and individual soldiers who were independent and could operate without being told every little order and he wanted Turkey to emulate this model and set up a secular state. He knew there would be leaders who would, either on their own or bending to popular will, would try to in stages enshrine Sharia.
Turkey has had a number of coups to remove leaders attempting to take dictatorial power or enact Sharia or other Islamizations. Erdogan was getting away with his Islamization and march towards Sharia but probably crossed the line for even his own generals in the last elections. What occurred was the Kurdish Party won far more votes than ever before feeling empowered by the Kurds stand against Islamic State and in Iraq against everybody else both Shia and Sunni. The Kurds, for the record, are predominantly Sunni but as Kurds are spurned by the Arabs as lesser human beings at best. This why the Kurds always need stand alone and why they took the lead and were largely responsible for rescuing the Yazidiz from the mountain siege which saw girls and women throw themselves off the cliffs rather than fall to then ISIS forces. This meant that Erdongan’s “Freedom and Justice Party” (which is neither freedom nor justice but Islamic Sharia oriented) did not have a clear majority of the seats in the Parliament and would need a coalition. Erdogan does not share power so he made sure that the coalition he could easily have made refused to allow any majority coalition forcing a redo on the elections. In the weeks between the elections his enforcers killed any number of Kurdish candidates who were elected and terrorized other parties’ supporters and other niceties. Needless to say, his Party won an overwhelming majority and he restarted his Islamization at a quickened pace as he saw that he might not continue to have such support in the future and he desired to become Caliph of the new Ottoman Empire starting with conquest of Syria, or what is left of Syria. With a modern military and NATO weaponry he could carry this out and as long as he left the Alawite coastal area where the Russians are located alone he would easily crush the Kurds and the other less able factions. But Erdogan saw he had a time limit to operate, until the American elections.
Erdogan had President Obama in his pocket and can do anything and his BFF in the White House would bless it as really needed. Should Clinton lose and Trump become President he would not be able to do as he pleased and get away with it. Even Hillary might pose difficulties as she would not desire such a conflagration on the front end of her Presidency and won knows after that. As things are Erdogan saw he needed to strike while the iron was hot, so to speak. His military seeing his ambition and his probability to engage in a war, which would eventually pace them fighting Saudi Arabia, Egypt and potentially Israel, were probably not the happiest Generals in the world, because they realize, as Erdogan does not, that they would lose badly in the end. Erdogan only sees him as world ruler as the Caliph of the great and final Caliphate which conquered the world for Allah. He believes that is his destiny and reality be damned. The military is very reality oriented and do not desire damning reality as reality will smack you back and hard. This may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Now we will just wait and see who wins and pray that Turkey has a restored Constitution and election sometime in the coming year as that would be a huge step in the right direction. What is almost comical is the threat of a new American President, Clinton or Trump, but definitely Trump, has already started paying dividends. It is sad that the vast majority, say 85%, will not see this as anything but some war somewhere they cannot find on a world map and know not that it was what ruled the Ottoman Empire (if they know there ever was an Ottoman Empire) and may will never even know that there is a war in Turkey. I kind of had forgotten how little attention the average person takes in world affairs as long as they are not bothered in some way. I guess as long as it is over there and not here what do I care is a theme everywhere, it is sad.
Beyond the Cusp