We will hear any number of theories about the “failed coup” in Turkey. Due to any number of uninteresting and technical points such as why was internet left running and why were not more of group ‘a’ through ‘z’ not neutralized at the onset and others and the reasons why it failed or if it was an Erdogan run rouse to allow him to remove even more opposition, the realities are the same. Anybody known to be at all important in any Mustafa Kemal Ataturk associated group would do well to become invisible and leave Turkey by any means necessary. Recep Tayyip Erdogan will use this coup as his license to remove all opposition especially from the upper officer class making his position safe for the foreseeable future. How far he might take things will depend on how assured he is that he holds absolute majority. Erdogan made sure of that with a second election after invalidating one where he would have required a coalition and thus not absolute power. Now Erdogan can use this coup in order to cement all power in the President, change the Constitution so as to prevent any further coup attempts such that the sitting President must be voted down by a majority of the people in an election where he runs unopposed and as long as he wins over any negative votes, the election would be Erdogan or full elections, then he would remain and no elections would be required. As Erdogan is supported by the Muslim Brotherhood he would easily win such a vote by such an amount he would appear to be their savior. He could even declare himself Caliph and by doing so challenge al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State as in the end there can be only one Caliph, surprise, surprise.
We cannot think of any means by which Erdogan could extend his clearing of the senior and mid-level officer corps and possibly even the non-commissioned officer corps of anybody not known to be somebody he knows is reliable thus permitting him at any future point using the military to enforce his views. Say Erdogan was to lose an election. With his current power he could easily claim it to be another insurrection just like the coup and claim deep seated voter manipulation and other irregularities and then have another election six months later after a similar removal of key opponents and viola, a reelected Erdogan. The real question is what can we expect in the coming days and weeks.
The elimination of any and all coup plotters is obvious and even if this was crafted by Erdogan and the Muslim Brotherhood, there would still be those officers who willingly signed on to the initial plan and who were betrayed. They will pay dearly. Some of the soldiers who may have simply been obeying the orders of higher ranking officers will also be made an example of. The critical question will be how many media types; bloggers and other civilians from within and outside of the government will face punishment. Bear in mind, for most punishment will be execution or life in prison with few getting lesser punishments. Being charged with being on the wrong side of things will be really, really bad as torture for confessions and other names will likely be part of the investigatory methodology. I would not like to be a blogger within Turkey right now as even my small slights against Erdogan would be sufficient and my support of Israel would be sufficient for suspicions, it may be that deep reaching.
Turkey was originally steered away from Islam and more to a secular democratic state with equality by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, as he saw that as the only path to modernity. Any hope whatsoever of Turkey returning to a true democratic society, with equal rights, what Turkey had been since Ataturk gave her their Constitution, is now lost possibly forever. If there is to be hope for Turkey it now rests with Islam having a reformation, something many Quranic scholars and others who study Islam and the Middle East believe is next to impossible. As the situation now exists, Erdogan will be placing Turkey on the express to Sharia. Once Sharia has been installed in a society elections are meaningless as the old Stalin definition of how to hold elections takes over where it does not matter who votes and for what but matters who counts those votes. Elections in Sharia states, if any hold them; can announce their results three weeks before the people go to the polls to vote. Candidates running against strict Islam will be duly watched and scrutiny in such states almost always leads to prison and death or worse, and there is worse.
Anybody who might look to recent events in Egypt and point out that the Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi was overthrown and President Sisi, a brave man who we can only hopes succeeds in his efforts to bring a reformation to Islam allowing it to coexist with other religions and forms of governance, replaced him after a second election in less than a year are hoping against hope. Erdogan has been in power since the early 2000’s and has steadily taken Turkey to the dark side and Sharia. One might ask if I have something against Sharia and the answer is only that it enslaves a population removing all need or ability to question the government as the government is religiously installed by the will of Allah thus questioning the chosen leadership is punishable as is apostasy, death. There is no personal freedom and the Quran becomes the only book to study and the Quran and Hadiths are the beginning and end-all of all knowledge. Any study outside of these requires the approval of an Imam and then can only be pursued so as to serve Allah. Perhaps this is what stirred Winston Churchill to write his scathing commentary on Islam in which he said the following; (The below-quoted passage did appear in The River War when it was first published as a two-volume set in 1899, but the selection was removed when the book was condensed into one volume and republished in 1902.):
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or.
A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.
We can only hope and pray that such does not befall Turkey as it has modern cities and a well developed intelligent urban communities. The rural areas of Turkey are less developed and in some locations literally still living as they had hundreds of years past. It is in these rural areas where Islam rules their everyday activities and where Sharia is not an imposition, it is their way. Turkey has a population fairly balanced between these two societies with a slight edge towards the urban communities. The difficulty extends from the strong minority of urban citizens who are first generation and remain firmly attached to their Islamic roots. Had Turkey not had the rise of Erdogan and the regimentation and collective awakening brought on by concerted efforts by the Muslim Brotherhood, within the coming century Turkey would have crossed the threshold never to turn back and easily merged with the developed world. This may still come to fruition as the urban population continues to gain and with time perhaps a majority will find an Islamically acceptable leader who still believes firmly in Islam but, like President Sisi of Egypt, desires not to have Turkey pose a direct threat to the non-Islamic world but rather join and forge a new and more acceptive Islam. As things in Islam now stand there can be only one of three outcomes; Islam is defeated and expunged from the face of the earth, Islam conquers all the nations forming a world Caliphate which becomes Allah only knows, or Islam goes through a reformation and declares the Mecca Quranic writings as superseding the Medina Quranic writings (click for a brief explanation of the differences and reasons with links provided by other readers in the comments). Odd as it may seem, that is all that is required for Islam to become as any other religion preaching acceptance and coexistence. The sticking point is that at some point, many claim stated by Mohammad just before he died while others claim this was added at a later date to cement Islam as a religion of conquest, is one of the final Surah states that the Medina verses, the later verses, supersede the Mecca verses, the earlier verses. As with all too many things, time will tell and we can only hope our prayers are favorably received by Hashem.
Beyond the Cusp