Quite a lot has transpired over the last four hours since my last post. I was away from the computer and updating only on twitter. It now seems clear the coup against the Erdogan government has failed or is clearly on the road to failure. A few questions occur to me.
One: Erdogan’s government has been trending in an increasingly autocratic direction for years. There are many good things about the failure of this coup. But heads of state who find their fears or paranoias about conspiracies against their rule validated in bloody attempted coups do not tend to loosen their grip. Quite the opposite. The most predictable outcome of this coup is a deepening and tightening of Erdogan’s hold on power. That’s a big problem.
Two: I’m curious what role the US and the EU and its member states played, if any, in how this crisis unfolded. All the key turning points could have happened entirely internal to Turkey. But maybe not. And if not, just how is important in understanding the current world picture – the relative balance of forces of cohesion and disintegration.
Three: What’s the fate of the fairly substantial number of members of the military who participated in this coup? This obviously goes to question one. Soldiers who conspire against a civilian government need to be punished. But Erdogan tends to overdue rather than underdo these things, to put it mildly. So I am curious to see whether some restraining forces can make their influence felt, which obviously goes to point two.
Four: The obvious one. Why did this happen? What was the precipitating event, if there was one, or what were the goals? We don’t seem to have a clear or good idea of either. Those will matter a great deal.