An impending lesson in military coups from the Turks?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Gun_Empty, Apr 24, 2007.

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    The way I see it is that in recent times Islamic elements in Turkey have never been allowed to gain sway by holding both the Prime Ministerial and Presidential roles. If necessary, the military have stood in to ensure that Turkey does not become an Islamic state and ensured balance by nominating someone to provide balance. The current President, secular Sezer (I believe is ex Turkish General Staff), has kept the Islamists in check throughout his tenure.

    Prime Minister Erdogan, an islamist, is supporting his friend Gul, another Islamist (whose wife wears the veil) for President. As a double act there would be a large sway to Islamic ideals in Turkey. As the traditional guardians of Ataturk's secular principles the Army is unlikely to let this happen. If Gul looks like he is going to be successful - watch and learn the demonstration of military engagement in politics!!
  2. Modern Turkey has served as an effective buffer between radical Islam and Europe for several years... I hope this balance is mantained.
  3. The prospect of an Islamist president is not enough for the country to accept a military intervention. The military is no longer the force it once was, previous interventions came at times of severe economic distress and civil strife. The political culture in Turkey has also matured, it is not certain that the populace at large would accept such an intervention. The Islamists in Turkey are working within the political culture and as long as they do not threaten the secular framework, co-habitation is possible.

    Not so sure CR. Turkey strikes me as an Army with a country rather than the other way around.
  5. Correct. Turkey has a massive standing army, not all conscripted.

    If push comes to shove - as it may well do here - I think Turkey will be very ambivalent. Her real destiny, despite Ataturk, has always been eastwards.

    But she won't want to imperril her bid for EU membership, and the army want that too, so the balance of force will be westward-looking.

    Except that any hint of a military coup or undue military influence may well ruin Turkey's EU chances - again.