Turkey; Coup Attempt Major Problem for U.S. – First a bit of history

Turkey emerged in the early 1900’s from a severely weakened (by war) Ottoman Empire and with the emergence of its first President, Mustafa Kamal, of the newly establish Republic. Kamal’s vision was to bring Turkey out of the ashes of Ottoman control into a new era where Turkey mirrored the advancing economies of Europe and the U.S. Key democratic principles, as he proffered, would prohibit Church and Military rule.

Kamal was responsible for leading the charge to replace the Religious Courts (Muslim) with Civil Courts which is significant as it abolished the long-standing Ottoman Caliphate. He also insisted that Military Personnel were prohibited from holding elected office simultaneously with active duty. This specific action proved several times, over the following 80 years, to provide a very valuable service where Turkey’s Military would intervene, protecting Kamal’s vision of a Democratic and secular Turkey when the threat of non-secular (Muslim) would, from time to time, reemerge.

With the ascension of Erdogan, from Mayor of Istanbul and later to Prime Minister, his Islamist ideology has been at the heart of his political leanings as he’s aggressively moved to consolidate more and more power into the office he now holds. Turkey maintains the largest and most comprehensive regional military capabilities. Throughout the Cold War on to the military action that toppled Gaddafi in Libya, Turkey has been a strategic partner to the West controlling the only access to and from the Black Sea (a key obstacle for the former U.S.S.R. and now Russia) to the Mediterranean and host of a U.S./NATO airbase.

Clearly the recent Coup attempt is significant as it illustrates a significant weakening of the Turkish Military’s ability to counter the Non-Secular movement back toward Muslim-based autocracy in part due to Erdogan’s deliberate termination of key Political and Military Kamal-faithful and Erdogan’s less than Democratic ideology. Following Erdogan’s push-back and surgical imprisonment of those he sees as behind the failed Coup attempt it wasn’t long before claims of U.S. involvement was not far behind. 

As of this writing Erdogan is demanding the return of a Sunni Cleric, Fethullah Gülen, who Erdogan was once closely allied with and now claims to have been a key player in the now failed Coup attempt. It is also painfully obvious that the Obama Administration’s weakening of U.S. strategic influence has provided a window of opportunity for Erdogan’s excesses making it near impossible for the U.S. to assert any surgical-leverage in the matter.

How the U.S. Administration addresses itself to Turkey’s demands will be a significant statement on just how far U.S. influence has been damaged. There is a serious void this current event creates as terror threats expand and the West struggles with how to appear to be managing the crisis without breaching their pagan ideologies. Stay tuned!

Curtis C. Greco, Founder

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