Whatever the outcome of Turkey’s recent failed coup, this country’s shambolic reputation is likely to remain haunted for the foreseeable future.
Turkey’s descent into darkness and instability, a situation that has been bad and is only likely to get increasingly worse, has implications for the United States, NATO, Israel and Western Europe.
Turkey’s tourism sector and much of the economy is in free-fall. Its security situation amidst a wave of terrorism that reflects increased activity by Islamic State sympathizers and Kurdish nationalist opponents is reflected in the decline in value of Turkey’s currency. And this deterioration is compounded by virtue of the fact that many believe that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sufferers from delusions of grandeur that are intensified by mounting paranoia.
As a consequence of President Erdoğan’s pursuit of limitless power, Turkey’s government has seized newspapers, imprisoned opponents and built palaces at the rate of an aspiring caliph. These sultanic maladies are compounded by corruption and alleged money laundering by members of Erdoğan’s family who have allegedly profited from the sale of black-market oil purchased from ISIS.
More likely than not, Turkey’s latest failed coup, an event that has resulted in the detention of around 6,000 Turkish Army members and judiciary suspects, will further President Erdoğan’s paranoia. According to Professor Dani Rodrik of Harvard University, the Turkish government has succumbed to the temptation to fabricate evidence against its opponents and this tendency has resulted in numerous miscarriages of justice since 2003. Injustice has culminated in the jailing of more journalists in Turkey than in China and Iran combined. In many cases—implicating journalists and members of the military—the “incriminating evidence” consists simply of forged documents.
Although the United States has long viewed its alliance with Turkey as one of significant strategic importance, President Erdoğan and the members of his political party, the AKP, appear to have capitulated to Islamic authoritarianism as their preferred form of government. This decision, which contributed to instability, presents a clear and present danger to U.S.-Turkish relations. This danger threatens the U.S.-led fight to quell and defeat Islamic terrorism, an effort that originates from within and without the Islamic State and elsewhere, and which includes U.S. and Israeli efforts to deal with Hamas. Given this backdrop, Turkey ought to be viewed as an unstable political and military partner whose current leadership has ideations of becoming the singular global Islamist leader instead of the secular and free democracy it once was. The United States, NATO, Western Europe and Israel should take note of this ominous development.
In the face of such menacing storm clouds, it is doubtful that anyone in the West should trust Turkey in the foreseeable future.
To learn more about Turkey’s history and geopolitical role in the Middle East and around the world, visit the Centre for the Study of Law and Public Policy at Oxford.
As the President’s promised sanctions against Iran go into effect, angry Iranian mobs are flooding the streets with their fists in the air, but their chants are not “death to America.” They are calling out their own corrupt government, chanting “death to the dictator” and demanding a regime change.
The President of Iran just fired off a threat at President Trump and America. Our President quickly answered back with unwavering strength. Iran is run like a mafia-state. The Iranian government is more interested in supporting terrorism than its own desperate citizens. It’s people suffer from...
It’s a victory for America and our allies as President Trump, true to his word, has officially withdrawn the United States from what he accurately called the “defective at its core” Iran nuclear deal. Further, the President has ordered that sanctions be re-imposed on Iran in an expeditious manner.
Iran lied about the 2015 nuclear deal and has been lying about its nuclear program, and that is very dangerous. It’s time to fix the nuclear deal or get out. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just held a press conference to confirm what we’ve been telling you for years. Obama’s Iran Deal...