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Erdogan is secure from a military coup. Expect attention in the region to shift to Egypt

Reader comment on item: Turkey's Unimportant Election
in response to reader comment: reply to Michael S

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jun 12, 2015 at 15:33

Hi, Dr. Awwad.

I still doubt that Turkey's current ("emasculated", as you put it) military will be able to pull off a successful coup against Erdogan. If they even tried, Erdogan could seize upon the opportunity to declare a dictatorship. The coups of the past, if I am correct, were staged by loyalists of the Republican People's Party (CHP), the party founded by Kemal Attaturk. That party polled only 25% in this years' election -- which was down from its performance in 2011. The Turkish Islamist vote, which was split between AKP and MHP, won 57% altogether, more than twice that of the secular CHP.

What is likely to happen, militarily, in Turkey?

  1. First of all, the situation with the Kurds have been deteriorating as Erdogan has gone back on his promise to pursue a peaceful dialog. Kurdish leader Ocalan is still in prison; and Erdogan's refusal to help the Kurdish YPD when ISIS had their backs against the wall on the Turkish border has steeled opposition to him among Turkish Kurds.
  2. If Erdogan suffers dangerous political or economic setbacks in the future, he can always play his Xenophobia card, and attack [name the target group of your choice -- there are so many!] in Syria. The Islamists will then rally around him, and his opponents will go into hiding.

I think the Middle East headlines will quickly stop governing events in Turkey (and while the press is away, Erdogan will play), and shift increasingly to Egypt. Egypt is faced with many life-threatening problems:

  1. Terrorism. There is an ongoing war in Sinai against a coalition of Iranian, Islamic State and Muslim Brotherhood forces in Sinai; and now trouble has spread to the tourist center at Luxor.
  2. Involvement in regional wars. Egypt has supplied four ships to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and is helping to prop up the recognized Libyan government in Tobruk.
  3. The economy. Which is in a shambles, being fed introvenously by an infusion of money from Kuwait, the UAE and the Saudis. As the Saudis draw ever-closer to Erdogan (Egypt's enemy), that aid may be in jeopardy. Remember that the "Arab Spring" revolution was caused by high bread prices.
  4. The Nile. Global warming, or whatever is causing the climate troubles lately, could strike Egypt a death blow. If it does, Egypt might blame the Ethiopian dam and go to war over the matter.

Compared to Fatah al-Sisi of Egypt, Turkey's Erdogan is sailing on a sea of tranquility!

Submitting....

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