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Israel should wake up to the danger of a Turkish attack

Reader comment on item: Erdoğan's Self-Indulgence
in response to reader comment: Whatever Happened To Turkey's Military?

Submitted by Michael S (United States), May 23, 2016 at 17:05

I just read Michael Rubin's analysis, cited by Daniel. Michael makes no prediction about whether or not there could be a successful coup in Turkey, though he does say he thinks it is "possible".

First of all, I doubt that a coup could be successful. What foreign power would support it? Rubin says that US President Obama would not actively participate in it. Who does that leave? The French? The Russians? The Iranians? Israel? President Erdogan has a very large popular base: His party has garnered an absolute majority for many years now, in every election except one last year -- and even then, he received a plurality of votes, and the opposing parties could not agree to oppose him.

Second of all, even if some junior leaders in the military managed to pull off a coup (The top leaders are hand-picked by Erdogan), this will not result in a secular regime like that of pre-Erdogan times. The demographics of Turkey have changed. Unfortunately for the Western interests there, the Attaturk secularists have enjoyed the good life of materialism at the expense of marriage and family size: Their population has been dwindling, as the Islamists have bred a majority.

Thirdly, what WILL likely happen if Erdogan is militarily overthrown, is a power struggle between Erdogan loyalists, posslibly loyalists of rival AKP leaders like Davotuglu, the ultranationalist Grey Wolves, a resurgent Gülen movement and various Kurdish factions. Saner heads in the military probably realize this danger, and very well might rally around the "mad" Erdogan as the only hope for internal peace.

Finally, Erdogan -- or possibly an even more lunatic successor -- can always play the Hitler card, and start a war: a war to wipe out the "Kurdish threat" in neighboring countries, a war to "eradicate ISIS", a war to depose Assad, a war to bring peace to the Levant (your pick of any combination of these is as good as mine), but also, without doubt, a war against that hated Jewish entity, Israel. The last is sure to unify the country around its leader.

In the case of a failed coup, Erdogan might even seek and get the help of Iran, Hizbullah and Syria. Also, if the US and Russia manage to first arrange for Assad's ouster in Syria and replace him with a federal government that includes an autonomous Kurdish region, Iran could very well support Erdogan against them. We would then have a free-for-all on our hands, and may long for a return of the days of ISIS and Assad.

With all the changes happening in the Defense Ministry and military of Israel, I wouldn't be surprized if they were asleep to the above possibilities. If I am right, they should wake up.


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