On The Failed Coup In Turkey - One Person's Perspective

In mid-July of 2016 a coup attempt failed in Turkey. It was supposedly fomented by the Turkish military. Why did I use the word "supposedly"? Later on that.

Here in the US, while the coup attempt was ongoing, those on the conservative political side were heavily looking for the coup to be successful. Those on the liberal/progressive political side were fully against the coup being successful.

Our president and Hillary Clinton both came out publicly against the coup attempt. Why would they both come out in favor of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current president of Turkey? Ostensible reasons seem to be that, in fact, he was duly and properly elected to the post and Turkey is a member of NATO - a reputed ally, of sorts, of the US.

So, why the disagreement here?

To answer that seemingly simple question, first a short history and understanding of modern Turkey is necessary.

First, let's get NATO behind us. Turkey, along with Greece, joined NATO in 1952. President Erdogan was duly elected Turkey's president in 2014. So, Turkey was a "West-Leaning" member of NATO for some 62 years before Erdogan took office.

Since the time Mustafa Kemal Ataturk took Turkey into the modern, civilized world Turkey has been a Muslim nation religiously BUT a secular one politically and in culture. Ataturk became president of Turkey in 1923 - and remained so until his death in 1938.

TRIVIA: The surname "ATATURK" actually means "Father of the Turks" and was granted by the Turkish parliament to him in 1934. By Turkish law no one else may ever be granted that surname.

Turkey has as its roots the old Ottoman Empire - strictly Islamic in nature and responsible for the "Armenian Genocide" which began in Turkey in 1915. And, the Ottoman Empire's influence remained dominant until Ataturk's rise to power.

Literally overnight he dictated that the old Arabic script was not longer to be used. Instead, a Latinized written language was devised and mandated. You went to sleep one night using Arabic script and woke up having to use a Latinized version of the language. How tough would that be?

In addition, that same overnight change was mandated for Turkey's "dress code". No more Arabic style; now westernized style of clothing was mandated.

Of course there were many more changes - INCLUDING a new Constitution. As part of this new Constitution the military was commissioned to ensure that Turkey remained secular - this is important to understanding the recent coup attempt.

Ataturk was all about modernizing and unifying Turkey - bringing it into the 20th Century, as it were. It wasn't an easy task, but he did it. No longer was there a different treatment of men and women, there was no welfare system, and Turkey prospered.

As to Ataturk's views on women, his adopted daughter, Sabiha, became Turkey's first female pilot and Turkey's first female military pilot. His other daughter became a physician, unique in that part of the world then.

As to his overview of his domestic policies, he offered this:

"...by complete independence, we mean of course complete economic, financial, juridical, military, cultural independence and freedom in all matters. Being deprived of independence in any of these is equivalent to the nation and country being deprived of all its independence."

Of importance today was Ataturk's absolute opposition to any thing relating to an Islamic Caliphate. It, of course, wasn't Islam that he was against - even today 99+% of Turks are Muslim. No, he had a vision of creating a modern Turkey that was for all Turks - his vision was that of a uniter, a unifier of an entire nation, as it were.

As a side note: When we vacationed in Turkey several years ago the appearance of anything relating to Islamic, day-to-day cultural influence was nowhere to be found. The normal hustle and bustle of large cities such as New York or Boston was easily discerned in Istanbul. Yes, the people were religiously Muslim. But, that religion did not permeate the culture of daily living.

And so marched along Turkey until 2014 when Erdogan became president - religiously Muslim and culturally / politically secular.

Almost immediately there were reports that Erdogan was pro-Islamic and desired Turkey to return to its "glory" days of the Ottoman Empire.

Erdogan's popularity today is pretty much 50-50; 50% of Turkey's people love him and want a return to the "Islamic ways" and 50% do not.

He is, as best he can, trying to move the country in an Islamic-dominated culture direction. Because of the "50-50" split he is not being as successful as he would like. He is "courting" the Muslim Brotherhood - a known terrorist organization.

Erdogan, reportedly, is also linked to the funding of various terrorist organizations as well as helping Iran basically cheat on the Iran Deal.

Remember what happened not too long ago in Egypt.

Mohamed Morsi was duly elected president of Egypt in June of 2012. The Muslim Brotherhood was in his corner. A year later the military in Egypt staged a successful coup ousting not only Morsi but also outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood. It should be noted that at the time both our president and Hillary Clinton favored Morsi.

Morsi coming into power had a drastic effect on tourism in Egypt. It almost completey dried up. Even now, 3 years after Morsi's departure, tourism in Egypt has not even close to recovered - a great financial hardship for Egypt's peoples.

Clearly, Erdogan, although head of a NATO member state and an ally of the US, is not leading his country to be a safer, more civilized entity. He seems to long for the day that Turkey can become a key player in a world wide Caliphate.

This brings us to the failed coup attempt.

Why did it fail? There are many reasons, perhaps. But, of significance is the 50-50 split in support. When 75+% of the people are behind a coup, success is pretty much inevitable. Less than that? Well, any attempt may prove problematic - which this one did, of course.

Further, if the entire military is behind a coup attempt, its ultimate success is likely. If, however, such a majority of the military is not behind a coup, the likelihood of success is minimal.

This last statement gives rise to people theorizing that Erdogan, himself, set up the coup attempt.

This theory may not be as far from reality as might first appear.

With Erdogan's popularity and support at around 50%, he would need to grasp full control to further his aims. How better to achieve this than by staging a coup that fails. He, then, can purge the military and the citizens of those who oppose him.

Of course, if one thinks the above is an exaggeration, Check This Out, Check This Out, Check This Out, AND be certain to Check This Out.

It seems, however, that some of the military (not enough, obviously) took their mandate from Turkey's Constitution pretty seriously. Remember, the military has the charge of keeping Turkey secular. Knowing this, Erdogan could easily foment an attempted coup without undue risk of it succeeding as only a portion of the military seem to take their Constitution seriously.

As an aside: Does it appear strange that members of Turkey's military NOT try and uphold their Constitutional mandate? Consider: Presidents and politicians here, since the times of Woodrow Wilson, have, on occasion - some more than others, failed to uphold the Constitution they swore to uphold. Do I find this wrong? Of course! Do I find it strange? Not in the least.

We can see the vector of things post coup attempt. How do the people who support Erdogan feel post the coup attempt? Beheading a member of the military should offer us a small clue - if indeed the story is genuine (one never knows these days. Does beheading of those you oppose sound familiar? Of course it does. It's the way of Islamic terrorists throughout the world.

So, we have a country's leader fully behind establishing an Islamic takeover of his country, is fully supportive of an organization (i.e., The Muslim Brotherhood) that has as it's goal to destroy Israel and establish an Islamic controlled world order, is funding terrorist organizations, and is fully against everything for which America stands.

If Erdogan is ultimatley successful in his aims and goals, any sane tourist would give Turkey, a beautiful country, a wide berth, indeed.

In fact, Erdogan's intents and actions seek to undermine and destroy all that Ataturk built.

With all offered so far, one might reasonably ask why politicians, any politician, would seem to support a national leader who stands against American (and civilization's) interests.

I do not have an answer. However, the answer to that question may be the same as to this question:

Why would a sitting US president have as advisors people with significant ties to an organization whose full support is anti-American and anti-civilized behavior?

No, the failed coup attempt in Turkey is not good for the US, not good for Israel, and not good for the world.