Thursday, July 21, 2016


By Bob Walsh

President Erdogan has substantially increased his purge of the Turkish military and civil service in response to the failed coup attempt in a move that could have major downstream results to the west. Tens of thousands have been forced out and even jailed.

The modern state of Turkey has only been around about 100 years. It is a Muslim country, but its inhabitants are not Arabs. It has had a largely secular government and a strong, professional military. It has been a solid ally to the U. S. (mostly) and a reliable member of NATO. They don’t much like the “godless communists” and their strategic geography has been invaluable to keeping an eye on the Russians.

The current president has been much more of an Islamist than his predecessors. He has jailed a substantial chunk of his political opposition including many high-ranking military officials. The recent failed coup attempt was (apparently) an attempt by the military to reinforce and maintain a secular Turkey. They failed.

This does not bode well for the west in general. A radical Islamist government in Turkey would be a very bad thing for Europe in particular and in the long run could have serious negative consequences for the west’s ability to control the spread of militant Islam.

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