Turkish Coup Attempt: Military Fails to Offer Alternative

Over 160 are dead and 1,400 injured following a failed coup attempt in Turkey. Senior research fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences Nodar Mosaki told valdaiclub.com about the implications of such a move by the group of Turkish military.

While there was some disagreement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the military, one cannot speak of a split within the military. Looking at this coup attempt, many think back to the previous Turkish coups, but the situation was different then, the country was on the edge of chaos and the military led it out of that state. The current conditions are different. There is some tension, but one cannot say that the military can currently offer an alternative, especially since the country has changed considerably, including economically.

While during the last coup in 1980, the military could have been considered a progressive force, right now, despite of all Erdogan’s mistakes, they are not seen as the force that would be able to overcome the difficulties at hand. Besides that, these difficulties are not of such a scope that would require the military’s intervention. There is also no alternative candidate for leadership. The alternative can only emerge as a result of elections, but Erdogan is currently on firm ground politically.

Turkey’s relations with foreign partners will probably not change. Erdogan’s statements that the coup plotters are in the United States were meant for a domestic audience, and the US has reacted to this with understanding. They do not cling to these allegations and are not turning them into a major issue. All of Erdogan’s statements are meant for his supporters, and a major portion of them carries anti-American sentiments.

The main consequences will be in domestic policy. Because the coup failed, there will most likely be tightened control over security bodies and additional limits on democratic rights. This will most likely be done under the guise of handling threats to the country’s destabilization, as the military coup would have led to additional issues.

The military, this time, did not demonstrate decisiveness or offer an alternative path to development. What did they want to do, simply remove Erdogan or replace the government completely? Who would become the new leader? The coup turned out to be almost toy-like, although there is no complete basis for the idea that it was staged.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.