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Turkey: Failed National Renegades, yet with a Coup-Like Upshot

04 July 2016

By Tariq Alhomayed

As the number of detainees and discharged personnel at Turkey's security institutions, both police and army- also in sectors of jurisdiction and education- increase amidst a recently announced three-month state of emergency, all mixed with Turkish-European tensions, it is safe to say that despite the insurgents failing, the coup in the overview has succeeded.

It is perfectly ordinary for the Turkish administration to take on serious action against the failed insurgency. Nonetheless, for the government, namely President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it remains unclear how the support displayed by all Turkish parties for the current administration is going unnoticed and disregarded.

Not only Erdogan supporters stood against the attempted coup d'état, but all components to the Turkish society had taken a stance against the plotted insurgency—hence the Turkish government should have dealt with the coup's aftermath with an all-inclusive and unified approach. Instead, the measures taken have raised national and foreign doubts endangering Turkey's international position.

Erdogan had the chance to become Turkey's modern day defender—however, he had favored rage over wisdom!

Erdogan's action gave validity to the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) spokesman to come back arguing that had the coup been successful it would be implementing the same exact measures the Turkish president is, as it was reported by Turkish columnist Elif Safak at her article written for the Financial Times.

It was perfectly within the lines of norm for the state-opposing Turkish People's Party Deputy Ozgur Ozil to describe the raised state of emergency a ''civilian-staged coup d'état'' taken on against the parliament.

The state of emergency announced by Erdogan was considered very unthankful to the deputies who had gathered at parliament to reject and stand against the attempted coup.

On drawn parallels, had the guerrillas succeeded in their plots they would have carried out similar measures as to those taken by Erdogan, especially on redefining the structure of army hierarchy. The restructuring of Turkey's military is bound to become an issue spiraling out of control.

On that note, one of Turkey's officials said that prohibiting religious citizens and graduates of Islamic institutions to join the army had not served in thwarting the infiltration of followers of the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen to the national military.

The official said that the bar will be reconsidered, which raises the future possibility of scholars at Islamic institutions being allowed to join the army as officers.

All things considered, the Turkish government's response to the failed coup attempt is a counter-coup itself, and a game changer to Turkish political policy. Despite a great deal of opposition forces siding with Erdogan, levelheadedness and prudence were not favored when it came to government counteraction.

With balance thrown off, the wrong move would threaten Turkey's civil peace and regional stability alike. If Turkey's stability is compromised, the consequences would be great on a regional scale.

One cannot hold the rhetoric used by the opposition against them. Drawing comparisons with the coup's vision and current actions of Erdogan's administration is highly plausible— should the insurgency have proven successful, Gulen's followers would also endorse the mission on Turkey being purged from Erdogan supporters, and would have subsequently put a spoke in the wheel of secularism and civil livelihood.

The overriding concern now, with it proving very difficult to spot optimism on Ankara swiftly moving out the trenches of this crisis, is that we are heading towards a greatly-cautioned toppling of the regional balance of power.

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.
 

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