Saturday, July 16, 2016

'Turkey is not Going to be Managed From Pennsylvania'

Certainly President Erdogan wasted no time to blame it on Gulen. The more you hear about Gulen, the weirder the whole thing gets.

Last night Erdogan said that Turkey is not going to be run by some eccentric guy in Pennsylvania. He was referring to Gulen.

"The accusation by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, that US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen is behind Friday night’s attempted coup is part of a familiar rhetoric and a long-running rivalry. So is there any truth in it?"

"It is probably worth pointing out in the first instance that the traditional rivalry in Turkish society has been between secularists (including those in the army) who look to the modern state’s founder, Kemal Atatürk, and Islamists – not least Erdogan’s AKP party."

"The AKP has itself provoked a number of coups or attempts in Turkish history. And in many respects, Friday night looked to be another event in that tradition: a military coup driven from within Turkey’s armed forces. By Saturday morning Erdoğan had reasserted power and it was announced dozens of senior colonels and generals had been removed."

"The military has long seen itself as the guardian of modern Turkey, and the movement lead by Gülen occupies a sort of murky gap between the two sides, secularist and Islamist."

This is one of the reasons last night was complicated. Some tended to be sympathetic to the coup as Erdogan runs an Islamist government.

But as Shadi Hamid argues, what matters is not secularism vs. Islamist first and foremost but democratic legitimacy. For now, at least Erdogan still has some even if he's is arrogating more and more power to himself.

If the military is secular and about 'modern Turkey' this might seem a good thing. But a military coup is very rarely a good thing.


"Problem w- coups is they're all or nothing. Plotters, if they fail, will be tried for treason. They have no way out except to fight (& kill)."

Hamid directs those who want to know more about Gulen to his book-which I have bought and is waiting for me on Amazon Kindle to read.

Hamid relates that being from Pennsylvania caused him a little trouble when he visited Turkey

"When I was at Turkey's presidential palace last year, my home state of #Pennsylvania was a slight issue."

"The guard offered a raised eyebrow and a quizzical look. "Pennsylvania?" he asked, his voice dripping with..."


  1. Gulen sounds like the classic Emmanuel Goldstein (Trotsky) character to Erdogan's Big Brother (Stalin).

    1. For the Republican nutjob media factory, George Soros apparently play the role of Goldstein:
      References to Soros are common in the lunatic media's comments section.