Legitimate concerns about President Erdogan’s increasing authoritarianism and Islamisation could never have been resolved by undemocratic means
In spite of rising authoritarianism in the Turkish state driven by Erdogan over recent years, this coup could not be justified.
Erdogan is a democratically elected leader, who the military attempted to force from office by firing weapons in efforts to terrify their own civilians (those who protested the development). Footage of this behavior has been broadcast live to the world over the past night.
This event is troubling for British security; Turkey is a major regional power and a member of NATO. Erdogan will probably use it as a justification for further crackdowns on Turkish liberty. If he had lost Turkey would no longer have been a democracy. Our key strategic allies was to be badly damaged either way.
Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society Dr Alan Mendoza commented: “There are very legitimate concerns about President Erdogan’s increasing authoritarianism and attempted Islamisation of Turkey’s public life. But a military coup in a democracy and NATO member is an assault on the very values the coup leaders claim to be supporting. In spite of its failure this is a major setback for Turkey and for its attempts to become part of the European mainstream. Turkey’s claim to be a viable EU candidate member is finished.”
HJS Middle East analyst Kyle Orton added: “President Erdogan has spent years attempting to defang a military state within a state that has been responsible for several coups in the past. It is clear he has failed to be completely successful in doing so, although whether the proximate cause is his style of rule, the spate of recent terrorist attacks in Turkey, the internal war against the Kurds or Turkey’s stance in Syria is unclear at this point. If, as now looks overwhelmingly likely, he survives this attempt, we can expect a severe response and increased authoritarianism. Turkey faces a turbulent future.”