He addresses a couple of important aspects of Turkish politics under Erdogan which have received positively in the West:
civilian control over the military was achieved through a series of show trials involving massive violations of due process – with rampant use of planted and fabricated evidence against accused officers. (My father-in-law is among those imprisoned.) [That parenthesis from the print edition does not appear in his blog version.] Rather than close the book on the military, Erdoğan’s tactics have opened up new wounds that will continue to fester.He notes:
Finally, the Kurdish opening has more to do with Erdoğan’s efforts to amend the constitution and ascend to (a more powerful) presidency, than with any genuine desire for reconciliation. As his previous flip flops on the Kurdish conflict shows, he would quickly change tack if short-term political calculations required otherwise.
The main beneficiary of Erdoğan’s weakness may well be the Gülen movement, the powerful network led by the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. Erdoğan and the Gülenists made common cause until recently to defeat their common enemy, the military and the secularist old guard. But with that task accomplished, they have been increasingly at odds. The Gülen movement does not want Erdoğan to become too powerful, while Erdoğan is wary of Gülenist machinations within the police and judiciary. The movement likes to promote President Abdullah Gül, who is much closer to it, as a tolerant, more democratic alternative to Erdoğan.Tags: turkey
That the Gülen movement watches Erdoğan take the rap for the protests carries more than a hint of paradox, as Gülenists are known to be particularly well represented in the police. Supposedly moderate, the movement has been closely linked to some of the worst police and judicial abuses under Erdoğan.