Saturday, July 16, 2016

Who made the coup, and why?

Reportedly, Erdogan is blaming this fellow and his supporters.

Fethullah Gulen: The Islamic scholar Turkey blames for the failed coup

Too much smoke and mirrors in that article and not enough clear view of who this guy is and what he and his movement want.

Apparently what they want is a more moderate version of Islamism than Erdogan's, though still this is the sort of organization Ataturk banned in an effort to totally secularize the public space (he banned the veil and all forms of religious clothing in public) and public life.

Evidently, they are erstwhile allies of Erdogan's.

But perhaps like many Turks they were concerned about Erdogan's efforts to tailor the constitution of the Turkish Republic to suit himself and enable further realization of his not yet completed Islamist agenda, more radical than theirs.

It may have seemed like their last chance to stop him.

Turkey's last hope dies

On what evidence does this fellow paint the coup makers as closer to Ataturk than the Gulen movement?

He makes them sound like Mustafa Kemal's clones.

So who is the man our own president rushed to support because he was “democratically elected?” Recep Tayyip Erdogan is openly Islamist and affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which President Obama appears to believe represents the best hope for the Middle East. 

But the difference between ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t one of purpose, but merely of manners:  

Muslim Brothers wash the blood off their hands before they sit down to dinner with their dupes.

With barely a murmured “Tut-tut!” from Western leaders, Erdogan has dismantled Turkey’s secular constitution (which the military is duty-bound to protect).  

His “democracy” resembles Putin’s, not ours.  

Key opposition figures have been driven into exile or banned.  

Opposition parties have been suppressed.  

Recent elections have not been held so much as staged.  

And Erdogan has torn the fresh scab from the Kurdish wound, fostering civil war in Turkey’s southeast for his own political advantage.

Erdogan has packed Turkey’s courts with Islamists.  

He appointed pliant, pro-Islamist generals and admirals, while staging show trials of those of whom he wished to rid the country.  

He has de facto, if not yet de jure, curtailed women’s freedoms.  

He dissolved the wall between mosque and state (Friday night, he used mosques’ loudspeakers to call his supporters into the streets).  

Not least, he had long allowed foreign fighters to transit Turkey to join ISIS and has aggressively backed other extremists whom he believed he could manage.

And his diplomatic extortion racket has degraded our own military efforts against ISIS.

That’s the man President Obama supports.

And the leaders of the ill-fated coup? 

What did they stand for?  

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s legacy and a secular constitution.  

One of the great men of the last century, Ataturk (an innovative general by background) pulled Turkey from the wreckage of World War One, abolished the caliphate, suppressed fanatical religious orders, gave women legal rights and social protections, banned the veil, promoted secular education for all citizens of Turkey, strongly advocated Westernization and modernization…and promoted a democratic future.

The Mirror story seems to see the coup makers much the same way, but only report this bit of evidence.

Soldiers took control of TRT state television, which announced a countrywide curfew and martial law.

An announcer read a statement on the orders of the pro-coup faction that accused the government of eroding the democratic and secular rule of law.

It is possible, of course, that Erdogan is just lying, seizing the occasion of a failed coup attempted in the Kemalist spirit to blame and destroy a moderate Islamist movement that did not make the coup, but opposed him and stuck in his craw.

They should never let this guy into the EU and Merkel should stop playing footsie with him, letting him extort concessions from her with the threat of allowing hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees to flood the Schengen space.

When you think of Ataturk, think of Peter the Great.

But also think of the wave of anticlericalism that swept France and many Latin American states from the last decades of the 19th century through the Spanish Second Republic of the 1930s.

Our own on-going sexual revolution in the law is an aspect of a broader revolution against clericalist control of American law that began about the middle of the 20th Century.

Just as there were more and less crazy and democidal variants of Marxist-Leninism there are more and less crazy variants of Islamism.

It may seem to many that democracy is inevitable in Muslim lands - or at any rate that the US and the Occident cannot morally or practically oppose it and indeed morally and practically should support it - and with it the triumph of Islamism, in which case, among the most popular players, the least evil for everybody in Sunni territory may well be the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is entirely possible that is President Obama's thought, and John Kerry's, and perhaps Mrs. Clinton's as well.

That would certainly explain reports of the presence among their advisers of people close to the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood are Islamists in their domestic policies, which means they are hell on apostasy, blasphemy, women, and gays and dead set against secularity in government or in social life.

But they are not as radical as ISIS, what with the commitments of the latter to Jihader conquest, violent restoration of the Caliphate, terrorism, and outright enslavement, massacre, or ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims.

All the same, there are many in those same Muslim lands who prefer to take the risks of temporary, even relatively long-lasting, departures from democracy in order to avoid not only worse Islamisms but even that of the Brotherhood, itself.

These are people, Muslim or not, who aim at as much freedom from religious domination as they can manage for themselves, for their governments, and for their societies and cultures.

And many of them still hope, eventually if not immediately, to successfully make that compatible with democracy in Muslim countries through constitutional constraints not the same as but similar in intent and effect to our own First Amendment prohibition of establishment of religion.

Sometimes they win in open political conflicts with Islamists, as they did in Algeria and Egypt.

Sometimes they lose, as they did in Iran.

And the struggle continues, and will continue for a long time to come, to dominate politics in the Muslim lands.

Update.

There is speculation the coup was actually engineered by Erdogan to enable him to consolidate his power.

An apparently fairly widespread view.

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