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1 William Burns  Tue, Jun 4, 2013 2:25:06pm

Very interesting. Erdogan purged the officer corps a few years ago, but it looks like he didn’t get everybody.

2 garzooma  Tue, Jun 4, 2013 7:07:19pm

The military put Erdogan in prison back in 1998. Definitely no love loss there.

3 TDG2112  Thu, Jun 6, 2013 8:35:26am

There is certainly some history here. I don’t have the links handy, but the Turkish military was not really under civilian control previously. They were not totally opposed to him changing that, or at least didn’t protest very strongly when he did changed it.

Much of his time in office he did a lot of things that would have been termed liberal. I know a few non-Muslim Turks that thought he was doing a great job up until now (haven’t really had a chance to sit down and pick their brains recently though). But the problem is, that now all the stuff he got done that made him look reformist is done and over with. All that is left for him to do is make the laws comply a bit more with his religion. And the fact that he gets more than 50% of the vote for his party, giving him no reason (at least in his mind) to give a crap about anything anybody else says or thinks. When the polls open, he always wins enough votes there is no coalition needed. From my reading of what the various groups in Turkey are saying, this is the crucial problem. They’ve been excluded at every level. The tyranny of the majority so to speak.

And I wouldn’t expect his party to lose any ground anytime soon. The Turkish economy is flourishing more than it ever has. Turks are returning from Europe to find jobs. The same Turks that had gone to Europe to find work have found a lot of discrimination from groups like the EDL, can’t get work due to the economy there, and so have just gone home and found plenty of work. So they look around, see the mess in the Middle East and Europe, and think “Gosh, everybody around us sucks, but our country is kicking ass. Hmmm, Must be something our gov’t is doing right. I think I’ll vote for him in the election.”

It’ll be awhile before that changes.

I’m looking forward to the report I get back from a friend that is going there in a week or two. She’s going there for 4 weeks with her kids and Chinese husband. Her teaching Biology at the college level should give her some really different perspective. And she hasn’t been back there since before this guy got elected.

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