The Turkish Coup, Part III
Last week, we recounted the events of Turkey’s recent coup and some of our thoughts about why the coup failed and who was behind it. This week we will discuss the unfolding purge, including the role of Fethullah Gulen, and discuss the impact on regional geopolitics. In this week’s report, we will examine the market effects of the coup and its aftermath.
The scope of those affected by the purge is rather large.
In addition to the purge, Erdogan has implemented a state of emergency that will allow him to rule by decree. We would not be surprised to see this decree extended. Erdogan is not going to let this crisis pass without extracting the most value he can for it. We suspect Erdogan intends to reshape Turkey’s government to resolve which Islamic group is going to dominate the country’s future.
Did Gulen Lead the Coup?
At first glance, a Gulenist coup is out of character, while a Kemalist-inspired takeover would fit the historical pattern. As we noted in Part I, periodic coups and persistent threats of military intervention were a predominant feature of Turkey’s history from its founding after WWI until the late 1990s. However, the two purges noted in Part I have mostly ended the military’s influence on the political process.
The Case against Gulen
The Turkish press has reported that one of the soldiers who took the military’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Hulusi Akar, into custody told the general that he should contact Gulen.1 Although there is some concern over the reliability of the claims, as it was likely these coup participants were tortured, the statement has not been denied by the plotters. Of course, Gulen himself has denied any participation in the coup.
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