Saturday, July 23, 2016

PCG's Brent Nagtegaal Irritated that Turkish Coup Failed

PCG's Brent Nagtegaal wrote an article discussing the failed coup in Turkey. It is sensationally entitled "Turkey Enters a Dark New Age" (July 22, 2016).

Astoundingly he never bothers to mention in this article that hundreds of people were killed in the failed coup.

Nagtegaal indicates that he wished the military faction had succeeded in overthrowing the government.
For many of us, the possibility of the fall of Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised hopes that Turkey might experience a return to the secular state that dominated the nation for the past 50 years. If history was any guide, come a day or two, and the military would have declared victory over the Islamist leader. All four previous coup attempts in modern Turkey (1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997) were successful as the military rose to preserve the secular democratic state. This one, many hoped, would end the same way. And yet, that’s not what happened.
Nagtegaal has been blessed to have a home that is politically stable and very unlikely to encounter such a crisis.

It is mentioned that at present there is severe turmoil within Turkey. Many officials have been arrested or suspended from work. It is insinuated with little evidence that this mass arrests and suspensions was planned before the failed coup.
In the past week, Erdoğan has arrested 6,319 military personnel and 1,481 judges and prosecutors as well as suspended 21,738 workers for the ministry of education and 8,777 at the Interior Ministry. He has also revoked the licenses of 21,000 private educational institutions and forced 1,577 university department heads to resign. The fact that Erdoğan’s government could move so quickly to purge the nation of dissenters shows that most were already on his hit list before the coup.
It is certainly worrying that there is such turmoil at present. It is to be hoped that the situation will stabilize as soon as possible with minimal harm.

But Nagtegaal seems somewhat irritated that the coup failed and proceeds to blame the Turkish people as a whole.
While many in the West have been extremely unnerved by Erdoğan’s overreach following the coup, the silence from the public in Turkey has been deafening.
More than half of Turks consider Erdoğan’s moves, not disconcerting, but actually welcomed.
Hundreds of people were killed in the failed coup. Many these people are mourning their loved ones and insist that those who orchestrated the coup be punished. On the other hand it is certainly to be hoped that the response to the coup will not go too far. Astoundingly Nagtegaal never bothers to mention that people were killed in this attempted coup. 
Earlier this year, Erdoğan’s policy of removing dissenters from positions of power was essentially supported by over half of the public when they voted him into office once again. This is why, believe it or not, Erdoğan has been touting the coup’s failure as a victory for democracy. It also speaks volumes about why the first military coup in Turkey’s modern history was unsuccessful.
Nagtegaal blames the Turkish people for President Erdoğan remaining in power.
While a number of other factors contributed to the failure of the coup attempt, the one that surprised many, especially in the West, was the amount of public support Erdoğan received.
One cannot help but wonder if Nagtegaal means that he was surprised that so many Turks happen to support President Erdoğan. His superficial understanding of the situation exposes itself.
The failure of the coup reveals that, like it or not, the majority of Turks want Erdoğan in power. They like his Islamist leanings, and they don’t want a return to a secular state.
For the secularists and other minorities in Turkey, this is a scary thought.
It is not necessarily the case that Turks opposed the coup because they wanted President Erdoğan's policies. The opposition parties also opposed the attempted coup viewing it as the duty of the Turkish public to oppose President Erdoğan and not the duty of a faction within the military.

He direly insists to his readers that a new dark age of Islamism is descending upon Turkey.
Indeed, this new chapter of an Islamist-dominated state in Turkey was already written; it just took this coup for the world to realize it.
Nagtegaal insists that Western leaders would have been perfectly accepting of President Erdoğan being removed from power even though he has no first hand evidence to back up this claim. One cannot help but wonder if he is projecting his views onto these world leaders.
While Western leaders have generally expressed support for Erdoğan in putting down the coup, many were slow to do so. It’s likely that many European leaders would have happily accepted the result of a successful coup. ...

Before the coup, Erdoğan was largely seen as an unsavory autocrat who, though he was democratically elected, did not represent the views or ideals of the people. Yet the coup revealed that, while he is a dictator, the majority of the Turkish people support his Islamist, authoritarian rule.

For all their wishing the opposite, it looks like Europe is stuck with Erdoğan.

The world is such today that national survival demands that unsavory autocrats such as Erdoğan must be worked with, not around. For Europe, that means Turkey will continue to be engaged regardless of how Islamist or authoritarian it becomes.
I suspect it might be a good idea for PCG's leaders to stay away from Turkey for now. The Turkish government is clearly quite nervous and sensitive at the moment.

Leaving aside his views of the failed coup it is shameful and a revealing omission that he failed to mention that hundreds of people were killed in this failed coup. Why didn't anyone in PCG try to correct that omission? Is the lose of hundreds of Turkish lives not worth mentioning for him and PCG's 1%? Turkish lives matter.

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