Monday, February 04, 2008

Paranoid Turkish Pigeons heard chanting "Coup"

Turkey, possibly jealous over all the attention Kenya and Chad have been receiving as of late, is confronting its own threats to internal security. The only question is whether these threats are real or imagined.

A series of arrests related to a nationlist group called "Ergenekon" has sparked renewed interests in a "deep state" conspiracy. Ergnenekon believes it necessary to undermine and overthrow the Turkish government when it behaves in an "un-Turkish" manner (i.e. ascension to the E.U, or less secular government) and the police have associated it with a string of recent murders.

Prime Minister Erdogan (pictured at right gesturing in the direction opposite a "deep state") recently made the following cryptic statement: "There is a deep Turkey working against the deep state. This prevents them [the gangs] being as active as they once were." An exercise in obfuscation or poetry? You decide.

It is tempting to ponder a paramilitary effort to undermine the increasingly Muslim government in Ankara. This is, after all, the same nation that forcibly reformed its government in 1960, 1971, 1980 and (almost!) 1997 . Here a coup seems plausible, indeed likely, and cynics might argue one of Turkey's more effective methods for domestic policy.

2 comments:

Molvanian Ambassador said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Molvanian Ambassador said...

First, points for Bill Hicks reference.

Second, Turkey doess a long history of militant threats to the government. Towards the declining years of the empire, the Janissary (originally an elite fighting unit turned discontented psuedo-thugs) repeatedly deposed or murdered Sultans they didn't like. And as you've said, the military has since Attaturk stepped in to forcibly change Turkey's government on multiple occasions. Erdogan and the AKP, as a strong, popular Islamist party in a country with a history of coups enacted by secular military forces, have reason to be cautious, but not paranoid.

Basically, as long as this bust was the result of good coordination and cooperation between the government and the country's security institutions, all is good. If there's any question of whether this "conspiracy" was supported by elements in the military or security apparati, that'd be interesting and troubling.