Friday, February 01, 2013

Purchasing the Military Option?

Is Turkey's military using the government's apparent need of a military option for Syria to protect the military from prosecution?

The Turkish government thought it was a good idea to hammer the secular institution of the military, viewing it as a threat to the Islamist-leaning government. Not that the military's history of coups to keep Turkey on a secular path an argument against that view.

But with 60,000 dead to the south in warfare and the threat of chemical weapons and jihadis rising, having a loyal and capable military is sounding more important:

The Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for an end to the long detention of hundreds of military officers accused of conspiring against the government. For the first time, Erdogan admitted it was having an effect on the army's capabilities. The comments come as Turkey is facing increasing instability with its neighbors.

Hundreds of serving and retired army officers are on trial or have been languishing in jail for years awaiting court cases for conspiracies against Erdogan's government. But the prime minister has voiced frustration at the lengthy legal process and admitted the damaging effect the situation has had on the military.

I wondered if the Turkish military would use military action against Assad as a lever to regain their position in Turkish society.