Thursday, June 07, 2018

The Empire Strikes Out?

This article focuses on three different possible outcomes for the June 24th Turkish presidential and parliamentary election. But I don't see how any of the routes don't result in Erdogan assuming dictatorial powers.

Really, the only question I anticipate is when Erdogan gets formal dictatorial powers.

If he wins the presidential election, he gets dictatorial powers.

If he loses the election, he has a compliant military and court system to get the powers a little more slowly--even if he doesn't get a compliant parliament to go along.

Turkey is no longer a fully trustworthy ally despite membership in NATO. As long as Erdogan rules Turkey we have to consider them a frenemy who we work with when we can--while watching our backs.

And hope that Turkey veers away from the imperial nostalgia plans Erdogan has.

I suppose I could be surprised if the Turkish people react to the worry that this might be their last remotely free election and decisively reject Erdogan, giving Turkish institutions pause about supporting an extra-legal move to give Erdogan the win regardless of the vote result.

Tip to Instapundit.

UPDATE: I agree that we need to avoid cutting ties to Turkey to hope for the best. But I don't even understand this claimed role for Turkey: "Turkey as a bridge for the United States to the Muslim world."

America does not need Turkey--resented and even hated by a lot of Arabs for Turkey's colonial role--as a bridge to the Moslem world. America has plenty of direct bridges to various states in the Moslem world.

What the author may be referring to is the hope in the Obama administration that Turkey could be an example of how "tame" Islamists could be integrated with the West. How's that working out? Instead, Turkey under Erdogan is working to be a bridge for Islamist ideology to the Western world.