Erodgan will solidify power after attempted coup: expert
TEHRAN – An expert on Middle East affairs says the failure of military coup in Turkey will embolden President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to “solidify his power”.
"If the coup is defeated decisively, Erdogan can certainly take advantage of this and try to solidify his power by changing the country's constitution to his advantage and by going after his opponents, including those in the military, with vengeance," Nader Entessar, a professor of political science at South Alabama University, tells the Tehran Times.
According to the New York Times, the Turkish government rounded up thousands of military personnel on Saturday said to have taken part in an attempted coup, moving swiftly to re-establish control after a night of chaos and intrigue that left hundreds dead.
By noon, there were few signs that those who had taken part in the coup attempt were still able to challenge the government, and many declared the uprising a failure
Following is the text of the interview with Entessar:
Q: What were the main motives behind the military coup in Turkey?
A: There are many possible reasons for the attempted coup. There is no love lost between the ruling AKP and certain elements of the Turkish military. Erdogan's has attempted several purges of the country's military brass, and the secular elements of the Turkish military have never felt quite comfortable with Erdogan's domestic and regional policies. But it is too early to discuss the specifics motives of the plotters at this time.
Q: Which movement was behind the coup?
A: Again, it is too early to know who or what movement was behind the coup attempt. Certainly the top leadership of the Turkish military was not behind it. Otherwise, the coup would have been staged in a decisive fashion, with the immediate arrest of the top civilian leadership of the government.
Q: Why did the coup end in failure very soon?
A: On the surface, it appears that the coup was not well organized and did not even have the support of the opposition parties in Turkey. Even the pro-Kurdish opposition party condemned the coup attempt. Was the coup something from Erdogan's political trick bag, as some have claimed? At this time, there is no evidence that Erdogan was behind it.
Q: Some argue the failure of the coup will open Erdogan’s hand in pushing ahead with more speed for a presidential system and purge the army openhandedly. What is your view?
A: If the coup is defeated decisively, Erdogan can certainly take advantage of this and try to solidify his power by changing the country's constitution to his advantage and by going after his opponents, including those in the military, with vengeance. Of course, if Erdogan overplays his hands, there is always the danger that his over-zealousness may redound to the detriment of his own party and his political future.