Paul noted the attempted coup in Turkey last night. Reuters reports that forces loyal to Turkey’s government fought this morning to crush the last remnants of a military coup attempt which collapsed after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan’s call to take to the streets and dozens of rebels abandoned their tanks.
In what appears to be a slightly more up to the minute account, the New York Times reports: “Turkey’s 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.”
Walter Russell Mead assessed the failure of the coup at 1:50 a.m. (Eastern) this morning. This seems to me a considerable understatement: “The Turkish military, it appears, has lost the role of ‘guardian of the nation’ which it assumed in the interest of making Turkey a modern European country.” Erdogan seems likely to accelerate Turkey’s descent into Islamization and authoritarian rule.
Toward the end of his post Mead writes:
We can hope that the New Turks will ultimately take the flawed and imperfect Kemalist democracy and make it a more vivid and popular democracy, and we can hope that the example of a successful democratic society in the Muslim world will spread from Turkey to neighboring states. Life is rarely that simple, though, and it appears that there will be more populism and authoritarianism than Madisonian republicanism in Turkey’s immediate future. One hopes that Erdogan and his allies will take note of the loyalty that other democratic parties displayed to the constitutional order during the coup, and that the worrying tendency toward personal rule will give place to a new appreciation of constitutional order. One hopes, but one does not expect.
In the immortal words of the Who on Who’s Next, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”