Security Challenges Faced by Turkey!
Turkey chapter discusses the security implications of the failed coup plot, the underlying dynamics of the PKK insurgency and IS militancy and the government’s response to these twin security challenges.
Post-coup commentary has focused primarily on the bitter feud between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the reclusive Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen. That’s unsurprising, in the light of the Turkish Government’s allegation that Gulen had a central role in the coup plot.
However, this oversimplifies the coup by sheeting it home to the relationship between two consequential personalities while ignoring the deep polarisation in Turkish society as its root cause. Recent opinion polls reveal the extent to which ideological, sectarian and ethnic divisions bedevil Turkish politics and society.
Turkey’s botched coup and its aftermath have occurred at a time of a rising PKK insurgency and IS militancy. Wholesale changes to the military, intelligence apparatus and security forces have raised concerns over the country’s readiness to counter security threats, whether from Kurdish nationalism or Islamist militancy.
Turkey’s secular–religious and Turkish–Kurdish cleavages created the enabling environment for the botched coup. Putschists sought to exploit fractures in society and visceral feelings towards Erdogan but underestimated the overwhelming popular preference for electoral politics over military intervention.
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