Blogs: The Skeptics

How Bush's Bad Idea that Turkey Could Join the EU Bombed

Think Twice on Turkey: Erdogan's Purges Are a Warning to Washington

The Skeptics

Given Erdoğan’s temperament and behavior over the past few years, I was initially inclined to believe that the coup was an inside job, intended to allow him to consolidate his already considerable power. Since the coup, however, I have come to appreciate that there may be some truth to the supposition that Gülenists, though maybe not Gülen himself, were involved in a plot to overthrow the government. The allegations do not come solely from Erdoğan apologists (e.g. Mustafa Akyol at Al Monitor, and Mohammed Ayoob here and here, at the National Interest.) For now, I am most in agreement with Human Rights Watch’s Benjamin Ward, who notes:

"Whatever the merits of the government’s claims about the movement’s role in the coup, which Gülen himself denies, the speed and scale of the dismissals make it clear that many of those affected by the purge are caught up in it not because there is clear evidence of their involvement in the coup but merely because of their perceived association with the Gülen movement."

The failed coup is a tragedy for Turkey that would have been made worse had the conspirators not quickly surrendered to government forces. The bloodshed in a country of more than seventy-five million people could have dwarfed the body count of neighboring Syria. There, the established political class’s inability to defeat a determined, multisided insurgency has sucked the country into a protracted civil war.

Turkey was spared Syria’s fate, but it will likely take many years to recover from the coup. The political crackdown on dissenters will cast a pall over the public, dampening the prospects for an economy that was already weak. The tourism industry, which had suffered before the coup, has all but ceased. More broadly, Turkey will struggle to attract investment by foreigners who harbor doubts about Erdoğan's commitment to the rule of law.

The coup and its aftermath should be a wake-up call for U.S. policymakers. As Erdoğan’s crackdown continues, and his authoritarianism comes into sharper focus, it is clear that the situation is the latest instance in which U.S. national security goals conflict with our values. If nothing else, we should revisit the reasons why we have chosen to ally ourselves with this perilous partner in the first place.

 

Christopher A. Preble is vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.

Image: The Turkish president. Courtesy of Kremlin.ru

 

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The High Costs and Limited Benefits of America’s Alliances

The Skeptics

Given Erdoğan’s temperament and behavior over the past few years, I was initially inclined to believe that the coup was an inside job, intended to allow him to consolidate his already considerable power. Since the coup, however, I have come to appreciate that there may be some truth to the supposition that Gülenists, though maybe not Gülen himself, were involved in a plot to overthrow the government. The allegations do not come solely from Erdoğan apologists (e.g. Mustafa Akyol at Al Monitor, and Mohammed Ayoob here and here, at the National Interest.) For now, I am most in agreement with Human Rights Watch’s Benjamin Ward, who notes:

"Whatever the merits of the government’s claims about the movement’s role in the coup, which Gülen himself denies, the speed and scale of the dismissals make it clear that many of those affected by the purge are caught up in it not because there is clear evidence of their involvement in the coup but merely because of their perceived association with the Gülen movement."

The failed coup is a tragedy for Turkey that would have been made worse had the conspirators not quickly surrendered to government forces. The bloodshed in a country of more than seventy-five million people could have dwarfed the body count of neighboring Syria. There, the established political class’s inability to defeat a determined, multisided insurgency has sucked the country into a protracted civil war.

Turkey was spared Syria’s fate, but it will likely take many years to recover from the coup. The political crackdown on dissenters will cast a pall over the public, dampening the prospects for an economy that was already weak. The tourism industry, which had suffered before the coup, has all but ceased. More broadly, Turkey will struggle to attract investment by foreigners who harbor doubts about Erdoğan's commitment to the rule of law.

The coup and its aftermath should be a wake-up call for U.S. policymakers. As Erdoğan’s crackdown continues, and his authoritarianism comes into sharper focus, it is clear that the situation is the latest instance in which U.S. national security goals conflict with our values. If nothing else, we should revisit the reasons why we have chosen to ally ourselves with this perilous partner in the first place.

 

Christopher A. Preble is vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.

Image: The Turkish president. Courtesy of Kremlin.ru

 

Pages

Is Primacy Overrated?

The Skeptics

Given Erdoğan’s temperament and behavior over the past few years, I was initially inclined to believe that the coup was an inside job, intended to allow him to consolidate his already considerable power. Since the coup, however, I have come to appreciate that there may be some truth to the supposition that Gülenists, though maybe not Gülen himself, were involved in a plot to overthrow the government. The allegations do not come solely from Erdoğan apologists (e.g. Mustafa Akyol at Al Monitor, and Mohammed Ayoob here and here, at the National Interest.) For now, I am most in agreement with Human Rights Watch’s Benjamin Ward, who notes:

"Whatever the merits of the government’s claims about the movement’s role in the coup, which Gülen himself denies, the speed and scale of the dismissals make it clear that many of those affected by the purge are caught up in it not because there is clear evidence of their involvement in the coup but merely because of their perceived association with the Gülen movement."

The failed coup is a tragedy for Turkey that would have been made worse had the conspirators not quickly surrendered to government forces. The bloodshed in a country of more than seventy-five million people could have dwarfed the body count of neighboring Syria. There, the established political class’s inability to defeat a determined, multisided insurgency has sucked the country into a protracted civil war.

Turkey was spared Syria’s fate, but it will likely take many years to recover from the coup. The political crackdown on dissenters will cast a pall over the public, dampening the prospects for an economy that was already weak. The tourism industry, which had suffered before the coup, has all but ceased. More broadly, Turkey will struggle to attract investment by foreigners who harbor doubts about Erdoğan's commitment to the rule of law.

The coup and its aftermath should be a wake-up call for U.S. policymakers. As Erdoğan’s crackdown continues, and his authoritarianism comes into sharper focus, it is clear that the situation is the latest instance in which U.S. national security goals conflict with our values. If nothing else, we should revisit the reasons why we have chosen to ally ourselves with this perilous partner in the first place.

 

Christopher A. Preble is vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.

Image: The Turkish president. Courtesy of Kremlin.ru

 

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Obama Is Ignoring the Law in Libya, And Congress Doesn't Care

The Skeptics

Given Erdoğan’s temperament and behavior over the past few years, I was initially inclined to believe that the coup was an inside job, intended to allow him to consolidate his already considerable power. Since the coup, however, I have come to appreciate that there may be some truth to the supposition that Gülenists, though maybe not Gülen himself, were involved in a plot to overthrow the government. The allegations do not come solely from Erdoğan apologists (e.g. Mustafa Akyol at Al Monitor, and Mohammed Ayoob here and here, at the National Interest.) For now, I am most in agreement with Human Rights Watch’s Benjamin Ward, who notes:

"Whatever the merits of the government’s claims about the movement’s role in the coup, which Gülen himself denies, the speed and scale of the dismissals make it clear that many of those affected by the purge are caught up in it not because there is clear evidence of their involvement in the coup but merely because of their perceived association with the Gülen movement."

The failed coup is a tragedy for Turkey that would have been made worse had the conspirators not quickly surrendered to government forces. The bloodshed in a country of more than seventy-five million people could have dwarfed the body count of neighboring Syria. There, the established political class’s inability to defeat a determined, multisided insurgency has sucked the country into a protracted civil war.

Turkey was spared Syria’s fate, but it will likely take many years to recover from the coup. The political crackdown on dissenters will cast a pall over the public, dampening the prospects for an economy that was already weak. The tourism industry, which had suffered before the coup, has all but ceased. More broadly, Turkey will struggle to attract investment by foreigners who harbor doubts about Erdoğan's commitment to the rule of law.

The coup and its aftermath should be a wake-up call for U.S. policymakers. As Erdoğan’s crackdown continues, and his authoritarianism comes into sharper focus, it is clear that the situation is the latest instance in which U.S. national security goals conflict with our values. If nothing else, we should revisit the reasons why we have chosen to ally ourselves with this perilous partner in the first place.

 

Christopher A. Preble is vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.

Image: The Turkish president. Courtesy of Kremlin.ru

 

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