The Turkish dictator Erdogan (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) has just been deposed by a military coup. The military said that it took over due to “rising autocratic rule and increased terrorism“.
You have to know the history of the Turkish military to understand why this is a very good thing …
For many decades, the Turkish military insured that no Islamic fundamentalists could impose their will on Turkey. Whenever anyone tried, they were deposed.
It is only recently that the military stood down, and Erdogan imposed an Islamic fundamentalist rule over Turkey, suspended free speech and journalism, and otherwise crushed democracy.
He also launched a major campaign to support ISIS in Syria, destabilizing the entire region in the process.
With today’s coup, the people of Turkey have a chance once again for secular and democratic rule. As the New York Times reports:
In recent years [Erdogan] has alienated many Turks with his increasingly autocratic ways, cracking down on freedom of expression, imposing a significant role for religion in public life and renewing war with Kurdish militants in the country’s southeast.
Many secular Turks, no doubt, will welcome the military’s intervention, even as it was far from clear by early Saturday morning if it would be successful.
“The people tried to stand up against President Erdogan, but they couldn’t, they were crushed, so the military had no choice but to take over,” said Cem Yildiz, a taxi driver who said Friday night that he would spend the rest of the night car-pooling to make sure people got home safely.
Like many Turks, he has blamed Turkey’s policy on Syria for the terror attacks. Early in the civil war there, Turkey supported rebel groups fighting against the Syrian government. Many of the fighters who traveled through Turkey to Syria joined the Islamic State, and critics have blamed Mr. Erdogan for enabling the group’s rise.
“He has destroyed this country and no one will stand up to him but the military,” he said. “There was no choice but this.”
Seyda Yilmaz, a teacher who was out in Istanbul on Friday when the news broke, said, “The country is in chaos, and Erdogan needs to be put in his place ….
So long as the military quickly transitions to elections, they will have done Turkey – and the world – a great service.
Update: Looks like the coup failed …