Erdogan never hid his affiliation with religious and conservative circles and, in fact, was able to come to power precisely because of the disappointment of a large part of the Turkish population in the policies of a secular state. This was facilitated by objective circumstances - for example, globalization, the further expansion of Western mass culture into Turkish society, which could not be perceived positively by its conservative part. In addition, the social component of religious-fundamentalist organizations played an important role - it is no secret that they are actively working with the basic strata of Turkish society, organizing real help to the needy. Finally, Erdogan’s patriotic rhetoric was also important, as were hopes to unite the various ethnic groups that make up the Turkish people with a single religious identity - after all, religion does not know “neither Turk, nor Kurd, nor Circassian,” to paraphrase a well-known statement. Erdogan himself also hoped to solve the Kurdish issue precisely by asserting common religious values for Turks and Sunni Kurds.
The “Arab Spring” and, especially, the war in Syria finally dotted the “i” and demonstrated to Erdogan’s world-wide cooperation with the religious-fundamentalist forces of the Middle East and North Africa. This policy of the Turkish president has caused outrage in the West, primarily in the European Union, which not so long ago very favorably treated Turkey as a secular country. Reproaches and then direct accusations against Erdogan became more and more frequent - that he cooperated with the Islamic State (an organization banned in Russia), with a number of other terrorist and extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, that he pursues a policy of discrimination against the Kurdish population and other national minorities of the country. A demonstration of the changed attitude towards Erdogan was the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, first by French and then by German parliamentarians. But Erdogan does not count on the support of the European Union - he has long been determined with his own political goals and needs, and with the circle of his closest allies.
When in the Turkish cities suppression of military actions took place, it was radical fundamentalists who took to the streets. Strong men, most with beards, - they were the ones who beat the detained military, arranged for them a “public spanking”, with the silent acquiescence of the authorities, who, it seemed, should have stopped illegal actions. Erdogan spoke about the revival of the death penalty in Turkey. To a certain extent, the failed military coup helped him to further strengthen his own power, once again confirmed the image of a strong and authoritarian leader who is ready to deal with his enemies uncompromisingly.
In Russia, the events surrounding the coup in Turkey caused a mixed reaction. Some welcomed the conspirators, counting on the overthrow of the odious Erdogan, others, on the contrary, blamed the American intelligence services for what was happening and said that the conspirators were no better for Russia, and worse than Erdogan, if only because they could start building openly pro-American politics. Like, Erdogan recently turned again to face Russia, and among the detained putschists there were also air force officers who were directly involved in the attack on the Russian Su-24 aircraft. Maybe this is so, but the main nuance should be taken into account. Recep Erdogan and his supporters and sympathizers belong to a very clear worldview paradigm - this is religious fundamentalism + neo-Ottomanism. Ideologically close forces are waging war in Syria against the troops of Bashar al-Assad, supported by the Russian aviation, and against the Kurdish national movement. It doesn’t matter whether the Turkish military directly participate in this war or not, it is important that the ideology of Erdogan and the Syrian anti-government opposition of a fundamentalist religion is almost identical, with the caveat that the latter are much more radical, and Erdogan is constrained by his status as President of Turkey, in which is inhabited not only by Sunni Muslims, but also Alevites, Shiites, Christians. Of course, Erdogan has a very negative attitude towards national minorities and does not even hide this attitude (for example, he called the Democratic Party of Nations “the party of Armenians” during the election race, although this characteristic is completely devoid of any negative meaning outside the Armenian-phobic coordinate system of Turkish nationalism) but nevertheless he is forced to reckon with the opinion of the world community. At least, he was forced to see how things will be after the suppression of the recent coup attempt, is still unknown.
The strategic interests of religious-fundamentalist organizations, rooted in Turkey and enjoying the support or connivance of the Turkish leadership, have always included extending their influence to the post-Soviet space. We are talking about the republics of Central Asia, Azerbaijan, as well as the territories belonging to the Russian Federation - the republics of the North Caucasus, the Volga region, some regions of southern Russia, including the Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Rostov Region, the Astrakhan Region, and more recently Crimea. Here, at the turn of the 1980-x - 1990-x. radical fundamentalist organizations sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey launched an active propaganda and propaganda activity.
For Turkey, as a state claiming to be a regional power, cooperation with religious-fundamentalist organizations brings many benefits and advantages. First of all, it provides an opportunity to form networks and cells controlled by Turkish special services in all regions of strategic interest to Turkey - and this is the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, and the Crimea, and the Volga region, and even the Urals and Siberia. On one Pan-Turkism you will not get far, and the ideology of religious fundamentalism allows using even non-Turkic peoples in the interests of Turkey. Therefore, many analysts talk about the prospects for Erdogan’s cooperation with religious fundamentalists. For example, political analyst and orientalist Fahreddin Abbaszoda in an interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta stressed that Erdogan is likely to continue to make a major stake in radical forces.
However, not all radical-fundamentalist organizations are ready to cooperate with Erdogan, and the Turkish President himself, in turn, does not intend to cooperate with all of them. Rapid suppression of a military coup in Turkey was one of the first to be greeted by Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami (KhTI, in the Russian Federation this organization was banned by a court decision). Recall that this is one of the oldest fundamentalist organizations in the world, operating not only in the Middle East, but also in Turkey, Pakistan, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Transcaucasia. It was created in 1953 by a Sharia judge from Jerusalem, Takiouddin an-Nabhani. 14 February 2003 was declared by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami a terrorist organization and banned in the territory of the Russian Federation. Nevertheless, in Ukraine KhTI continued its activities almost legally - including in the Crimea, where it had a great influence on the radical Crimean-Tatar youth. After the reunification of the Crimea with Russia, the activities of the CTI fell into the range of attention of the Russian special services. A number of operations against the cells operating in Yalta and Alushta were conducted by state security agencies and the police, and a number of lawsuits were conducted against the participants of the organization.
As is known, the main political goal of KhTI is the construction of a caliphate. This goal, in turn, is supported by Recep Erdogan, who is not devoid of ambitious plans to enter history as a restorer of the Ottoman Empire (in other words, the New Caliphate). At the same time, neither KhTI nor Erdogan welcome the activities of the IG (prohibited in Russia), which also adheres to the idea of building a Caliphate. In this position, the CTI and the Turkish president are closing in. The next important point on which the positions of Erdogan and the above-named organization are close is the attitude to Fethullah Gülen and his Hizmet movement. Both KTI and Erdogan are staunch opponents of Gulen and Gulenism - not only because Gulen and the movement created by him are important competitors and rivals in the struggle to influence the minds of the inhabitants of Muslim countries and regions, but also because Gulen, who preaches democracy and tolerance, goes against the more radical and orthodox views of both the Turkish president and religious fundamentalists. Therefore, there is nothing strange in the fact that in Erdogan’s confrontation with supporters of Gulen, the radical fundamentalists were on the side of the Turkish president and, at the first call of the head of state, took to the streets to oppose an attempted military coup.
The most important question is whether Recep Erdogan and his supporters - the religious-conservative and fundamentalist forces of Turkey - will succeed in continuing the course on further abandoning secular values and management models. In the failed coup attempt and mass purges in the Turkish armed forces, we see that Erdogan practically managed to level out the resistance of the Turkish military elite. Part of the military elite is still on the side of Erdogan, being integrated into his financial and political schemes, the majority of unwanted military men have long been arrested or, at best, dismissed.
The police and special services of the country, the judicial system, the prosecutor's office — everywhere Erdogan conducts harsh repressions against the Kemalists and claims his supporters, primarily from the religious-conservative environment. But we must bear in mind that the majority of the population in entire regions of Turkey does not actually recognize the authority of Erdogan. First of all, we are talking about Turkish Kurdistan, where the Kurdish national movement is already leading a real civil war against government forces. Therefore, before modern Turkey today, strictly speaking, there are two ways of development - either further conservation of the existing system and political relations, which will lead the country to totalitarian dictatorship and civil war, perhaps - to disintegration, or a fundamental change in the very model of organization of the Turkish state. But Erdogan will never go on the model offered by the Turkish left, including the Democratic Party of Nations, namely, granting autonomy to the Kurds and other national minorities of the country, stopping discrimination of national and cultural minorities. Accordingly, Turkey faces a very sad prospect.
Of course, after the suppression of the coup attempt, Erdogan will continue to strengthen his regime, suppress civil liberties and opposition, including through mass repression, including extrajudicial killings of objectionable persons. However, a significant part of the Turkish population does not agree with this situation. Mass riots will break out in large cities, guerrilla war will grow in South-Eastern Turkey, and then, quite likely, in other regions of the country. Erdogan is well aware that if Kurdish fighters in Syrian Kurdistan manage to put an end to the threat from extremist religious organizations and turn Rojava into a strong outpost of the Kurdish national movement, then they will inevitably step up their activities in the territory of Turkish Kurdistan.
By the way, in the Turkish Kurdistan in the presidential elections more than 80% voted for Selahattin Demirtas (on the photo) - the candidate of the left Democratic Party of Nations. That is, it is he, and not Erdogan, who, in all fairness, is the real “people's” president of this region. The more Erdogan will “tighten the screws” and persecute the opposition, the more stubborn will become its resistance, and if we consider that in certain regions of the country the opposition enjoys virtually the full support of the population, then it will be very, very difficult to suppress its performances. Sooner or later, Ankara may simply lose control over very impressive territories. In any case, in the situation in which Turkey now finds itself, there is a direct fault of Erdogan’s policy, which has failed to bring the country to political stability, moreover - it put it on the threshold of a full-scale civil war.