The domestic political crisis in Turkey, the sharpest since the republic began at the start of the 1920, continues to deepen, before my eyes become overgrown with myths, shaking NATO and threatening to destabilize not only the Middle East region, but also the European Union.
Events in Turkey are far from complete, and how they will unfold depends on many factors, primarily on the degree of support of President Erdogan by his supporters and the level of resistance that his opponents will have on repressions unfolding in the country. Let us consider some aspects of the current situation on materials prepared by the experts of the Institute of the Middle East I. I. Starodubtsev and Yu. B. Shcheglovin.
Iranian "Russian trace"
The Iranian news agency Fars announced that the Turkish president had received a warning from Russia about a military coup in preparation several hours before it began. This message has attracted the attention of domestic media and deserves comment. According to Fars, the information was provided to Arab media by diplomatic sources in Ankara, who claimed that the National Intelligence Organization of Turkey (MIT) had been warned by the Russian security forces "about the inevitable military coup." Information about him obtained by the military in Syria from the interception of negotiations conspirators. It is known that "Fars" is prone to stuffing unverified or made-up information. However, consider it.
It is no secret that the Russian HVAC has a radio intelligence point on its base. Russian ships that serve in the Mediterranean are also watching the radio. But the emphasis is on intercepting messages from opposition field commanders and Turkish territory bordering Syria, including the conversations of pilots and dispatchers of the Incirlik air force base, where the US nuclear bombs are stored. If we assume that the mention of some movements of groups of troops was slipping into communication between the Turkish military (which is doubtful), it is unrealistic to link them with the attempt of the putsch. To do this, you need to know about the attempt to revolt and listen to the phones of its leaders. That is, to lead the development of objects. By the way, if the “Russians” deciphered the negotiations that followed a closed connection, then for Moscow there are no secrets either in Turkey or in NATO, since military cryptography must fit the uniform standard of this organization.
It is necessary to consider the time limit. Messages must be intercepted, translated, compared, analyzed and reported down the hierarchy up to the president. This is a long time. Moreover, it is doubtful that the details of the coup were discussed by open communications or mobile phones without using euphemisms. To understand the meaning of such conversations on the basis of the text is difficult. The reason is not fear of being heard by Russians or Americans (who have much more powerful radio interception capabilities, but the mutiny was a surprise for them), but because the main radio interception station in Turkey was transferred from MIT to the special service for three years. She redirected all her capabilities to the domestic front. The putschists either had to not talk on the air or do it with the maximum degree of encryption.
The main question - why warn Erdogan about the rebellion - remains open. At the moment, the attitude towards him is characterized by a high degree of mistrust, no matter what steps Moscow or Ankara have shown to normalize relations.
What threatened the change of Erdogan to the military-secular regime for the interests of Moscow in the region? Nothing. The military who came to power would no longer trust the Islamist groups in Syria and regard them as a main ally. Their support for the opposition Assad would not have ceased, but the format and the addressees would have changed significantly. The same can be said about relations between Ankara and Doha, as well as Riyadh.
As for the USA, the differences over the support of the Kurds between Ankara and Washington would remain. And if the Turks began to more actively cooperate with the Americans in eliminating the infrastructure of the IS prohibited in Russia, then for Moscow this would be acceptable. The military regime in Turkey would not support the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, like Erdogan. His overthrow was not a global threat to the interests of Russia. What makes senseless and the intervention of Moscow in the internal political situation in this country, and the message of the agency "Fars".
RFP by law
On July 21, the Turkish Official Gazette No. 29777 published the Council of Ministers resolution No. 2016 / 9064 on the introduction of a state of emergency in the country for a period of 90 days. The regime passed the approval process in the Mejlis: 346 parliamentarians voted in favor (Justice and Development Party and nationalists), 115 voted against, with a low turnout: 461 from 550 deputies. First time in stories The Republic of Turkey PSC is introduced throughout the country, and not in individual provinces, as was the case in the 13 eastern muds of Turkey, in which PSCs continued from 1987 to 2002 a year.
At the same time, the hopes in the society that the CPI will not last long are groundless. The previous state of emergency in the east of the country was extended by the 46 Majlis once, and the scale of the events was incomparable with the current one. The fact that the CPI introduced with 21 in July is likely to be extended, according to an interview with Ibrahim Kalyn, press secretary of the president, given by CNN Trk. He rejected the very possibility of reproaches against Ankara by foreign countries after the introduction of the CPI by Paris (after the terrorist attack in Nice).
From the point of view of democracy, Turkey is not France, and, despite the assurances of Ankara that RFP will not affect the daily lives of people, the anxiety of the population is warmed up by thousands of detainees and tens of thousands of dismissed and suspended workers. RFP means putting the country in manual control mode, when government decrees automatically receive the force of law.
Regulated by the RFP Act No. 2935 of 1983. It provides for restrictions on entry, exit and residence in certain regions of the country, evacuation and moving to a new place of residence; suspension of work of educational institutions regardless of their affiliation (public or private) and the closure of dormitories; determination of the mode of operation, closure and suspension of the functioning of places of leisure and entertainment; restriction and cancellation of vacations of relevant personnel; destruction of hazardous buildings, property and food; regulation of the sale, storage, distribution of strategic products and consumer goods, restriction of activities, placing under control and closing of outlets, as well as the necessary measures to ensure order in land, sea and air transport.
The state receives broad powers to intervene in the economy. Control and regulatory functions can be transferred to the Economic Coordination Council of the State of Emergency under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister or the relevant ministry. Among the additional measures, the law gives the government the right to limit the rights and freedoms of the individual; monitor and regulate the activities of the media and cultural institutions; establish special measures for the protection of strategic, public and private facilities; regulate the circulation of hazardous, explosive and chemical substances; to restrict and regulate the holding of mass events and activities of public organizations, as well as to conduct military operations outside Turkey, as agreed with neighboring states.
The first steps to use the authority by the leadership of Turkey have already been taken, including the abolition of August leaves for civil servants and their withdrawal from leave, a ban on their departure from the country (this includes certain categories of other workers, even employees of private universities), the removal of tens of thousands of representatives judicial and police corps, administrative and scientific staff of universities, including all university deans, etc.
Encouraged and endorsed the support of the leadership of the country "simple people". In the media, "the people" play a decisive role in disrupting the attempted coup. Special incentive measures were introduced (free use of Turkish cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, in public transport). Across the country, there are rallies of supporters of the leadership with the requirements of burning out the Gulenov infection.
No survival without NATO
This provoked a corresponding reaction from Western countries, which are beginning to express concern over the attempt to destroy the political opposition in Turkey under the pretext of persecuting supporters of the insurgency. It is clear that President Erdogan is completely reformatting the country's political architecture, starting with the judicial system and ending with the journalists and faculty of the universities. All this gave rise to discussions about the future of Turkey in NATO. According to their logic, it becomes an analogue of Iran, and the alliance will not be able to tolerate an Islamist country in its ranks. The demand for the extradition of Imam F. Gulen will become an insurmountable obstacle in the development of relations between the United States and Turkey, which will accelerate Ankara’s withdrawal from NATO.
The latter is unlikely. Membership in the block is a form of maintaining national security for Turkey, in which it currently can only exist. It is the stay in NATO that opens Ankara to modern types of weapons, communication systems and intelligence of the alliance, as well as material and technical support from alliance partners.
Turkey has been in the NATO standards system for a long time. Rejection of them will cause the collapse of the armed forces without any hope of modernization on their own. Defense spending will rise sharply, which is unprofitable in the midst of a serious financial crisis. Withdrawal from NATO will leave Ankara alone on controversial issues with Greece and the Cyprus problem. In this scenario, the initiation of trials on them in an international court will begin. Finally, withdrawal from NATO will untie the hands of Western countries to discuss the violation of the rights and freedoms of Turkish citizens, which will culminate in economic sanctions and resolutions in the UN Security Council, even if you do not take into account the economic component and sharply increasing investment risks.
It seems that the Turkish leadership is miscalculated. For now, we see Erdogan’s angry rhetoric about EU intervention in domestic affairs and appeals to the United States to prove that they are different. This is an exemplary reaction to the attempted military coup and the hysteria in society to do everything possible to destroy the internal opposition. At the same time, Erdogan understands that after a break with the West in the economic and military spheres, his days as leader will be numbered, and will not cross the “red lines”, which are determined by comments from Brussels. For Erdogan, a declaration of withdrawal from NATO means the beginning of its end, because then the United States will join in to neutralize it. The UK referendum on leaving the European Union did not threaten their strategic interests. The situation with Turkey and NATO is another matter. This is an attempt on the integrity of the American collective security system.
Turkey will not be able to leave NATO without consequences, and conversations on this topic should be considered political speculation. Erdogan is able to change landmarks in one day, as evidenced by the "breakthroughs" in improving bilateral relations with Russia and Israel. But he does not need to turn the EU and the USA into enemies. Do not forget that behind it is only half of the population, and as the economic situation worsens, which the United States can provide quickly, this will not be enough. A proof of understanding of the realities was that the US Air Force aircraft resumed flying from the Incirlik Air Force Base one day after the failure of the coup. Erdogan is trying to convince the West to turn a blind eye to the actions of usurping power - nothing more. A break with NATO can occur only if extreme religious fanatics come to power, which is unrealistic in modern Turkey.
Obviously, the path to the EU for Ankara is closed, and Erdogan has already publicly articulated this. Everything became clear after the German Bundestag voted for a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
Russia may extract certain dividends from this “nerve struggle” between Ankara, the US and the EU. Finding Erdogan in the "political blockade" for Russia is beneficial for various reasons, including, of course, and obtaining economic advantages. The only drawback lies in the likelihood that the prospects for large infrastructure projects in the energy sector such as reanimation of the idea of the “Turkish Stream” can be forgotten. The EU will do everything possible to prevent the implementation of the plan to turn Turkey into the main center of gas supplies to Europe. That, however, saves Russia from the corresponding risks.
We are waiting for defectors
In an interview with Reuters, Erdogan announced flaws in intelligence work and promised to reorganize the armed forces. He pointed out that in the near future a new military structure will appear in Turkey. What he said puts an end to media reports that MIT knew about the impending putsch in advance and warned the military commanders of the insurgents ’speech. However, she did not inform the president, and her counterparts at the General Staff were later arrested as “ardent conspirators”.
If we take for granted that all the military and civilian ranks of more than 10 thousand people already detained and suspended from work and service in Turkey participated in the plot, the intelligence service works very poorly. Do not track the plot in advance through an agent network with so many participants is unrealistic. The head of MIT, H. Fidan, was given full possession of the main electronic intelligence station, which was removed from the military. MIT was also handed over to the Kurdish dossier, taking it from the jurisdiction of the gendarmerie. The latter was then cleaned under the pretext of getting rid of supporters of Gülen, as a result of which there was a sharp outflow of qualified personnel and a drop in the level of struggle with Kurdish separatists.
The fact that 180 was fired from intelligence has shown: MIT was not aware of what was happening. The consequence of this will be the removal of Fidan from his post in the near future. Togo has long been dismissed, leaving him the position of Turkish ambassador to Japan. It was considered disgraced, but it seems that for Fidan the case could end up much worse, even to the extent of accusations of participation in the conspiracy. Recall that after he came to the post of MIT head, this structure was awaited by massive purges. The number of emigrants from the armed forces, which under the previous regimes and presidents were 40 – 45 percent, now barely exceeds four percent. As a result, the professional level of employees engaged in operational work fell.
This can be seen in the example of the activities of the MIT embassy residency in Moscow. Previously, there were scouts prepared in training schools in the United States. Then, people from the AKP "party set" took their places. The system of social elevators developed by the Erdogan administration to change the stagnant and hostile state and power apparatus increases the electoral support of the president, but drops the quality of work of the power departments, violating the main principle of functioning of any structure - preservation of the institution of continuity of generations. The same expects the army and the state apparatus of Turkey in the near future.
Creating a new military structure means the arrival in the power bloc of young party functionaries from the ruling Justice and Development Party, who are loyal to the president, but very poorly trained in professional terms. Prior to that, the Turkish military studied in schools in the United States and Europe. Now, owing to the refusal of the Americans to extradite Gülen (there is little doubt that Washington will refuse to do this, if only because the US needs to maintain leverage over the situation in Turkey), these refresher courses are in question. So, there is no question of maintaining the Turkish armed forces at the professional level and technical equipment, and so far they will not go.
President Erdogan embarked on a slippery path of reforming the army along the lines of Iran, where ideology replaces professional qualities. The war in Syria has shown the inability of such an army to fight any successfully for a long time. The Iranians could not hold the front in Syria, which led to the arrival at the theater of military operations there Russian videoconferencing.
The situation with the suppression of the Kurdish uprising in the south-east of Turkey has demonstrated a rather weak training of officers of its armed forces and gendarmerie. The army was not ready for a mine-explosive and urban war. Due to recent events, there are no clear prerequisites for overcoming this state of affairs and it is not necessary to wait for them. The same is true of the police, MIT and gendarmerie. In this regard, we should expect a drop in the level of professional work in the embassy residencies of MIT, including in connection with the cleaning of personnel.
It is already underway, but the main blow of repression will come at the moment of Fidan’s resignation, which the Turkish Prime Minister B. Yıldırım insists. For this, he has personal reasons - in due time, thanks to Fidan, the Turkish press published photos of the shocking behavior of the son of the Turkish Prime Minister at a casino in Singapore. And if the cleaning in MIT acquires the character of mass repressions, we should expect the appearance of defectors from among the employees who work in this special service abroad. What is primarily important is not for the states of the European Union, the USA, Israel, Iran and Egypt (and other countries of the Arab world), but for Russia and the post-Soviet republics, including the countries of Central Asia.
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