Turkish Coup Attempt: What Comes Next?

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In the early morning hours of July 16, elements of the Turkish military attempted a coup against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan while the Turkish leader was reportedly on vacation away from the capital.

After a few hours of uncertainty, the Erdoğan government gained the upper hand, with the President landing his plane in Istanbul and loyal units of the Turkish military and police capturing or killing many of those involved in the plot.

In this presentation, Wikistrat’s experts reflect on the geopolitical and security implications the coup attempt may have on global and regional actors.

Dr. A. Kadir Yildirim, a Research Scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, worries too that the plotters have given Erdoğan carte blanche to do whatever he pleases. The Turkish leader now enjoys a concentration of power unprecedented since the country’s transition to democracy, Yildirim argues. “This is likely to irrevocably shift the dynamics of the country.”

Wikistrat believes Turkey’s relations with its Western allies will suffer. The prospect of intervention in Syria, already unlikely, has now become impossible to imagine for the simple reason that Turkey won’t trust its armed forces with a major deployment any time soon.

Russia is likely to rethink its support for Kurdish fighters, including the PKK, now that Erdoğan is bound to crack down on opposition groups, writes Prof. Mark Galeotti, a Wikistrat Senior Analyst.

Relations with Israel are unlikely to be affected. Dr. Shay Hershkovitz, Wikistrat’s Chief Strategic Officer, argues that it is still in both countries’ interest to reestablish their strategic ties, as they increasingly share regional interests.

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