Turkey’s ‘Attempted Coup’ and the day after
Marco Vicenzino is a globally acknowledged expert on geopolitical events. He is a member of our distinguished International Advisory Council and we are pleased to share the attached comments and interview clip providing his views on the developing situation in Turkey.
Turkey’s ‘Attempted Coup’ and the Day After
By Marco Vicenzino
Turkey’s “attempted coup” which has claimed over 150 lives will inevitably be used as the pretext to accelerate the pursuit of President Erdogan’s primary objective: securing the constitutional change that provides the presidency with near, if not complete, power.
Erdogan will also use this episode to neutralize and further contain whatever remains of his opposition – whether political, business, academic, media, dissidents and anyone he considers an obstacle to his pursuit of greater powers. In any ordinary democracy such elements would be considered legitimate opposition. For President Erdogan, they are “terrorists” and treated as enemies of the state.
However, Erdogan will leave some with the minimal amount of breathing space to claim that Turkey is a democracy. It largely remains so in name only. Anyone who transgresses Erdogan’s arbitrary limits pays a price.
Erdogan’s misguided foreign policy of recent years has largely led to Turkey’s increasing diplomatic isolation. His current attempts to reboot it, through outreach and repairing ties with Israel and Russia, is largely driven by his desire for fewer problems abroad in order to consolidate greater power at home.
The “attempted coup”, or whatever one may wish to call it, provides the ideal platform for this process.
Erdogan’s conflict with Kurdish militants, increasing confrontation with ISIS, and continuing spillover from Syria will
continue to drain Turkey collectively as a nation. However. Erdogan will not allow these factors to interfere with his interests, ambitions, and priorities to consolidate power in the presidency. In fact, he will continue to exploit these adversities to his personal advantage at any cost.
Marco Vicenzino is the founder and director of the Global Strategy Project (GSP), a non-profit organization which was inaugurated by Italian foreign minister, Gianfranco Fini, in April 2005. He served as a strategic advisor for the World Bank’s External Relations Unit and senior advisor for strategic communications and planning for the first-ever World Congress on Communication for Development held in Rome in October 2006. Mr. Vicenzino served as Deputy Executive Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies-US (IISS-US) in Washington, DC. He also taught International Law at the School of International Studies at American University in Washington, DC, and was recently appointed by the Foreign Policy Association in New York as a John C. Whitehead Fellow. Mr. Vicenzino is a member of the board of directors of the Afghanistan World Foundation and serves as its chief strategic advisor. He is also an active term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.