Erdogan dictatorship in wake of coup attempt?
In the wake of the July 15 attempted coup in Turkey, 265 are dead, 1,440 wounded and 2,839 soldiers detained, by official figures. Members of military brass are among the arrested. Also taken into custody are 2,745 judges and prosecutors—including two members of the Constitutional Court. (Jurist, BIANet, NYT, BIANet) A security lockdown is in place at Incirlik air base, shutting down US sorties against ISIS that routinely fly from the base. (World Bulletin, NYT) Tensions with Washington may also be enflamed by President Erdogan call for the US to extradite "terrorist leader and coup plotter" Fethullah Gülen (who is almost certainly a scapegoat). (Daily Sabah)
Washington has already been placed in an uncomfortable position by Erdogan's connivance with jihadists in Syria (including ISIS). Erdogan, in turn, is aghast at US support for the Kurdish anti-ISIS forces. Yet Erdogan and Obama still need each other, and the White House has turned a blind eye to the consolidating dictatorship in Turkey. Erdogan's final stroke in his effort to establish an autocracy is his proposed constitutional change that would expand executive powers. With the purge of his enemies now underway, he may soon get that. Which will heighten the contradictions for Washington—no matter who is president next year.