Saturday, July 16, 2016

Turkey's Instability Threatens to Weaken the War on Terror

Following-up from yesterday, "Turkey Coup d'État Risks Major Ramifications for U.S. Foreign Policy (VIDEO)."

At the Wall Street Journal, "Turkish Instability Threatens to Hamper Battle on Terror":
An attempted military coup in Turkey introduces the prospect of prolonged instability in a key U.S. ally that could undermine one of Washington’s international priorities: the battle against the Islamic State terrorist organization.

Obama administration officials struggled to respond to the unexpected attempt Friday to unseat Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr. Erdogan, on vacation when the coup began, returned to Istanbul early on Saturday, and forces supporting him said they were close to putting it down.

But whether successful or not, the coup raises new questions about Mr. Erdogan, who in recent months has shown a greater resolve to confront Islamic State, which is also called Daesh or ISIS.

Amid the race of developments late Friday, the U.S. called for the Turkish public and military to “support the democratically elected government” in the country. But the White House declined to make any further comments on the crisis, suggesting President Barack Obama wanted to keep his options open in Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The U.S. has a major air base in south-central Turkey that it has used to strike Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria.

Washington appeared to be facing two bleak outcomes in Muslim-majority Turkey in the coming month. The military could succeed in overthrowing Mr. Erdogan, resulting in unrest if the leader’s supporters, many of them religious conservatives, take to the streets.

Conversely, Mr. Erdogan could hold on to power but rule in an increasingly paranoid and authoritarian manner. He has increasingly sought control of the major institutions inside Turkey, including the media, judiciary and security forces...
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