Turkey's Coup May Have Failed -- But History Shows That It Won't Be Long Before Another One Succeeds
Too late did Erdogan realise the cost of the role he had chosen for his country -- when you can no longer trust your army, there are serious issues that need to be addressed
by Robert Fisk
Recep Tayyip Erdogan had it coming. The Turkish army was never going to
remain compliant while the man who would recreate the Ottoman Empire turned his
neighbours into enemies and his country into a mockery of itself. But it would be a
grave mistake to assume two things: that the putting down of a military coup is a
momentary matter after which the Turkish army will remain obedient to its sultan; and to
regard at least 161 deaths and more than 2,839 detained in isolation from the collapse
of the nation-states of the Middle East.
For the weekend's events in Istanbul and Ankara are intimately related to the breakdown
of frontiers and state-belief -- the assumption that Middle East nations have permanent
institutions and borders -- that has inflicted such wounds across Iraq, Syria, Egypt and
other countries in the Arab world. Instability is now as contagious as corruption in the
region, especially among its potentates and dictators, a class of autocrat of which
Erdogan has been a member ever since he changed the constitution for his own benefit and
restarted his wicked conflict with the Kurds. . . .
All in all, then, a far more dramatic series of events have taken place in Turkey this
weekend than may at first appear. From the frontier of the EU, through Turkey and Syria
and Iraq and large parts of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and on to Libya and . . . Tunisia,
there is now a trail of anarchy and failed states. Sir Mark Sykes and Francois
Georges-Picot began the Ottoman Empire's dismemberment -- with help from Arthur Balfour
-- but it continues to this day.
In this grim historical framework must we view the coup-that-wasn't in Ankara. Stand by
for another one in the months or years to come.