Saturday, July 30, 2011

What's Happening in Turkey?

Ignoring the political theater in Washington, I have to wonder what is going on Ankara. As some of you may know, the top military officers in Turkey have resigned. This op-ed by Victor Davis Hansen for the National Review offers some more thoughts.

I did a quick search to find some more information, and came across this article in The Hindu: Erdogan Unfazed by Military Resignations. The key point of the article is this:
In a country, where the armed forces are known for their decisive interventions in politics, the resignations are seen as marking the military's acceptance that its era of dominance in running the country is over. Some analyst have interpreted the resignations as the demise [of] the first Republic, conceived and nurtured by the founding father Kamal Ataturk, and the birth of a new one, under elected civilian stewardship.
That conclusion is mirrored in this piece at Newsday, that stated:
In past decades, the Turkish military showed displeasure with civilian leaders by overthrowing them. This time, the upset generals quit, a move that only strengthened the hand of an elected government that has in turn been accused of targeting opponents at the expense of democracy.
The problem, of course, is that Erdogan and his party, the AKP, has leaned heavily toward Islam over maintaining a secular government, starting with crack downs on the traditionally secular military, and media.

In essence, it appears that these resignations mark the end of any credible threat to the AKP's accumulation of power in Turkey, and a return to an Islamic oriented government, with all that that entails. With this development, we can expect that Erdogan and the AKP will become progressively more open about their stated goals of growing Turkey's military and political power in the region, implementation of Sharia, and reestablishment of the Caliphate. (At least, as open as we can expect from a Muslim politician).

Will Erdogan be revealed as the "man of sin" spoken of in Second Thessalonians? Too early to tell. However, the ascendancy of a Turkish government divorced from the West, antithetical to its Christian and Kurdish populations, and hostile to Israel (and, ultimately, the West) increases the risk of regional conflict.

Frankly, NATO's performance (overall, and not speaking of some of the individual nations) in Afghanistan has been poor, and its "kinetic military action" against Libya has shown it to be a paper tiger. I would expect that with the weakened economic positions of the EU and the US, Turkey will either withdraw from, or reduce its participation in NATO. And don't think that Russia has not noticed NATO's inability to conduct sustained military operations. I would expect that Russia will leap at the opportunity to establish a military alliance with Turkey if Turkey departs from NATO since this would allow Russia to have unfettered access to the Mediterranean, eliminate American military bases located close to Russia (remember the reason behind the Cuban Missile Crises?), and extend its influence in the Middle-East.

So, even if Erdogan is not the "son of perdition," this is merely a continuation of the Lord's proclamation in D&C 87, that war would spread to all nations. Remember, the penultimate disaster preparation is to follow the Lord's admonition to "stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come." D&C 87:8.

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