Mass Resignation of Turkish Generals

I found this story quite astonishing:

The question for debate is - is this a bad sign for the stability of the country, indicating a military revolt is now likely, or a good sign as it indicates that the civilian government now has the whip-hand over the military?

I think it’s a good thing: aren’t the generals maintaining the balance with secularization and preventing Turkey from going full hardline Islamic state?

For Turkey, military revolt generally is set up to restore stability and maintain secularism, rather than destabilizing the nation. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Resigning as a form of protest is always stupid. They should have worked to bring down the regime from the inside, instead of stepping aside and letting the government hire new generals who think the way they do

Turkey’s been pulled back from being an Islamic state repeatedly. I would rather have the generals in charge and force their secularism on the Turks instead of the other way around

Maybe they are resigning to show who’s really in power; aren’t soldiers loyal to the incumbent generals?

How secular is the current civilian government?

It is very secular (for the region), and the military historically has had a huge part in keeping it so.

This is a big deal.

The AK party is a lot of things, but it’s certainly not secular.

That said, I don’t think we have to worry about any coups.

This sounds like some babies crying over spilt milk.

That’s the worrisome part, given the history of the Turkish military in maintaining what it views as proper government.

Yeah, my view is that this is the Turkish military, for decades a powerful force in public life, throwing its toys out of the pram over the fact that it now has to be more subservient to a democratically elected government. There were fears when the AK came in that they would be overtly Islamist, but it doesn’t seem to have turned out like that. Turkey has done pretty well under AK government.

The idea that AK is going to turn Turkey into a Sunni Iran is simply Kemalist propaganda.

The AK has shown no signs of becoming a hard-line Islamic State.

The military is pissed off but in a Democracy, which Turkey is, the military is supposed to serve the government not the other way around.

If it ends here, with the resignation of a bunch of uppity generals, I’d say it’s a good thing. Erdogan, Davutoğlu, et. al. have been good for Turkey and the Turks.

(If it marks the beginning of a larger conflict, of course that’s a different story.)

[insert your own Turkish-prison joke here]

That’s my hope, but I simply do not know enough about the culture of the Turkish military to know whether the mass resignation really means that the generals are giving up power - or preparing trouble behind the scenes.

I am far more concerned about the possibility of unrest than I am about the “Islamicization” by the civilian gov’t.

It is concerning that the civilian gov’t has held a large number of generals without trial for some years, and it is concerning that the upper ranks of the military are showing concerted solidarity in protest over this. Which way will the army jump now? I hope that (1) the civilian gov’t appoints new generals who are accepted by the army, and (2) proceeds to fair and open trials of the military guys it has prisoner.

If it is anything, it’s another increment toward the civilian government fully controlling the military. In that respect it is a good thing for Turkey. The downside is the how of obtaining this dominance. The Ergenekon trials and the AK party interfering with promotions is the generals’ reasons for resigning. Neither are positive, and may hint at corruption.

“Full hardline Islamic state” is nothing, to worry about. No reasonable follower of Turkish politics could see that as a possibility.

Why should they bring down a democratically elected government? When was Turkey demonstratively pulled back from an Islamic state by military intervention?

They’re equivalent to Republicans: Big business and got their mind on your morals.

Is there any equivalent to the Democrats?

A good background review from Reuter’s last month before their elections.

He won the election, but not with the supermajority he needed to make the constitutional changes he wants without consent of the opposition.

These resignations must be viewed in that context.

I can’t be the only one who’s reminded of the “Auspicious Incident” back in 1826, right?

The Turkish military brass gets too big for their britches, and after a power struggle are finally put in place by the country’s leader… Only this time around, we’ve got Kosaner and his clique instead of the Janissaries, and Erdogan instead of Mahmud II.

(Granted, the similarities might end right there.)

I can’t say because I did not pay much attention before 2002-03. I can infer by making guesses about the parties voted for by people that would side with democrats here. The two most prominent parties are the original Kemalist party - CHP and the Kurdish party - BDP (reformation of DTP). Both are in disarray, field crap leaders and seem generally ineffective. I didn’t follow it to resolution, but I think both parties are playing some symbolic gesture game over the swearing in of parliament. They are protesting the jailing and expulsion of various members of their party. Generally, they are reduced to symbolic gestures because the electorate is just not behind them.

All the more reason to allow the military to be able to reign in the government when it gets too Islamic. Its worked so far, let them keep doing it. Don’t you think the fact that the state hasn’t gotten hard-line Islamic as you say shows that they are simply biding their time and consolidating their power? And if you think that sounds paranoid, look at their history, its happened many times before

Democracy ain’t everything. That part of the world isn’t ready for it. And yes, I use my personal ethnocentric viewpoint as judgement on that. Popularly elected governments there would be disasterous for the West.

And quibble if you want at the “Islamist” state label, and I’m sure you will, but Turkey’s military has executed coups in 1960, 1971, 1980, and 1997. It has removed an overly Islamic prime minister and executed another. The military’s stated goals are secular and they’ve constantly used a 1961 law to enforce it. I hope they continue to do the same as we do not need another theocracy in that part of the world, or any part really