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Spotlight: Turkey’s New Sultan

For a brief moment, it appeared that the Turkish military brought an end to the tyranny of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 15. The marked erosion of political and civil liberties under Erdogan’s Islamist regime during the past 16 years was drawing unprecedented concern in the West, while his responsibility for the waves of Muslim migrants recently flooding Europe’s shores made him a threat to the entire continent.

But the Turkish military of yesteryear, which carried out three coups in the past five decades to restore secular democracy, has been shown to be a thing of the past. Led by junior officers unable to win the endorsement of top echelon brass, the coup attempt fizzled quickly. As mass arrests of Turkish officers and soldiers continue (nearly 3,000 by the day after), accompanied by a purge of the judiciary (2,700 judges fired) and other assaults on what remains of constitutional democracy, it is evident that the coup attempt merely accelerated the collapse of Turkey’s old republic.

For a glimpse of what's in store for Turkey and the world, see the selections at right from MEF staff, fellows, and publications. To keep abreast of Turkey and other critical issues, sign up to the Middle East Forum mailing list.

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