President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Strengthens His Position in Turkey by Taking Tough Measures

By AIFL - Aug 1, 2016

By Amb. Uri Bar-Ner President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to change the system of control of the army-- which is now under the control of the chief of staff and the commanders of the army, navy and air force--to be under the supervision of the Minister of Defense. The border police is now under the Ministry of the Interior. President Erdogan closed all the military schools where students were studying. Instead, he opened a special university for the army which will be under the authority of the Ministry of Defense. Under this reform, the army authority will be subordinate to the civil authority. Under the civil authority this is the way it is in all democratic countries. Many supporters of the failed coup are being fired from the army, from the civil authority and from the judicial system. President Erdogan claims that Fethullah Gülen (who has been living in Pennsylvania for the last few years) is responsible for the failed coup and tried to dominate and control the country through the army. President Erdogan continues to criticize the U.S. and Europe since he is very disturbed by the fact that nobody from the U.S. or Europe contacted him to support him. The American Chief of Staff is coming on August 1 to Ankara to discuss the relations between the two countries which are now at the lowest level. Some circles claim that the United States was behind the failed coup and that the CIA was very well connected with some of the officers who tried to conduct the coup. President Erdogan is now trying to get closer to Russia and Iran and not to be connected only to NATO and the U.S. President Erdogan’s main criticism of the United States and Europe is that they did not support his administration. The United States administration sent a message of support “to the democracy in Turkey.” It is known that there are anti-American elements in Turkey in particular in left circles and the religious parties. Some of these circles are against Israel as well. However, it should be emphasized that Israel is not even mentioned at all in the context of the coup attempt. Fethullah Gülen has introduced his loyal people to the army and to the administration for many years. For 12 years, President Erdogan cooperated with Fethullah Gülen. However, the relation is now at odds and President Erdogan blames Mr. Gülen for supporting the failed coup. Fethullah Gülen encouraged his supporters to study in the military schools and supported them financially, and therefore, many of them reached high positions in the army. The army today is in a very bad shape and the officers suspect each other regarding the coup attempt that failed. It will take a long time before matters in the army will settle down. Fethullah Gülen financially supported many soldiers in the army and officers in the civil administration. During the years, Mr. Gülen and his supporters provided information about the Turkish army to the CIA. President Erdogan accused the United States for allowing Fethullah Gülen to stay there for many years. Note: an article appeared in Yediot Aharonot on Thursday July 28 written by Sadek Al Shasai regarding President Erdogan and the democracy titled Yes to Democracy no to Erdogan. The article can be read in English in the newspaper I mentioned above of July 28. The article addresses why the coup attempt failed and why the masses supported President Erdogan and were against the coup. The article emphasized that President Erdogan and his AKP party are now doing the utmost to clean the state’s institutions and administration from all opponents including the Islamists. The article concludes that President Erdogan measures are not supportive of the democracy but are designed to encourage the process of Mr. Erdogan being called “the Sultan.”