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Turkey Coup Fails - What's Next and What It Means for Israel

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Photo: wikicommons/Hamed Malekpour)

Late yesterday, Stand for Israel told you about the coup attempt then occurring in Turkey. A day later, the coup has failed, leaving hundreds dead, thousands arrested, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan still in power, and the country and region in a state of uncertainty. The Jerusalem Post's Yossi Melman looks at what this means - for Israel and for the world:

For years now, there has been disillusionment within the army and the secular public with Erdogan, the leader of the Islamist AKP party. As prime minister and elected president he instituted a dictatorship in the hopes of establishing himself as a 21st century sultan, while increasing the influence of religion in the public sphere. This is also the reason that Erdogan purged institutions in the state and instituted changes within them to strengthen his hold on power. He put his loyalists in key positions in Turkey's intelligence agency, police, justice system, education system and the army. He harassed the media, trying to take it over and marginalized business leaders who he saw as hostile to the throne.

It can be assumed that now, with the defeat of the coup attempt, he will immediately increase his efforts to strengthen his hold on power and oppress his opponents. His supporters are already accusing his arch rival Fethullah Gulen, a powerful cleric who lives in exile in the US, of organizing the rebellion. Gulen has denied involvement, but that will not stop Erdogan from  persecuting his supporters. In Turkey, conspiracy theories that Erdogan himself planned the coup in order to make himself stronger are even being voiced.

Despite the fact that the US and most members of NATO, to which Turkey belongs, condemned the coup and voiced support for Erdogan and the elected government, there is no doubt that there is increasing concern among them about instability in the country.

For months, Turkey has been subject to an onslaught of terror from Turkish Kurds (who Erdogan declared war on) and ISIS (who feel that he betrayed them after secretly aiding them for years). The war on terror hurts tourism and the economy and now the coup attempt is liable to throw one of the most important countries in the Middle East into a period of uncertainty and disquiet.

As for Israel, which just recently signed a reconciliation deal with Turkey, the failure of the coup will not affect relations between the countries and the status quo will continue.

However, it can be assumed that the Israeli government, the defense establishment and the intelligence community would not have shed a tear if the coup had succeeded, Erdogan was ousted and the army took power.

Tags: Middle East Unrest

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