Turkey redefines armed forces' duties

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posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 12:57 PM
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It appears the events in Egypt have not gone unnoticed by any stretch, around the region. This isn't entirely in response to what happened in Cairo, but the story does reference that as one of the concerns involved. It's an interesting shift to make at this moment in time and full of meaning, I'd say.


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's parliament has amended an internal armed forces' regulation long relied on by the country's once-powerful generals as grounds for intervening in politics, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported Saturday, in a move that further strips the military of its political influence.

The military has wielded huge political power in the country, overthrowing four governments between 1960 and 1997 and issuing a warning against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted government as recently as 2007.


Apparently, Turkey is not without it's own experience with the Military playing more than a national defense role. It really is important, in my view, that military forces be strictly for external defense unless open war is occurring within the nation itself. They would seem to agree.


Erdogan's party proposed the amendment to strip the military of any legal basis for intervention in domestic affairs following a spate of anti-government protests in June, which the prime minister has blamed on a conspiracy against his democratically-elected government. The protesters were airing discontent with what opponents have said is Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian style of governing and moves to impose his conservative and religious views on society.

The vote also comes at a time when Turkey has spoken out against the Egyptian military's overthrow of the country's Islamist leader, Mohammed Morsi, with whom Erdogan had formed an alliance.
Source

So do we have anyone in Turkey to shed some local light on meaning and reaction from the Turkish perspective? Do people there see this as a good thing in protection of freedom or a bad thing in removing the last fall back these days to a wild elected Government?




posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 03:22 PM
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Modern Turkey was born in a military coup, and its constitution was drafted so as to let ultimate power lie with the military. But the founders of the state were also great admirers of all things modern and Western, which gave liberal and democratic ideas soil in which to grow. Islam was not such an important political force in Turkey at that time; the Ottoman Empire, which had been Islamic in character, and no-one wanted to see it return in any shape or form.

So the tension in Turkey has not traditionally been between secularists and the religious but between liberalism and military authoritarianism. For a time there was a tug-of-war between them for control of Turkey. Over time, the liberals grew more powerful, and ultimately were able to corral the military sufficiently to have a real, lasting democratic process. By then times had changed, however, and Islam was resurgent. An Islamic party – the incumbent one – reaped the fruits of democracy's victory. Since they are no more keen on seeing the military sieze power than the liberals are, they're bringing in legislation to reduce further its power. In a rational world, the liberals ought to support them, but the world is not rational, so who knows? Doubtless some Turkish member will be along soon to enlighten us.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 08:45 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I appreciate the reply. It sounds like it's a positive development then and a good move for Turkey. It's hard to know in the region. What's a good thing in one nation can be a terminally bad thing in another, it seems.





 
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