Erdogan likely to act as even greater tyrant
Vengeful, irascible, authoritarian, obdurate. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was all of these things even before a cabal of Turkish generals tried to cast him into oblivion. Now that he has survived their machinations, his worst instincts will be redoubled and reinforced.If Obama goes along with this tyrant he will have plenty of blood on his hands. Erdogan's reaction is probably why some believe he may have been behind the coup, to begin with.
If Mr Erdogan was a maddening ally for Europe and America in the past, the leader who has just overcome a military coup will be capable of almost anything.
In one sense, Mr Erdogan has been vindicated. Before the turmoil began on Friday night, one criticism that he found most infuriating was the charge of paranoia.
Westerners would deride Mr Erdogan’s claims that dark forces were massing to overthrow him and a conspiracy existed within the Turkish state, plotting his downfall.
Then came one of the most surreal 24 hours in Turkey’s modern history. Military units really did fan out across Istanbul and Ankara, seizing key positions under cover of darkness.
The grim business of vengeance began on Saturday with the arrest of 1,563 soldiers. When he arrived in Istanbul in the early hours of the morning, Mr Erdogan, grave and ashen-faced, warned that his foes would “pay a heavy price” for their “treason and rebellion”.
The deputy leader of his AK party demanded the return of the death penalty so that putschists could be “executed”. Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister promised to rid the government of all enemies. “Even if they went into the tiniest veins of the state, they will be purged,” he declared.