Sunday, July 17, 2016

Turkey After 24 Hours

As of this morning....news reports indicate the coup is finished....failed.  They also report that roughly 2,500 to 3,000 judges, prosecutors and government officers have been arrested.  I would imagine over the next couple of days.....another thousand or more will also be detained.  All will be replaced by pro-Erdogan people.

On the common-sense level.....the coup was attempted by some marginally competent people and it benefited Erdogan in a great way.

If you run a good coup....there are three pieces of successful planning involved.

1.  You shut down all media and internet for at least 48 hours.  No news stations, no radio, no television, and no social media.  Use of smart-phones and Facebook can continue to carry the President's message if allowed to operate.

2.  You capture, arrest, or detain the President and the top five or six people around him.  Egypt did that quickly in their coup, and it is an essential part of the coup planning process.

3.  You need the general support of the public....say at least fifty to sixty percent, preferably three-quarters of the public ought to be in favor of a change.  If half of the public is pro-president, you've got problems.

In Turkey's case, throughout their military training for officers.....there is emphasis on a historical piece of Turkey's history.....that the military is the sole protector of democracy in Turkey.  If things unravel, it is up to the military to stage a crisis (a coup) and reset the government.  They've done this on several occasions.

Here in the midst of this EU discussion....this coup brings up several issues.  The EU application business?  If I were the EU.....I might question a bunch of things that occurred and stall this for a while.  The visa business for Turks to come easily into EU countries, I'd have questions.  So this probably didn't help Erdogan very much with the EU.

Vacation-wise, there were probably over 250,000 Germans who had vacations planned out for July and August.  Most tour agencies were talking yesterday of allowing reservations to be cancelled, if requested.  Some of the smaller tour agencies won't offer this and serious questions will be asked to the German government over the safety in Turkey now.  Long term, the coup hurts tourism....which the Turks over the past decade have built into a major money-maker.  Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco already have suffered some tourism losses.....I would imagine that for the remaining six months of 2016......they will see at least twenty-percent of a loss on tourism.

Finally, we come to this one odd piece of the failed coup.  There are probably five to ten thousand Turks who probably don't feel safe, and will immediately try to leave Turkey.....my guess....for Germany.  You may very well see fifty thousand Turks by the end of 2016.....appearing in Germany because of the safety issue.

Whoever these coup planners were.....on a scale of one to ten for competent planning.....I'd give them nothing better than a "2".  If anything, they made things worse.

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