Sunday, July 17, 2016

Turkey For Remainder of 2016

As the weekend closes out....journalists now say 6,000 individuals (from judges, prosecutors, mayors, and military officers) are being arrested or detained.  It'll likely continue on for another week, and I'll take a guess top off at around 12,000 individuals arrested and jailed.

Some observations on the near-term:

1.  Every single military officer of a Captain's rank or above....even if not detained....will be brought up for some review board.  If you aren't really pro-Erdogan.....they may retain you but your future is limited and you might end up jailed later.  For this reason, I think a minimum of fifty percent of the officers in the military will be gone over the next six months.  Some will just retire....some will walk away and get family help to relocate to Germany.....some will just go back to some business job.  The leadership vacuum within the military will become apparent within a couple of months, and new pro-Erdogan officers will be finding themselves in a harsh new environment.

2. For young men who would be mandatory pushed into service at around age twenty....you probably will notice more and more young Turks around age 19 who disappear and emerge into Germany.  Enthusiasm for military service will become questionable as the months roll by and people observe the coup as a failure of the military.

3.  My humble bet is that somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 Turks show up in Germany over the next couple of months.  If you avoided the arrest over the weekend.....it really doesn't mean your worries are over.  The new pro-Erdogan guys will show as replacement folks, and your status in life might be questioned.  So expect relatives in Germany to be contacted and Turks just show up to get their welcome package as a new immigrant.

4.  Merkel and the German relationship?  This will be a curious thing.  All these judges and prosecutors arrested?  Maybe on trumped up charges.....will generate a hostile reaction from several German opposition groups (typically the Greens and SPD).  The EU and Turk talks over the immigrants, the EU visa deal?  It'll be hard for anyone to really take the talks serious at this point.  The three-billion Euro to stall immigrants for 2016 will continue the deal onto spring of 2017, but I have doubts that the EU will find fresh funding and continue the gimmick for 2017.

5.  The talk of a death sentence for those arrested?  If you were talking about a game-changer which forces the EU to really take a harsh view of Turkey and the leadership shown.....that would a big deal and probably trigger a number of Germans to halt their vacations into the country.  The Kurds would take advantage of this talk in Germany and hype the conditions in Turkey.

6.  The mere suggestion that maybe this was all staged and Erdogan knew?  For the next six months, I think this will come up every week and more indications will suggest that he had knowledge ahead of time and used the information for his maximum benefit.  Whichever military officers left running the military.....probably had some hand in feeding the information to him.....IF this were true.

7.    The suggestion of Erodgan being a being pusher for Islam?  I'm more likely to believe he's a crony-capitalist at heart and attached to special business interest.  He's simply using the Islam agenda item to focus people on something while he does all the connections for his crony buddies down the line.  Without the judges and prosecutors there to monitor all the moving parts.....he will get more done without worrying about the legal establishment.

8.  Finally, the vacation crowd.  If you were thinking about a vacation in Turkey.....as a German....would you still continue your planning?  It'll make people think about things, and react in the same way that they did for Egypt and Tunisia.  It won't appear for July, but as you get into October and November when numbers ought to be at certain point, and at least half of the planes are empty for the fall season of tourism......someone will ask why.  The only answer is the coup and the aftermath.

In the long run, Erdogan has strengthen his power and ensured domination now for the next decade.  But across Turkey....probably a quarter of the population really aren't enthusiastic about what is going to be "normal".  It'll just create more conversation about whether to stay or go.  At this point, if the EU were stupid enough to go forward with the friendly visa business.....most Turks would take the visas and leave Turkey on a permanent basis to stay in Europe.

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