George Friedman, Geopolitical Forecaster and Strategist from Huffington Post write an article about the latest events in Turkey after the coup attempt.
Enough time has passed since the attempted coup to begin to take stock of the situation. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has clearly emerged from the coup in a stronger position than before. The coup, rather than fragmenting the country, has brought it a greater degree of unity, outside the Kurdish area, than has been seen before.
Erdoğan is restructuring Turkish institutions, from the military to schools to the media, in ways that will support whatever moves he chooses to make. His long-term intentions – the ends toward which he is restructuring Turkish institutions – are unclear. The restructuring, arrests and firings will make him enormously powerful, but the important question is what he intends to do with that power.
There are four significant powers in the region, each with the ability to defend themselves and project some degree of power. They are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel and Turkey. Of the four, only Turkey has the size, economic power and political influence to shape the region.
For over half a millennium, save for the period after World War I, Turkey has been the dominant regional power. Today, it has the largest economy and military in the region and, therefore, ought to have the greatest influence.
However, while its economy has grown dramatically since Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party took power, it has now slowed and must evolve. The army may be the largest in the Middle East, but much of its size comes from draftees on short-term duty who are effectively untrained. Its equipment has not evolved since the Cold War, and much of its military doctrine is still evolving. It is not clear that Turkey’s other institutions, like its foreign service or intelligence services, are in positions to support a great power. And both domestic and regional politics have limited Turkey’s options.
The coup permits Erdoğan to reshape Turkey’s institutions in a way that was not possible before the coup. Before the coup, Erdoğan faced substantial opposition. The coup gave him an opportunity to restructure the military, intelligence and other institutions to give Turkey more room to maneuver in the region. Failed coups, when they are thoroughly crushed and discredited, dramatically increase the power of their victims. Erdoğan appears to be ready to take advantage of that.
From this coup, the limitations that have kept Turkey from its full potential in the region will begin to disappear. At the moment, Turkey faces massive chaos to its south, a degree of instability in the Caucasus and emerging U.S.-Russian competition in the Black Sea. The region is fraught with instability and Turkey has not been able to stop it. The restructuring opens the door for Turkey to become much more assertive in the region.
Turkey now has three options. The first is to attempt to manage its interests by itself. The second, is to attempt to ally with Russia for joint management in the region. The third is to return to its prior alliance with the United States. / Read more at Huffinton Post.