Army Ebbs, and Power Realigns in Turkey

[Excellent article on recent and historic developments in Turkey… thanx Asli] NY Times: ISTANBUL — The detention of top military officers in Turkey last week was nothing less than a quiet piece of history. The military, long considered untouchable in Turkey, was pushed from its political pedestal with startling finality. The moment, years in the making, was more whimper than bang. But it still raises an existential question for this NATO member: What sort of country will Turkey be? The question goes to the very heart of modern Turkey, a Muslim democracy whose military was a potent force in the country’s political life for most of its 86-year history. Its strictly secular ideology permeated all aspects of public life, including the education system, the judiciary and the bureaucracy. The military, long considered the ultimate guardian of that secularism, has overthrown elected governments to protect it. Not only has the military been politically defanged, but it has also proved unable or unwilling to fight back. Dozens of officers were detained last week, and several senior ones were arrested. Top military leaders met and managed to produce only a brief statement, never mind a coup.

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