Some experts and politicians in Turkey and abroad argue that the United States may be behind the coup in Turkey, or at least Washington could be interested in overthrowing Erdogan. Is this the case? On whose side is the sympathy of Americans? We asked this question to Theodore Karasik, Senior Advisor to Gulf State Analytics in Washington DC.
How both political and expert circles in the US reacted to the events in Turkey? On whose side were the sympathies?
US government reaction to the coup attempt in Turkey was measured once a clear understanding of what was happening on the ground. Although the US is unhappy with Erdogan on several issues such as Syria, ISIS, and the Kurds, there are political and expert circles that held their breathe to see how the coup attempt would play out. Very few experts expected a coup attempt given Erdogan’s coup-proofing against such coups. The Turkish counterintelligence failure within their own armed forces is now clear. To be sure Erdogan the Sultan will come down extremely hard on the Turkish military.
US analysts are taking into stock recent events such as the Turkish Israeli rapprochement and Erdogan’s reaching out to Russia. But the coup attempt is going to force US analysts to determine whether Erdogan can hold his house together moving forward and the impact of the coup attempt on Turkish military operations.
To be sure, American analysts will be taking stock of Erdogan’s next moves in terms of balancing his authoritarian methods with the ongoing aftermath. Erdogan and his allies will purge institutions across the Turkish system including the judiciary. This fact is going to challenge American analysts between the requirements of democracy vs a robust internal crackdown.