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Prioritising regime loyalty will weaken Turkish army

Monday, August 7, 2017

Significance

This is the third and largest mass trial since the failed coup, and part of the largest legal process in Turkey’s modern history. Although the process aims to purge supporters of the so-called Fethullah Gulen Terror Organisation, it is also part and parcel of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s broader objective: to muzzle once and for all the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and exact complete and unconditional obedience from its senior officer class.

Impacts

  • Neighbours including Russia and Iran may seek to use divisions within the TSK to nudge foreign and defence policy closer to their interests.
  • The government may increasingly use large-scale defence procurement contracts to press Western partners to reduce support for Syrian Kurds.
  • The TSK will be a more pliable force working to advance Erdogan’s domestic and regional policy agenda with little opposition.
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