Turkey and Amsterdam

17 07 2016

There is considerable social media discussion about the attempted coup in Turkey. Many ask why Turkish citizens protected an elected government in Turkey but that there was no such effort in Thailand in May 2014.

Obviously, there is much to be trawled over in the differences between Turkey and Thailand. There have been some comparative efforts and even attempts to apply a concept – Deep State – that has been used for analyzing Turkey.

In the comparative article, Duncan McCargo and Ayşe Zarakol speculate that recent years have seen “the rise of new societal groups based upon urbanized villagers has produced charismatic populist leaders who preach democracy, but practise electoralism. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Thaksin Shinawatra are locked in parallel confrontations with traditionally interventionist military/bureaucratic elites.”

We are not able to provide any sophisticated comparative discussion, but we did note one similarity. In a report at The Guardian, discussing allegations by Erdoğan about the involvement of exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen who leads global Hizmet movement from exile in Pennyslvania, we saw this mention of lawyer Robert Amsterdam:

As the coup attempt unfolded on Friday night, a lawyer for the Turkish government, Robert Amsterdam, said there were “indications of direct involvement” of the Gülenists, adding that he and his firm had “attempted repeatedly to warn the US government of the threat posed” by Gülen and his movement. Amsterdam cited Turkish intelligence sources in claiming that “there are signs that Gülen is working closely with certain members of military leadership against the elected civilian government”.


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