Zeyno Baran: new treason threat to Turkey

More on the situation in Turkey: Zeyno Baran of the “Hudson Institute” has an article in the current edition of Newsweek alleging that there is a 50% chance of the Turkish military staging a coup in 2007. Baran claims that she has spoken with senior Turkish military officers recently, who claim that “while they would not want to see an interruption in democracy, the military may soon have to step in to protect secularism, without which there cannot be democracy in a majority Muslim country”.

The reason the generals are reluctant to stage another coup is apparently that the European Union, under whose pressure Turkey has recently passed a number of human rights laws that the military did not much like, is not happy with the idea of admitting a country which has military coups. After all, the union (and the European Economic Community before it) has not had a single coup in a member state since it was set up. It is a democratic institution, run by elected parliamentarians and representatives of elected governments. How would it deal with appointees of a general sitting on its committees?

Baran predicts that a coup, rather than leading to a military dictatorship, would “simply mean the end of Turkey’s current ‘Islamist experiment’ and a return to a more conservative government—stalwartly secular, yes, but a democracy nonetheless”. The fact is that a country which is held to ransom by its army is not a democracy - democracy means government of the people, by and for the people, not people entrusted by them to defend them. This means that if the people choose a religious law rather than an imported secular one, that’s what they get. If the people (or their representatives) decide to educate religious women rather than turning them away at the school or college gates (which, so far, they actually have not), that’s what happens.

The use, by people entrusted with weapons to defend the people, of those weapons in an attack on the people’s representatives, and thus the people, is not democracy. It’s treason. Something Zeyno Baran, and her fellow cheerleaders for the treacherous generals, don’t take into account is that the people in Turkey might not put up with being held to ransom by these brass-hatted thugs for much longer.

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