While everybody was watching the show called “a military coup in Turkey,” the country is facing a real riot. We mean the Turkish economy, which has proved to be a heel of Achilles for Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his regime.
Erdogan remains a very controversial figure in his country and the only reason he is still in power is that there is no real alternative to him. Russia also helped here - for instead of blaming Erdogan for the Su-24 incident, it blamed Turkey as a whole. As a result, the Turks are facing a number of external challenges and their fear is forcing them to stick to Erdogan.
Erdogan is happy about this but he will be able to play this game as long as his economy is working and his people are well-off. And it is exactly here that he may face a real riot.
Until recently, the economic growth in Turkey has been stably ahead of experts’ outlooks and global trends. But now that the Turkish economy is losing foreign investments, it is beginning to stall. When Russia was beating it, it suffered but survived. But now things are much worse.
Now Turkey is facing a strong internal force, Hizmet, a movement led by Fethullah Gulen, the one Erdogan has blamed for the coup, the one who calls for no violence and no coups, the one who advocates secular methods for a secular state (though being an Islamic preacher).
Hizmet is an all-embracing, strong, underground organization, having men in the prosecutor’s office and the judiciary and supporters in the government.
Today Erdogan has undertaken the final battle against Hizmet. In order to survive, the movement will have to defend itself and economic riot is the best weapon here.
All it will have to do for a “quiet revolution” is to use speculations and manipulations for deterring foreign investors from Turkey and causing social-economic instability.
Hizmet is not terrorists but a movement of pragmatics and intellectuals. Erdogan’s regime is trying to destroy them, but there are too many of them and not all of them are known. So, they will certainly react.
Very soon we will see an economic turbulence in Turkey: even though the political crisis is over, the Turkish economy will be deteriorating. And the first blow will be on foreign investments.
By urging the United States to extradite Gulen, Erdogan is trying to liquidate the symbol of Hizmet. But this will make Hizmet and Gulen even stronger in their belief that Erdogan’s regime must be ruined. The real riot is just starting and the army cannot help here.
Gayaz Validi, specially for EADaily