Civil war, coup, World War III - MERVE ŞEBNEM ORUÇ

Civil war, coup, World War III

The turbulences in our region have naturally affected Turkey, too. When the Arab Spring, which turned into a proxy war as a result of the revolution it faced in Syria, triggered first a regional then a global conflict atmosphere, Turkey was greatly affected by this force. Ever since 2011, Ankara has been calling on to Bashar Assad's regime to make reforms, both in terms of national security and its regional risks. In this context, state and government officials made visits to Damascus in efforts to convince the regime to make reforms. When these calls failed to yield results and the Assad regime continued to kill the civilians who were not yet armed, Ankara activated embargoes targeting the Damascus administration. It was all these efforts that Turkey, which joined the Syria's Friends group founded under the patronage of the U.S. and was comprised of 114 countries, along with other countries, started to see Syrian opposition forces as Syria's sole legitimate representative.

Today, there is nothing left of the Syria's Friends group. Although countries like Turkey, Qatar and France show stability in terms of keeping their promise, those like the U.S. who are actually the ones to lead this initiative, have been frequently changing policies since 2012, playing a major role in the dirty war reaching its fifth year, explainable by inconsistency or hidden agendas. It is interesting that the Gülenists, a group among those who have the audacity to accuse Ankara of a blind “anti-Assad” stance and of “supporting [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] ISIL,” even mentioned NATO's intervention during the period when Turkey struggled to put out the fire in Syria through dialogue. The “enmity toward Persians” which they refrain from mentioning today due to the nuclear deal signed between Iran and P5+1 countries, was almost a common trait of them all back then. The opposition and many among the Arab media who have been following the Arab Spring since the very beginning, are saying that Gülenists' attitude toward them changed within a day: “Those who would call numerous times in a single day suddenly stopped even answering their phones.” There is no doubt that this change is linked to the change in the U.S.'s Syria policy.

Another group with which Gülenists are currently allied over Turkey's foreign policy and an unruly anti-Erdoğan stance, have been siding with the Assad regime from the very beginning. This group, in addition to supporting a regime that has caused the death of hundreds of thousands while forcing millions to become refugees, became allies with Iran and the Gülenists who they call “the Imam's army.” When the PKK joined this strange alliance with enough enmity toward the Kurds to oppose the reconciliation process, we were faced with this interesting axis of evil. This axis contradicted itself by accusing Ankara many times of both engineering the policies that have brought the Middle East into its current chaotic state and of being a lonely, weak and sick administration that is too big for its boots. There were also those among them who, beyond making accusations, attacked to sabotage state policies and for this sake make the country's elected president and government lose legitimacy or its capacity to run the country. It is certain that this multilayered, multivariate, multipartner front emerged against the result that the Syria matter is going to be a new determinant of the Middle East order, that this is going to be linked to the new Turkey claim and the two are going to feed one another. While some of those fighting against the “new” Turkey at the Turkey leg of the “old” and “new” battle want Turkey to be an orderly that does whatever the NATO pact asks, and the others want it to stand with the East Bloc against the Western alliance, the thing that brings these two together today is that the order they want to side with is completely under threat. Hence, in a region where revolutions and public revolts are confused with counter-revolutions and terrorist acts, civilians are confused with opposition fighters, opposition with terrorists, journalists with spies, in brief, in a region where a post-modern asymmetrical war is waged, efforts are being made for a similar scenario to be played out in Turkey. This alliance which has been attacking the people's will in elections for the last three years, is using threats such as “civil war” and “coup” increasingly frequently with the contribution of escalating terrorist attacks as a result of its failure to succeed. When “World War III” is also mentioned by the elites of politics as the global version of these threats, it no longer surprises anybody.

As long as this war between the “new” and “old” continues, it may not be easy to reach the peace we have been seeking. However, for Turkey whose economy is still standing strong despite all the global uncertainty surrounding it, the power of its national army – that remains unaffected by the ethnic and sectarian conflicts that are instigated – increasing with the contribution of the start of producing its own technology, I don't think a civil war threat like the one we see in the Middle East is realistic. It is clear that the aim of the increased “civil war” discourse is to create pressure on the state, nation and particularly the military that will end with a “coup.” However, this threat, regardless of how close to the truth it may seem for a country with a history filled with coups, it is very unlikely. Had the Gülen organization, which is working as the new Gladio, found the opportunity to gain power within the military, we would have long seen this by now. A few days before the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 coup attempts, Fethulllah Gülen was forced to send an open message to soldiers saying, “It breaks my heart to see grown men being called to account there. If I had the chance, I would tell them they are all free.” However, the victims of the ambush, even though they are upset with the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), can see that the Gülenists are behind this and that it wouldn't have happened unless an order was received from certain points in the West and that cases such as Balyoz (Sledgehammer) are associated with the situation today. On the other hand, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is no longer a military that carries out coups with NATO orders like in the past; it hold the interests of the Republic of Turkey above all else despite all the pressure. In relation to this, although there are so many in favor of it, the likelihood of a coup is also weak.

So will the world witness a World War III? The world, with its globalizing economy, has tied all countries to one another with iron cables, such that if a butterfly flutters in one, the other is affected and this intricate structure makes it difficult for one to directly attack the other. This is why today we see so many proxy wars or witness terrorist organizations like ISIL being used as excuses. As the nuclear weapons in the possession of countries such as Pakistan, China and North Korea can result in more terrifying results than those in the past, starting a world war makes it difficult to dare to take on the destruction that may result. Those who are responsible for the current state of the world through civil wars and intensifying conflicts, escalating terrorism and more than 60 million refugees, have also lost control and cannot foresee the future. The world, may not witness a world war as commonly known, for now, but we have long entered a period of war carried out with brand new anomalous war strategies in the postmodern era.

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