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West & Central Asia

Exploiting Turkey’s failed coup

 

Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen is going on and on. But 16 months after a Saudi-led coalition started bombing rebels in the poor Arab country, none of the declared objectives of the war seem to have been met.

 
As peace and justice remain illusive in the world’s youngest nation riven by ethnic violence, the ‘temporary’ replacement of Riek Machar, as South Sudan’s Vice President, with Taban Deng Gai — who calls for end of the peace pact between Machar and the President — may escalate  the tension in the war-ravaged country
 
The West is a mute spectator of the latest developments in Turkey. It is now palpable that the West needs Turkey far more than Turkey needs the West.  
 

The recent attempt of a military coup has raised more questions than it has answered about the emerging complexities of Turkish politics. This development has sent a shock wave among all the international stakeholders in the region as it generated fear of further destabilisation of an already destabilised region.

 
Despite Western concerns, the absence of a professional Peshmerga and a relative unity among bellicose factions of the Kurds in Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey may eventually derail all the peace missions in the region as the Kurds are an indispensable partner in the long-held conflict against the ISIS. But then how long the Kurds will wait for their homeland?  
 

Completing the humiliation of the military coup plotters was the defiant language of President Erdogan who stated that the coup supporters, "will pay a heavy price for their treason to Turkey", and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim even suggested that the Constitution Council could even consider the reintroduction of the death penalty, after the coup din settles down. 

 

When Mr. Erdogan came to power in 2002, he worried about the power of the Turkish military. It had conducted hard coups in the past, and it had perhaps assassinated a President in 1993, and removed an Islamist coalition government in 1997. The AKP came from the Islamist tradition and was vulnerable before a military that had imbibed modern Turkish secularism. 

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four-nation African diplomatic safari from July 7 covered three different kinds of African neighbours across the Indian Ocean. Kenya and Tanzania are former British colonies, with a large Indian diaspora at the time of their freedom; Mozambique is a former Portuguese colony, like Goa; and South Africa the second biggest African economy and last bastion of apartheid freed only in the post-Cold War. It was also the laboratory of Mahatma Gandhi’s experiments with civil disobedience. But history can bind as indeed crucible of residual hurts, both of which linger in the region.

 
 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ongoing four nation tour to Africa — Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya — comes at a time when Africa is changing fast, with this change auguring well for India-Africa relations.

 
 


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