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Reasons why Turkish ‘deep state’ should be dismantled

It is necessary to support Erdogan’s pursuit to dissolve Turkey’s deep state, not out of love for him - but for the strength of Turkey

Jamal Khashoggi

Published: Updated:

The free world must support President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he implements his decision to dissolve Turkey’s “deep state” in order to restore peace and democracy in his country.

His actions will make Turkey a successful model in our distressed Muslim world, since democracy cannot survive in a deep state or a secret organization - neither respect its rules, and both are willing to overturn it. Coups are not the answer.

After the failed coup attempt, Erdogan gained great domestic popularity along with the support of his party and other democratic civil movements, making it the right time for him to prove himself. Even his rivals condemned the coup attempt, and warned against the violation of innocents’ human rights.

The large number of citizens being held for investigation and laid off from their jobs should not be taken lightly, but neither should the events of July 15. The dangerous coup attempt against the Turkish people was deadly, during which coup leaders claimed they were only protecting and defending democracy!

However, while the frightened news anchor read their statement on public TV, military jets struck parliament, police headquarters and the intelligence without taking into account the lives of innocent citizens. Tanks even drove over bodies, and militants fired directly at them. It was then that the bad intentions of the deep state were revealed.

The coup plotters did not tolerate the democratic reforms that the elected government had undertaken during the last decade, especially the ones that gave Turkey back its Islamic identity. The plotters, just like a suicide bomber, killed everyone in their way, making this coup attempt the ugliest in Turkey’s history.

Historical context

After the fall of the Ottoman empire, a new republic was born in Turkey. Kemal Ataturk, the national hero who founded the modern republic, forced a new identity on Turkey, hanging anyone who opposed his agenda. At the time, the liberal elites of Istanbul welcomed his decisions. That was the first step taken to creating fake liberalism, the repercussions of which Turkey still suffers.

It is necessary to support Erdogan’s pursuit to dissolve Turkey’s deep state, not out of love for him - but for the strength of Turkey

Jamal Khashoggi

After the end of Ataturk’s dictatorship, the liberal elites who participated in the founding of the republic allowed the creation of a democratic regime, assuming that the people would always choose them. However, after 10 years of losing elections, the elites turned against the system and formed a new false democracy with empty institutions to control the country and its people.

That gave birth to the deep state composed of the military, judiciary, businessmen, intellectuals, university professors and media figures, all promoted for their loyalty. The deep state was very powerful and ruthless, but this time the people took action and strongly rejected the coup attempt.

Similar deep states exist in Arab republics such as Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Yemen, all of which were ruled or colonized by the Ottoman empire or European countries.
It was inevitable that such corrupt systems would be challenged, and this is what happened with the Arab Spring. However, these deep states were able to resist and maintain power and control. This led to civil wars, coups, increased arrests, an economic crisis and loss of hope.

It is thus necessary to support Erdogan’s pursuit to dissolve Turkey’s deep state, not out of love for him - after all, he is just an elected president - but for the strength of Turkey, and to not allow a repeat of what happened on July 15.

If the coup had succeeded, Turkey would have experienced chaos, weakness and disintegration. No smart Saudi would want

This article first appeared in Al-Hayat on July 23, 2016.

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Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi journalist, columnist, author, and general manager of the upcoming Al Arab News Channel. He previously served as a media aide to Prince Turki al Faisal while he was Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States. Khashoggi has written for various daily and weekly Arab newspapers, including Asharq al-Awsat, al-Majalla and al-Hayat, and was editor-in-chief of the Saudi-based al-Watan. He was a foreign correspondent in Afghanistan, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan, and other Middle Eastern countries. He is also a political commentator for Saudi-based and international news channels. Twitter: @JKhashoggi

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.