This threat might be slightly more credible if the AKP hadn’t spent the last decade purging much of the military command while accusing it of vast conspiracies. It’s possible that the Islamists have managed to take control and intimidate enough of the former secular bastion that they can use them safely to suppress protesters… but I wouldn’t count on it.
Turkey’s government warned Monday it may deploy the military against protesters who continue to defy officials by taking to the street in what the interior minister called “illegal” demonstrations.
The warning is the first time the Islamist-rooted government has mentioned use of the military to restore public order. The military establishment traditionally has been seen as a bastion of secularism in Turkey and a foe of past Islamist political figures.
“First, if necessary we will deploy the police,” Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said on Monday. “If that’s not enough we will call on the (national guard). But if events still require further action, and the governor so wishes, we will resort to calling on the military to contain these protests.”
Pulling the military is the big endgame. If that doesn’t work, then your regime is done. And even Eurocrats are likely to take a step back from admitting a regime that used the military against protesters.
And if Erdogan does go for the military option, there is always the possibility that the military might take advantage of the situation to arrest him.
Five major unions representing public sector workers, doctors, engineers and architects have called their rank-and-file out on a one-day strike and march in city centers across Turkey
So Occupy Gezi held on long enough to bring out some of the Istanbul elite out into the streets. Now the game may actually be changing.