What chal­lenges from Turkey?

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

Coups! I thought the word had been ex­punged from the dic­tio­nary. No­body born in Naija in the last two decades knows what the word means. And to think that we once wrote the global coup man­ual and coached it across the West Coast, the word ought to have been delisted from the global po­lit­i­cal lex­i­con. Imag­ine a word ex­punged from the lingo find­ing rel­e­vance right near the aorta of Europe? That is stretch­ing anath­ema well beyond its elas­tic­ity.

Last week, there was a coup at­tempt in Istanbul where you are un­likely to see a bull act­ing as a sym­bol of power shift. Istanbul is the cap­i­tal of Turkey and please stop sali­vat­ing, be­cause it has ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with the winged crea­tures that graces your Christ­mas ta­bles.

So, the army struck (love that phrase), rolling out tanks, and march­ing against Turkey’s rul­ing AKP party with their AK 47 and or­der­ing ev­ery bloody civil­ian to stay in­doors and wait fur­ther or­ders. Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan lost con­trol for 12 hours. Peep­ing from un­der his wife, Emine’s abaya, this man who promised to wipe out Twit­ter ac­tu­ally used so­cial me­dia to mo­bi­lize his peo­ple against the coup. They heeded his ap­peal, troop­ing unto the streets to lie in front of tanks and dis­arm­ing the putchists. As we write, the Sul­tan is back in the 1,150 roomed $615 mil­lion Ak Saray (the White Palace) from where he is di­rect­ing a purge never seen since Ka­mal Ataturk cre­ated an em­pire. In this clam­p­down, only Er­do­gan and Emine are ruled out as sus­pects.

In nor­mal climes, Er­do­gan brooks no op­po­si­tion. In two years, about 2,000 peo­ple, rang­ing from stu­dents to ac­tivists have been pros­e­cuted for in­sult­ing the pres­i­dent. This must be cheer­ing news to the con­science of Isa Yuguda and Sule Lamido. Prominent among Er­do­gan’s vic­tims are a 16-year old stu­dent and Miss Turkey 2006, Merve Buyuk­sarac. Both were ar­rested, the boy known only by his ini­tials was re­leased but Merve is serv­ing a 15-month sus­pended sen­tence. It won’t be out of or­der if she ends up in jail guilty of se­cretly be­ing happy at the coup - even with­out ev­i­dence!

To those of you who daily call Naija a zoo and your pres­i­dent a cow count your teeth with the top of your tongue and thank your stars. This writer will avoid Istanbul air­port like Ebola af­ter this, in case the Turk­ish am­bas­sador is read­ing. A Ger­man satirist is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated in his own coun­try for crit­i­ciz­ing Er­do­gan - the Sul­tan is al­ways right!

Be­fore some of you snig­ger at Er­do­gan for hid­ing just re­mem­ber that every­one hopes to make heaven, but very few want to die. Baba na Dutse, the mav­er­ick IBB re­lo­cated Naija’s cap­i­tal to Abuja from Do­dan Bar­racks af­ter an en­counter with a guy named Gideon Orkar. On Septem­ber 11, Ge­orge W Bush was miss­ing in ac­tion for sev­eral hours while Amer­ica was un­der at­tack. Sad­dam Hus­sein promised the grand­mother of all bat­tles but when Bush and Blair’s coali­tion of the co­erced, the threat­ened and the ca­joled fi­nally rode through Bagh­dad he van­ished only to reap­pear in a rat hole. By the time he was fished out, he had de­vel­oped mo­men­tary am­ne­sia for­get­ting who he was. What shall we say of Muam­mar Gad­hafi who wore an air of in­vin­ci­bil­ity only to be smoked out of a cul­vert? Give Diepr­eye Alamieye­seigha his de­served rest.

To quote a home worn cliché, Er­do­gan is back in gov­ern­ment and power, but the big ques­tion is who is safe in Turkey? His plane had hardly touched down when he de­clared a noted cleric now in ex­ile in Amer­ica guilty with­out in­ves­ti­ga­tion or trial. As I write, over 2,000 Turks, rang­ing from ac­tivists to cler­ics have been ar­rested and the drag­net is widen­ing. Truth is, Turkey is now and for a long time to come a huge prison yard in which ev­ery­body is guilty un­til the Pres­i­dent clears them. The Sul­tan fi­nally has a good rea­son to bark, bite and to in­ject poi­son.

While wish­ing Er­do­gan happy sur­vival, global lead­ers have warned him not to to­tally an­ni­hi­late ev­ery form of op­po­si­tion. It is a warn­ing ev­i­dently bound to fall on deaf ears.

Apart from it be­ing un­fash­ion­able to have a sol­dier sit­ting be­hind your coun­try’s flag in 2016, why did Turks risk

Apart from it be­ing un­fash­ion­able to have a sol­dier sit­ting be­hind your coun­try’s flag in 2016, why did Turks risk their lives and limbs to pro­tect the man­date of a civil­ian dic­ta­tor? Well, even Myan­mar’s generals are toy­ing with the bal­lot box!

their lives and limbs to pro­tect the man­date of a civil­ian dic­ta­tor? Well, even Myan­mar’s generals are toy­ing with the bal­lot box! Er­do­gan is the dic­ta­tor with the Mi­das touch. He in­her­ited a co­matose econ­omy with un­em­ploy­ment stand­ing at 10 per cent. In two years, he has turned things around grow­ing the econ­omy by al­most five per­cent. Turkey is now a man­u­fac­tur­ing and ex­port hub ex­port­ing its prod­ucts across the globe. That means job cre­ation, sta­bil­ity, food on the ta­ble and hap­pi­ness all around. A fed cit­i­zenry is the best guar­an­tee for se­cu­rity. So, be­fore read­ing Sai Baba’s con­dem­na­tory mes­sage on this one, where do we stand with an econ­omy-gone cold Turkey? Lai claims his party has a blueprint, but only him and his party men know what it is - Naija peo­ple want to be sold on it. Noth­ing else sat­is­fies!

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