Turkey: Islamists, Army and the Nation

By Nick Danforth

The recent coup attempt in Turkey came as a complete surprise to most observers. But a decade ago, the only surprise would have been the fact that it didn’t succeed. After all, in the last 60 years Turkey has had four coups led by a military famously committed to secularism. When the Islamist Justice and Development Party, or AKP, was elected in 2002, another coup seemed all too likely.

Having survived, the AKP’s authority now appears unchallenged; President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is taking no risks as he purges the military of any potentially disloyal officers who remain. How did Erdogan and his party escape the fate of their predecessors?

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