tv 2016 Coup Attempt in Turkey Panel 1 CSPAN July 10, 2017 2:04pm-2:47pm EDT
we were successful in the tanker war, we were successful on beirut, we were successful in political military campaigns in 2011 in iraq. so our own success with iran is mixed. this will be the key geopolitical issue that we will have with turkey. it will be affected by domestic results and domestic situations in turkey to the extent it gets worse, more turmoil. it will be affected by the glenn situation and by the ytd question but the big issue once isis is done is what do we do in iraq and syria with the iranian threat and the total disorganization of that region, thank you. i'll leave you to fix that mess, okay? >> i will have a question after the panel but most people, ordinary people somehow believe that the us has some moment behind or some actors within the us, at some key moment in july15 .
so what should the us have done differently in order to overcome this amount of turkish republic, what could there be now to be the ambassadors. >> there is a belief in turkey which has a very realpolitik, great power worldview. from what i experienced there and my worldview is not all that different but it particularly sees that great powers don't like competition. turkey is competition so therefore ever since woodrow wilson advocated an independent turkestan. >> i've never heard an american other than those of us who served in turkey who knows that fact and i've never heard a jerk doesn't know that fact so that is, there's this general feeling of suspicion that the united states is always trying to quit turkey's wings to deny
turkey its rightful place in the sun. >> turkey isn't the only country that thinks this way. jen famously believes the greatest disaster of the 20th century was the crisis of the soviet union and even the germans who in many respects have learned from 1930 to 1945, often feel that their historic and national role is being inhibited by the united states, which is a normal feeling and thus you have to try doubly hard to react to it. again, through no deliberate fault, the obama administration was a few hours pro and a few adjectives shy of an immediate response. immediate responses are important in developed diplomacy. putin got more right than we did and that's embarrassing. so i think that we're just
going to have to live with that. it just deepens the suspicion that was there long before this administration and long before president erdogan. >> second speaker is motion did a, she will try to get into the background of the administration in turkey before the july coup. tell us the nature of your discussions with regard to turkey in that area. >> okay, thank you very much. first of all i'd like to express my special thanks to those for making me part of this important event today. of course, officially after july, many particles in the important media circles as well as academics.wondering about what would be the main cause of turkish foreign-policy to conduct it
in the aftermath of july 15. of course, this was seen as a domestic disaster, of course it had enormous effects in determination of the main contours of turkish politics but this was only one main factor that determines the outcome. we need to look at the geopolitical conditions and the shift that has realized both in the region. and the area around turkey as well as the polarization that we are witnessing. and the last few years at least. and in this regard, we know that so many areas, especially regarding to our party's conduct of foreign policy as having these two areas onward and it was the widest institute in two. generally like the first
series was 2002. and roughly 2013 and this was the. that was mostly labeled or described as the foreign-policy was the conduct and it was right under the base meeting islamic rallies, and also an attack on erdogan and it was circumspect load of action in opera on foreign-policy has both problems in the region as well as beyond. >> on the second. for the second place conduct of foreign policy, it was also matched with the change of things that had efforts both in turkey as well as in the region and beyond. and in the region, it was just justified right after
the level of springs and so the concert revolutions that led this revolution returned from sprinting for the winter and this was the main memorial that went off to the region where we have seen all these civil wars and frustration that came out of this event. and especially in the mena region. but it's the same time, we have seen that a new policy about which in opera and this is the changing lament in domestic governor and this time, it was brought forth this was judged by the kurdish again as this time that turkey had to turn back its previous root meaning these policies are more cautious and less ideological. >> so as i again i get to this, we have seen that the
kurdish one is coming up, especially one in turkey and also a period of a moment of isolation. normalized information in syria and together with israel. and around this issue of also fortify this with turkey, and ukraine in the operation, as you previous judge had come to employment, again, we have seen that turkey has been somehow achieved of having a another reaction towards the putin in russia. and so all these of areas that came out was mostly around two points, one factor was bringing down the conduct of world policy towards this system. meaning previously towards
the double order and this time this was president erdogan. and also, that was associated withidentity-based activation , the parties mainstream of muslim identity and my personal one, these are not sustainable right answers because what we have weakness, this all also holds true for the coup attempt and it holds true for the latest coup, what happens and how to the conduct of turkish forces to team up had two main factors, one was the shift and change in geopolitics around turkey as well as in a global wise and it was the end of the cold war period and turkey had left back
after cold war years capacity and it was an overlay that gave brief to the regional powers to be active. this circumstance ended till the end of the end spring and this out turkey has pulled back the power basically into less of a constructionist approach into its world policy but all these have become ineffective and where we build our borders especially in the middle east. the civil war, the terrorist attacks, turkey was bordering more than 900 kilometers in iraq and syria and all of this has become somehow become a threat emanating from this region, the terrorist strikes and also she has to deal with terrorist attacks inside by
pkk and we have to be in hearing in the cities in the south being somehow hit by the records by ãfor isis and this was a situation and in the midst of this all, this complex situation that turkey was dealing, trying to manage the crisis riddle regions. we have experienced that july 15 of course and since then, we have internationally sealed that and it has already started actually from july 16. that turkey is due to the change that explains here both domestic lies and a regional and global wise, tried to adopt and reset the many contours of his foreign-policy and the division that i have, she has this in the stand defined to
apply it there. >> which means if turkey was there, somehow its border security first of all, that was the main thing. and insideand outside , she was trying to do a lot as our turkish president erdogan has said, a new purity part of the victims that was put forward and that was preventative security for our victim whereas turkey was not there so wait until the threats or until that has come to our borders the cause we react before or after whether it is right. and this calls to both domestic rights as well as outside of our borders. so turkey is best as the de facto relative say so. in the region. and it is not an expansion as they somehow question after
you take shield operations and it's becoming a part of the operation that was supposed to work against emotional in iraq. it was there to defend itself which is their moderate way of acting and also covert actions, that means she was there to be in the alliance from now on. and of course she was not denying the powerful attempt because we have a list of examples that we can get up area for instance the refugees that they hosted. >> in the six years of civil war in syria and other donors, those that have been
made by turkey who do all this thinking in needles and of course turkey has tried to have its hand in this so-called politics especially after july, they have been a national morning session which improves them in educational wise, they were trying to do and that is how this education union came forth and we have to also brings up other examples, but what i'm saying is that she is trying to also visit us twice. >> also it's nice to be effective as long as it stands. an education wise, it brought back, and how many minutes do i have? >> i will stop here and let this follow up, thank you very much. >> professor, a short
question. great studies usually aren't made on major rules of domestic policies. >> so do you think the july to attempt had a strong or international role in turkey's change of government strategy, especially with regard to the situation with russia or is it just ran and just accelerated the process. >> actually, if you depends on our allies. >> as well. turkey as living in a geopolitical situation, neighboring the foreign country, not just a problem maybe of yesterday but also of russia. as a week with you man, generally as well as this real power regarding the situation of turkey having dependence on importing energy, mostly from russia,
it's a factor and the great involvement of relations between the two. and in turkey, as seen, there is no change in this matter of western orientation at all. so that's there too but the july 16 two has sometimes involved a little uneasiness, especially on the half of turkish people because they were expecting the last as an ambassador as mentioned to act very quickly and to make that position that that is fighting the turkish demands for democracy as they approve it how they stop the coup by moving their life for laundering themselves but as i said, there is not much change in terms of the main concerns of foreign policy but you need to reset your self in turkey, being in the
troubled region. you need to balance your relations all the time but this policy has neighboring countries, the big and small ones are acting so there's no need for divers really in education with this situation. this is the way i will legislate. >> so richard is an extraordinary in defense policies. so we usually don't see what's going on in turkey when we are with the war on the environment so how does this look from the washington dc and in comparison to maybe other states? what is the direction of this going forward? >> first off i'd like to say there are no other cases to which thiscan be compared .
so let's get that part off the table. it is generic for sure and let me also start by saying thank you for arranging this very, very important events on the one-year anniversary of what is really a monumentally important event not just for turkey but for the friends of turkey and i think we all fall into that category here.i was new into my job at the department of state and i should point out i had an apartment estate permission to be here. but i'm not speaking for the apartment, i'm speaking for myself as someone who's studied turkish politics and the bilateral relationship for about 28 years. i am both a military member, colonel of the u.s. army but also a military advisor at the department of state and policy planning office which means i have some ability to see both the state and defense perspective on what happened. >> it was a case that i had
just started this job when this happened on, i actually came up on the 15th. >> of course, the coup attempts to place and one thing i would come to feel on this relationship between turkey and the us is there's a lot of what amounts to being a marriage counselor, is to develop empathy for one another on both sides and we do that when we explain turkey and the unitedstates but we have to explain a little about about the american system . and in this case i think maybe a little bit more so even than the ambassador, i understand why we were slow to respond to that, because the event that happened on 15 july, to understand that, to an american, very few of us gave mentioned to international relations on a continuous basis as a country, that's true and even those of us that do we don't just follow one country, we follow a region. i do much in the middle east
and other countries, i do spend a lot of time thinking about turkey but even those of us who know about turkey a little bit had a hard time following all the dynamics that led up to it. >> requires first of all understand the struggle between the akp and its former allies in the gulen movement and how that played out in the judiciary and business and military and other places. requires that you understand the fractional struggle that people within the turkish military and other securities forces over four years. >> requires that you understand a little bit about the dynamics of the syrian war and how that affected both governments of the united states and syria and how bad and how tense the relations got between the two by the time that we were in last summer's atmosphere. and it requires an understanding of the opaque languages in this was been described as earlier a mafia like cold, of the gulen movement so let me say this, for americans who have had
some experience with the gulen movement and there are many because they had active outreach and for all i know still do, they had trips that they sponsor for people to travel. and for many years they did supportive work for what turkish diplomacy at large was trying to do by introducing people in the turkish culture and folklore and things like this. this is a benign base of that organization. if you believe that it's a multilevel organization that has a social component, business component and it get up into the smaller components that maybe even everybody in the organization doesn't know about, which is where i follow this issue, i think there's people that are part of the organization that did not know what was going on in the security portions of it for military intelligence and judiciary. so even people who have followed this struggle between the gulen movement or the turkish government and before the turkish government is a military, then how much harder is it for americans who don't follow this but understand that especially when the a state scene of
that organization is a fairly benign one? you had had to understand all those things to have reacted in time and i'll be the first to admit that in the month before the transcendent attempt there were some newspaper articles starting to come out where people in the us were saying there are turkish military is unhappy, there's going to be a coup. i was one of those who said it's impossible and i'll stick by that. cons explanation that this was not necessarily a military coup, this was a civilian coup played out within the military because frankly, i did not think it was possible that the military in the pop down unitary way that the military coup's happened before, that would not happen because civilian control of the military had been strengthened much in the preceding decade so as someone who follows turkey a lot like me was unable to predict something like this, you have to give us benefit of the doubt that the shock
factor within the united states government and the public and the b wildermuth factor were very high. i'm going to generalize here and say that in the ensuing years since the coup, there's still a lack of detailed understanding. most of the sources and we talked about the documents from the parliamentary commission thatlooked at this , a lot of the research and journalism that's been done on getting believe what happened, most of it is in turkish. there have not been a lot of good, and i'm waiting for the book, there have not been a lot of good in-depth pieces that explain the mechanics of the coup attempt so most americans are left with a choice of three positions. and the three positions they take, the first one is well, we don't like erdogan so he's behind it. the second is, this is way too complicated so let's just stay distant from the problem and probably that was the
most dominant and the third is, maybe we don't understand all that but clearly we understand a little what happened and we need to reengage. that's the most important and most promising line of thought and inquiry and i hope your people take that. for me, the two conclusions that stand out at the end of the year is understanding that to an unprecedented level, there was a fractional war within the turkish military for control. and even for those in the united states who are not willing to say that gulen himself new and design the entire thing, initiated and pulled the trigger as it were, they have to see the relationship between the faction that was at the center of this coup and the movement. that should help to take some of the energy out of the suspicion that somehow this was really done and manufactured to the instrumental light. i'm not saying it hasn't been instrumental i am on the side of those who say that the quicker that the investigations and
punishments can be done and done, the quicker something like normal politics can return for turkey, the better it will be for the bilateral relation but it will help our views and our support of the process to come to that understanding. that it was a real factual war within the turkish military. one of the things i want to talk about as someone who has over the course of nearly 30 years served on several occasions with the military is to address the security aspects of what came after the coup because there were many, many voices in the us who said the turkish military is finished, it's done, but it's critical. i cannot be relied on, lost too many pilots, too many generals, you heard back. it can't be a successful partner in the war on terror. some of those allegations were made. and i think that the good news in the course of the last year has been that despite very real damage that was done to the turkish
military and pasha of course helped us understand that earlier, they have made great strides in restoring the combat capabilities and the institutional capabilities of the turkish military. it's pretty amazing that just a little bit, a month after the two had been done that there was this major operation of defense of neorealism and the euphrates shield that requires a significant ability to project power and work with allies. it's not an uncontroversial operation in terms of how most americans view it but most americans don't understand turkey's unique geopolitics. >>
>> the outcomes of the coup and reforms that follow the tric trt you may continue to professionalize them extra to some of the things that are happening in the military educational field i think ultimately have a propitious come a beneficial effect for the turkish military. it's painful for the three classes of military cadets who were let go. it's extremely painful process and i'm sure not all of them would've been supportive of the coup. there are some painful and regrettable decisions and aspects of this but i think nobody would've wanted. and yet when you look at it from the rationalization of the services and a subordination under sibling control, ultimately turkey's post coup military and security services are inclined to look more like what the west wants them to look like. what we doing between now and then is a function of how well we manage the relationship.
i just want to end with this. i served with the turkish military in three very distinct periods of time, 90-91 i was there at the end of the cold war. i was an american artillery lieutenant serving not to far. i know where it is. in 2001-2003 i was in ankara at the office the defense cooperation and in 2009-2010 i served in afghanistan as a liaison officer with the turkish brigade that was in eastern kabul and 40 month i was actually made the chief of staff of the brigade when it became ill. i have seen over the course of those three decades changes and not always good changes. we'll tell you my last assignment it was clear there was something wrong with the culture within the turkish military. there were groups within that headquarters that clearly did not talk to other groups within that headquarters. i'm not going to tell you i could pick out who was -- there
was a sense the formal chain of command was not everything that determine of the business of going to run. that was an illness within the body of the turkish military. it was an illness that develop because of this factional struggle within the government that was being played out within the army. that matches what i saw. so many of my friends, and i think of a couple of very good special forces officers that i knew in the turkish military who were denied promotion above a certain rank because they were very staunch secularist. and they refused in english with we would say to kiss the ring of the people with the informal powers. the politics of this are complicated and i'm not luckily here to make political commentary but as a military commentator what i will tell you is i'm very encouraged by how the turkish military has adapted since the coup. most of the turkish and the public and the government of the turkey have not tried to collapse this military or reform
it as for instance, the iranians did after the revolution and 70-79 and replaced it with a revolutionary guard the turkish people and government still love and trust their military and security services. they want them to be closer under civilian control i think to what the modern model should be. i think the rest is growing pains. i'm confident and optimistic about where our bilateral ties are going and i'm confident and optimistic specific about the military to military aspect of it. i think what's happened over the last five years in syria and what's happen in the last five years and turkish experience with this coup attempt and that was incubating have been incredibly distorting and destructive to the bilateral relationship. so with a little bit of tolerance and patience with one another i think this all gets better. >> thank you very much, colonel. we had been experiencing change in turkey.
which government -- two presidential system here the fight against the pkk as well as the field, and also there's restructuring within the turkish military. what's happening? can you give a brief picture of the defense? >> thank you very much your first of all it's a great honor to be here at such -- on turkish politics. your question is really difficult to explain in such a short time, of course, but i will try, be very brief as much as possible. of course, you know, the military coup attempt, turkish politics is under radical transformation not only in terms of the changing dimensions of
turkey but also we're going to witness a kind of systemic change that i think will radically -- and foreign-policy, and turkey of course has been under huge transformation since came to power. [inaudible] wider region in the middle east and the different foreign-policy issues. but i think we're going to see a huge difference when we compare to previous allies, especially before 15 july and before the systemic transformation in turkey. but what i would like to talk about in my speech is that how we can or how we should understand, how we should explain turkish policy,
especially in the military coup attempt on the developments, on the security crisis, so to speak in the middle east. i have been working on turkish policy for ten years. i worked at ministry and at the university now come and working at the organization as well as i met advisor turkish military, chief of general staff. what i am learning is my experience is that the ideology and the personality of the leaders are not too much important in shaping turkish foreign policy. what i have learned during my experience that build up, constructional, they are very important in shaping turkish foreign policy, especially in turkey's foreign-policy towards the middle east and turkey united states relations.
so we are i think experiencing the same thing that dimensions and the structural dimensions of the political and cyclical development in the region as well as within the domestic politics, are shaping turkish foreign policy. we really need to focus on what's happening in the middle east as well as what's happening at the domestic politics from the perspective of secular challenges that turkey has been chasing since the iraq arab spring. those are important dimensions of a can take into concentration in order to understand turkish foreign-policy, and what turkey's of direction would look like in near future, in terms of its involvement into the middle east crisis. so the first what i think is the regional geopolitical situation that is dramatically affecting
turkey's security and foreign policy perspective towards the different issues in the wider middle east region. and the second one is the security challenges, domestic security challenge. of course we cannot separate the security issues of turkey from the middle east and security crisis because there's mutual relationship between racial security crisis and turkey's domestic security challenges. for example, pkk or ypg and pyd on mutually relationship in terms of undermining turkey's national security architecture, especially since 2015. so therefore we need to really carefully look at the security dynamics in the middle east and domestic challenges of turkey. so therefore the relationship
between regional geopolitics and the regional politics are important to explain turkish foreign-policy and secular policy. the third one that is also important to understand how domestic political actors, actors are reacting with the crisis come emanating from syrian civil war, iraq, turkey struggles against daesh compass the domestic political conscience is really important to see how turkish foreign-policy and secular foreign-policy will look like in the near future. when we look at the regional geopolitics. of course since the emergency of the need for so to speak social movements in the middle east after the arab uprising, i think we have been experiencing radical challenge. there are many dimensions of these radical challenges but i can summarize by looking at four different dimensions of radical
security challenge. i think the person is -- [inaudible] so to speak, talking about the failed state. when you look at the wider middle east geography or the greater middle east geography from libya to yemen that are many different types of nationstates that have been affecting diminution of the dates. but when you look at the security perspective from turkish secret perspective of course syria and iraq are at the center of the declining of the state sovereignty, especially after the iraq. the seguin is the proliferation of the nonstate military actors. again when a look at the greater middle east geography from yemen, i mean, to libya, there are plenty of nonstate military actors that cannot compare against each other.
there are many religiously based fundamental nonstate military actor as well as there are secular nonstate military actors such as ypg, but all these kinds of nonstate actors are challenging so to speak -- because her challenge the sovereignty, challenging the borders, challenging the social -- of the nationstate in the region. i think the third one is terrorism and radicalization. this is violent extremism. all the state in the region are experiencing violent extremism. turkey is of course no exception in terms of experiencing the religious base, radicalization. people from outside turkey only focus on the religious radicalization, radicalism.
in turkey by taking the conversation, the rise of isis network in turkey unsorted so forth, but when you look at especially the kkk in turkey, we should also talk about the ethic of the rise of ethnic radicalization in the context of pkk. this is not only the exclusive level that we are expensing in turkey come in the context of the kkk. we are also facing an institutionalized rise of ethnic radicalization in turkey that affect also social context of turkish politics. the last one with regard to the regional politics that affect turkey's secular and foreign-policy is the pressure on the border. when you look at iraq and syria,
for example, the syrian civil war became a very complex, divided come syria is divided into five different sections or geographical zones, and many nazi actors operating in this geography. when you look at iraq there's also a board issue. so, therefore, in this context i think what are turkey's priorities in the context of coming future with regard to turkey's regional secular policy, the first lady security turkey territorial and border security. this is one of the important i mentioned that turkey is going to act in accordance with the requirements of the territorial integrity and border security. we had been experiencing a huge transformation in turkey's border as well. compared -- went a little understanding of border security before the arab uprising but now
have a very secular ties, border security, that we are constructing a wall alongside the syrian border. i think this will, in fact, this will make a huge impact on turkey's foreign-policy, especially with syria and iraq. the turks i think the second aim of turkey, the increasing the number of country that turkey can work together, especially after the new government came to power. so finally of course, you know, develop comprehensive strategy for turkish foreign-policy. turkey needs to work with of course it's ally but in order to develop understand in this context, we do not only conferences to interview with the terrorism, special against kkk isis in the region. but when you also a common
strategy that we can work together in defeating international terrorism in the context of the middle east. thank you. >> thank you very much. so i think we have more than 15 minutes for discussion. i'll have a set of question from the audience. i'll be happy if you introduce yourself. [inaudible] >> thank you very much for a very good panel come as good as the one in the morning. i wanted to ask professor a question about defense of religion. makes sense, i think it makes sense to characterize this, well, to characterize turkey's foreign-policy in those terms, not just after the coup but
since the sort of return of the state in the middle east, following the very next outcome of arab uprisings. i mean, before the arab uprising went wrong, turkey presented itself as a model for a secular model. that was far from being offensive and on the contrary. it was very idealist entrance of what it set for the region as a whole, and, of course, the return of those. [inaudible] made that not possible and, in fact, i would say may be the last speaker would disagree with me, the fact that turkish democracy itself is increasingly -- reflects very much the