Coup attempt in Turkey
On July 15, 2016, factions within the Turkish army attempted to overthrow the elected government of Recep Erdogan by staging a coup d’état. It was unsuccessful and within six hours was crushed by members of the army loyal to Erdogan and opposition in the streets. The plotters made two serious blunders in their execution of the coup; not taking over the presidential palace (instead they shot up the parliament) and not taking over any media outlets which would have allowed them to divulge their message.
Turkey is the bridge between Europe and Asia, west and east, Christianity and Islam (and there is literally a bridge connecting Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Straits
A series of mass arrests followed, with an estimated 50,000 people, including 12,000 teachers, being hauled in for questioning. For many opponents of Erdogan, they see this as the perfect opportunity for the authoritarian president to criminalize any dissent against him within the society. Erdogan has ruled Turkey for the past 12 years and has sought to consolidate his power by imposing more aspects of Islam onto this traditionally strongly secular country. He has called for the execution of the coup leaders, which if carried out would make Turkey’s desired entrance into the European Union almost impossible since to become a member of the EU, countries with the death penalty are not welcome.
Turkey is a vital country, a bridge between East and West, Christianity and Islam and its stability is of paramount importance for the world. It has taken in almost two million refugees fleeing the war in Syria, and also confronts an internal threat from separatist Kurds seeking more autonomy. The country is also a member of NATO, the western military alliance. All eyes will now be on that country which seems very divided at the moment between those wanting a secular, modern and liberal state and those desiring more conservatism, traditionalism and a wider role for Islam in the population’s daily life.
Donald Trump officially the Republican candidate for president
After four days of a tumultuous and often chaotic Republican Convention, Donald Trump was finally officially crowned as the Republican candidate for president on July 21st in Cleveland, Ohio. He will now begin to campaign against the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton until the election on the first Tuesday of November.
Melania Trump appears to have plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech from eight years ago
The convention started off with anti-Trump delegates making a last-ditch rally to impede his path to the nomination, which was unsuccessful. Then Trump’s ex-model wife, originally from Slovenia, made a speech a good portion of which turned out to have been plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s Democratic convention speech in 2008. To top it off, Trump’s main primary rival, Ted Cruz, a senator from Texas, gave a speech during which he refused to endorse Trump.
All these factors, and a slew of accusations of Trump being a racist, unethical, a bully, a narcissist, a megalomaniac and generally temperamentally unfit to be president, seem to have zero effect on his supporters. Trump has cleverly tapped into deep anger and resentment of working class whites who feel left behind by globalization and who make barely enough money to get by. Ironically, many of the policies Trump advocates are traditionally made by Democrats (protectionism, defending union workers, etc.) and have made the Democrats look like the party advocating naked neo-liberalism and having been bought by Wall Street. Since Trump can finance his own campaign, he can portray himself as an outsider, unsullied by the corrupt workings of Washington.
Maybe the future President Trump
In this writer’s view, this is an extremely dangerous situation and the prospect of a Trump presidency is quite terrifying. For those of us who think this way, our hope is that the demographics of the US have changed enough so that there are not enough angry white men to elect a president. We shall see.