Turkey marked the first anniversary of the suppression of the coup attempt. The country is preparing to restore the death penalty and is in an increasingly tough confrontation with Germany. These and many other steps meet the interests of its leader. Erdogan faces the task of preserving the country, retaining personal power and saving his own life.
Turkey on a grand scale marks the first anniversary of the suppression of the failed military coup, which attempted on the night of 15 on 16 July 2016. A few months after the July events, 15 July became a national holiday in Turkey - the Day of Democracy and National Unity - and a day off.
A year later, many thousands of rallies and processions were held throughout the country, in which President Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim took part. The ringing in mobile phones in Turkey was preceded by a congratulation from the head of the country.
The events of a year ago really turned out to be crucial for Turkey, both in domestic politics and in the foreign policy arena.
If inside the country the main trend of the past year were large-scale cleansing of Gülenists (supporters of the Gulen preacher, whom the authorities accuse of organizing a coup) and strengthening of the presidential power, in foreign policy things are much more complicated.
On the one hand, Turkish-American relations have not suffered a special loss, which looks rather amusing, considering how many "threads" of conspiracy the military drove across the ocean (beginning with Gulen himself, who has lived in the States for many years).
On the other hand, Ankara's relations with Moscow have risen to a qualitatively new level, which is logical, given that it is rumored that Russia has rendered Erdogan almost critical help during the coup attempt. It is noteworthy that Russian-Turkish relations did not become "syrupy" at all. On a number of issues (first of all, in the sphere of economic cooperation) there is a very tough confrontation. At the same time, in the field of geopolitical partnership, the situation has improved radically, Turkey has actually entered the emerging Russia-Iran-Turkey bloc that plays a common game in the Middle East. The recent Qatari crisis once again confirmed this configuration of regional powers.
Ironically, the most serious damage suffered Turkey's relations with Europe and specifically with Germany. The points of disagreement and contradictions between them were already outlined for a long time, but it was precisely after the coup attempt that there was a sharp aggravation of bilateral relations. And the case is not limited to sharp rhetoric, both sides are demonstratively unfriendly steps.
The German government banned Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan from speaking in front of his compatriots in Hamburg on the sidelines of the G20 summit. This was not the first ban of this kind. In the spring, two events were canceled with the participation of Ministers from Ankara, who were going to agitate in favor of Erdogan's constitutional reform.
In turn, in Turkey the military airbase "Incirlik" became the object of confrontation. Germany began the withdrawal of its military there, since Ankara banned the visits of German parliamentarians there. Now, it seems, the same situation is repeated with the NATO base in the Turkish city of Konya.
Inevitably, the question arises why Germany was the main object of confrontation for Erdogan.
It seems that the reasons are due, first of all, to the internal political situation in which Erdogan is located.
The Turkish president reminds a tightrope walker walking along a wire over an abyss without insurance, each step of which can turn out to be fatal. This applies to both domestic and foreign policy. The coup, transparently inspired by the US, is a clear example of how much Erdogan does not like at the head of the most important regional power in the Middle East.
However, the situation in the country is extremely difficult for him as well, which was clearly demonstrated by the results of the recent referendum, at which the constitutional reform that he advanced was approved with minimal advantage and revealed a deep internal split of the Turkish society.
In this situation, to resolve the situation under control and to preserve power (and with a high probability of life), it is obvious that several tasks are solved: first, the consolidation of supporters, and secondly, the suppression (down to annihilation) of opponents and opponents.
Tayyip Erdogan does a good job on both counts.
The sweep of the Turkish state and public structures from the Gülenists and other opponents of Erdogan was (and continues). At the same time, human rights organizations report extremely harsh measures that apply to dissenters.
The Turkish president himself, on the anniversary of the suppression of the attempted coup d'état, announced his belief that the parliament would pass a law on the restoration of the death penalty in the country, and promised "to cut off the heads of traitors."
Well, in addition to internal enemies, the factor of external enemies works well for the consolidation of society. Speaking at the rally, Erdogan said that "so many enemies expect the death of Turkey." However, the words need to be backed up with at least some concrete examples, and Germany in this sense for the Turkish president was much more convenient for the US or Russia, the costs of a political conflict with which may be too great.
From the old grudge of the Turks for decades of finding their country in the EU's "waiting room" to the radical political correctness of modern Germany, which provokes rejection in conservative Turkey, Germany has become an ideal "sparring partner", where Erdogan can demonstrate to the Turkish society himself as a strong leader, not Afraid of challenging one of the world's leading countries. And there is practically no danger of getting an unpleasant response on the military or special services line in the case of Germany.