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July 24, 2016 7:05 pm

Like Stalin, Erdogan Likely to Be Left With No Personnel to Run, Defend Country, Israeli Expert Says

avatar by Ruthie Blum

A street demonstration against the failed coup in Turkey. Photo: Wikipedia.

A street demonstration against the coup attempt in Turkey. Photo: Wikipedia.

Like infamous Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in the wake of massive purges of perceived opponents, Turkey’s leader is liable to find himself in a predicament of the double-edged-sword variety — in the form of a severe shortage of professional manpower to run the country, an expert told the Hebrew news site Walla on Sunday.

Referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ousting – so far — of more than 60,000 members of the government, the military, the police, academia, the media, the judiciary, the religious establishment and even the sports world, a Turkish-studies professor at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University said that Ankara’s greatest problem in the coming months will be rebuilding the country’s mechanisms practically from scratch.

Prof. Dror Ze’evi explained: “The public sector will crash. The education system, the judicial system, and [others] will be dealt a heavy blow… And the people Erdogan instates will be far less familiar with the areas they will be charged with handling and have no experience.”

According to Ze’evi, this kind of purging — in the name of internal and national security, following last weekend’s failed coup — is reminiscent of 1930s Soviet Russia. Stalin’s purges weakened the military and strengthened Nazi Germany’s resolve to launch a war. Inexperienced commanders were no match for Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht, and if not for Russia’s huge size and endless numbers of expendable soldiers, the USSR could not have emerged victorious.

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In Turkey’s case, he said, with an asymmetrical terror war going on, a lack of seasoned military professionals is likely to have a negative effect on Ankara’s ability to bolster security and defense.

“Erdogan is motivated by paranoia, convinced that there are traitors everywhere in the system, even when it‘s not true,” Ze’evi told Walla. He added that Ankara’s already troubled relations with Washington will improve or deteriorate depending on whether the US agrees to extradite self-exiled cleric and Erdogan enemy Muhammed Fethullah Gülen to Turkey.

Turning Gülen into “Public Enemy No. 1” will make it easier for Erdogan to create a “new” Turkey in his own image and spirit, said Ze’evi, completely negating the movement of Turkish Republic founder Kemal Atatürk.

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