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Several events during the past three weeks related to a failed coup attempt in Montenegro, which went largely underreported and not analyzed, give fresh ground for revisiting the strategy and policy script of Moscow in the Western Balkans, and in particular to Montenegro and Serbia. The news story covered the arrest of 20 Serbian citizens in Montenegro on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks and an armed assault on the parliament building in Podgorica on the evening after the election. According to the head of the Montenegrin police Slavko Stojanovic, the investigation traced down a criminal terrorist organization that had all the resources needed to carry out the attacks – a large amount of cash (€ 125,000); the latest communication and surveillance equipment, including satellite photos and sophisticated mobile
It is by now abundantly clear that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in the process of rapidly transforming Turkey into a religious dictatorship that is increasingly resembling a totalitarian rather than just an authoritarian state. Having suspended all constitutional rights and guarantees, as well as the European Convention of Human Rights, under a blanket emergency rule law, Erdogan governs Turkey today much as the Stalinist regimes did in Eastern Europe after Soviet bayonets installed them there at the end of WWII. The list of abuses is long and getting longer by the day. So far, 79,000 public servants have been dismissed, 40,000 are in jail awaiting trials, 1016 educational institutions, including 15 universities, have been closed down, as have been 129 charitable foundations. Ditto for 1125 citizen associations, 19 trade
A week after the putative military coup failed to remove Erdogan from power, it has become clear that Erdogan himself has mounted a hugely successful coup to turn Turkey into an Islamic dictatorship with himself as the dictator with unlimited power. From what has already been revealed, we know that Erdogan’s carefully planned effort to seize all power predated the military conspiracy by weeks if not months and that he knew of the coming putsch well before it started. While much of the details are yet to be established, the audacity of Erdogan’s power grab is truly astounding. So far he has arrested or dismissed some 100,000 state officials, including nearly 3000 judges, one third of all Turkish generals, 21,000 teachers, 1500 college deans, 40000 police officers and countless others.