Ex-Pentagon advisor says Turkey is heading towards civil conflict, if not civil war

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Michael Rubin

Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon advisor, said on Wednesday that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s plans to expand his power are dragging Turkey towards “a prolonged period of civil conflict if not civil war.”

In an interview with the Fırat News Agency (ANF) published on Wednesday, Rubin underlined that Turkey is already dangerously polarized prior to an April 16 referendum on a constitutional package that will grant sweeping powers to Erdoğan and switch the country to an executive presidency.

We know from Turkish political history that such polarization often leads to violence. Dictatorial powers for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will allow him to transform Turkey completely. The fact that so many people opposed to Erdoğan are in prison or fear that Erdoğan will use the mechanisms of the state to punish their families or ruin them financially means that they will never accept the outcome of a ‘yes’ victory in the referendum, causing tension to remain and worsen. In short, I fear that Turkey is headed to a prolonged period of civil conflict if not civil war,” Rubin said.

When asked about his perspective on the Kurdish question in light of the latest developments in the region, Rubin said, “Erdoğan’s policies will lead to the permanent division of Turkey.”

Whether that’s a division of internal borders or a partition of the country remains to be seen,” he added.

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