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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves to the crowd following a funeral service for a victim of the thwarted coup in Istanbul, Turkey, July 17, 2016.

    Erdogan Taking Turkey Down Extreme Islamist Path – US Tactician

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    The wide-ranging purge launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after last week’s failed military coup is part of his masterplan to turn Turkey into a radical Islamist state, retired US Army Colonel and historian Douglas Macgregor told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Since the failed coup, Erodgan has ordered the arrest of at least 70 generals and admirals, fired 21,000 school teachers across Turkey from their jobs and told CNN he wants Parliament to discuss reintroducing the death penalty, which was abolished in 2004.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
    © AFP 2017/ JACQUES DEMARTHON

    “Turkey is now moving as I forecast in chapter 3 of my book ‘Margin of Victory’ down the Islamist Path,” Macgregor, a leading US military tactician and combat hero of the 1991 Gulf War, said on Tuesday.

    Macgregor interpreted these events as signs that Erdogan was showing his true colors as a radical Islamist after 13 years of slowly but steadily increasing his personal power.

    “Once elected, Islamists do not surrender power: That is the lesson everyone in the West must finally accept. The coup was the last opportunity to arrest this tragic development.”

    Erdogan would still try and present himself to the United States and the European Union (EU) as a moderate democrat but the reality of his political actions would tell a very different story, Macgregor warned.

    • Pro-Erdogan supporters wave Turkish national flags during a rally at Taksim square in Istanbul on July 18, 2016 following the military failed coup attempt of July 15
      Pro-Erdogan supporters wave Turkish national flags during a rally at Taksim square in Istanbul on July 18, 2016 following the military failed coup attempt of July 15
      © AFP 2017/ ARIS MESSINIS
    • still image from video shows armed soldiers waiting at the entrance of TRT state television as they prepare to surrender to the police after a failed coup attempt, in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016
      still image from video shows armed soldiers waiting at the entrance of TRT state television as they prepare to surrender to the police after a failed coup attempt, in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016
      © REUTERS/ Reuters TV
    • People against the attempted coup celebrate at Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Saturday, July 16, 2016.
      People against the attempted coup celebrate at Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Saturday, July 16, 2016.
      © AP Photo/ Omer Kuscu
    • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan right, wipes his tears during the funeral of Mustafa Cambaz, Erol and Abdullah Olcak, killed Friday while protesting the attempted coup against Turkey's government, in Istanbul, Sunday, July 17, 2016.
      Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan right, wipes his tears during the funeral of Mustafa Cambaz, Erol and Abdullah Olcak, killed Friday while protesting the attempted coup against Turkey's government, in Istanbul, Sunday, July 17, 2016.
      © AP Photo/ Emrah Gurel
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    © AFP 2017/ ARIS MESSINIS
    Pro-Erdogan supporters wave Turkish national flags during a rally at Taksim square in Istanbul on July 18, 2016 following the military failed coup attempt of July 15

    “In the short-run, Erdogan will attempt to the extent he can to cultivate a ‘moderate’ image but his violent suppression of internal dissent and political opposition will make it very difficult for all but the most gullible to believe in his alleged democratic credentials.”

    Macgregor argued that Erdogan had played a far larger role in helping to create and sustain the Daesh, than Western governments and media had realized. He predicted that even though Daesh was being destroyed, Erdogan would seek to replace it with a similar movement.

    “Daesh, in large part a creation of Erdogan, Qatar and the Saudis, is now a dying Frankenstein’s monster. As it diminishes, another will arise that is likely more closely aligned with and obedient to Erdogan’s wishes.”

    However, as these developments unfolded, Erdogan would no longer be able to present himself to the West as a democrat and moderate, Macgregor predicted.

    “In the long-run, the proverbial hand writing is on the wall. Ultimately, Erdogan will be unable to conceal his true identity as Sunni Islam’s leader Jihadist Champion against the West, Russia, Iran and Israel.”

    On Tuesday, US Department of State spokesperson Mark Toner rejected media allegations that the US government had any involvement in Friday’s military coup in Turkey that resulted in 300 deaths and more than 1,400 wounded.

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    Islamists, Daesh, Turkey
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