Ex-Pentagon Advisor: ‘Turkey headed towards civil conflict, if not civil war’

Michael Rubin

Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and former Pentagon Staff Advisor Michael Rubin said that Turkey is headed towards “a prolonged period of civil conflict if not civil war,” in an interview with Firat News Agency (ANF) published on Wednesday.

Answering a question on the 16 April referendum in Turkey, which will grant sweeping powers to President Tayyip Erdogan if the proposed changes to the current constitution are approved, Rubin said, “Turkey is dangerously polarized. We know from Turkish political history that such polarization often leads to violence.”

“Dictatorial powers for Recep Tayyip Erdogan will allow him to transform Turkey completely. The fact that so many people opposed to Erdogan are in prison or fear that Erdogan 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 proclaimed.

Asked about his perspective on the Kurdish question in light of the latest developments in the region, Rubin stated that Turkey is on the verge of partition. “Erdogan’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,” said the former Pentagon staff advisor. “I’m not alone in my thoughts and analysis,” he added.

Referring to one of several tweets in Turkish that Rubin posted lately, in which he asks “Does Erdogan think we don’t know where he is hiding the money he has stolen,” Rubin said, “there’s a number of bank accounts in Europe and Russia belonging to Erdogan and his family.”

“Erdogan’s corruption is public record. Presumably, the intelligence services of these countries know where he keeps the cash. Vladimir Putin certainly does. The reason why Erdogan is so upset at the Zarrab case is that such information in the hands of the judiciary will become public record at trial,” referring to the Zarrab probe in the USA, where the arrest of a Turkish banker on Tuesday opened the way to connect the trial to former members of Erdogan’s cabinet.