In the 8 months since Turkey’s government weathered a potentially destabilizing coup, allegations continue to swirl about who was actually behind the surprising flare up of violence. In an unsubstantiated leak to Aldrimer.no, “Senior NATO sources” currently believe the coup was staged by President Erdogan himself.
The Alliance for Shared Values “rejects the accusation” by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus that Gulen is planning a move to Canada, it said in a statement on its website. The Alliance also reiterated its call for an end to attempts to stymie voices of democratic dissent, including journalists, academics, Kurds, liberals and participants in the Hizmet movement.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has added new insults to his rich collection of hate speeches and defamation targeting Gülen movement on Wednesday and said that “Gülen movement members lost their way, and only follow orders from their owner Fethullah Gülen.”
[Erdogan] has called Hizmet a state within a state, which to me is a strange characterization. To me, that’s like saying that the Catholics are a state within a state in America, or the Jews, a state within a state in America. Those kinds of statements are derogatory, they’re pejoratives. Catholics have a right to seek influence in America; Jews have a right to seek influence in America, that’s how we operate here.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said in Ankara on Thursday that the state of emergency which was declared following a failed coup attempt in July of last year will continue until the faith-based Gülen movement, which the government accuses of being behind the coup attempt, is completely wiped out from state institutions.
National War College professor Taşpınar says extradition remains unlikely because Ankara has presented no concrete evidence directly implicating him in the coup attempt. “I think what [Washington] should do is to basically tell the Turks they need a smoking gun. They need much clearer evidence, which is not there yet,” he says
As the Turkish lira plunged even further on Friday, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım claimed the Gülen movement was responsible for the deterioration in the country’s economic outlook. According to Yıldırım, “separatists” and sympathizers of the Gülen movement are working hard to ruin the Turkish economy in the eyes of the world.
Erdogan wants the Gulen-linked schools in Africa to be closed down, although they are the very educational establishments which are popular with Africa’s middle class. They have sprung up all over Africa in recent years. They are an affordable alternative to French schools.
A former Turkish officer who served at NATO headquarters in Brussels but was sacked and recalled to Turkey as part of an investigation into a failed coup on July 15 claims that the putsch was clumsily executed and never intended to bring down the government, but rather served President Erdoğan to eliminate his opponents.
Erdoğan has exploited the presence of Gülen-inspired people in the state bureaucracy as a tool to silence all opposition and grasp yet more power. If the Gülen movement did not exist, the president would have needed to create another “enemy of the state” to fight against in order to reach his ultimate aim.
Turkish news outlets lit up this weekend after a former Republican lawmaker published an op-ed at The Hill calling on the U.S. government to extradite Fethullah Gulen, an exiled Muslim cleric whose return to Turkey is an obsession for the NATO nation’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.