What really happened on the night of July 15, 2016 in Turkey? Why thousands of judges and prosecutors were the next day? Why hundreds of journalists were arrested and media outlets shut down after the coup attempt by Erdogan? Was the failed coup attempt Erdogan’s Reichstag Fire?
Seventy-six babies have been born stateless in the last three months because Turkish diplomatic missions are denying consular services to people allegedly linked to the faith-based Gülen movement according to a report released by the Netherlands-based Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI) on Monday.
In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Fethullah Gulen admitted meeting a key figure in Turkey’s July 2016 attempted coup. But the Turkish cleric said that a mere visit from one of his followers isn’t proof he orchestrated the failed coup.
Fethullah Gulen repeated his declaration that he has never been involved in any coup-plotting. “I never thought that he could go so bad,” said Mr. Gulen, who said that the Turkish president was unleashing mass hysteria inside the country. “Some parts of Turkish society have lost their ability to think.”
It seems that there is no one left to say “enough” to Erdogan, most of the people who tried to stop him before are now in jail, and if the opposition can’t find a way to defend the civilian and constitutional rights then it’s completely useless. Some of them used to ignore the regime’s injustice just because they weren’t targeted by its actions, but they didn’t know that it will get to them one day as well.
US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, the man blamed by Turkey for a failed coup attempt a year ago, on Friday again denied any involvement in what he called a “despicable putsch,” and called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his followers.
Saturday is a sad moment in Turkish history as it marks one year since the deplorable coup attempt that resulted in the death of hundreds and injuries of thousands. On this occasion I reiterate my condemnation of the despicable putsch and its perpetrators, and extend my sincere condolences to the families and loved ones affected by this horrible tragedy.
Erdogan became quite successful in his two very basic goals right after the coup. First and foremost, for putting all the blame squarely on the Hizmet movement, led by Gulen, and then carrying on a huge cover-up to hide other segments of the coup plotters. The problem is, while he has been quite successful in Turkey – he was not able to convince many in Europe and in the US.
A year later, Western intelligence officials and top Turkey analysts aren’t nearly so sure of Gulen’s complicity. Earlier this year, German spy chief Bruno Kahl revealed that Ankara has failed to convince the BND foreign intelligence agency that Gulen was behind the ill-planned and executed coup plot. “Turkey has tried to convince us of that at every level, but so far it has not succeeded,” Kahl told the German weekly Der Spiegel in March.
Mr. Erdogan’s own statements have also raised questions about the sequence of events. In an account posted on the president’s website, Mr. Erdogan said he was first warned of unusual military activity at 4:30 p.m. by his brother-in-law. He tried to contact Mr. Fidan and Mr. Akar around 5 p.m., he said but was unable to reach either of them.
Barış Yurtseven, the pilot of the plane that brought Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to İstanbul on the night of a failed military coup attempt last July, was fired from Turkish Airlines in February over alleged links to the Gülen movement.