First of all, though it is not a major issue, none of us believes that Gulen was behind the coup. It is convenient for Erdogan to blame his principal opponent because it will facilitate the arrests of any and all opponents not linked to the actual coup by claiming that they are Gulenists.
Islamic cleric who has been blamed by Turkey’s president for the coup attempt on Friday evening gives a rare interview and suggests that the event may have been staged by the Turkish government as a way to shore up power and excuse further arrests of those who oppose Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
The Turkish government, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has pointed the finger at Fethullah Gülen – also known as leader of the Hizmet movement – as the mastermind behind Friday’s attempted coup by the country’s military. But who is Gülen? We take a look at the Islamic cleric and how he has affected Erdoğan’s presidency
Social media users have compared the coup attempt in which more than 160 people are thought to have died to the Reichstag fire – the 1933 arson attack on the German parliament building which Hitler used as an excuse to suspend civil liberties and order mass arrests of his opponents.
Turkey is at a pivotal point in its history following the failed coup attempt of July 15. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, having survived the coup plot, won fresh legitimacy and gained a new ally: religious fervor in the streets. Mr. Erdogan can use this impetus either to become an executive-style president, or he can encourage the forces of religion to take over the country, crowning himself as an Islamic leader.
“If there is any possibility of a forceful extradition, of course we will oblige,” he added. “But I’m not worried about that. I’m not worried that the U.S. government will give credit to claims that Erdogan is making. I will not beg anybody. I have enjoyed my freedom here, I will leave without grudges in my heart.”