Turkish president Erdogan is not letting up with his demands to the United States, that it extradite Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen to face charges for a coup against the Turkish leader, which Gulen is accused of influencing.
The coup attempt for which the Turkish government blames Fethullah Gulen, reportedly took place on July 15 against the regime while President Erdogan was vacationing.
Soldiers began to declare the coup and attempted to enforce a new order, for which the president retaliated with the help of loyal members of the military, before enforcing days and weeks of mass arrests of suspects which ranged from soldiers to journalists. It was during this time that Erdogan began to accuse Gulen who lives in the United States of staging the coup.
The Guardian reported on the crushing of the coup attempt and the complications in the relationship between Turkey and the U.S., especially since they are providing the U.S. with a base to conduct airstrikes from in the battle against the Islamic State.
The article says that, according to the Turkish government, those who were rounded up and questioned apparently gave up the name of Fethullah Gulen as the instigator.
“Of course, since the leader of this terrorist organization is residing in the United States, there are question marks in the minds of the people whether there is any U.S. involvement or backing. So America from this point on should really think how they will continue to cooperate with Turkey, which is a strategic ally for them in the region and world.”
Without having to go into the details of the history between Fethullah Gulen and Erdogan, it should be common sense to say that Gulen should not be handed over to a paranoid state, which cannot handle its own affairs.
Fethullah Gulen himself has done what others also have, which is to suggest that Erdogan himself facilitated “the coup” in order for him to introduce his new phase of order over the country, becoming a dictator under NATO protection.
There is also the fact that his attempts to become friendlier with Russian leader Vladimir Putin — which is a completely different stance from what his position has been, and a questionable decision — which throws up a lot of red flags as to what bridges Turkey is willing to burn with the support of a KGB-led Russia.
Erdogan has established certain ultimatums should the U.S. not turn over Fethullah Gulen. And while they can certainly do that if they want to, given the suspicious nature of the situation there, there is no question that Erdogan is willing to do what he has to in order to make the relationship with the U.S. problematic.
As we’ve seen from a distance, the crackdown Erdogan is willing to enforce in his own country over ideas that are against him — of which the Fethullah Gulen movement is surely only one of many; it is easy to see that Erdogan wants his power to cross the ocean in a long reach to enforce his brand of “justice” on American soil.
"Sooner or later, the US will make a choice. Either Turkey or FETO" - Turkey's President Erdogan on Fethullah Gulen https://t.co/XWtPolrol2— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) August 20, 2016
If the extreme right-wing groups in the United States are willing to have their paranoia of Sharia law being implemented on American soil energized again, this would be the closest similarity to that from afar, should they feel that the U.S. give him up.
While we’re in the realm of paranoia, on the issue of coup attempts; the United States has a long history of staging coups in other countries.
Is it possible this was one against Turkey, with the help of Fethullah Gulen? While people with the endurance to do so can debate that issue, it doesn’t matter. Nor is it possible to ignore Erdogan’s escalating paranoia to think that he should be extradited. Fethullah Gulen’s exile to the U.S. was accepted and should be protected, or the U.S. leaves nothing for those who seek it to be proud of.
Fethullah Gulen’s extradition to Turkey means that Erdogan will get his way, no matter where in the world that is.
[Photo by Chris Post/AP Photo]