It remains to be seen, but if Erdogan’s recent claims are true then one of my initial interpretations of the coup may be correct. In my first post on the situation I lamented that if this coup has US backing then it may see Erdogan replaced by an even worse Islamist and even more pro-western client, Fathallah Gulen. As RT reports, “The Turkish government has indirectly criticized its NATO ally, the US, for harboring Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara blames for masterminding Friday’s military coup attempt. The cleric is currently living in self-imposed exile in the States” . While it may or may not be true, this was one of my fears from the beginning. I would be extremely pleased to see some form of anti-imperialist secular leadership replace Edrodgan.
But Fethullah Gülen, a cleric and former political ally of Erdogan who has been living in self-imposed exile in the US for years, is the anti-thesis of these and would arguably be far worse for Turkey and the region than Erdogan. When news of the coup first broke I had hopes that it was a genuine domestic coup by the secular anti-Erdogan factions within the military. But if indeed the western client and hard-line Islamist cleric is behind the attempted coup, then it is better that it fails, for Gulen would take Turkey from bad to worse. Continue reading