Without Fethullah Gülen extradition, Turkey-US relations in danger

The religious leader is accused of being the mastermind behind the "failed coup". But some analysts say the coup "succeeded" because it has given Erdogan total power. Media campaign against Gülen and the United States. West's growing mistrust of Turkey.


Ankara (AsiaNews) - In a live interview released yesterday with Haberturk TV, a private television network, Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, threatened the deterioration of relations with the US two, should Washington fail to extradite the religious Fethullah Gülen, who is not onlyErdogan's biggest rival but also accused of being the mastermind of the "failed coup".

The coup attempt took place on 15 July (lasting around less than six hours). The Turkish government accused the leader of the Hizmet movement, with such haste so as to exclude any serious foundation based on an actual investigations. Even the arrests in the early hours just after the "coup" indicate the existence of a prior list of "most wanted" people all of whom were immediately accused and neutralised. Judges, journalists, the military, the raids took place in a few hours, so that an analyst at Mediapart, Djordje Kuzmanovic, ironically used the expression "the successful coup".

Fethullah Gülen has lived in exile in Philadelphia in the US since 1999. A former ally of Erdogan in his political struggle, against Gül and Erbacan, he suffered the horrors of coups, and was even imprisoned by the military, together with Erdoğan. He immediately denied any involvement even going so far as to say he was "insulted" by this accusation which he characterized as "unfounded."

The Turkish government instead is convinced that "the terrorist organization (the fetus) leader Fethullah Gülen" created the coup by mobilizing his sleeper cells in Turkish institutions to bring the final bite [meaning poisonous-snake bite -ed] to Turkish democracy, but failed due to the overall strength of the Turks".

The Turkish press (almost all pro-Erdogan) has even discovered the means of communication used by the coup that "resorted to Chinese QQ software for transatlantic communications”, while for internal communication "the video game 'Clash of Kings 'was used with names and languages ​​in the war games code to avoid being traced by Turkish intelligence. "

The press has unleashed an unprecedented.anti-American campaign Ibrahim Karagül, in Yeni Şafak newspaper even accuses the United States of "open war" through "its terrorists" to implement a "domestic invasion" and attacks the administration of President Barack Obama : "President Barack Obama has added a page to spite his presidential career that will end in two months. He attacked Turkey through terrorist organization directed by his intelligence. He wanted to target the entire nation with an organization that receives instructions and acts according to [directives] of his intelligence and bombed the Parliament of the People. The US Intelligence attempted to eliminate Erdoğan and take over the country". Karagül has even talked about using "September 11 methods against us," saying that "as soon as the Syrian issue is over they [the US and Europeans] will attack Turkey. They have even begun to do so before the end".

The campaign is one of mutual distrust: in the West skeptical voices related to the strategic alliance with Turkey, or to his candidacy in the European Union are growing, especially after the news of an agreement between Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran and excluding Armenia, to open a road between India and Europe, with strategic and economic changes that are likely to flip all the long standing agreements undertaken between the various actors in that troubled global chessboard.

After numerous evidence of Turkish support for Daesh in Syria and Iraq there are many doubting voices even in the US, on whether to continue to have such a problematic nation within NATO. (P.B.)

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