Turkish Coup: Erdogans’ Rush To Nail Gullen May Consume Him By Chris Suleiman
Last Friday a faction of the Turkish Military staged a coup against the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan where hundreds of persons were reported to have been killed. Some international media reported that over 6,000 people were arrested in the crackdown, while about 294 were reported to have been killed in the night of chaos, with yet over 2,839 soldiers held in prison, and 2,745 judges facing arrest.
For instance according to information from Turkish embassy in Nigeria, over 100 coup plotters were killed and over 200 Turkish civilian citizens also lost their lives in the failed coup attempt.
Since last Friday when the unfortunate event occurred, world leaders and indeed many stakeholders have been commenting on the incident. Turkish citizens across the globe strongly condemned the odious attempt to return the country to dark days of military jackboot and horsewhip which has long been rejected by many developed and developing countries.
Fethulla Gulen, the inspirer of the Hizmet movement, a Turkish national based in the United States of America was among the first Turkish citizens who came out openly to condemn the dastardly act of the military who made attempt to return Turkey to primitive age of military rule. Gulen in his condemnation said “there is no u-turn to democracy” He said he rejected all military interventions, and said he had personally suffered after the coups of the 1990s. According to him “After military coups in Turkey,” he said, “I have been pressured and I have been imprisoned. I have been tried and faced various forms of harassment.” Gulen also said: “Now that Turkey is on the path to democracy, it cannot turn back.”
Analysts and followers of world events were taken aback with the Turkish government who within this ample time that the coup attempt failed, is already pointing accusing fingers at Fethulla Gulen as the mastermind of the unfortunate incident. It was reported that Erdogan and other officials had blamed Gulen and his supporters for the coup attempt that took place on Friday in Turkey, but Gulen had earlier condemned the failed attempt and denied any involvement in it.
For instance in furtherance of their onslaught against the Gulen inspired Hizmet, Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria Hakan Cakil addressed a press conference in the Turkish Embassy in Abuja capital of Nigeria, describing the failed coup as an act of terrorism. In his words: “It was understood in a short time that this was more than a treacherous plot, it was a terrorist campaign. The perpetrators killed and wounded their own people, stabbed their commanders in the back and bombed the National Parliament and the office of the Presidency.
Mr. Cakil like his Principal and Government of Turkey did in the city of Ankara, outrightly pointed accusing fingers at the Hizmet Movement when he said “This coup attempt was staged by the Fethullah Gulen terrorist Organization (FETO). Turkish Government has been constantly exposing the real motives of this terrorist group and its leader, Fethullah Gulen, to all allies and partners. The foiled coup is the latest criminal act revealing the danger posed by FETO. Mr. Hakan Cakil however concluded that the terrorists will be punished in front of the Law.
The Turkish government had already requested for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen to face the wrath of the law. And the Cleric has also come out to say he would obey any extradition ruling from the United States. He has insisted that he had nothing to do with the uprising and suggested that Mr. Erdogan could have staged the attack himself in order to legitimise a fresh crackdown on the judiciary and military.
Speaking however in a press Conference on Tuesday in Abuja Nigeria, President of UFUK Dialogue Foundation, a Non-governmental organization linked to the Hizmet movement in Nigeria, Mr. Kamil Kemanci said “we, UFUK Dialogue, strongly condemn the attempted military coup that occurred in Turkey, on Friday the 15th of July and reiterate that there is no place for military interventions in democracy.
Mr. Kamanci described the act as an aggression and unjust, he stressed that his organization has always supported Turkey’s democracy in spite of the anti-democratic practices in the recent years. The President who further stressed that “democracy, rule of law, peaceful coexistence, freedoms and human rights are the core values of Hizmet participants. Thus, Ufuk dialogue strongly condemned any attempt to overthrow an elected government by military coup.
He described as wicked and irresponsible attempt by President Erdogan and his close circles’ to place blame on the Hizmet movement for the failedcoup. He said: “Mr. Fethullah Gulen, inspirer of Hizmet Movement, has always advocated for democracy and insisted “there is no u-turn from democracy at every stage of his life.
“As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusation”.
In line with this argument UFUK Dialogue Foundation, Regional manager Mr. Cemal Yigit has described the accusation from Turkish government as irresponsible and unacceptable. Speaking at the press conference on Tuesday he said “Hizmet Movement or Gulen, we definitely deny this too, this is irresponsible, and this is unacceptable this is simply use of Hizmet movement as a scapegoat.”
Cemal who declared that, the worse democratic administration is better than the best coup, added that this is the stance and believe of all participants in the Hizmet movement. He said the movement supports Turkish democracy as citizens who love their country and the people of Turkey as a whole.
However, Mr. Gulen Fethullah has accused President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an for the failed coup, stressing that the uprising by members of the country’s military could have been “staged” by the government. “I don’t believe that the world believes the accusations made by President Erdo?an,” Gülen said. “There is a possibility that it could be a staged coup and it could be meant for further accusations [against Gülen and his followers].”
But Turkish President Erdogan while addressing people in public in Istanbul on Saturday, called on Barack Obama to arrest Gülen and deport him to Turkey. He said Turkey had never turned back any extradition request for “terrorists” by its US ally , adding: “I say if we are strategic partners then you should bring about our request.”
Also Turkey’s justice minister said that his government expects Washington to extradite US-based Islamic cleric Fetullah Gulen whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating Friday’s attempted coup
Speaking to state-run news channel TRT Haber, Bekir Bozdag said keeping Gulen “wouldn’t befit the solidarity, cooperation, alliance and friendship between Turkey and the United States.” He said, “does one need evidence to prove the existence of the Sun? This is just as clear a matter.” He added that Turkey would be submitting the necessary documentation, but hoped the US would extradite without waiting for the paperwork.
But the US Secretary of state, John Kerry said no official extradition request had been made when he spoke to reporters in Luxembourg. “We fully anticipate that there will be questions raised about Mr Gülen,” he said. “And obviously we would invite the government of Turkey, as we always do, to present us with any legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny. And the United States will accept that and look at it and make judgments about it appropriately.”
The United States has however pledged support for the investigations to determine who instigated the attempted coup and where its support originates. Secretary of State John F. Kerry said he anticipates questions will be raised about Gulen.
However Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been warned by world leaders not to use the attempted coup as “carte blanche to do whatever he wants,” amid concerns the putsch has become a pretext for him to consolidate power. Mr Erdogan moved rapidly over the weekend to round up his adversaries, arresting more than 6,000 soldiers, including senior military leaders, and judges, suspected of involvement. So many soldiers have been detained that the lower ranked conscripts have been locked in schools and gymnasiums in the capital, Ankara. With expectations growing of heavy measures against dissent, European politicians warned Mr. Erdogan that the coup attempt did not give him a “blank cheque” to disregard the rule of law.
Mr Erdogan has hinted he may reintroduce the death penalty, which the country abolished in 2004 in line with its bid to join the European Union. Guenther Oettinger, the European Commissioner, said Mr Erdogan would move Turkey away from the core values represented by the EU and the Nato defence alliance, of which Turkey has been a crucial member in the fight against ISIL, if he decides to use the attempted coup to restrict basic democratic rights further. “He would strengthen his position domestically, but he would isolate himself internationally,” he warned.