Tag: Gulen

Turkey and the Western Media


My doctor, who I visited yesterday to renew a routine prescription, knows I lived in Turkey for many years. As I stood up to leave, he asked me if he could ask my opinion. “The coup in Turkey,” he said earnestly. “Was it real? Or did Erdoğan stage it?”

It suddenly occurred to me how strange my experience of all of this has been. I imagined telling him the truth. “No, he didn’t stage it, and interestingly, your question indicates to me that you — like most people in the West — have been the victim of an extremely sophisticated media and asset-recruitment operation conducted by a powerful, multi-tentacled Islamist cult run out of Pennsylvania, you see, one that’s greatly assisted by the laziness, intellectual weakness, and corruption of the Western media.”

The Week in Europe


The GOP convention has probably drowned out the news from Europe in the US, but it’s been a dramatic week. I’ve been unable to take my eyes or my mind off events in Turkey. I wrote this piece for City Journal:

… It will be many years, if ever, before we fully understand what just took place. But some of the conclusions hastily drawn in the Western media make no sense. Many commentators have been quick, for example, to accept Gülen’s intimation that the scale of the purge indicates the coup attempt was staged by Erdoğan himself, in some kind of Turkish Reichstag fire. True, lists of people to purge were prepared long in advance, but that doesn’t mean that Erdoğan staged the coup. It’s no surprise to anyone in Turkey that these lists were ready; the government had already said as much. To understand why, you’d need to be familiar with events in Turkey from the time the AKP came to power to the present, as well as the way, beginning in 2012, the AKP visibly, explosively, and publicly fell out with Gülen’s flock. The president has taken advantage of the coup plot to accelerate a purge, but it doesn’t mean he staged it. Nor is it evidence for Gülen’s involvement, though it would be credulous to dismiss that idea out of hand.

The Plot: A Report from Turkey


OkanI’ll post links soon to a few pieces I’ve written about the failed putsch in Turkey. Meanwhile, here’s an update from my friend and colleague Okan, who was interviewed recently by an Iranian journalist, Sajjad Moosavi. Okan kindly gave me permission to reproduce an English-language version of that interview.

Q: Who is Fethullah Gülen and what should we know about him?

A: Fethullah Gülen is essentially an Islamist preacher wrapped in a “moderate Islam” package for human consumption. I say “Islamist” and not “Muslim” because as with many others, such as members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Gülen’s mission in life is all about using religion to attain wealth and power with the ultimate goal of political dominance. Whether he’s assisted by international actors is a matter that should be investigated; however, it’s clear that the Gülenists partnered with Erdoğan to change the course of the Turkish Republic from a modern, secular direction to one that exploits religion to cling endlessly to power. Claire wrote two pieces about Gülen in which you can find excellent information: Who is Fethullah Gülen and Turkey’s Two Thugs.