Who was the mastermind?
Often a simple explanation might offer a far clearer answer to a myriad of questions than complex, aloof and mostly exaggerated conspiracy theories. If there is a crime and there is a sincere effort to identify who the culprit might be, can the “who benefitted the most?” question be appropriate to ask?
Was Turkey really moving away from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization? Were the “Gülenist elements” within the military and the rest of the Turkish establishment hired by the Americans? Or, were they hired by the Russians?
Was Turkey drifting away from NATO so a “panicked” alliance activated its “good boys” Gülenists to take over the country from the “traitor” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan? Or, did Russia order its Eurasian “sleeping cells” in the Turkish military to push aside the “arrogant” Erdoğan factor compromising prosperous relations? Were Gülenists bought by the Israelis to punish the pro-Hamas Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party, considered also as the Turkish version of the Muslim Brotherhood?
Was Erdoğan the “number one” of the coup who could not be found so far? Was he the one who instigated Gülenists to a revolt as if they would win and once they were in action caught them red-handed and cleansed them from the country? Was it just a product of a power struggle between two Islamist groups? Was it just who would reap the most benefits of being in power?
These and many other similar questions might be asked and indeed plausible answers might be produced for each and every one of them. The bare fact, however, is that whatever was behind the July 15 worst and bloodiest coup attempt this country ever lived through, such an immense trauma was inflicted on the soul of the nation that it will take years to leave it behind.
Was it a Turkish 9/11? Will Turkey move on to establish some sort of a “Homeland Security” system like the Americans? Up to what limit can Turkey compromise human rights, liberties, justice and supremacy of law? Well, with a cheeky approach it might even be asked whether there was ever supremacy of law or separation of powers in Turkey’s most recent times. How many times has the structure and composition of the high courts of the country, particularly that of the Judges and Prosecutors High Board (HSYK), been reconfigured by the political authority? Was it normal to change the law, structure and members of the HSYK, the board that has the authority on all judicial appointments, promotions and disciplinary measures?
Could there be American involvement? American friends are mostly irritated with such a consideration, as if their country has never ever undertaken such nasty operations anywhere outside the United States. Even if they would not want to see it, particularly the 1980 coup in this country was a textbook case operation by “our boys.” Why the 1980 coup leaders were America’s “our boys” was a question that must be answered by the “prince of darkness,” Richard Perle, and in his absence of course now by the State Department.
Though it appears to be a fantasy, the firm conviction among many people in Ankara nowadays is the claim that Turkey’s slow but persistent derailment from NATO upset the “Big Brother” or the “mastermind.” Scared that Turkey could “walk over the wall” and align with Russia, according to the fantasy, a takeover in Turkey by the “good boys” was decided. Why were Gülenists considered good boys? Primarily because of their “mild interpretation of Islam.” Naturally, the perceived sincere efforts of Gülenists over the past decades to establish and foster interfaith dialogue. Up until they used tanks, helicopters and F-16 fighter jets to murder Turks, attack the sacrosanct Turkish parliament and extravagant presidential palace, as well as the police headquarters, were not Gülenists considered far more democratic, modern and indeed civilized compared to the arrogant, demanding and often uncompromising character of the president and his folk?
The bottom line of what has been lived through in Turkey on July 15 and onwards is the bare fact that highly polarized people which were lectured for years to concentrate on stability and forget the rest continued demanding stability at all cost. Who staged the abortive coup? Who was behind it? Who was its number one? A flurry of theories, accusations flooded the country. However, no one tried to find an answer to the question of why and how the country came to the brink of civil war. Politicians who were able to come together in the post-July 15 period continue adamancy by spending the precious opportunity to establish in the country much-needed consensus politics. Instead of moving ahead with consensus politics, structural changes in the state are being carried out through emergency law degrees. Perennial confrontation politics are being continued through massive country-wide profiling and what appears to be a witch-hunt against Gülenists. For example, working for a newspaper, TV station or news agency to earn a living cannot be sufficient to be considered guilty and sent behind bars.
Definitely, I have no idea who was the number one of the Gülenist coup but definitely Erdoğan is the number one of the post-coup takeover in the country.