Following the failed coup bid, the Turkey accused US-based cleric Fetullah Gulen for orchestrating the attempted military takeover of the country’s democratically elected government.
Fetullah Gulen, the man who Erdogan wants from US. Selahattin Sevi / Reuters
In an address after the coup bid was thwarted, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım addressed the world media and said:
“I do not see any country that would stand behind this man, this leader of the terrorist gang, especially after last night. The country that would stand behind this man is no friend to Turkey. It would even be a hostile act against Turkey.”
A vengeful Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan, who sees his former ally Gulen as his biggest rival, publically addressed Obama in a rally of his supporters in Istanbul.
“Dear President Obama, I told you this before, either arrest Fethullah Gulen or return him to Turkey, you did not listen. I call on you again after there was a coup attempt. Extradite this man in Pennsylvania to Turkey.”
It is clear that the failed coup attempt has not only solidified Erdogan’s stand in Turkey but has made him an all-powerful leader in West Asia’s only secular Muslim-dominated country.
Quoting US Secretary of State John Kerry’s words to his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavosoglu, State Department spokesman John Kirby said: “Public insinuations or claims about any role by the United States in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations.”
Kerry had earlier told reporters that the US wants the government of Turkey to present “any legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny” promising that Washington will look into it carefully.
The closer of the base, described by US as temporary, will affect the operation against IS if it lasts for more than four days.
A Turkish fighter jet takes off from the Incirlik Air Base. Murad Sezer / Reuters
At the same time NATO too is feeling stretched with a Turkey under Erdogan because under ‘Sultan’, as his Anatolian supporters call him, the second biggest military power in the alliance went against Kurds instead of Islamic State. The Kurds are the biggest ally of the US in the war against Islamic State.
There are also concerns of the steady decline of press freedom and Erdogan’s Islamist leanings.
The failed coup will go down in Turkey’s history as the day Erdogan became a quasi-Sultan – something Erdogan wants to see himself as.