Daniel Pipes, an American historian, writer, and commentator who is the president of the Middle East Forum and publisher of its Middle East Quarterly journal, has assessed the accusations of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his despotic regime which have been targeting Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the followers of the Gülen movement over their alleged role in a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 as “puffery” and “deceit”.
Giving an interview to Brussels-based Vocal Europe online news outlet, Pipes has answered a question about Turkey’s demands for extradition of Fethullah Gülen from the United States for his alleged role in the July 2016 coup attempt, and he stated that “The Turkish opposition calls it the ‘controlled’ coup d’état in the sense that it ‘was foreseen, not prevented and benefited from’ by Erdoğan and the ruling AK party; I agree with this description, in part because the Turkish government has systematically resisted an independent inquiry into the coup.”
Pipes has continued to assess the issue by saying that “Turning to Gülen: US government sources have indicated that Ankara has not produced evidence of his complicity in, much less his leadership of, the coup attempt. Accordingly, I dismiss this accusation as the usual Erdoğan puffery and deceit.”
Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.