The failed coup can offer a chance for a new democratic settlement.
On July 15, 2016, a coup attempt shook Turkey and though it failed, it left us with many questions. While the details of how the coup was attempted and why it failed remain unclear, first indications suggest that the coup was initiated and orchestrated by a clandestine network within the army and perhaps other state institutions (including the judiciary, intelligence, and police forces). We do not know with certainty how this network was organized and how it operated, but what we do know is that the spiritual leader of this network is Fethullah Gülen, a Muslim cleric, who has been in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. Though he and his advocates deny any accusations of his involvement, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems convinced of his guilt and intent on rooting out his network in Turkey.
Until recently, Erdogan and Gülen (and his followers) were political allies in total accord with one another.
Just a few years ago, such an accusation would have been unthinkable—until recently, Erdogan and Gülen (and his followers) were political allies in total accord with one another. Gülen, a religious and political figure and writer, is the founder of the Gülen movement, which was propelled, in part, by the rise of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party in the early millennium. A Cold War man, Gülen became a popular preacher during the anti-communist struggle in Turkey in the 1970s (likely sponsored by American intelligence). From the early 1980s on he and his followers, the Gülenists, built an international network of businessmen, teachers, journalists, intellectuals, and bureaucrats, some of whom graduated from the schools that this network established in Turkey.