At the heart of any political upheaval, there is always a catalyst. There is always that one person that is driving the thought and ambition of the group. Coups and rebellions do not happen without political leaders. There is always someone pointing the way and making the calls.
So, then, who is behind the attempted coup in Turkey? What was their goal and what if anything will this change? Many, including the leadership in Turkey, think that they have the answer.
A military coup attempt in Turkey has left at least 161 dead and more than 1,400 wounded and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pinned the blame on a Muslim cleric living in the U.S. for starting the attack.
Fethullah Gulen and his supporters have long been accused of attempting to overthrow the government and it came to a tipping point late Friday when a pro-coup group within the Turkish military began its assault on the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul.
Gulen had a falling out with President Erdogan several years ago. The strife seems to be centered around the eroding liberty in Turkey. Gulen is a supporter of freedom of the press and free speech. Both he has seen hindered in Turkey of late.
But while Erdogan and others point the finger at Gulen, he denies any involvement, stating that such a move would go counter to his beliefs.
“For more than 40 years, Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet participants have advocated for, and demonstrated their commitment to, peace and democracy. We have consistently denounced military interventions in domestic politics,” Gulen’s Shared Values group, based in New York, said in a statement.
Has Fethullah Gulen turned from his principles to save his country, or is he merely a patsy in a larger game?