Who was behind the attempted coup?

Turkey's President Erdoğan has blamed his former ally Fethullah Gülen, a Muslim cleric currently living in exile in the US, of orchestrating the attempted coup. Gülen has roundly rejected the allegations. While some commentators say Erdoğan himself was behind the coup others pin the blame squarely on Gülen and his followers.

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Yeni Şafak (TR) /

The USA is pulling the strings

The attempted coup in Turkey was not instigated by the Gülen movement alone, but had the US as a powerful backer, emphasises the pro-government paper Yeni Şafak:

“The US government is directly implicated in this coup. It believed it would be successful. The US, together with an organisation that it controls directly, and with its arm extended by the Turkish army, would then of course have annexed Turkey. Erdoğan, his team and the spirit that guides Turkey today, would have been liquidated and in their eyes, the world would have been freed of Erdoğan. Not only the US government but also the countries of Europe and the whole Western press would have applauded the rebels on July 16. The Nato allies deployed a terror organisation against Turkey. ... There is no need to seek secret service connections or concrete evidence here. Who is protecting Gülen in the US? The US government and the CIA.”

Sözcü (TR) /

Gülen und Erdoğan have doused Turkey in blood

The Turkish AKP government is now presenting itself as the victim of the Gülen movement, although Erdoğan and Fethullah Gülen profited from one another for years, the Kemalist Sözcü recalls:

“For 40 years they provided one another with information, support and supervision, taking power with the aid of religion, imams, Allah, the Quran, the prophets and shrines. In the first twelve years of his rule Erdoğan saw Fethullah Gülen as someone who deserved support, and indeed, he gave him support. They both profited from the blessing of power. Together they amassed fortunes. They divided the profits of the big cities between themselves, lot by lot, project by project. ... And then they turned on one another. Why? So as not to have to share the power. ... They have smeared the country with blood.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Erdoğan's biggest dreams come true

The repercussions of the failed military coup in Turkey fit in so well with President Erdoğan's plans that it's hard to believe the whole thing wasn't staged, writes El Periódico de Catalunya:

“Beyond all the emerging information and speculation what we see is that the coup has been a boon for Erdoğan. Even in his wettest dreams he could never have foreseen such a favourable situation. I get attacked, respond heroically, call on the people to defend democracy and then ruthlessly purge the enemy camp. … But perhaps this is just how he imagined it after all. It's very hard not to believe that Erdoğan staged the coup himself.”

Daily Sabah (TR) /

No one should fall for Gülen's act

Ankara has formally requested the extradition of the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government holds responsible for the attempted coup. The US says it wants to see proof of his involvement first, but for the pro-government Daily Sabah the situation is as clear as day:

“The generals, officers and even the cadets who belong to the Gülen movement were instructed to stage a coup and did all they could, even killing people, to fulfil their mission. … We find it truly schocking that you, Barack Obama, President of the United States, are now demanding that we present proof of Gülen's involvement in the coup. … Gülen has already attempted to topple Erdoğan in the past and is still trying to do so. Will you become part of this crime? Don't fall for Gülen's frail-old-sick-man act. We fell for it and now you see the result.”

Hürriyet (TR) /

Turkey needs to show unity now

Hürriyet is enraged at the speculation that the government itself staged the attempted coup and calls on Turkish society to show cohesion:

“Erdoğan and the AKP know only too well that although they secured 50 percent of the vote eight months ago they need a far broader coalition and greater solidarity to quell a rebellion that was aimed at destroying the country. The danger of a coup in Turkey has not been banished and won't be until the armed forces have 'normalised'. … This means the current stance of the opposition parties is very important and constructive. If the parliament and the president manage to stop their political quarreling for a while and work together for a common basis the danger of another coup occurring will be reduced somewhat.”

Novi list (HR) /

Erdoğan staged the putsch himself

Erdoğan himself was behind the attempted putsch in Turkey, Novi List fears:

“What is clear is that it all looked like an attempt to topple the institutions headed by Erdoğan and that this attempt failed. But while the hundreds of dead and thousands of injured were still being counted in the early hours of the morning, officers, soldiers and civilians were being arrested as the guilty parties. On the morning after the gunfights 2,750 judges were arrested. Who managed to identify them so quickly during the night of the putsch as responsible for precisely this putsch? Nobody of course – the list had been prepared a long time ago and those who compiled it had just been waiting for the right moment to carry out the arrests. ... Thus one explanation seems ever more likely: the whole thing was staged in order to ‘purge’ the country.”

Pravda (SK) /

Coup attempt as a "gift from God"

Erdoğan is ruthlessly exploiting the attempted coup for his own purposes, Pravda underlines:

“If there was something Erdoğan lacked to gain total control of Turkey, it was precisely this. He himself referred to the failed coup as a 'gift from God' because it provided reason enough to 'purge the army'. And this is exactly what the Turkish autocrat is now doing, with the support of many people he called onto the streets. At least 6,000 people, most of them members of the military, have been arrested and 2,700 judges removed from office. It's easy to imagine what this all means for the Turkish media and opposition politicians. The government is considering introducing the death penalty. And those who have been arrested won't only be charged with taking part in the attempted coup but also with being members of terrorist organisations. Will someone stop Erdoğan before Turkey definitively ceases to be a democracy?”