1134 GMT October 18, 2019
Gulen (seen below) used to be Erdogan’s mentor and ally before disagreements arose between them. He has been in self-imposed exile in the United States for decades, and now the Erdogan government accuses him of having masterminded a failed July 2016 coup against Ankara.
The Turkish Hurriyet Daily News cited Turkey’s intelligence agency on Tuesday as saying that it had reason to believe that the Gulen organization’s activities “have been developed under the umbrella of one or several intelligence services.”
What led it to the conclusion was that the group comprising Gulen’s followers “implements secrecy by using code names and operational phone lines; conducts audio surveillance on strategic institutions; carries out illegal wiretapping, and produces fake evidence.”
The agency, however, did not specify any of the alleged foreign services by country.
The coup saw a faction of the Turkish military declaring that it had seized control of the country and that Erdogan’s government was no longer in charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed over some two days after it was launched.
Erdogan has been riding a wave of patriotism since the coup by portraying himself as the country’s savior, according to observers.
Back in April, the Republican Peoples Party, the main Turkish opposition party, accused the ruling Justice and Development Party of having had prior knowledge of the coup, saying Ankara carried out a “controlled” putsch in an attempt to exploit its outcomes.
Around 47,000 people have been placed in detention and more than 100,000 public sector employees summarily dismissed since the coup attempt.