Writing in The Washington Times, Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman makes the case for closer inspection of the forces behind Turkey’s failed coup attempt. With mounting evidence pointing to Fethullah Gülen as the mastermind, Washington should be prepared to cooperate with Ankara its investigation:
BBC reported in the name of a police source that Mr. Erdogan was planning to arrest Gulen-supporting members of the army on July 16. When the coup-plotters learned about this, they went ahead and initiated the coup earlier than planned, according to the source.
More than occasionally, he and his network of more than 200 charter schools have sparked controversy, including accusations (written about by The Washington Post), that the schools are using taxpayer dollars to benefit the Gulen movement by giving business to Gulen followers or through financial arrangements with local foundations that promote Gulen teachings and Turkish culture. A witness in a 2013 hearing about one of Mr. Gulen’s Ohio schools said her husband — a former teacher — had to turn over 40 percent of his salary to a secret fund used by the movement.
Mr. Gulen did give an interview to a small group of elite journalists immediately following the weekend coup, denying any involvement. Perhaps this is because, to his own admission, he immediately began receiving threats on social media as events unfolded. Or perhaps it is because the putsch was unsuccessful and Mr. Gulen wanted quickly to distance himself from the mess.
It will take a while longer before the world has clarity on what exactly happened shortly on July 15. A word of caution: Before casting aside Mr. Erdogan’s accusations of Mr. Gulen as a ploy to maintain power, investigators, politicians — and anyone who cares about maintaining some semblance of stability in the Middle East — should probe deeper into Fethullah Gulen.