The U.S. has to realize that protecting our version of Osama bin Laden will only hurt our deep-rooted relations and further alienate the Turkish public
For nearly three decades he managed to deceive all of us, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, former and late leaders Süleyman Demirel, Bülent Ecevit, Turgut Ozal and many more. The only person Fethullah Gülen could not deceive was late Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan.
He tried a couple of times to topple Erdoğan through various means and failed. That was an eye opener for many Turks and those who still gave him the benefit of the doubt learned who he was the hard way after an attempted bloody coup that dismally failed thanks to the resistance and resolve of the Turkish people...
Now he is deceiving Western public opinion through his extensive network that has penetrated deep into their state systems, media and social forums.
He sits in his Pennsylvania stronghold in the United States and continues to foment violence, hatred and evil under the guise of a beaten down, ill, helpless cleric. In fact he is another version of Osama bin Laden, but in a lamb's cloak.
Whether he has really deceived American officials or whether they are willing collaborators remains to be seen. What is certain however is that after being talked about as the mastermind of the July 15 bloody coup attempt in Turkey, he is still sitting in his cozy Pennsylvania home threatening Erdoğan and his supporters and promising revenge. He is hinting that he has given orders to his sleeper death squads in Turkey to assassination key personalities.
If you were an American official wouldn't you at least tell this man, who is a serious suspect, to shut up and enjoy U.S. hospitality instead of continuing to be a nuisance?
Yet this Turkish version of Osama bin Laden continues his quest to spread enmity in Turkey and threaten Turkish leaders.
We are not a nation that sends its spies to grab the followers of Gülen and send them to a Guantanamo...
We do not order our death squads to kill Gülen at his home in Pennsylvania. We only rely on the rule of law and hope that justice will prevail... That is kind of people we are. That is why we are asking for his extradition from the U.S. rather than take drastic actions that violate the sovereignty of other states...
Despite all this we do have the right to expect U.S. administration to stop giving the impression that they are actually protecting Gülen.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ is fully justified in saying he is sure that U.S. intelligence knew what Gülen and his followers were up to. They should also know what Gülen is doing in the U.S. and the illegal actions he is involved in.
The U.S. has to realize that protecting our version of Osama bin Laden will only hurt our deep-rooted relations and further alienate the Turkish public. Many Turks already believe Americans knew of the coup plot in Turkey in advance and some even go as far as to suggest the bloody attempt was engineered by certain people in the U.S.
When U.S. President Barack Obama says the U.S. had nothing to do with the coup plot it hardly convinces the millions who turn out in the squares of major cities in Turkey to stand vigil against any new coup plot...
Turkey needs the U.S. and the U.S. needs Turkey. If some people think they can create a mini-Kurdish state in northern Syria and use that as a new base and thus replace Turkey, they are grossly mistaken.
Turkey is not only a geostrategic asset in the region but its regional leadership and booming economy make it a strategic partner for the U.S. second to Israel. Under some circumstances Turkey emerges as the no.1 ally for the U.S. in the region. Now that Turkey is getting over the trauma of the coup plot, soon we will be back on track as we march ahead as the growing stable power of the region. So can the U.S. really turn a blind eye to all this and hold on to a version of Osama bin Laden?