How would Americans feel if Osama Bin Laden lived in a Turkish city and Turkish officials and media outlets defended him?
On the night of July 15, Turkey was confronted with a coup attempt organized by a faction from the military. Coup forces blocked bridges with tanks while jets bombed Parliament and helicopters opened fire on people.
A total of 246 citizens were killed and around 1,500 were injured. It was a horrendous night. The murders and massacres were committed before the eyes of Turkey and the entire world.
Fethullah Gülen, a former imam who fled to the U.S. after the Turkish military issued a secularist memorandum on Feb. 28, 1997, was revealed to be behind the coup attempt.
Along with the confessions and affiliations of the arrested soldiers, their targets during the coup attempt also fuel suspicions revolving around Gülen. All the journalists and opinion leaders who formed the theoretical ground of the coup attempt also have organic relations with Gülen's organization.
Almost all of the public regards Gülen as responsible for the coup attempt. Since July 15, thousands of people have been pouring into streets and squares every night to guard their democracy. And not only Justice and Development Party (AK Party) proponents or President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan supporters are taking to the streets.
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), which was founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Republic, also organized a rally in Istanbul last Sunday. Despite the tension prevalent in the political arena, AK Party voters joined the CHP's rally, a first in years.
Having met Erdoğan lately, CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in a statement: "The spread of FETÖ [Gülenist Terror Organization] within the state and the Turkish Armed Forces to such a degree is something we should all think about."
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also demonstrated against the coup attempt in the streets. MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli explicitly said that Gülen was responsible for the coup attempt.
The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and its supporters are also of the same opinion.
As can be seen, regardless of ideological differences, society and political representatives agree that Gülen and its illegal organization was behind the coup. Also, the business world, nongovernmental organizations and all media outlets, even those that harshly criticize Erdoğan and the AK Party up until now, agree on that point.
However, the attitude of the EU and the U.S. after July 15 is the exact opposite of the situation in Turkey.
When the official statements and news reports covered by foreign media are considered, it looks as if Gülen's organization is the one aggrieved by the July 15 coup attempt.
This must be collective insanity.
It is evident that Gülen's emphasis on lobbying played a major role in creating this atmosphere abroad. But still, the situation is not sufficient to explain the approach of these countries, which have maintained diplomatic relations with Turkey for decades.
At this point, ill-will is apparent aside from double standards.
Otherwise, the U.S., which has been an ally of Turkey for nearly a century and regards Turkey as a "modern partner," would not have left Turkey alone during this coup attempt and Gülenist militants would not have been defended in the U.S. media. As Russia underlined, it would have warned Turkey, which is a NATO member, due to the mobility in the Turkish military. And most importantly, Gülen, who is responsible for the 246 casualties, would not be living undisturbed in his luxurious residence in Pennsylvania without even giving testimony.
We must ask the authorities and journalists in the U.S. a few questions:
How can you still defend Gülen even though all evidence has been revealed and everything happened before your own eyes?
How would you feel if Osama Bin Laden lived in a Turkish city and Turkish officials and media outlets defended him?
No one can stop Turks from thinking that the U.S. and the West was behind the July 15 coup attempt unless some satisfactory answers are given to these questions.