The Allies won World War II, but the actual winner of the war was the U.S. As a new world order, in the form of a bipolar world, was being established, the U.S represented the most powerful country in the Western world. The end of the war did not result in a return to normality, on the contrary, a new conflict started. While two political blocs developed around the Soviet Union and the U.S., other countries were forced to choose between the two camps. The European powers, which had been at the forefront in the 1930s, were left exhausted and ruined by the war, and had to perform a comprehensive economic recovery after the great destruction the conflict wrought. They left the scene open for the two new global superpowers. They also had no choice but to leave the Middle East. This void would be filled by the two superpowers, mostly the U.S., and thus the first major political contact between the U.S. and Muslims began. With the beginning of the Cold War, Muslim countries also had to take their place in this new world order. While Middle Eastern countries where Arab nationalism was consolidated would stand close to the Soviets due to their anti-imperialist and anti-West attitude, the U.S. started to encourage the others against the "atheist" and "communist" Soviets with the propaganda of a new world where everything including the religion is free.
The Cold War took its place in the history books as a period in which the U.S. and the Soviets were not in close combat, but fought one another everywhere around the world through proxy wars. Afghanistan became one of the main fronts of this era. Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan upon the 1979 call of the Marxist government that took power in the country after the April 1978 coup, the U.S. responded. They cooperated with the Muslims there and carried out many activities, such as arming the Taliban – which it identifies today as the "jihadis" – and training and financing them.
However, in the unipolar world order that emerged with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the jihadi groups supported by the U.S., fell from grace – just like the stay-behind networks such as Gladio in the West supported by the U.S and NATO – and in fact started to replace the threat of communism for the U.S. The "good fellows" of the Cold War had now become the new evil. The U.S. categorized the population of the Muslim world into four segments: fundamentalists, traditionalists, modernists and seculars, which suggested the necessity of building moderate Muslim networks, and supporting the modernists for this purpose. However, the U.S did not stop with only defining the fundamentalists as a threat to the Western world, in time, it also started to see the traditionalists' as radicals and a threat – who may shortly be defined as conservatives – in other words, the backbone of the Muslim community.
The U.S. supported the Arab Spring in the beginning on the same terms. As a matter of fact, certain catalysts were activated to kick start revolutions in the Arab streets as youth movements and liberal groups were financed. Turkey's being suggested as a model for the Middle East was also based on the confidence in the Gülenists, which was built as a moderate network by the U.S., and formed an illegal parallel structure within the Turkish state. When the breaking point was reached, all bets were placed on the Gülenists. They thought the Gülenists will eventually succeed and that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will surrender.
The U.S. offered a new American dream to the Arab world with iPhones, Twitter and Facebook. It was the same dream that was shown to the Russians some time ago with McDonald's, Hollywood and Walt Disney. Once the dictators left, freedom would come and the free Arab streets would choose secular liberalism. But that is not what happened. The conservatives started to win the elections; the Arabs were on the side of the Islamic/Islamist rulers. In other words, the Arab Spring was off the rails and an intervention was compulsory. Hence, the U.S. overlooked and supported the counter-revolutions financed by Gulf countries in countries like Egypt and Libya, changed its policy in Syria. The Gülenists attempted to take control of the government a couple of times in Turkey during the same period, starting with the intelligence-judiciary political crisis on Feb 7, 2012.
In 2014-2015, they pushed for the proxy wars in the Middle East to be spread into Turkey through terrorist groups, and while the Gülenists paved the way for the "radical" Daesh and "secular" PKK, the U.S. sought new allies to comply with its new war concept. As with the cooperation shown to Muslims against the "atheist" and "communist" Soviets during the Cold War period, this time cooperation was shown to Russia against the "radical" and "jihadi" Muslims. The U.S.-Russia tables set up to find a political solution in Syria — the intimate meetings of the foreign ministers of both countries, the military cooperation against Daesh, the intelligence sharing and the cease-fire decisions that were never implemented — were the first steps. To set Russia and Turkey against each other was also a part of this. The signals of Turkey and Russia restoring ties in 2016 were not expected. But had the Gülenist coup attempt succeeded, the entire issue would have been entirely taken care of.
They failed. In addition to their failure, the plots of the U.S. became disclosed as everything happened in front of all their eyes. The improving ties with Russia gained pace with the July 15 coup attempt, but another sabotage was attempted to spoil ties on December. The Russian ambassador to Ankara was assassinated. And yet still Ankara and Moscow did not fall into the trap. Today, many issues, including a solution in Syria, are being discussed between the two countries, and the ceasefire in Syria declared at the end of December in which Russia and Turkey act as guarantors has been largely holding.
The cards were surely reshuffled in 2016 and the U.S. is not in the slightest bit happy with this new unexpected scene. For the first time in years, the ones that the U.S. plan to set at odds, came together, and left the U.S out of the game. We will see the U.S's response in 2017.