Your boys could not succeed this time

By: Merve Şebnem*

Washington’s responses to questions in relation to handing over Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) leader, Fetullah Gülen, to Turkey after the repelled coup attempt were also interesting. While the U.S. administration passed off the situation with statements such as “Let’s first see the evidence,” and did nothing to have coup plotter and terrorist leader Gülen to be arrested, taken into custody or at least something aimed at taking a measure to prevent him from fleeing the country, U.S. media was seen to frequently hold the microphone to Gülen. Gülen, who last spoke to Fareed Zakaria on CNN, likened the coup attempt to a Hollywood movie and claimed once more that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was behind it. Sounds like a joke, but it is the truth; U.S. media, which is accusing Turks of making up conspiracy theories, Turks who have been saying that the coup bears the finger prints of the U.S., which has been hosting Gülen for years, is making ample room for such charlatanism. Yet, Gülen is continuing to mock the Turkish public and threaten Turkey through the other videos shared on social media by his followers.This is why the clues that surfaced on the U.S. being behind the coup are important. Especially the news stories by Yeni Şafak in relation to this deserve to be closely followed. However, the U.S. administration is quite disturbed about such news, the pressure and the anti-American sentiment rising in Turkey. U.S. officials are saying that they see the claims as conspiracy theories, but frankly, if something walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is probably a duck. So, while Gülen is behind the coup attempt, while he has been living in the U.S. for the last 17 years and the U.S. appears unwilling to hand him over, and while all operations of the Gülen organization serve the U.S.’s agenda in the region, I am sorry but the Turkish people are entirely right in thinking that the U.S. is behind this attempt.

As a matter of fact, the way the U.S. – which has a reputation for having coups carried out – intervened in Turkey’s domestic and foreign affairs since World War II is engraved in our memories. For example, the Truman Doctrine and the establishment of counterinsurgency in Turkey within the scope of the Gladio operation? Is this secret armed organization, that was founded to prevent the spread of communism and left stray after the Cold War and the crimes it became involved in, not the U.S.’s doing?

Or does the U.S. – with which an agreement was signed for the establishment of the Adana (İncirlik) base, and despite Adnan Menderes, who was prime minister when Turkey joined NATO, being neither against the U.S. nor NATO – have nothing to do with the 1960 coup at the time Turkey was going to visit Moscow to seek financial alternatives, as Turkey became excessively dependent on the U.S.? Back then, forget NATO giving Turkey a loan to fix its economy, it would not even allow us to stop being an agricultural country and industrialize.

Let’s remember the letter U.S. President Lyndon Johnson wrote to Prime Minister İsmet İnönü during the Cyprus events in the 1960s. İnönü’s response to Johnson, who threatened Turkey that if it intervenes in Cyprus NATO will no longer be on its side, was, “A new world order will be established and Turkey will take its place there.” However, İnönü had to resign a year later due to the crisis that emerged in the budget vote.

What about Bülent Ecevit? He had resigned – at a time his popularity had peaked despite the U.S.’s arms sanction after Turkey’s Cyprus landing – so he could go to early elections and return with a stronger government; but the government could not be formed for 200 days. Did we not see coalitions, the right-left conflicts, bloody clashes and shortly after, the 1980 coup? When Kenan Evren and his friends took control over the country, was it not written many times how a CIA agent informed U.S. President Jimmy Carter with joy, “Our boys succeeded”?

Turgut Özal came to power in 1983. He got Turkey to progress, yet at the time he started to seek a solution to the Kurdish problem, he died from a suspicious heart attack. Does the discovery that Commissioned Officer Mustafa Sarsılmaz, who was on guard at Gülhane Military Medical Academy (GMMA), had ties with the Gülen organization, and efforts to associate Özal’s death with Ergenekon, not revive the doubts we had back in those days?

The nine years following Özal’s death saw eight governments, with seven of them being coalition governments, and one post-modern coup. The chaos ended with the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and finally the country saw stability. However, the Turkish Parliament’s rejection of the March 1 memorandum led tensions to rise once again with the U.S. Back then, there were those who wanted Turkey out of NATO for not agreeing with the U.S. and allies who discussed its reliability; all hell was let loose in international media similar to the present civil war process in Syria. What about Ergenekon, Balyoz (Sledgehammer)? Looking back now, with the revenge of the March 1 memorandum and today’s Gülenist organization, had the military been completely re-designed to serve U.S. interests?

In other words, the U.S. did not care whether the ruling government in Turkey was leftist or rightists, religious or secular, the fate of all those who did not serve its interests turned out to be the same. This is not the first time the U.S. is interfering in Turkey, but it is the first time it failed. What followed is a sharp-edged knife and we owe it to maintaining our feeling of unity, which we managed years later that prevented us from being the ones to fall on this knife.

*Merve Şebnem is a Turkish journalist and columnist.

(Published in Yeni Şhafak on Thursday, August 4, 2016)