The fact the Guardian is giving a sympathetic ear to Fethullah Gülen, the man Turkish president Erdogan alleges was behind the failed coup, could be a hint at some of the complex realities and conflicting loyalties here. As indeed can the media’s sudden and renewed discovery of the Erdogan government’s long history of brutality, which is also being freshly aired by the BBC.
The Guardian article even suggests the coup may have been staged by Erdogan to increase his own popularity. Again this is interesting. In general it’s only regimes we’re being invited to disapprove of or demonise that are accused of shady dealings and false flags. Any suggestion that a friendly nation could stage a fake coup would usually be greeted with cries of “conspiracy theory.”
So it looks as if Erdogan is in an ambiguous position with his masters in Washington right now. A development that may not be entirely unconnected with Erdogan’s recent overtures of conciliation toward Russia.
Erdogan is demanding Gülen’s extradition, and the US is requesting evidence of the latter’s guilt before considering its position, whatever that will turn out to mean. And the Incirlik air base is apparently still intermittently being closed for use by the Pentagon, for reasons that remain unclear.
Time will no doubt reveal more. But we can at least detect the broad strokes of an emerging narrative. Erdogan’s brutality is no longer inadmissible in the neoliberal media. And Gülen is being sold to us as a more acceptable potential alternative.
Let’s see how this develops.
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