JERUSALEM, Israel – The recent coup attempt in Turkey shook one of the most important nations in the Middle East to its foundation. The aftershocks, however, could likely have a greater impact not only within Turkey but throughout the region and beyond.
Since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his supporters foiled July’s attempted coup, he’s dismissed thousands of soldiers, judges, and teachers. The government also shut down more than 130 media outlets and made many arrests.
Erdogan blamed a man named Fethullah Gullen for the coup. The two were former allies, but after a falling out are now bitter enemies.
In 1999, Gullen fled Turkey and gained asylum in the United States. He now controls a large movement from his Pennsylvania home that includes many supporters inside Turkey. Although Gullen denies any involvement in the failed coup, Erdogan’s purge seems to be targeting many of the cleric’s followers.
Former Israeli diplomat Alon Liel told CBN News Turkey is experiencing “a revolution inside a revolution.”
“Gullen had millions of supporters,” the former Israeli charge d’affairs to Turkey said. “If you accuse anyone of them and see anyone of them as responsible for this failed and stupid coup, what do you do with these millions of people? Will they be able to get work? So how wide is the circle that you are punishing for this coup is a big question. I think we have a revolution inside a revolution.”