Since the graft probe including former ministers of the AKP government became public on December 17th, and the arrests of the minister’s sons took place, Erdogan and his government have described the case as a plot with the aim of toppling AKP’s 11 years old rule. Behind it lie international forces afraid of Turkey’s rise as an economic power in the region, but also a so called gang within the state, a clear a reference to Fetullah Gülen’s loyal members within the state apparatus. How these two pictures are combined, has never been explained nor elaborated.
When it comes to the claims of an international conspiracy, only media outlets close to the government (Sabah, Yeni Safak etc.), has taken these seriously. Other newspapers has mostly seen it as a way for Erdogan to play upon old conspiracy theories, popular in a certain segment of voters.
The claim that Fetullah Gülen has loyal people within the police force and the judiciary system on the other hand, has bearing. But in relation to the serious accusations and the seemingly solid evidence that the graft probe is based upon, describing the whole case as the fight between Erdogan and Gülen, as even many newspapers critical of the government has done, is not only wrong, but is also skewing the public debate to Erdogans advantage. The AKP strategy has very clearly been to describe the graft case as a war against them, thus justifying the sacking of over 500 police officers, not making any real comments about the accusations and obstructing the justice. By adopting this description, AKP’s attempts to avoid further investigation is given credibility.
It is therefore time to stop talking about Gülen vs. Erdogan. Such talk is only distracting the debate from what is really going on among high government officials in the frail democracy of the Turkish republic.
Also read this article on the subject.