Damaging Democracy: The U.S., Fethullah Gülen &  Turkey’s Upheaval

 By Michael A. Reynolds – Michael A. Reynolds is a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Program on the Middle East and is an Associate Professor in Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies where he teaches courses on modern Middle Eastern and Eurasian history, comparative empire, military and ethnic conflict, and secularism.


In this startling essay on the attempted coup in Turkey, FPRI senior fellow and prize-wining Princeton historian Michael Reynolds shakes up the way we think about Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Fethullah Gülen, and the United States. He tells a tale of intra-Islamist intrigue in which a Turkish imam based in the Poconos allied himself with Erdoğan as part of a decades-long effort to capture the Turkish state from within. After having first neutralized their common opponents in the secular establishment through sham trials, the imam took on Erdoğan in

a struggle that perhaps reached its denouement in the attempted coup of 15 July. With the rule of law in shambles and social trust in tatters, Turkish democracy and stability are in grave condition. By obliging Gülen and permitting him to reside in America, not only did Washington fail to promote democracy, Reynolds concludes, it may have actually helped to subvert and weaken—however inadvertently—the most important democracy in the Middle East.


Watch pdf document –