Turkey has squarely accused the US government of being behind the July 15, 2015 failed coup attempt against President Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish President has openly said Islamic religious leader Fetullah Gulen, who is self-exiled in the US, was the mastermind behind the coup and believes that America’s reluctance to extradite him to Turkey to stand trial proves the US are complicit and conspired with him to oversthrow the Turkish government. Speaking to Al Jazeera, Erdogan’s adviser, Burhan Kuzu, is alleged to have said that the arrest of Metin Topuz, an employee of the American consulate in Istanbul, would shame America because he had information about the role played by the American secret services in the coup under the Barack Obama administration.
Mr Kuzu said that the cancellation of visa-free movement of Turkish nationals happened to pressure Turkey to release the US consulate official. It should be noted that the American decision and the retaliation followed by Turkey is an unprecedented development for the relations of the two allies, who have collaborated on all levels in the past. America has covered Turkey several times even when it violated international laws (in Cyprus and elsewhere) and the human rights of its citizens. The Americans protested about the arrest, as well as about the arrest of another Turkish national working for the Americans. The Turkish response was that they were not covered by any immunity and that they have information on American contacts with people involved with the coup.