In the wake of the weekend coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turks increasingly point to a culprit outside their country’s borders: the United States.
“It’s all America’s fault,” said Erkan Gul, 22, a sandwich shop worker. His evidence is the U.S. haven granted to Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for orchestrating the failed military coup.
The cleric’s followers in Turkey “used to do some good things for the people. But then America corrupted Gulen, and now he is trying to take over Turkey,” the sandwich maker said.
Erdogan demands that the United States extradite Gulen, who has lived in Pennsylvania since 1999, but the U.S. insists Turkey first provide evidence of Gulen’s complicity in the takeover attempt. That has created renewed tensions between the two NATO allies.