Last summer’s failed military coup in Turkey gave a lot of momentum to the idea of conspiratorial plots against Turkey, centering at the time on the government blaming exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, and officials in the government treating the Obama Administration’s refusal to extradite Gulen as evidence of US involvement.in the plot, with most media reports speculating the CIA played a role.
That carried over into yesterday’s assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov in Ankara. All it took was a little baseless speculation by Ankara’s mayor that the assassin, a Turkish riot police officer, was in league with Gulen, to set pro-government media outlets to work.
Major newspapers like Yeni Safak are not just blaming Gulen for the assassination, but accusing the CIA of being behind the plot. Naturally, no evidence exists to support any of this speculation, but after the coup purge of most of the reporters in Turkey willing to question official narrative, it can be expected to remain unquestioned fact.
As far as the underlying assumption, Gulen has already disavowed and condemned the assassination, and the only link to the gunman are claims that the shooter one time attended a college prep course at a university accused of being supported by Gulen. Since the post-coup purge hit materially every university in the country, such a “link” would be true of pretty much anybody in the country who ever attended such a class anywhere in Turkey.