The Turkish government has issued an arrest warrant for former CIA officer Graham Fuller on charges of aiding a July 15, 2016, attempted Turkish coup.
Turkish news Hurriyet Daily News described the warrant as charging Fuller with “attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey and obstructing the duties of the Republic of Turkey, obtaining state information that must be kept secret for political and military espionage purposes, attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.”
According to BBC, Fuller has denied the charges.
In a Turkish broadcast last month, Alexander Dugin, a Russian nationalist philosopher and strategist, claimed that Russian intelligence agencies had “concrete evidence that CIA agents commanded the failed coup attempt.”
On July 15, 2016, a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces, under the name Peace at Home Council, attempted to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The soldiers occupied government buildings and media organizations in prominent Turkish cities and used Turkish Army jets to bomb Ankara.
Erdogan was not present for the coup. He first addressed the Turkish people using FaceTime, via a CNN Turk reporter, who held her cellphone to the camera.
Following the attempted coup, the Turkish government forced the closure of more than 100 media outlets. The purge resulted in the detainment of tens of thousands of people — among them citizens, journalists, soldiers, and high-ranking officials.
Who is Graham Fuller?
Fuller is a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA and a former senior political scientist at RAND Corporation. He currently works as an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He has a master's in Russian and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard.
He worked in the CIA for 20 years.
The Turkish government claims that Fuller aided Fethullah Gülen, the alleged mastermind of the July 15 coup. Erdogan has maintained that Gülen orchestrated the coup with the help of the U.S. government. Gülen, in response, has accused Erdogan of arranging the coup as a false-flag operation.
Who is Fethullah Gülen?
Gülen has lived in the U.S. since 1999. According to the Washington Post, the 77-year-old Gülen lives in exile at a compound in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. He is an Islamic cleric, former imam, writer, and political figure who runs schools, from kindergarten to university.
According to the Wall Street Journal, there are more than 1,000 Gülen schools worldwide, with 150 across the U.S. in 25 states, the greatest concentration of which are in Texas.
The schools proselytize the Gülen movement, which emphasizes interfaith and intercultural accord and humanitarian work.
Why does Turkey believe that Gülen is the mastermind?
According to DW, the Gülen movement, which boasts at least 3 million followers in Turkey, has riven the political structure of Turkey.
Dani Rodrik, a Turkish economist and professor at Harvard, noted that "the Gülen movement goes much beyond the schools, charities, and inter-faith activities with which it presents itself to the world: it also has a dark underbelly engaged in covert activities such as evidence fabrication, wiretapping, disinformation, blackmail, and judicial manipulation."