On Wednesday, July 20, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency in Turkey in order to hunt down all those deemed to be behind an attempted coup. The state of emergency was needed "in order to remove swiftly all the elements of the terrorist organization involved in the coup attempt," he told a press conference.
Turkey has accused the group of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of being behind the coup and acting as a terror group. "The decision has been made to declare the state of emergency for a period of three months," Erdogan said adding that the state of emergency is a measure "against the terror threat facing our country".
On Saturday, Erdogan called the attempted coup "treason" and took to task the forces he apparently suspects of masterminding it. "Now I'm addressing those in Pennsylvania," he said, in an apparent reference to Fethullah Gulen, a cleric and former ally who lives in exile in Pennsylvania.
"The betrayal you have shown to this nation and to this community, that's enough. If you have the courage, come back to your country. If you can. You will not have the means to turn this country into a mess from where you are." In a statement, Gulen denied any connection to the coup attempt.
Tellingly, Gulen had supported the military coup of 1980 and the soft coup in 1997, which forced Necmettin Erbakan, the prime minister, to resign.
Gulen movement declared a terrorist group
On June 1, 2016, President Erdogan officially designated the Gulen movement a terrorist group and said he would pursue its members whom he accused of trying to topple the government.