In mid-July, President Erdogan pointed his finger at the CIA, accusing US intelligence of having supported a failed coup directed against his government. Turkish officials pointed to a deterioration of US-Turkey relations following Washington’s refusal to extradite Fethullah Gülen, the alleged architect of the failed coup.
Erdogan’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag was categorical:
“If the US does not deliver (Gulen), they will sacrifice relations with Turkey for the sake of a terrorist”
Public opinion was led to believe that relations with the US had not only deteriorated, but that Erdogan had vowed to restore “an axis of friendship” with Moscow, including “cooperation in the defence sector”. This was a hoax.