It was a sunny, clear morning in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, and I had arrived for a series of meetings on the city’s metro system with some of the country’s most prominent political figures.
But as I made my way to the metro station, a woman in a suit and tie approached me and began asking questions about the recent events in Turkey.
I explained that I had just returned from a meeting with the Turkish government, which had ordered the arrest of some of Turkey’s most outspoken critics, including the head of the influential human rights organisation, Özgür Gülen, who is believed to be close to the Gulen movement.
The woman asked if I would like to meet with him, which I declined.
The next day, she went to the Metropolitan Police Department to register an arrest warrant.
Her lawyer told me that he was preparing a legal action against Gül.
The arrest warrant was not a surprise to me, as I had been following events closely, and in my travels across the country, the media and the international community have been raising the alarm about Gülan’s role in the coup attempt.
But Güll’s arrest was a surprise, because the government was apparently not aware of Güln’s arrest.
In a tweet, a government official claimed that Gülene had been detained because he was a member of the ruling party’s parliamentary bloc.
The government statement, however, did not say who was the main suspect, or what evidence they had.
On Wednesday, a parliamentary inquiry into the failed coup attempt will hold a public hearing in the parliament.
Turkey’s government has denied any involvement in the failed putsch, and says it will be a key ally in the fight against Isis in the Middle East.
But the investigation into Güls involvement has exposed deep cracks in Turkey’s political establishment.
This has been compounded by the fact that, unlike other countries, Turkey has no extradition treaty with the United States, which has extradited Güldemir, or with the European Union, which extradited Gulen.
The investigation has also raised serious questions about Turkey’s ability to protect democracy in the face of the global backlash against the failed plot.
And Gülis conviction has also fuelled anger among Turkey’s conservative voters.
Güle’s conviction has further strained relations between Ankara and Washington, which is also grappling with a new wave of terror attacks and the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Isis) in Syria and Iraq.
“Gülen’s extradition case is a very big deal,” says Mustafa Güler, a political scientist at the University of Istanbul.
“It has caused enormous political turmoil in Turkey, but it has also exposed deep fractures in Turkish society.
The public is not just angry with the government, but also with the judiciary, the judiciary is not independent.
He has not done enough to protect Turkey’s democracy and to ensure the rule of law,” Gübler says. “
The prime minister has to go.
He has not done enough to protect Turkey’s democracy and to ensure the rule of law,” Gübler says.
The political turmoil is likely to be further exacerbated by a number of other developments.
The coup attempt and Gült’s conviction have created a new crisis in Turkey; a deep rift has opened between the government and Gulen, with the latter blaming the government for the failed attempts.
Gulens support for the government has also been exposed in a series a recent polls, with Güren’s supporters holding a commanding lead over the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on the list of candidates.
Gökçek, a veteran of the Turkish army, is currently a member the AKP, and is expected to be the party’s next leader.
This could see Güliens position in the ruling coalition weakened further.
“If Gülers supporters are not given the chance to contest in the upcoming elections, then the ruling AKP will be weakened and its ability to govern will be greatly weakened,” says Güiler.
Gokçek and Görüküş are both known for their hardline views on the rights of minorities and human rights, as well as their links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Gület, who was appointed as the AK Party’s foreign affairs and defence minister earlier this year, is widely considered to be a Gühlian ally.
Gürl’s arrest and Gokcheküzs decision to seek political asylum in the United Kingdom are also likely to have an impact on Turkey’s relations with Washington.
In the last two years, Washington has helped Turkey’s AKP to form a new government and to bring in a number senior figures from GüL’s movement, such as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbak