Last weekend I briefly mentioned the post-ṣūfī Muslim holy man in Pennsylvania whose cult followers are becoming the new Deep State of Turkey. But when I dug further into the story, it exploded into something resembling my own personalized Umberto Eco novel. You know those kids' books: Choose Your Own Adventure? Well this is like if I had my own Choose Your Own Lattice of Coincidence. From my new column in Taki's Magazine:
As 2014 dawns, the world continues to keep me furnished with material. For example, the current political shakeup in Turkey turns out to be a mashup of various obsessions and hobbyhorses of mine, such as byzantine conspiracy theories, test prep, the naiveté of American education reform, immigration fraud, the deep state, and even the Chechen Bomb Brothers’ Uncle Ruslan.
This lattice of coincidence begins with Turkey’s prime minister Recip Tayyip Erdoğan, who is presently besieged by graft scandals following police raids on his inner circle.
With Turkey’s traditional ruling class—the secularist Kemalist generals—finally neutralized by the Ergenekon show trial, the Muslim civilian factions now appear to be plotting against each other. It is widely assumed among Turkish conspiracy theorists (i.e., roughly 98% of all Turks) that the prosecutorial assault on the prime minister was at the behest of Erdoğan’s former political ally, Fethullah Gülen, a powerful and mysterious Muslim cult leader holed up since 1999 in Saylorsburg in the Poconos, where he has become America's largest operator of charter schools.
Read the whole thing there. It's pretty fun, and I don't think I've gotten to the bottom of this yet.