My days in Turkey are over, says Henri Barkey

U.S. academic Henri Barkey, who left Turkey following the July 2016 coup attempt, stands accused of being a coup plotter aiming to overthrow the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - an allegation that has taken a toll on both his career and personal life, Foreign Policy magazine reported in a podcast interview. 

Barkey had organized a workshop in İstanbul’s Büyükada island on the Iran nuclear deal the weekend of the coup. He, along with other participants in the workshop, are accused of working with the CIA.

Barkey, explained that he found out about the July 15, 2016 coup on the day of the inaugural dinner on the island, however went through with the workshop for the weekend.

‘’A campaign was started against me,’’ Barkey said. ‘’They made up stories after stories after stories.The most bizarre one was the day of the coup, when I was welcoming people [on the island] I see this American journalist called Scott Peterson. He’s a Christian Science Monitor correspondent.’’ Barkey went on a explain that Turkish newspaper ran a photo of another Scott Peterson, one who is currently on death row in San Quentin State Prison for killing his pregnant wife, saying that he had been sent by the United States to kill people in Turkey.

In another incident, a Turkish newspaper ran a translation of an interview with Russian philosopher Aleksandr Gelyevich Dugin, who is held in high regard in Turkey according to Barkey, stating that Barkey was involved in the coup. Barkey soon discovered that there was no mention of him in the interview with Dugin whatsoever.

Barkey maintains that as a member of the U.S. State Department’s policy planning staff, he provided an opportunity through which the Turkey government could accuse the United States.

The U.S. scholar noted that the detention of three U.S. consular staff in relation to the coup is another way in which Turkey is putting pressure on the United States.

Barkey, who has a warrant out for his arrest and is unable to travel to Turkey or contact officials and many friends, conceded that he does not see his Turkey tale ending well.

‘’I’ve had a good career, I’m a political scientist...there are lots of other things to write about,’’ Barkey said.