President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s shift from a reformist to an authoritarian path has been accompanied by an insistent narrative that a “supreme mind” is behind Turkey’s woes. For Erdogan and his aides, the supreme mind is a foreign hand with an influential network inside Turkey that plans, orchestrates and triggers every crisis, unrest or setback in the country.
Who the foreign hand is, is not exactly clear. Sometimes the term alludes to the United States, sometimes to Israel and, most recently, to the international economic and political system. For the government, the supreme mind extends to a wide range of actors — from local collaborators and influence networks to financial funds and the banking system, from covert and dangerous structures such as the Gulenists to liberal intellectuals.