As the real-life drama unfolded on television screens across the world, the first reaction of all ‘civilized’ people and supporters of democracy was a howling indignation, but in the aftermath, doubts have started creeping in, questioning its authenticity.

The failed attempt to strip the authority of Turkey’s strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was a futile exercise that resulted in the unnecessary, and tragic loss of over 200 lives, but everyone now is asking the classic whodunnit question – ‘who benefits?’

The autocratic Islamist ‘neo-sultan’ has lost no time in swooping down ‘Suleiyman style’ on ‘traitors’, ordering a massive purge in the army ranks, and forcibly silencing all civilian dissent, pledging to bring back the death penalty for treasonous intent.

From a country that was seen as the leader and role-model for progressive Muslim nations, Turkey under Erdogan is a country divided and disarrayed, with hardly any sense of direction.

The authoritarian manner in which Erdogan had begun to deal with perceived ‘enemies of the state’ – journalists, television channels, newspapers that dared to criticize him – was disturbing at the least, but his seeming belief now in the ‘divine rights’ of a ruler is absolutely alarming for everyone who has an affection for the beautiful country ‘where East meets West’.