In his weekly column in the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper, Ibrahim Kalin said: "The bloody coup attempt on July 15 brought the people of Turkey together in surprising and promising ways."

"Contrary to the expectations of some, it did not lead to a political and/or economic crisis. Rather, it created a new sense of national unity and political consensus," Kalin added.

He said the anti-coup Democracy and Martyrs' Rally in Istanbul, attended by millions, was a "clear" indication of the new social and political consensus in Turkey.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was joined by Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Chairman Binali Yildirim, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu, and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli at the massive rally in a show of national solidarity and a common protest against the July 15 defeated coup that left 240 people martyred and 2,200 others injured.

"The new consensus, displayed so powerfully at the Aug. 7 rally, is based on the principles of merit, transparency and accountability against all attempts to infiltrate state institutions," said Kalin.

He added people gathered in establishing these principles for a "healthy and well-functioning" democracy.

Kalin said Gulen and his movement violated these principles for many years, infiltrating his loyal followers to critical positions in the Turkish state.

"They stole state exam questions and gave them to their devout followers; they fabricated evidence to get rid of their opponents in the military, the police and the judiciary, and they leaked documents to the media and ran smear campaigns to vilify and defame their rivals," Kalin said.

Having paid the price for Gulenist infiltrations in the Turkish state, Turkish people are demanding "merit-based, transparent and accountable governance, one that will serve the people and the country and not the interest of a particular group and/or deranged imam," Kalin said.

"People demand the end to the FETÖ nightmare that destroyed so many innocent lives over the last six years to seven years," he said.

"The government is determined to respond to this demand and has the support of the people."

Kalin said Gulen is the biggest loser in this process and following the defeated putsch on July 15, the cleric has "lost everything, including members, schools, companies, money and more importantly, support, credibility and respect."

"He and his followers may have thought of taking over the country through a military coup and demonization of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but the greatest mistake of his life turned out to be an opportunity for Turkey, whereby the entire country came together in unity and solidarity against him and his criminal network," Kalin said.

The spokesman said that during the mass rally, all the leaders gave similar messages of unity not only against the coup attempt but also criminal and immoral tactics aiming to take power at all costs.

"This new spirit is critical for the future of Turkey's democracy as it deals with the process of getting rid of Gulenist infiltration from all state institutions. Gulen and his people have already been indicted in people's minds and conscience.

The state will follow suit," he added. Kalin warned that Gulen would try to use all of his resources outside Turkey and seek to strike again while "spending money, running smear campaigns and basically allying himself with anyone who has a score to settle with Erdogan."

"His self-positioning as a moderate alternative to religious radicalism has no credibility in Turkey or the rest of the Muslim world.

It is a strategy he uses to win the support of the West. But such disingenuous claims are bound to fail when they have no trust of Muslims themselves.

They only turn Gulen into a stooge and pawn of power-holders around the world," he added.

Criticizing Western media

Kalin slammed Western media's coverage of the coup attempt, saying "it has been far from fair or accurate.It does not reflect the professional and ethical standards of journalism in either news reporting or opinion making."

"Putting aside the anti-Erdoğan animus that drives some Western journalists, this approach falls short of presenting an accurate picture of the social and political dynamics in Turkey. It also leads to deep suspicions about the credibility of Western media and feeds conspiracy theories, which the Western media then blame on the people in Turkey," he added.

Kalin said the standards of media accountability was "very low" when it comes to Turkey.

"The July 15 coup attempt targeted Turkish democracy and sought to undermine the legitimacy of the elected president and the government. It had just the opposite effect, as Turkey is united more than ever around the principles of legitimacy, transparency and accountability against any and all groups that may seek to subvert them for their own interests," he added.

Anadolu Agency