A heretical preacher’s coup attempt (II)

By: ÇETİNER ÇETİN*     – Continued … In Part I, ÇETİNER ÇETİN elaborated on:





The heretical preacher was smart enough to know how important the media was. He made his followers establish Zaman newspaper, Samanyolu TV and Cihan News Agency, through which he could directly manipulate the media, with government loans and the money that he raised from his own community. While Gülen used these media outlets for his own PR, FETÖ members established many media associations in order to be determinative in the media after Feb. 28. Moreover, Gülen, who had nothing to with journalism, was presented to society as the honorary president of the Journalists’ and Authors’ Association. When it came to the early 2000s, there emerged a trend of employing FETÖ affiliates as Ankara-based news directors, and police and court reporters in main stream media outlets, including Radikal newspaper which has leftist tendency. In other words, the followers of heretical preacher were the boss of news in Ankara, the center of politics. In 2015, the organization had more than 100 media outlets and it ranked first in advertisement revenues through the advertisements that it forcibly received from the business world by blackmailing.


Thinking that it was time to seize the state like Rohollah Khomeini, Shiite supreme leader of Iran, the heretical preacher took the action. He turned everyone that would objected to him in the state into a target, so much so that he set to work by risking everything, including inciting chaos in the country. His primary target was to dissolve the most secular army in the Middle East and Europe. Meanwhile, his followers whom he had organized in TSK since 1988 would have a say in the military because of the emerging gap. What happened at the General Staff headquarters on the night of July 15 exposed that he established an enormous network there. He initiated the liquidation process with coup, Ergenekon, Sledgehammer (Balyoz) and military espionage cases. These were followed by the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) trials, the assassination of Turkish-Armenian writer Hrant Dink, former Republican Party (CHP) chair Deniz Baykal’s resignation through blackmailing as a result of the leakage of a tape about his private life, and the murder of former Great Union Party (BBP) leader Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu. Additionally, they played a key role in the murder of PKK member Sakine Cansız and two Kurdish activists, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez, in Paris, the murder of 34 smugglers who were thought to be PKK militants in Roboski, the shooting of Turkish Council of State, Gezi Park protests and aftermath, the leakage of İmralı proceedings to the media during the reconciliation process and the attempted coup of Dec. 17. More importantly, however, they managed all these processes as they wished through their structuring in the security bureaucracy, judiciary and media.


Since the early 1990s, it has been said that the heretical preacher was assigned by the U.S. to fill the gap that emerged after the fall of the socialist Soviet Union. When FETÖ’s acts and practices in Turkic Republics are considered, this argument seems to be true. In fact, dozens of reports which are prepared in these countries on a daily basis are directly sent to FETÖ supporters. FETÖ’s dangerous activities in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have been clearly exposed, with the former beginning to investigate its acts, and the latter deporting FETÖ elements. At that time, FETÖ revealed what roles it would be able to play in critical periods by supporting those who attempted to stage a coup in Turkmenistan. During Çiller’s rule in the same years, the men of deep state who posed for the cameras with the heretical preacher attempted to stage a coup in sister Azerbaijan and then President Süleyman Demirel’s warning foiled the coup attempt at the last moment.


I must emphasize FETÖ’s role in the hood event, where U.S. soldiers put sacks on the heads of Turkish soldiers in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah in July 2003. The operation was conducted after hours-long pursuit of a team of soldiers from Special Forces, who took shelter at Türkmeneli TV headquarters, instead of their military headquarter, on the suspicion that they would be pursued while returning from an operation in Kirkuk in plain clothes. However, it was not questioned why a soldier in the team talked to a fellow FETÖ head, Abdullah, on the phone in Sulaymaniyah and informed him about the place of Turkish soldiers. This telephone conversation was the beginning of betrayal. Now, the hood event must be investigated again to find who told U.S. soldiers about the place of Turkish Special Forces.


Here is another detail. In the period when DAESH seized Syrian and Iraqi cities one by one, it broke into Turkish Consulate General in Mosul kidnapping 49 diplomats. However, it did not touch the teachers of FETÖ-affiliated school next to the consulate. Only 11 days after the invasion of Mosul, they abandoned the school without getting even the slightest harm. Moreover, they managed to exit the school by taking $72,000 with them. In the following period, FETÖ kept the school open for seven months, but closed it later with a warning by the organization’s superior mind. Well, to whom did FETÖ staff from Mosul report the developments in the city? I advise you to note that the son of Abu Muslim, top DAESH manager in Mosul, studied at FETÖ’s schools.


The topics I wrote above disclose the process of heretical preacher’s infiltration of state and the dangers he posed and can pose. Gülen committed so many crimes by dragging the Kurdish question into a deadlock at every return.  Moreover, he committed many crimes by hindering the democratization process in the country with his support to coups and his key role in the July 15 coup attempt. He showed what kind of threats he could pose by playing an active role in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. His attempt to design the region through ill-gotten gains and blackmailing, as well as his invisible role in thousands of incidents relating to public order, lays bare what kind of a threat FETÖ is.


Let us revisit the July 15 military coup attempt. Erdoğan and National Intelligence Organization’s (MİT) Chief Hakan Fidan were left alone in their struggle against FETÖ since Dec. 17, 2013, and Feb. 7, 2012 when Fidan was interrogated by the court as part of the KCK probe. The weakness shown in administrative, political and security-related areas encouraged FETÖ members. Seeing that liquidation process in these areas was on the horizon thanks to Erdoğan and Fidan’s firm stance, the heretical preacher mobilized his followers whom he had grown up since 1988. Gülen planned to make a golden shot and kill two birds with a stone with the July 15 coup attempt. First, he would seize the army which he liquidated through Ergenekon and Sledgehammer cases, and then, he would eliminate the democratically elected ruling party and opposition parties. Although the coup attempt failed, the heretical preacher is still a threat and a question not only for Turkey, but also for the globe.

*ÇETİNER ÇETİN is a Turkish journalist. He graduated from Ankara University Political Science Faculty in 2000. He started his career of journalism at the Middle East desk of NTV-Sawatel News Agency- AFP-Cihan Consortium in 2002. He was then hired by NTV, Turkey’s leading news channel and became NTV’s Iraq representative. After working six years for NTV, in 2009 he continued his career as TRT Türk’s Iraq office’s supervisor. He had worked as political, Middle East news reporter and as the National Assembly Chief Clerk of Turkish daily Yeni Şafak for 5 years. He worked as the manager of Middle East desk and international media at Turkish Prime Ministry Public Diplomacy Coordination Office.