Will Cairo Be the New Destination to Gulen’s Organization after Pennsylvania ?

Egypt would possibly be the new residence for the ‘parallel state’ organization (FETO) of Fetullah Gulen, the one responsible for the failed coup attempt in Turkey last July, through receiving the remnants of the organization after it lost all its power on the domestic and the international level. The Turkish authorities have arrested the most prominent members of the organization who were deeply rooted in the basic state institutions, reported Anadolu Agency.

The Egyptian regime, which is ruled by al-Sisi who reached power via a military coup (July 3, 2013) against the first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi after violently suppressing the peaceful pro-Morsi demonstrations, has expressed its support since the first moment of the coup attempt in Turkey.

According to Anadolu Agency, all the visual and written media close to al-Sisi regime have cheered, blessed and expressed their happiness to the military coup attempt from the early moments of the coup attempt.

But the feelings of happiness have turned to disappointment with the first morning blossoms of the 16th of July after the failure of the coup attempt, leaving behind one reality, which is the explicit confession of al-Sisi regime’s support to the failed attempt in front of his people and the international community.

In this context and with the rising calls from the Turkish government to extradite Gulen, who lives in a self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, the United States, there are expectations that the FETO leader and his followers will need to find a new destination to resume their activities. Egypt would be one of the most suitable countries for the parallel state organization.

At an earlier time, Turkey’s Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag said that there is intelligence information that Fethullah Gulen is seeking to escape to a number of countries, including Egypt, Canada, Mexico and South Africa, according to Rassd News Network. In response, Egypt said through its Prime Minister Sherif Ismail that “We have not received any request related to this issue, and if a request is presented, it will be studied.”

A diplomatic movement to retain Gulen  

After investigations had proved the involvement of Gulen in the failed coup attempt, the Turkish authorities called the United States of America to extradite him.

In the same context, Turkey’s minister of justice Bekir Bozdag and the minister of interior Efkan Ala have announced that they intend to travel to America within the coming days to negotiate the issue.

Moreover, the head of the Turkish-American Friendship Society Ali Sarikaya has sent a message with a detailed explanation to the Turkish-American Friendship Society in the U.S. Congress, including Ed Whitfield, Steve Cohen Virginia Fox, and Jerry Conolli about the emergency situation in Turkey and the decisions that have been taken in the Turkish parliament to counter the parallel state terrorist organization of Fethullah Gulen.

Ali Sarikaya also pointed that Turkey has been facing over 3 years several trials to control the state and the government. In addition, he stated that the failed coup attempt was plotted outside the hierarchical order of the military institution, noting that elements related to Gulen’s terrorist organization have diffused in the military to carry out the last coup attempt that failed. The coup attempt failure was due to the putschists’ limited influence, but it has taken dangerous dimensions because of the power of weapons that they had leading to  hundreds of deaths and more than one thousand of the injured people.

Anadolu Agency correspondent has known from sources in the Turkish parliament that Ali Sarikaya will travel soon with a group including members of the Turkish parliament, the ruling party, and the opposition parties to Washington to meet members of the U.S. Congress and civil societies to explain the failed coup attempt and Fethullah Gulen’s terrorist organization’s role. The delegation will call the U.S. to extradite Gulen to Turkey.

A Turkish delegation of members of the Parliament’s Commission on Foreign Affairs had previously gone to America to explain the failed coup attempt and call for extraditing Gulen.

For his part, John Kirby, the US State Department spokesman, said that they received a request from Turkey to extradite Gulen, adding that the Justice Secretariate is currently studying the request and the documents submitted, ensuring that the procedures followed will be based on a legal framework.

The parallel state leaders’ attitude toward the extradition request:

After the failed coup attempt plotted by the parallel state in Turkey on December 17-25 2013, and the latest coup attempt last July, Gulen felt that his days in the US have become numbered.

In this context, he tried to beg US and the West not to agree on the extradition request saying in an article published by the New York Times, “In case of my extradition to Turkey, I won’t have a just trial,” stressing that he didn’t participate in the coup attempt.

He also said that the West is in need of  moderate Islam represented in him (according to his claims), stressing that he and his companions are “devoted to the West’s service.”

Moreover, Gulen denied being involved in the coup attempt in Turkey in an interview with CNN International, saying, “if part of this accusation is right, I will be ready to confess that what they are saying is true and I will bear the whole responsibility.” He also stressed that he and his companions will be devoted to the West’s service “if he wasn’t extradited to Turkey.”

According to the given opportunities, Gulen will have three choices: to resume his activities in Pennsylvania if the US didn’t extradite him to Turkey, to stand in front of the Turkish court for trial in case of his extradition, or to seek asylum in other countries outside the United States of America to find a new platform for resuming his activities.

Gulen’s relation with al-Sisi

In the light of the tension in the Turkish-Egyptian relations, it wasn’t a coincidence to record the Egyptian regime’s support for the failed coup attempt in Turkey. Egypt has abstained from voting for a resolution that condemns the coup attempt in both the security council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The reason behind Egypt’s stance lies in the ties between the Egyptian regime and Fethullah Gulen’s organization before the military coup in Egypt (July 3, 2013).

In fact, Gulen’s organization owns several schools, media outlets, commercial and cultural institutions in many Egyptian cities. In addition, the organization considers Egypt as a strategic country which is an open gate towards Africa.

Therefore, the organization supported the military coup in Egypt in 2013 which strengthened the relation between both parties. In addition, the Egyptian regime has started to be more interested in Gulen’s organization after the failed coup attempt that occurred between (17-15) December 2013, which enhanced the cooperation between both parties in the light of their enmity to Turkey.

Turkey’s support to Morsi’s administration- the first democratically elected president of Egypt- was reflected on Gulen-al-Sisi relations, especially on the media level.

In this context, Gulen’s organization formed several coalitions with the Egyptian pro-coup media to launch media campaigns that defame the Turkish government and spread false news through the Egyptian and the Arab media.

Accordingly, Abdel Hamid Belgie, the head of Jihan New Agency (related to the organization) signed several cooperation treaties with al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo.

Moreover, it is noteworthy to mention reports, that have not been stated by the Turkish newspapers on a wide scale, on a conference that was held in Cairo under the title of, “Restrictions on the Freedom of Expression and Human Rights Violations in Turkey”,  under the auspices of Fethullah Gulen’s and PKK terrorist organizations.

The elements of the organization tried through the FETO Arabic-speaking media men to show the coup attempt as a silly “play” while exerting efforts to spread their influence in other Arab countries from Cairo which is used as the main platform to launch defamation campaigns against Turkey.

In the light of the tension between the United States and Turkey, there is a possibility that Washington won’t extradite Gulen to Ankara, but would help him seek asylum in another country to get rid of his political burden. However, the US would also probably extradite Gulen to Turkey, according to Anadolu Agency. The details of the coming period will be shaped in the light of the current intensive communications based on judicial, legal, political and diplomatic moves.