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Who and/or What is Behind the Fetullah Gulen Organization?

[1]COMMENT: In FTR #739 [2], we took a brief look at the powerful international organization of the Pennsylvania-based Turkish Muslim cleric and author Fetullah Gulen. Being investigated by the FBI [3] and excoriated by numerous sources for Machiavellian gambits to destroy political opponents, the organization has a significant presence in 80 countries, including sponsorship of charter schools here in the United States.

Suspicions and reservations about the Gulen organization include: fears in Central Asian republics that the group is Islamist and/or pan-Turkic in nature; convictions among journalists like the estimable Sibel Edmonds and intelligence and military officers in Turkey and elsewhere that the Gulenists are fronting for CIA agents; that the Gulenist cadre engage as a matter of course in illegal acts to destroy their opponents, including numerous incidents of forgery and perjury, as well as libel and propaganda.

In Gulen’s native country of Turkey, the organization has become a key ally of the supposedly “moderate” Islamist government of Tayyip Erdogan. A significant and growing body of documentation suggests that the Gulenists have been instrumental in forging evidence used by the Erdogan government to stage trials of military officers allegdly involved in a coup plot against the government.

(Historically, the military has served as a bulwark in modern Turkey against Islamization, preserving with the gun the secular tradition established by Kemal Attaturk following the fall of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. Far from being “moderate,” the Erdogan government is, as we have seen in FTR #737 [4], derived from the Islamofascist al-Taqwa milieu.)

It is worth noting that the Erdogan government’s “moderate” Islamist nature is belied by the fact that Turkey currently has more journalists in prison than China and Iran combined! Hey, that is SOME moderation, no?!

Of even greater significance is the fact that the Erdogan government is seen as an appropriate template for “moderate” Islamist regimes currently taking form in places like Egypt, where the clit-cutters of the Muslim Brotherhood are ascendant. The Brotherhood, of course, was allied with the Axis in World War II and has been used by numerous intelligence services, including elements of CIA, as a vehicle for covert action and repression in the postwar period.

In addition to supporting Muslim Brotherhood, elements of CIA have also supported the Pan-Turkist movement [5] in the past. Pan-Turkists [6] have also allied historically with the Third Reich, as we have seen in FTR #720, among other programs [7].

In connection with the Fetullah Gullen organization, a number of considerations suggest themselves:

Is the CIA Infiltrating Central Asia Via Turkish Muslims?” by Joshua Kocera; eurasianet.org; 1/6/2011. [13]

EXCERPT: That is apparently the claim of former top Turkish intelligence official Osman Nuri Gundes, who has published a memoir alleging that the Fethullah Gulen movement has been sheltering CIA agents in Central Asia since the 1990s. According to the Washington Post’s SpyTalk blog [14], “in the 1990s, Gundes alleges, the movement “sheltered 130 CIA agents” at its schools in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan alone.”

The Gulen movement already is a controversial one in Central Asia, with governments cracking down to varying degrees because of the group’s alleged Islamist or pan-Turkic bent [15]. And that’s without allegations of being a CIA stalking horse. . . .

. . . . Anyway, Sibel Edmonds, the FBI-translator-turned-whistleblower, says that account doesn’t go far enough [16], and the Gulen movement is an extremist Islamist one — and that the CIA is cooperating with them nevertheless: “. . . Based on what I personally know, US Islamization Operations in Central Asia via Gulen started in late 1997, early 1998 . . .”

“A Moscow Show Trial on the Bosporus” by Dani Radrik; “Conscience of a Liberal” by Paul Krugman [The New York Times]; 3/12/2012. [17]

EXCERPT: In what is probably the country’s most important court case in at least five decades, hundreds of Turkish military officers are in jail and on trial for allegedly having plotted to overthrow the then newly-elected Justice and Development Party back in 2003. The case also happens to be one of the most absurd ever prosecuted in an apparent democracy. The evidence against the defendants is such an obvious forgery that even a child would recognize it as such. Imagine, if you can, something that is a cross between the Moscow show trials and the Salem witchcraft hysteria, and you will not be too far off.

The government’s case rests on a set of documents (mostly Word files) that describe in gory detail preparations for the coup (codenamed Sledgehammer), including false-flag operations to set the stage for the takeover and a list of cabinet members to be appointed. These are unsigned digital documents on electronic media (CDs, a detached hard drive, a flash drive) that have never been traced to actual military computers or otherwise authenticated. The military has vehemently denied that such plans ever existed.

Most tellingly, a torrent of evidence has come out since the documents first emerged that points to their fraudulent nature. The documents contain hundreds of anachronisms – names of NGOs, military installations, or firms that did not yet exist – that make clear beyond any reasonable doubt that they were produced years later and backdated to implicate the officers on trial. Some of the defendants have shown that they were outside the country at the time they are alleged to have prepared these documents or attended planning meetings.

An American forensic specialist has determined that the “hand writing” on the CDs was actually produced by mechanically replicating individual letters from the notebooks of one of the defendants. Deviations from military formatting suggest the documents were prepared by individuals not fully familiar with the army’s style requirements. As long-time Turkey analyst Gareth Jenkins put it to the New Yorker [18]: “It’s absolutely clear that these documents have been forged.” . . . .

. . . . The Turkish military has a history of political intervention and has often clashed with the Islamists. So the allegations have been a godsend for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has exploited the trial to gain control over military promotions and to break the army’s political power.

But the real moving force behind this and a number of other similar trials is the Gülen movement, a key ally of the Erdoğan government made up of the followers of the Pennsylvania-based Turkish Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen. Gülenists have a long track record of framing their perceived opponents and engaging in judicial dirty tricks [19]. Their control of key positions in the national police and judiciary enables them to mount targeted operations disguised as legal investigations. Prosecutors [20] scrutinizing them, whistleblowers [21] revealing their activities, critical journalists [22], and even businessmen have been among their victims [23], in addition to military officers. As Ahmet Şık, a journalist who wrote an expose about the movement and then found himself facing preposterous charges of helping terrorists even before the book was published, exclaimed on his way to jail: “he who touches [them] burns.” [24]

The police and prosecutors who have staged the coup plot trial are known Gülen sympathizers. And Gülenist media have worked overtime to shape public opinion, whipping up hysteria against the defendants and producing a steady stream of disinformation about the case. The occasional judge who has ruled in favor of the officers and commentators pointing to problems with the prosecutors’ evidence (including me) have become targets of Gülenist defamation. . . .