- Spitfire List - http://spitfirelist.com -

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. . . .