Rahnuma exclusive: Article by Dr. Adnan Altay Altinors, Consul General of the Republic of Turkey in Hyderabad on Military Coup Attempt in Turkey on July 15th, 2016 and Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation (FETO)
(RAHNUMA) Five years have passed since the heinous military coup attempt in Turkey on July 15th, 2016, which marks a turning point in Turkey’s democratic history in terms that the whole nation stood against the violation of national will by a fraction in the military, the disciples of Fethullah Gulen. The coup attempt was foiled by the Turkish people themselves and this is why we call it “democracy victory of our people”.
It is imperative to recall what happened on that bloody night and explain what has been done by the Turkish Government to fight against Gulen, the traitor, and his cult both inside and outside Turkey.
Gulen and his followers planned and attempted a coup to capture the Turkish Republic on that date. The traitors within the armed forces used lethal military force including fighter jets and attack helicopters killing 251 and leaving thousands wounded. But, the one thing they factored out was the impassable resistance of the civilians who proved that undemocratic change of power is a thing of past in Turkey.
FETO (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization) is an armed cult organization made up of fanatic people who came together with the directives of the ringleader Fethullah Gulen. It has a wide range of international activities, from the field of education to the media, from economic activities to infiltration into the state bodies, especially military and security forces. The purpose of the organization is to disrupt the constitutional order of the Republic of Turkey and to establish a regime that would be under the spiritual leadership of Gulen who is believed to be Messiah by his followers.
Deception for religious purposes was one of the main strategies of FETO members used for concealing themselves. FETO members hide their identities, use code names, and even give themselves liberal, communist, unbeliever look.
Despite FETO’s attempts in the international arena to show itself as a representative of moderate Islam, it has been guilty of severe human rights abuses and has no qualms about the use of violence. “Moderate Islamism” is nothing more than a cloak it wears to draw support and influence the decision-making bodies without raising suspicion in order to sustain their malicious activities under the name of “good cause”.
The construction of this image, which has been particularly successful in the west, does not negate ringleader Gulen’s own radical views as expressed in his sermons: Gulen has previously referred to the USA as a ‘relentless enemy’ and made numerous anti-Semitic statements.
The successful mobilization against the coup attempt in Turkey has a world historical significance since it is very rare for a military coup with such extensive domestic and international connections and planned down to the intricate details to be defeated.
There are several key factors that prevented the successful conclusion of the coup. These are the strong political will and leadership against the coup, society’s riot against the coup upon President Erdogan’s call to take the streets, resistance within the Military, the Police’s armed intervention against the plotters, media’s support for democracy. July 15th has further increased the consciousness of Turkish nation about democracy as well as growing internal and external threats against which the people and government of Turkey will always stand firm.
Since the year 2014, the Turkish Government has attempted to clean the state from FETO members. However, the coup attempt of July 15th, 2016 showed how deep and strong FETO was within the state machinery.
The fight against FETO within Turkey is being conducted under three pillars: Firstly, the perpetrators of the coup attempt have been brought to justice. So far 287 cases out of 289 in relation with the coup attempt have been adjudicated. 4820 plotters are sentenced, while 3807 are acquitted. 1621 plotters got aggravated life sentence, 136 of those are Generals. Besides, 1373 traitors got life sentence. Secondly, FETO’s organizational structure within governmental institutions has been unveiled.
Administrative and judicial processes have been initiated against the FETO members. 125,678 people are dismissed from public service. To date, the Inquiry Commission on the State of Emergency Measures has concluded 115,130 inquiries with a view to prevent any aggrievement. 14,702 applications were accepted. Only nine per cent of the total appeals is still under investigation.
Thirdly, FETO’s attempts to spread across all areas of the economy via its shell entities have been thwarted. All the actions undertaken are in compliance with the principles of rule of law and fundamental rights and freedoms.
Turkey has carried out thousands of initiatives at various levels to inform its foreign partners regarding the malicious of FETO-affiliated entities and individuals with a view to demonstrating and proving the fact that FETO also poses a threat to the security of other countries where it remains active. Administrative measures and legal proceedings were initiated to prevent FETO and its members from transferring funds and escaping justice.
Unlawful acts carried out by FETO affiliated organizations have been revealed in various countries. The Turkish Maarif Foundation maintains its activities all around the world to prevent any shortfalls resulting from the steps taken against FETO in the field of education. FETO-affiliated schools and education centers in 38 countries were closed down or taken over by the relevant country. In 19 of these, the affiliated schools and education centers have been transferred to the Turkish Maarif Foundation.
The Turkish Government has submitted barrel load of evidence to the Government of the United States relating to ringleader Gulen’s nefarious activities and claimed “urgent arrestment” for him from the USA in the context of the Convention of Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters signed between the USA and Turkey. Not only the crimes committed during the coup attempt process, but also the putschists’ attempt to assassinate President Erdogan requires the USA to extradite Gulen. The leaders of the Turkish opposition parties have also called for the extradition of Gulen for trial.
Despite all legal reasons and proper expectations require him to be extradited to Turkey, USA officials are still letting of with a response indicating that the pieces of evidence related to the request are being examined. In the meantime, FETO ringleader is giving orders and in fact, threatening politicians in Turkey through his video speeches. After the coup attempt, he called the sleeping cells of his network to become active and threatened to execute elected Turkish politicians.
It is also a disappointment for Turkey to witness that some European and other countries are embracing FETO members by granting them asylum despite the fact that Turkish Government requested their extradition on solid evidences and in accordance with the international law.
Governments of those countries hosting FETO-affiliated people and organizations, regardless of their operation, ought to be aware that FETO poses a significant treat to them as well.
FETO maintains its activities in India and in Hyderabad through its affiliated organizations. Turkish Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (TICCI) claims itself as a business partner and a trade bridge between Turkey and India. Indialogue Foundation claims itself as an international dialogue and peace organizations.
Iqbalia International School and Iqbalia Junior College in Hyderabad provide academic and financial help and brainwash young minds, and host some events with the participation of foreign scholars. There are a number of FETO affiliated companies in Hyderabad as well. It is striking that the top management of these affiliates are almost the same.