Paradigm Shift: Who are Fethulah Gulen and Andrew Brunson? (Last Part)

Similarly, they can make up cohorts of spies in the military, via these prosecutions. Whether or not they are found guilty, their promotions in the military would halt for years since these military suits can take years to lead to a judicial decision.

Even journalists who are quiet skeptics about the group’s process of writing books can find themselves in jail and will be slandered with everything being fabricated to destroy them.

A cult, such as Gulen’s, can be more dangerous than terrorism. It does not use weapons to attack innocent people, but it uses its insinuations, allowing the government to destroy someone’s life. According to Gulen, the best way to defeat enemy is the use enemy’s weapon against enemy. When the group attacks an individual, the person may not even be aware of it. This person is not aware that it is a terror attack in the first place.

From time to time I have criticized some of President Erdogan’s policies toward Syria and toward the Kurdish people, but also I salute President Erdogan for standing up to Gulen’s cult and in so doing looking out for Turkey’s interests even if also his own in the process. I have never received an email from the Turkish Embassy nor has the Mindanao Times editor-in-chief had one that objects to my criticism of Turkey or President Erdogan. Instead, the denigration comes from one of Gulen’s group who uses a different name and sends my columns to the Turkish embassy trying to characterize me as an enemy of Turkey and charging that I write negatively about Turkey and President Erdogan.

From this perspective, the group is quite like an intelligence gathering agency. A conventional terror group uses techniques similar to the military and intelligence ones. FETO masterfully uses espionage techniques. Information is a weapon as is psychological propaganda, false facts, flag operations, and sting NGOs used for undercover purposes, to name a few tactics. The members of this group infiltrated the military of Turkey as well, just like it did other institutions; this infiltration had been going on since the 1970s. Through the years the imbedded members have been promoted to positions as high as three-star generals. They had full control of the personnel department of the military and authority over the whole Turkish air force. They used slander, forgery, and fabricated documents to get rid of the military personnel that they saw as obstacles to them in order to get the positions they wanted. The group even tried to get control of the Turkish national intelligence services. Through the tried-and-proved technique of fabrication, they arrested the head of intelligence agency.

At that time Erdogan saw their real face and their actual intentions. The President, who at that time was the Prime Minister of Turkey, acted quickly to prevent the head of the intelligence agency from being arrested without his permission. Subsequently, Erdogan tried to reduce the influence of the group. For this purpose, he decreed and enforced the closure of Gulen’s institution, which would effectively close down the training centers from which the group was generating large amounts of money and had secured a strong influence on young students.

Of course, the group used their extremely honed techniques; they devised attacks against the government officials, the ministers, their sons, and Erodgan and his son. Although some aspects of the cases were certainly not fabricated, other were conjured up as usual. Via their media, they managed to influence public opinion for a large segment of Turkish society and the international community as well. President Erdogan maneuvered to eliminate the attacks. This was time that Erdogan begin to call the group as “a parallel government” because they infiltrated all the governmental institutions to become a government inside the government.

Since they kept being defeated by President Erdogan in every scheme, the organization determined that the problem now had become Erdogan himself; consequently, they had to find a way to get rid of Erdogan, so they masterminded their last, but suicidal, act on the 15th of July 2016. The cult group attempted a coup to depose Erdogan and his family, but the coup failed. The plans leaked that afternoon, so the group had to start the coup earlier than they had initially planned. During the coup, they hid themselves as if they were a Kemalist faction in the military, in other words, a secular reminent of followers of the founder of the Turkish nation Ataturk.

But the Turkish people did not buy it. In the face of the resistance of the whole nation, the coup plotters sought to escape, but most of them were caught and arrested,. In the attempt, however, they killed more than 250 Turkish men and women, they bombed the Turkish Parliament with an F-16, and targeted a police building that caused the death of 46 police officers. They attacked the intelligence agency with a military helicopter and killed innocent people with tanks and attack helicopters. That is why the Turkish government declared them as a terror group. Because none of the other terror groups had access to F-16s, airplanes, helicopters, or tanks. For that reason the Turkish government considers the FETO as one of the most sophisticated terror groups in the world and wants the leader of the group to be extradited back to Turkey to face justice.

My government and Brunson have a moral responsibility to respect the Turkish justice system. Brunson should tell both governments to stop exploiting his legal case for domestic, economic, and political gain. If Pastor Brunson innocent sooner or later he will be free. Yes, in the New York Times editorial, President Erdogan rightly charges that the United States has repeatedly failed to understand and respect the Turkish government’s concerns and that Washington must respect Turkish sovereignty and understand the danger that the Turkish nations faces.

Dr. Aland Mizell is President of the MCI and a regular contributor to Mindanao Times. You may email the author

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