Washington Post article which was published on 12 March 2018 includes two factual mistakes
On 12 March 2018, The Washington Post has published an article which includes two factual mistakes.
1. FETO’s involvement in the coup attempt
Firstly, the article presents the launching the coup attempt on 15 July 2016 in Turkey by the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (“FETO” or “the Gulenists”) which is led by Fethullah Gulen as the “claim” of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rather than a fact and states that Fethullah Gulen denies FETO’s involvement.
However, it is beyond the reasonable doubt that the attempted coup of July 15 was organized by the FETO.
FETO members signaling the coup attempt
The Gulenists signaled long before that they would try a military coup against Turkey’s democratically elected government. Osman Ozsoy, a supporter of Gulen and an academic, spoke on a Gulen-affiliated channel one month before the coup attempt and said “I wish I was a colonel. I could serve this country more”. When the broadcaster asked what he meant, Ozsoy said everything should not be openly said on TV. “Do not overestimate the public support, announce that there will be a curfew tomorrow morning and look if there is anyone taking to streets,” he added.
Tuncay Opcin, another FETO member within the inner circle of FETO and now living as a fugitive in the U.S., tweeted “They would ambush (him) in bed, and hang (him) in the morning” two days before the attempted coup, apparently referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Opcin deleted this tweet after the failed coup.
Key coup figures affiliated with Gulen
Kemal Batmaz and Adil Oksuz, two civilians believed to have directed soldiers on behalf of FETO, were caught by CCTV cameras at the 143rd Fleet of the Akinci Air Base, the command center of the putschist soldiers, on the night of July 15.
Adil Oksuz was an assistant professor of theology at Sakarya University and Kemal Batmaz was a former manager of the Kaynak Kagit company which had publicly known ties with FETO. As for Adil Oksuz, he has pictures showing him kneeling before Fethullah Gulen in his mansion in Pennsylvania. It was revealed that Kemal Batmaz and Adil Oksuz traveled to the U.S. between 11 and 13 July 2016 -two days before the coup- on the same plane. The indictment against Batmaz and Oksuz states that they took this trip to have the approval from their leader Fethullah Gulen regarding the final plans of the coup.
To learn more about July 15 coup attempt and FETO, click here.
2. The claim that Turkish government suppresses perceived followers of Gulen
Referring to the dismissals and arrests in the post-coup period, the article claimed that President Erdogan “has embarked on a campaign of repression against perceived enemies of the state” or “the perceived followers” of Fethullah Gulen in other words.
However, the judicial process against Gulen’s followers are carried out according to the solid criteria and due process of law, not the “perception” of the Turkish government. The Turkish government determined 16 criteria in order to determine someone’s affiliation with FETO. The main criteria are:
Investing money in Bank Asya after December 2013
Bank Asya was a FETO-affiliated private bank. Fethullah Gulen openly called upon his followers to invest in Bank Asya when the bank was on the verge of collapse in late 2013 and in early 2014. Therefore, the Turkish government accepts putting money in Bank Asya during a period which does not make any sense commercially as a proof of being a Gulenist.
Using ByLock, an encrypted communication application which is exclusively used by FETO members
After the July 15 coup attempt, the Turkish public learned about an encrypted chat application: ByLock. ByLock was used by FETO members to avoid government supervision after the group carried out controversial operations on 17 and 25 December 2013 when FETO-linked prosecutors, now either under arrest or living as fugitives abroad, launched a so-called corruption probe into government officials. The probes are widely seen in Turkish public opinion as having ulterior aims such as toppling the government and as a bidding of the Gulenists.
Although ByLock was indeed once commercially available, “it was only advertised to the Gulen movement [FETO] without any general advertisement,” as the application’s owner David Keynes declared. In addition to this, it was not designed for commercial profit or increasing the number of its users, according to the first extensive indictment about the application and its user network. To learn more about ByLock and how it is used by FETO, please click here.
Participating in the terror organization’s activities
Among the evidences that suggest participation in the terror organization’s activities are transferring money to the organization under the guise of himmet (alms), being a member of FETO’s syndicates or associations and donating to FETO’s social aid organization Kimse Yok Mu.
For the exhaustive list of all the criteria to determine FETO members, please click here.