When I was a high school student, certain people were claiming that this movement would one day seize the state through their students in military schools. As part of the National Vision Movement (MGH), I had practical and intellectual knowledge of other religious structures and congregations. Six years ago, the famous sociologist Şerif Mardin said that, "the intentions of Fethullah Gülen seem ambiguous and mysterious." The true intentions of these people, whose character was unique, would certainly expose themselves one day. Yet the true goal of that structure was known all along by a small number of people.
Relying on their 300 years of experience, the colonial empire occupied not just the physical, but also the intellectual and moral realms of the Islamic world. On one hand, they raised a class that idolized Western values; on the other, they depraved the religion of Islam by inciting distorted forms as a means to break down the religious institutions that could have resisted the process of colonization. The Qadianis in India, radical Wahhabism, al-Qaida, DAESH, and the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) – these are all quasi-religious institutions that were produced outside of authentic Islamic discourse, authentic Islamic tradition and sources, despite the differences between them. Their common characteristic lies within their goals, which lies outside of classical Islamic teachings, and which negate religious precepts and values in suicidal heresy. Their only relation to Islam is the exploitation of religion to achieve their common objective to gather money and supporters. These extremist structures hold no religious objectives per se, but abuse others religious beliefs for their own hidden goals.Preparing the failed coup d'état for 40 years, Gülen's intrigue was defeated in one night with serious damages imposed on the country as a whole:
- Firstly, they defamed the system of justice through their partial seizure of the judiciary.
Secondly, they seriously diminished the fighting capacity of the Turkish army through the attempted coup d'état.
Thirdly, as they earlier liquidated a certain portion of the army through the Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) trials, their coup d'état against the legitimate elected government constitutes their second attack against the Turkish army.
Fourthly, as various intelligence activities in foreign countries are extremely costly, FETÖ serves as an intelligence organization, which seizes confidential information from the state and its human resources.
Fifthly, they seriously tarnished the public perception of sincere religious institutions.
Sixthly, like the Sabataist Muslims, they devastated the lives and dignity of thousands of people, turning them into borderline characters who spied on and fought against their own state, and thus their own people.
Finally, by wasting the best brains and $150 billion of the Turkish people, they actually attacked Turkey herself.
The formerly anti-religious attitude of the state prepared the ground for flourishing of such religious perversion by abusing the degraded religious feelings of the Anatolian people. Moreover, as the institutional capacity of the young Republic remains underdeveloped, a harmful structure found empty spaces to fill in. The State has to deal with all these weaknesses from scratch.
What about the malefactor? Beginning from our childhood, we always suspected that the organization was supported by external sources, as we know well the capabilities and constraints of religious congregations. Over the years, the organization evolved, grew and turned into a full-fledged intelligence organization. Indeed, their tactics of penetration into the depths of the state structure constituted FETÖ's primary objective.
For decades the Vatican, Israel, the CIA and others used it, separately or collectively. Gülen claims to be the "Mahdi" and even the "Messiah," with reference to his choice of residence in Bethlehem. Such paranoia could make him believe that he uses the United States for his own interests; but the relation of this so-called "Messiah" with the U.S. resembles that of the frog with the elephant.
Alliance and enmity normally emerges between different states, while powerful states should certainly have global agendas. The last coup d'état could be an external attempt to restrict Turkey to her region of influence. I strongly believe that Western public opinion should analyze FETÖ as a reflection of DAESH in the mirror, and question why their states support such an intelligence organization. Just like al-Qaida, these perverts of power might cause serious trouble in the West.
After realizing a suicidal attack on the Turkish State, the timing of the explosion of the given organization in other parts of the world is uncertain. Thus the world should be aware of the present danger.
About the author
İhsan Aktaş is Chairman of the Board of GENAR Research Company. He is an academic at the Department of Communication at Istanbul Medipol University.