The latest judicial decisions and actions clearly show that the Gülen Movement is still going strong in the judicial structure and continues to pose a threat to the government. The movement continues to manipulate courts and elements in the police force, thus showing that it remains a formidable opponent.
The fact that the Supreme Court of Appeals has approved the jail sentence of former chief of police, Hanefi Avcı, once again displays in clear terms that the Gülen Movement prevails in the Supreme Court. Avcı had written a book several years ago that shed light on the clandestine activities of the Gülen Movement and it is believed that the movement hit back at him by jailing him, through its connections in the police and the judiciary. The book is said to have been an eye opener for many people, even before the December 2013 incidents, which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his colleagues say was a clear coup attempt by the Gülen Movement.
Avcı served several years in prison while his trial was in progress but was released after it became apparent that, similar to many others like him, he was framed by the police and judicial officials who served the Gülen Movement. He was sentenced to jail for helping a terrorist group and now that jail term has been approved by the Supreme Court of Appeals, which has the final say in such matters. The ruling is regarded as an act of vengeance by the Gülen Movement. It has been whispered that the Gülen Movement has captured this court and has been dominating it for some time now. The government amended the law on the Supreme Court of Appeals as well as the Council of State, increasing the number of its members and thus turning the tide in its favor and dampening the dominance of the Gülen Movement in this particular court.
The government is clearly bewildered that the Supreme Court of Appeals is sending Avcı to prison. But this case is only the latest in a string of events that show the capabilities of the Gülen Movement, not only in the police force and the judiciary, but also the fact that it has a better public relations apparatus than the government.
Only 10 days ago the Gülen Movement proved its capabilities, much to the dismay of the government. They learned that a prosecutor would launch an investigation into a case where the Gülen Movement had successfully used its PR apparatus through its newspapers and TV stations and its police and judicial connections to jail a Muslim preacher for 17 months in 2009, on charges that he led an al-Qaida group in Turkey. The preacher, who apparently was jailed because he was highly critical about the religious credentials of Fethullah Gülen, was later set free on a lack of evidence. So even before the investigation was launched the Gülen Movement leaked the operation to the press through the Internet, also using its disinformation with success to portray the event as a massive operation against journalists, newspapers and TV stations where 150 press people would be rounded up and jailed. In fact, only 31 people would be called in for questioning and some were not even journalists but media executives. At the end of the day, only four people were arrested and sent to jail pending a trial.
The Gülen Movement used its media apparatus successfully to create an image of a massive clampdown on the press in Turkey and the Western governments and media swallowed this simply because the government's own PR mechanism just did not work properly.
The Gülen Movement continues to successfully lobby American congressmen and senators as well as European parliamentarians. This should all be an eye opener to President Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and their colleagues.