In Turkey, numerous cases have been filed against former imam Fethullah Gülen, who currently lives in Pennsylvania in the U.S. Charged with allegations of forming an illegal autonomous structure that infiltrated the security and judicial institutions of the state, Gülen prefers to stay in the U.S. rather than giving an account of his actions before a Turkish court.
Many prosecutors, police chiefs, journalists and academics who are members of the Gülen Movement have also recently fled abroad like their leader because all their misdeeds were revealed without leaving any room for questions. They no longer have anything to say to defend themselves. It is not only the people who were illegally wiretapped, unlawfully imprisoned or who lost their jobs because of the group, but a large part of the overall public has reacted against Gülen and his accomplices.
For this reason they have intensified their illegal actions outside Turkey, the country they tried to control with threats and blackmail for more than 30 years. Instead of the support they could not find within Turkey, they are trying to gain support from foreign politicians whom they were able to persuade with a lobby network they formed abroad.
Despite their efforts to bypass politics in Turkey by forming a bureaucratic, tutelary system in the country, the Gülen Movement represents itself as a nongovernmental organization abroad. However, this autonomous organization has nothing to do with nongovernmental activities due to its hierarchical structure within the state.
However, the success the group achieved in its lobbying activities cannot be denied. For instance, even though it is the first organization that comes to mind in Turkey regarding illicit money, the organization's members represent themselves abroad as heroes fighting corruption.
Lately they have been trying to improve their image through Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab, who was detained in Miami on charges of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. They are trying to associate Zarrab with the Turkish state even though there are no charges included in the indictment naming Turkish government figures. In doing so, they plan to undermine the image of the Turkish government, which has been conducting a legal struggle against the illegal organization.Speaking about this manipulation before his departure to the U.S., Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan effectively portrayed the absurdity of the situation: "This issue does not concern our country, and I do not find it appropriate to make an assessment without knowing the reasons [of Zarrab's arrest] or whether it is about money laundering, but the big boys of money laundering are there in Pennsylvania. I wonder if authorities there have taken any action against them."
Erdoğan's reproach of the U.S., which is Turkey's closest ally, is not only related to Turkey's interests. The Gülen Movement's money laundering and swindling are not limited to those included in the case files in Turkey. This organization also poses a threat to EU countries and the U.S.
For instance, the Gülen Movement has many educational institutions in the U.S. Its charter schools are the most prominent among them. Some U.S.law offices have claimed that the activities and structure of these educational institutions violate the U.S.'s legal and tax systems. The allegations even include human trafficking. In other words, the Gülen Movement also exploits Americans just as it swindled the Turkish public.
Seemingly, the current U.S. government is not willing to take any action against this structure before the upcoming elections since they know that they would have difficulties explaining to the electorate why this former imam and his gang who have exploited Americans' taxes for years have not been stopped yet.
Who knows? Maybe the claims suggesting that Gülen provides financial support to some Democrat candidates with his black money have a role in their abstention.
No matter what the situation is, to express it with a common Turkish saying, Gülen's spears outgrow the sack they are in. No defense or excuse is enough to conceal the evidences of this offense.
The U.S. government must immediately realize that it has to get rid of this tumor that damages both their economy and prestige. Otherwise, it will be cross with many of its allies, including Turkey, due to this illegal group organized on an international scale to found a bizarre caliphate.