On Sunday morning Turkey woke up to a wave operation that had a detention list of 32 people, including a Gülenist media outlet's editor-in-chief and director along with a writer, screenwriter and cinematographer of a television series running on a Gülenist channel, as well former police officers who were allegedly affiliated with the movement and took part in the Ergenekon trials. The inclusion of these people on the detention list has raised the question of this being an operation to squelch those who oppose the government. Could this really be the case? Did President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government order the judiciary to seek revenge for the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 operations, as they suffered the risk of being overthrown with these operations? Or, was Sunday's operation launched to silence the actors of Dec. 17?
Before the operation was launched, a Twitter account under the name FuatAvni foretold that the operation would take place, clearly answering to the description of the "parallel structure," which infiltrated the top echelons of the state and police. Since the Dec. 17 operation, this account has been insidiously watching and threatening the state. It has been mixing truth with lies, spreading fear and creating mystery, proving the existence of a parallel structure within the state.
With this abrupt operation, all media outlets of the Gülen Movement initiated a terrific campaign claiming that "the press is silenced." Of course, we do not desire the detention of even a single colleague and their deprivation of freedom, but the members of Gülenist media outlets remembered press freedom only when things turned against them. It is known to anyone that they gave the greatest support in their newspapers and TV channels to the detention of two journalists, Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener, who were arrested as a part of the Ergenekon case in 2011.
Leaving all this aside, I would like to note that if a person is detained unlawfully and if an indiscriminate witch hunt is launched to take revenge, I object to it with all my strength and sincerity. However, what we know about this operation for now is that the reason behind it is another operation conducted in 2010.
Let me elaborate on the operation that took place in 2010. There is a little-known religious group called "Tahşiyeciler" who are known to be a branch of the Nur Movement like the Gülen Movement. However, there is an aversion between Tahşiyeciler and Gülenists. The group's leader, Mehmet Doğan, is known to be a strong opponent of Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülen Movement. In a speech that was released on the Internet on Apr. 6, 2009, Gülen said about this group: "After Hizbulvahşet, they invented al-Qaida. Tomorrow, they could develop new things. They could, for instance, create something called Tahşiye. ... They might arm themselves in order to increase their power." Following this, the TV series, of which screenwriters were detained in Sunday's operation, newspapers and newscasts began publishing pieces that associated the Tahşiyeci group with al-Qaida. In short, it was imprinted in the minds of people that the group was a branch of al-Qaida. Eventually, an operation was conducted against the group and its 66-year-old and almost blind leader was detained along with 122 other members in 2010. As a result of this operation, the group's leader, Mehmet Doğan, was jailed for 17 months. Oddly enough, the operation, which was initially called the "Tahşiyeciler operation," was later called "al-Qaida operation." At this time, former police chief Tufan Ergüder, who was also detained as a part of the operation, participated in a TV program on the Gülen Movement-affiliated Samanyolu news channel, calling Tahşiye an affiliate of al-Qaida, despite the absence of any findings regarding that the group was armed.
Later on, other oddities emerged relating to the operation. For instance, none of the suspects' fingerprints were detected on the weapons that were obtained during the raids that were conducted in the houses of the group. However, it was found that the fingerprints belonged to police officers who attributed this to wearing torn gloves. It also came out that the hand grenade that was found was the same as the one that was obtained during the Ergenekon investigation.
With respect to Sunday's operation, the police and prosecution offices claim this: First, Fethullah Gülen criminalized an anti-Gülen Movement group with its media organs to eliminate it and then had policemen affiliated with the movement place guns and grenades in their houses and eventually imprisoned them using their power in the judiciary. We will see whether this claim is true or not if the claim continues to be investigated within the scope of the law. I do not think that any Westerners will oppose that such a serious claim needs to be investigated. If all of these claims are completely proven, we will see that functioning mechanism and crime map of the parallel structure in many cases.