The July 15 coup attempt made it clear how deeply rooted and dangerous FETÖ still is
Modern Turkish history can be summarized by the oppressive practices being aimed at societal groups of those who are not "Sunni, secular or Turkish" and by the fact that these groups were treated as second-class citizens in the face of Kemalist ideology as these marginalized groups cast ballots to defeat the tutelage through democratic means.
Kemalist ideology was formed on the basis of exclusivity: barring the religious population as well as Kurds and Alevis in favor of a small minority. For this reason, it was impossible for Kemalist ideology to draw its power from democracy. It had to be based on a kind of tutelage in order to support itself, and that tutelage was formed through the Turkish military. For decades, Turkey was ruled by such a regime and when the democratically elected ruling powers were not approved by the military tutelage - the covert ruling power - they were overthrown with either memorandums, tanks or the National Security Council. The door that opened on May 27, 1960 with a military coup was never closed until 2002, when the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came into power, confronting the regime with serious action. Former AK Party members may still recall how the army's command echelon was disturbed by the rise of the AK Party and how they clung to hopes for a possible overthrow of the party. Evidence of this is seen in old newspapers and the formal indictment in the case that was opened in attempts to shut down the AK Party.
In brief, Erdoğan's party came to power by establishing a religious base in the face of the tutelage regime. Bureaucracy and jurisdiction were also controlled by the offshoots of the regime and the AK Party had a choice to make: either be overthrown by being complacent in the dominant military structure or renew the cadres and survive as a political party. In the aftermath of the e-memorandum issued by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to thwart the presidency of former Turkish President Abdulllah Gül in 2007 and the lawsuit filed for the closure of the AK Party in 2008, it became increasingly obvious that the AK Party would need an ally within the bureaucratic and judicial systems to survive politically. Thus, the AK Party began appointing persons affiliated with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) to state positions.
In other words, the AK Party formed ties with the Gülenists to transform Turkey and eradicate the military tutelage at a time when democracy was only used "on paper" and the presence of the military as ruling power continued unabated by political elections. At that time, Gülenists were known as a moderately liberal religious group rather than a terrorist group.
Fast forward to today and it is crucial that we take a look at the last five years in hindsight. Court cases opened by members of the Gülen group began to raise eyebrows over time. Then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was disturbed by some developments which began in late 2011, making slight changes within the Security Directorate. At the start of 2012, Gülenists waged a war against the Turkish state - one that was which was done overtly within the relevant offices but hidden from the public. The most significant evidence of this was in the testimony of former Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan who took the stand on Feb. 7, 2012 after a meeting on peace negotiations with the PKK in Oslo, which was leaked on the internet. That same day a covert operation was carried out related to the Gülenist threat which the MIT then referred to as a "security and judicial junta" without articulating the name of Fetullah Gülen. From Feb. 7 that year to Dec. 17, 2013, Gülenists lost their positions in state offices and were compelled took up positions against the AK Party upon that.
Until Turkey woke up to a political operation represented as an "operation against corruption" on Dec. 17, 2013, the fight against Gülenist was maintained by discharging key bureaucrats affiliated with the group. But beginning from Dec. 17, that turned into an all-out war. Yes, the AK Party had some relations with the group between the years of 2008 and 2012 but Erdoğan kicked off a public campaign against the group once it was understood that they act only in accordance with their own agenda and directly take orders from Gülen. This war is the summary of Turkey's last three years. The Gülenists, who infiltrated state institutions for 30 years and accelerated the process for the last eight years began to be discharged from their positions and this fight turned into a fight for state policy with the initiatives of Erdoğan. However, only after the July 15 coup attempt did the problem fully manifest itself and it became clear how deeply rooted and dangerous the group still is. For this reason, identifying FETÖ members and charging them when their roles in the groupwere tangibly proven is a long-term process that involves many persons. One must endeavor to contribute to the proper functioning of the process by preventing the actions contrary to law and preventing the charging of wrong persons rather than inhibiting the process itself.