I recently observed that the Gülen Movement -- defined as 'parallel structure,' in Turkey -- whose revealed attempts to overthrow the government through its members holding posts in Turkey's state institutions, now continues its activities against Turkey from abroad and currently has a busy schedule in Belgium. Especially in Brussels, we are in a period in which this group has increased its smear campaign against Turkey with intense engagement in EU institutions and the European Parliament (EP).
This parallel group is using the appointments they took from Belgium's federal and state governments and is conducting a series of negotiations with Belgian police authorities to smear Turkey and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). They also denounced the election campaigns addressed to Turkish citizens living in Belgium for the June 7 parliamentary elections on the grounds that they would disturb the country's peace. The group directly demands the prohibition of the AK Party's election campaigns in the negotiations it has with Belgium's senior police authorities. I hope Belgian authorities are aware of the fact that they are negotiating with a dangerous illegal organization.
Meanwhile, even more alarming developments are on the agendas of EU institutions and in the corridors of the EP.
Gianni Pittella, the president of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats who used to sit next to my seat in the European Parliament, has been recently victimized by this kind of manipulation. He was shocked when he saw how an interview he gave to a so-called journalist from the parallel group who has worked in Brussels for years, was manipulated in this group's media outlets in Turkey. He got angry, and rightfully so, since instead of his own remarks, he saw that the interview was used in an effort to show that the Dec. 17 judicial coup attempt was not a part of the parallel group's operation in order to change perceptions in a report titled "A country not fighting corruption cannot join the EU." A so-called "innocent" interview conducted with him was explicitly misused.
After those in charge of the Socialist Parliamentary Group called this journalist to account, the apology made to them was even more fatal, which was that it was not him but the newspaper that changed the content of the report. There is a Turkish saying for such cases: "The apology is even more fatal than the offense." This incident is only one instance. The EU and EP are responsible to act more meticulously regarding the parallel structure that spends great amounts of money and shows every kind of effort to blockade EU institutions and the EP with their nongovernmental organizations and think tanks in Brussels, their associations that try to conceal their actual motives under the guise of professional institutions and with their fake journalists. And it is not for Turkey's favor, it is required for the reputation of the EU and EP.
For two years, many fabricated news stories were served to Turkey through question-and-answer style messages via emails or short interviews with EU authorities and EP members. The mostly innocent answers given to the questions with false contents as part of the smear campaign were presented in Turkey to create an illusion that the EU and EP were also against the AK Party. If people in Turkey feel distrust or anger toward the EU, and particularly the EP, the false EU or EP announcements spread by the parallel structure have a great role in that.The parallel structure has only one target: to cause a crisis between the EU and Turkey and make the existing issues worse.
They are worried over the possibility that a close relation between the EU and Turkey would reveal the true face of the parallel structure in the EU. In EU countries, they are also concerned about the possibility that it would be revealed how they brainwash in their schools, how they forcefully enroll people in their newspapers, how they placed sleepers in the institutions of EU countries for their purposes, their illegal monetary sources and all of their other illegal activities. Interpol and Europol are a nightmare for them. The Turkish public expects only one thing from the EU or EP: Not to fall into the trap of the parallel structure. All EP members should know that some people in the EP corridors who call themselves journalists have already disregarded journalistic ethics.