As Turkey marks the second anniversary of the failed coup attempt and commemorates all the lives lost, it is both timely and inevitable to look back and come to the definitive conclusion that Fetullah Gülen and his Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) were responsible for the most dangerous threat to the country's democracy in decades.
The concluded trials have found thousands guilty of conspiring to violently topple the democratically elected government. The public's fury is partly satiated with sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, but it still needs to see the trial and conviction of the chief terrorist, Gülen, who remains in Pennsylvania enjoying the protection and hospitality of the U.S. government. History will definitely note the continued U.S. rejection of Turkey's extradition requests for this criminal, and this refusal is tantamount to aiding and abetting a terrorist leader.
The U.S. also needs to take a look at the consequences of its pro-FETÖ policies among the Turkish society, which have started to share the general view that Washington D.C. is the brains behind every shady, corrupt and nefarious plan around the world. Every person, firm, nongovernmental organization and group with links to the U.S. will soon be seen by the Turkish public as part of a plot against the country's well-being.
The protection of Gülen and his cabal is probably the only Obama policy that the Trump administration deemed worthy of preserving. It should definitely revisit this decision.
As a pragmatic stable genius, Donald Trump need not carry the heavy weight of Gülen's crimes of terrorism that is a leftover from the Barack Obama era. What he needs to do is to clean up the mess that Obama left behind and transform the U.S. into a trustworthy and transparent ally.
No one but Trump can take on Gülen in the U.S. As a leader who believes in "America First," Trump needs to start by extraditing Gülen to Turkey to put some distance between himself and the "useful idiots" of the previous administration. He needs to show all that he will not tolerate such nonsense. The moment he does, he will garner the appreciation of not only Turkey but the entire world.
As a leader that wants to put America first and stop the American people being taken advantage of, Trump should just ask the FBI what Gülen and his criminal group are involved in. The dozens of charter schools run by FETÖ in the U.S. have become conduits to siphoning off the American taxpayers' money into various criminal enterprises abroad. It should come as no surprise to those who know the internal running of FETÖ, including the FBI, that the July 15, 2016 coup attempt was indirectly funded by American taxpayers.The Turkish public will never forget the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, nor will it turn a blind eye to the continued complicity of the U.S. government in the protection of the leader of the coup plotters.
The prosecution and punishment of Fetullah Gülen is just a question of time. He is a murderer and history will record him as such. However, there is still time for the U.S. to correct its mistakes and side with justice. The moment it extradites that murderer to Turkey, relations between the U.S. and Turkey will begin to mend. Will all the bad blood be washed away? No. However, the process of healing will definitely begin. The Turkish public demands trials for every individual and group in the U.S. complicit in the crimes of FETÖ. We, as Daily Sabah, are showing the U.S. policymakers the way to make right the many wrongs they have committed over the years. We are calling on you to cleanse yourself of the criminal elements pushing you toward the darkness.
This call may go over the head of the average Joe and plain Jane. They may be oblivious to the crimes their government has been complicit in. We respect and love their naiveté. Ordinary Americans are hardworking and honest people trying to make ends meet.
However, we have no doubt that our call will be well understood by everyone in the U.S. government working on Turkey, including the Turkey desks in the CIA, the U.S. Department of State and other relevant agencies.
These people know what we are talking about and they know we know this fact.