The questions CNN’s Fareed Zakaria failed to ask Turkey coup leader Fetullah Gülen

EMRE BAŞARAN @ebasaran49
Published 31.07.2016 22:27
Updated 01.08.2016 16:41
Fetullah Gülen during the program
Fetullah Gülen during the program

FETÖ/PDY leader Fetullah Gülen has given a live interview to CNN International's Fareed Zakaria. However, the nature of the program casts doubt on the impartiality of the show, as the host abstained from asking real questions to him about his role in the July 15 failed coup attempt

CNN International conducted an interview on Sunday with Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülenist Terror Organization / Parallel State Structure (FETÖ/PDY), in which host Fareed Zakaria failed to press the alleged leader of the attempted coup in Turkey about vital issues.

During the interview, the host, journalist Zakaria, failed to ask Gülen crucial questions, indicating serious evidence regarding the role played by the fugitive imam and his secretive network in the failed attempted coup that began on July 15, which left 237 civilians and security officers dead, and over a thousand wounded.

The ex-imam, who lives in the foothills of the Pocono mountains in rural Pennsylvania, seemed to easily answer all the questions, as none were critical of him. The interview amounted to a whitewash of the most famous dweller in the small town of Saylorsburg.

One of these crucial questions would be: "Why did pro-coup Brigadier General Hakan Evrim offer Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar to make a phone call to his 'opinion leader,' by which he indicated you?"

One trait a journalist naturally should have is the ability and courage to be critical. "How would you explain the fact that Lieutenant Colonel Levent Türkkan, the aide of Hulusi Akar, admitted to being a sympathizer with you, and having wiretapped the Chief of Staff?" would be another good question to ask the imam, who lives in a 400-acre compound in self-imposed exile.

The attempted coup on July 15 was in every aspect surprising. As a first in Turkish history, an ex-police chief was caught in a tank wearing military uniform. Mithat Aynacı, the former security director of Istanbul Police Department, suspended from duty due to his links to FETÖ/PDY, was detained after security forces raided a tank.

This leads to another critical question to ask Gülen: "How do you evaluate the fact that a supporter of yours, suspended from duty for links to your movement, was caught wearing military uniform in a tank, even though he was not a soldier?"

Frankly asking all these questions would still be of no use, as Gülen would just say "They betrayed my ideals," and continue to slander the Turkish nation, just as he did when he called the brave Turks standing strong against the tanks "a bunch of fools."

As a journalist, I would want to ask him a critical question: "Why didn't you tell one of your most loyal followers, Osman Özsoy, to button his lip before the attempt?"

Let me explain the matter.

Özsoy, a well-known ideologist and supporter for the terrorist group, foretold the coup attempt a month before, saying on a TV broadcast, "The situation in Turkey cannot continue this way, but I will not say that the future of this country is dark. In fact Turkey's future is unbelievably bright. The current period will soon come to an end."

During a program aired on June 15 on the Gülen-linked online television channel STV, Özsoy bravely said: "All the coups take place on Friday in Turkey, and not a single person could leave their homes, not even imams to lead Friday prayers. There is no sensitivity to protecting democracy in this country, they are useless crowds. Not even one intellectual will oppose the curfew." These words clearly indicate the July 15 failed coup, which took place on a Friday.

Özsoy did not fail to encourage FETÖ/PDY militants and sympathizers, saying "Stay calm and wait for a happy development in the very near future. Members of the Hizmet Movement will soon have very busy days." Hizmet (meaning "service" in Turkish) is the name by which members of the group know it.

Military troops loyal to the government, along with police units and millions of Turkish citizens, succeeded by the morning of Saturday, July 16, in quelling the attempted coup launched by a small military junta linked to the FETÖ/PDY, that began on mid-afternoon on Friday.

At least 2,839 pro-coup members of the military, including 29 colonels and over 40 generals, have been detained across Turkey, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

Turkey's top judicial body (HSYK) also ordered the detention of 2,745 Gülen-linked judges and prosecutors on Saturday, while two members of the Constitutional Court were detained for involvement in the coup attempt.

As a result of the attempted coup, 237 people were killed, including 41 police officers and 47 civilians, while 1.440 others were injured. Some 104 pro-coup figures were also killed.

Many Turkish state institutions, including the Ministry of the Interior, the Security General Directorate, and Istanbul Police Department have described the Gülen Movement as FETÖ/PDY, which stands for "Gülenist Terror Organization / Parallel State Structure" in their records. "Parallel state" refers to a group of Gülenist bureaucrats and senior officials who have infiltrated key posts in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police, finding their way in through cheating and blackmail.

The group used counterfeit documents and illegal wiretappings to launch probes against their adversaries through exploiting members in the judiciary and the police.

The operations of December 17 and 25, 2013, saw a civil coup attempt that targeted government officials and their relatives. This one was carried out by prosecutors and police officers linked to a clandestine network run by Gülen, in an attempt to overthrow the democratically-elected government led by then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Gülen has been listed as a wanted terrorist by the Turkish Interior Ministry.

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