Prime Ministry Senior Adviser Abdülkadir Özkan, whose book "Modern Day Hassan-i Sabbah: Fetullah Gülen," was recently released, said the book outlines the Gülenist Terror Group's (FETÖ) growth from the mid-1960s to its current state, adding that it also includes documents on Fetullah Gülen, the fugitive leader of the cult, such as his graduation from primary school at the age of 17.
Özkan said the childhood trauma Gülen suffered affected him for the rest of his life, imprinting his psychological outlook on life on his cult.
Gülen's introduction to former Presidency of Religious Affairs President Yaşar Tunagür had changed his life, said Özkan, allowing the cult leader to become an imam, establishing the first precursor of his terror group.
The early 1970s saw Gülen establish close ties to Turkish and foreign intelligence services, Özkan said, arguing that FETÖ's nefarious aims were first established then. He also said Gülen's psychological problems can be seen in his self-contradicting remarks throughout the years. "The Gülen we see sometimes expresses radical rhetoric while at other times, he is trying seem as a moderate secular figure. Despite his evident schizophrenic outbursts, all his efforts are directed at a particular target. His rhetoric is just a tool to achieve his objectives."
Despite openly supporting the 1971, 1980 and 1997 military coups, he tried to distance himself from last year's coup attempt, Özkan said. "He believes in rebuilding democracy through military coups. His accusations against the government and the Justice and Development Party [AK Party] are efforts to justify military coups. Only when it failed did he condemn the coup attempt."
The biggest threat posed by FETÖ now is its success at mobilizing foreign media, academics and politicians against the Turkish government, Özkan argued. "They are trying to internationally isolate Turkey. They are trying to portray themselves as victims. Nongovernmental organizations need to take the lead in ensuring such efforts do not succeed. Even Muslim communities abroad do not know the whole picture about this cult and what it is capable of."
Rather than short-term and hallow campaigns aimed at narrow objectives, Turkey needs to initiate a long-term mobilization that will eradicate the fundamental legitimacy of FETÖ, Özkan said. "Anything else only helps FETÖ and its enablers abroad."
"Firstly, we need to demonstrate that Turkey is fighting FETÖ within legal means. Transparency will remove FETÖ's principal weapon. A cult that abused the justice system and hurt the nation's trust in the judiciary is now complaining about injustice. It is laughable. What is more laughable is the fact that many abroad believe the lies FETÖ says."