Newly seized audio of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) leader reveals him telling his followers to infiltrate strategic positions in the Turkish state to replace it with a "parallel state," according to a court indictment.
"Our dedicated, virtuous friends have to take very important points in the other state," says Fetullah Gülen, U.S.-based leader of the group in the voice recording, referring to his followers infiltrating the Turkish state, which they attempted to violently overthrow in 2016. The reference to the so-called "other state," Gülen's term for the Turkish state, shows that he saw his followers as a "state within a state," a "parallel state" meant to undermine the legitimate one.
The cassette recording cited in the indictment was found by police at the house of a FETÖ suspect who was seeking to flee Turkey for Greece. Prosecutors in the northwestern Turkish province of Sakarya had issued a warrant for the suspect, identified as Celal D.
In the recording, the terrorist group leader continues by instructing his followers to act as sleeper agents in key posts, serving "in universities, high schools, various levels of other schools. They will serve as civil servants. This is normal and vital. Obligation to duty according to one's nature is part of this."
Accused of armed terror group membership and using Bank Asya, the now-defunct lender associated with the terrorist group, and ByLock, the encrypted messaging app exclusively used by FETÖ members, Celal D. faces a possible jail sentence of some seven to 15 years.
Ankara accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state by infiltrating Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary. On July 15, 2016, FETÖ orchestrated a coup attempt through its military infiltrators. The coup attempt killed 251 people but was thwarted thanks to strong public resistance.