Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has captured and brought home a high-ranking member of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced Monday.
“Through its genuine and patient work, MIT has brought FETÖ’s Central Asia chief Orhan Inandı back to Turkey,” he said.
The terrorist group is accused of planting infiltrators throughout Turkey's governance structure, from the judiciary and law enforcement to the military. It was also responsible for carrying out two coup attempts disguised as anti-graft probes in 2013. After a plot by FETÖ-linked judiciary members and police chiefs targeting people close to the government in so-called corruption probes was uncovered, the group faced heightened scrutiny.
Yet, it was not until the 2016 coup attempt that FETÖ saw the biggest crackdown against its activities. Tens of thousands of people have been detained and arrested for their links to the terrorist group in operations carried out in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt.
FETÖ maintains a vast network of schools and other educational facilities throughout the world, with the United States being the terrorist group's primary focus. These facilities, often presented as Turkish or international schools, primarily recruit FETÖ members and sympathizers as teachers and administrators. FETÖ schools are often accused of money laundering and financing the shadowy group's activities through the schools' profits and deals with FETÖ-affiliated businesses and vendors.
Ankara's relentless efforts in taking over Turkish-branded institutions from FETÖ since 2014 have found some success, but the terrorists' networks in Europe and the U.S. remain untouched.
Inandı had an arrest warrant on charges of terrorism. Security sources say he rose to the rank of “Kyrgyzstan chief” in the terrorist group in 2001 before he was promoted to the rank of leader for FETÖ for a region covering Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 2017.
Security sources say he was a frequent visitor to FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen’s compound in Pennsylvania, United States and last visited the place in March 2021. He also had connections with top figures of the group, including Mustafa Özcan, Naci Tosun and Barbaros Kocakurt. Investigations show he was an active user of Bylock, developed and exclusively used by the group to relay messages of senior cadres to the members. Upon instructions of group’s leaders, İnandı helped arranging shelter for FETÖ members who fled Turkey, in Kyrgyzstan. He also arranged 25 top FETÖ members, including Mustafa Özcan and Ali Çelik, former CEO of Bank Asya, a now-defunct lender associated with the group, to have Kyrgyz passports by “illegal means,” security sources said.
İnandı worked in several positions within the group between 1985 and 1995 before gradually rising in the ranks. He also had contacts with Adil Öksüz, fugitive mastermind of the 2016 coup attempt, attending his meetings with other FETÖ members.
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