Trump-connected lobby firm signs FETÖ-linked group

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 27.04.2017 23:47

A Washington-based lobbying group linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) has retained the lobbying firm Gotham Government Relations & Communications, known for its close relations with the Trump administration.

Gotham, in an email to Anadolu Agency (AA), confirmed that it has signed up the FETÖ-linked, Washington Strategy Group LLC.

According to a Politico report, the New York lobby group landed its first foreign client for a retainer fee of $50,000 and $20,000 per month thereafter.

Gotham touts itself as being close to the Trump administration, and helped then-candidate Trump make his campaign announcement for the Oval Office in 2015, Politico reported.

Meanwhile, the Washington Strategy Group's Governor Beyhan Nakiboğlu is among the most prominent names linked to FETÖ. He was among the original founders of the now-defunct Bank Asya, which was closed down by Turkish government last June due to its involvement in alleged illicit money transfers for FETÖ.

The Washington Strategy Group, which registered as a non-profit public affairs and advocacy organization, has recently started to operate as a formal lobbyist for itself, according to filings available to public.

The strategy group has spent up to $50,000 in its activities in Washington, the third and fourth quarter reports indicated. The lobbying efforts focused on recent human rights issues in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, including free speech, due process and rule of law. The contact name in the filings was Süleyman Turhanoğulları, a board member of Washington-based Gülen-linked umbrella business association, the Turkic American Alliance (TAA). Several social media posts have also named Turhanoğulları as president of the Washington Strategy Group LLC.

Led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, FETÖ sought to topple the Turkish government and seize power on July 15, 2016 through a military coup and impose martial law.

The attempt was prevented by military troops loyal to the government, along with police units and millions of Turkish citizens rallying in favor of democracy. As many as 248 people, mostly civilians, were killed by pro-coup soldiers, while over 2,000 people were injured.

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