A number of senators sent a letter to the U.S. Congress on Monday before President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to the country, which contains statements against Erdoğan. The senators were barely able to collect enough signatures after extending the deadline for gaining more signatures.
The letter, which was prepared by senators close to FETÖ-linked lobbying groups, overlooked the failed July 15 coup attempt masterminded by FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen that caused the deaths of 249 people, and criticized President Erdoğan's stance against the coup plotters.
Even though the deadline for the signing of the letter was initially set as May 12, the deadline was extended to May 15 due to lack of support, with only 13 senators signing the letter.
Last week, it was revealed that a U.S.-based group linked to FETÖ has launched a campaign against President Erdoğan ahead of his visit to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump, where the extradition of the U.S.-based FETÖ leader, Fetullah Gülen, will be among the top issues to be discussed between the two leaders in their first face-to-face visit since President Trump was elected last year.
The group, known as the Turkish American Society of Ohio, sent an email through list-serve to U.S. congressmen and U.S. senators slamming Erdoğan ahead of his official visit to the White House. The e-letter also asked recipients to contact the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, the head of the U.S. State Department and the White House.
The email sent by the Turkish American Society of Ohio also includes "sample talking points," which tell recipients of the letter what to say to U.S. politicians. The group identifies itself as "a nongovernmental organization [NGO] founded in 2008 which replaced the Scioto Educational Foundation (SEF) in 2010 after a merger."
Some FETÖ schools are currently under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for irregularities, unlawful profit, corruption, fraudulent contractual tenders and forgery of documents.
Turkey officially submitted evidence to the U.S. back in October 2016 regarding Gülen's network that formed a quasi-state within the Turkish state and attempted to topple the government.
GÜLEN calls on U.S. to intervene in Turkey to ‘restore democracy'
The leader of FETÖ and the mastermind of the failed July 15 coup attempt Gülen wrote an article for the Washington Post on Monday, demanding that NATO, the U.S. and the European Union intervene in Turkey to "restore democracy."
The terror group leader claimed that the Turkish people need the support of their "European allies," and asserted that NATO has the right to "demand Turkey honor the alliance's democratic norms."
Gülen also blamed Turkey, the only country deploying troops on the ground in Syria having successfully cleared northern Syria of the Daesh threat with Operation Euphrates Shield, of causing a "nightmare for Middle East security."
On July 15, a small military junta linked to FETÖ attempted to topple the democratically elected president and government in Turkey and impose martial law. The attempt was prevented by military troops loyal to the government, along with police units and millions of Turkish citizens in favor of democracy.
A total of 248 people, consisting of mostly civilians, were killed by pro-coup soldiers, while over 2,000 others were injured.
The attempt was masterminded by Gülen, who has been living in self-imposed exile on a 400-acre property in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania since 1999.