A day after former teacher Ş.A., mother of a week-old premature infant, was taken into police custody over links to the faith-based Gülen movement while she was on her way to the hospital to feed the baby, another mother was detained as part of the same investigation while her twins were left in an intensive care unit.
In his answers, Gül denied having relations with neither the Gülen movement nor Fethullah Gülen. But, history tells the opposite: Gül attended many activities of the Gülen movement; he even hosted, in his official residence, students of Turkish schools from many countries during a Turkish Language and Culture Olympiad.
Mr. Erdogan’s own Islamist and autocratic tendencies have also compounded the country’s vulnerability. Since an attempted coup last summer, the President has purged thousands of police officers and soldiers, and the resulting talent and resources gap may have damaged Ankara’s counterterror capabilities.
Turkey’s hunt for traitors after the failed July 15 coup has upended communities around the country and strained the rule of law. Arrests initially focused on military and security personnel. In the months since, tens of thousands of others, mainly teachers, have been caught in the crackdown.
Fethullah Gulen issued a message of condolences and condemnation of the terrorist attack in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve. Gulen said, “I pray that God grant mercy and forgiveness to those who lost their lives during a time normally reserved for celebration, hope and renewal.”
Cemil Barlas, a staunch supporter of Tayyip Erdoğan and commentator for the pro-government A Haber TV, said during a program that followers of the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of being behind a failed coup on July 15, must be kept in detention camps and should be given food tickets.
Turkish cleric Nurettin Yıldız demanded a fatwa from Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate suggesting that supporters of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by the Turkish government and Erdoğan of masterminding a failed coup in July, be executed, their opposing hands and feet be amputated or be exiled instead of keeping them in prisons.
The on-camera murder of Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov by 22-year-old Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas raised some disturbing questions about corruption and security in Turkey. In an interview with Hurriyet Daily News, Altintas’s step-sister Seher made those questions even more disturbing by claiming her brother was radicalized in police school.
While the Turkish government insists on claiming that Mert Altıntaş, the police officer who assassinated the Russian ambassador to Ankara, is linked to the Gülen movement, it has been discovered that the gunman attended the sermons of Nurettin Yıldız, a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
According to data from the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, there has been a rapid rise in the number of Turkish people seeking asylum in Germany since a failed coup attempt on July 15. Germany received asylum applications from a total of 5,166 Turkish citizens during the January-November period of 2016, according to a story in Deutsche Welle on Sunday.
Ironically, Erdogan finds it more expedient to blame Hizmet, rather than Daesh (IS), for the jihadist atrocities being consistently perpetrated in Turkey today. Thus, the Turkish Islamist president has got a scapegoat following all terror incidents of jihadist nature or other internal crisis engulfing the country.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s claim that US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen was behind the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey on Monday is an insult to Russian intelligence, a prominent Russian analyst said.