Doesn’t Obama know Gülen is in the US?


Date posted: March 11, 2014

MURAT YETKİN

In a statement on March 8, the White House made a half-correction of what Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan has been saying about a telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama on Feb. 19. That was the first phone conversation between the two leaders in over six months.

The statement had nothing to do with the strategic parts of the conversation, which were actually mentioned by officials both in Ankara and Washington DC. The two leaders did indeed discuss critical issues like Syria, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Cyprus and Ukraine.

In the White House readout after the conversations, there was no reference of the massive corruption claims about the Erdoğan government and the series of new legislation bringing more political control over the judiciary and the Internet. There was only a note about the importance of the rule of law in Turkey.

From the day after the conversation onwards, Erdoğan has underlined another point, which is critical to current political affairs in Turkey. According to Erdoğan, he and Obama discussed the presence of Fethullah Gülen in the U.S. and the irritation he has been giving to the government.

Gülen, a U.S. Green Card holder, is a moderate Islamist scholar with a global network of sympathizers who has been living in a farmhouse in Pennsylvania since the mid-1990s. He used to be one of Erdoğan’s closest allies, especially while he was clearing Erdoğan’s way to the 50 percent popular support from the old secular establishment and military with the help of his sympathizers in the judiciary and security system.

When Erdoğan started to feel threatened by the Gülen presence within the state apparatus from 2012 on, the picture started to change.

The graft probe, which started on Dec. 17, 2013, brought the fight within religious/conservative politics in the country to surface. Erdoğan had to force four of his ministers to resign because of corruption allegations and had to face a bombardment of phone tapping recordings about his alleged interventions in government tenders, bribe connections and media affairs. He has repeatedly denounced Gülen as the source of what he called a “coup attempt.”

According to Erdoğan, when he discussed the situation with Obama, the U.S. president said he had “got the message.” On a live TV show, he added that he believed Obama would “do what’s necessary,” implying that Gülen might be extradited to Turkey.

The White House statement came the next day, saying that Erdoğan’s words referring to Obama were “not accurate.”

That is why I call it a “half-correction”; the White House still doesn’t say what the “accurate” wording was. To this day, it has not been possible to get an on-the-record or even background statement from either Turkish or American sources about the “accurate” wording of Obama’s answer to Erdoğan.

It would not make sense to assume that Obama did not know about Gülen’s presence in his country after all the debate and before making that phone call to Erdoğan.

Gülen has hundreds of schools in the U.S. as well. But they are not Turkish schools, as Gülenists promote them in Turkey, like the thousands of them in more than 100 countries across the world.

Gülen’s global schools are English-language schools run by Muslim Turks in places where it would be very difficult for American or British teachers to work, both politically and financially.

It may be rather easy for Erdoğan to phone to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to ask him to close the more than 20 Gülen-run schools in the Punjab region. But it may not be so easy to ask for the closure of Gülen schools in the U.S., or even to ask for Gülen’s extradition without even a court order against him.

It is possible that Obama briefly confirmed that he is aware of the situation without making a comment, in order to avoid being involved in Turkish politics ahead of the March 30 local elections.

Perhaps after the elections we will be able to learn exactly what Obama said to Erdoğan, and whether he will do anything regarding the latter’s Gülen problem.

 

Source: Hurriyet Daily , March 11, 2014


Related News

White House praises Rumi Forum

21 November 2011, Monday / ALİ H. ASLAN, WASHINGTON The White House, on its official website, commended the Washington-based Rumi Forum, an international organization promoting interfaith dialogue and peace, for its work in fostering “inter-religious and intercultural understanding” in a “consistent” manner since its establishment in 1999. The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood […]

The US Should Not Extradite Fethullah Gülen, To A Paranoid Turkish Government

It should be common sense to say that Gulen should not be handed over to a paranoid state, which cannot handle its own affairs. Fethullah Gulen himself has done what others also have, which is to suggest that Erdogan himself facilitated “the coup” in order for him to introduce his new phase of order over the country, becoming a dictator under NATO protection.

Fethullah Gülen condemns the terrorist attack in Gaziantep, Turkey

I condemn, in the strongest terms, the barbaric terrorist attack on attendees of a wedding ceremony in Gaziantep, Turkey that took the lives of more than fifty citizens, including children, and wounded many others. This is not just an attack on the attendees of a wedding, but also an attack on the solidarity of people of Anatolia, including Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Boshniaks, Albanians, Georgians and Circassians and others who lived as neighbors for centuries.

I Weep For Turkey

It has been the same topic of discourse everywhere. And it won’t stop anytime soon because of the atrocities that have followed, all in the name of sanitising the country and arresting masterminds of the phantom coup. The news coming out of Turkey has been really disturbing to many, and equally baffling to the world.

US law professor: Gülen extradition would be unlawful

Seval Yıldırım, a professor of law at Whittier Law School, said in a statement to Today’s Zaman on Wednesday that for the US to extradite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen without a formal case against him would be an infringement of US law.

Gülen among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people

Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen has made it onto Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. This is the 10th year the magazine has listed its 100 most influential people shaping the world. This year, the magazine put seven cover portraits of “TIME 100” honorees who it said reflect the “breadth […]

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Thousands in anti-corruption protests; Erdoğan defiant

Alliance for Shared Values Statement on Detention of Turkish Nationals in Kosovo and Their Imminent Transfer to Turkey

Gülen’s message on ISIL in UK-based Guardian newspaper

Morocco and Turkish schools

Thai Minister asks Turkish investors to invest more in education in Thailand

Gülen movement offers real alternative to clashes and conflict in society

Prime Ministry asks president to purge ‘parallel state’ in his office

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News