Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims


Date posted: July 16, 2021

Veteran Turkish journalist Can Ataklı claimed on the fifth anniversary of a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 that it was planned by the Turkish government in order to pave the way for removing tens of thousands of civil servants from their jobs over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Immediately after July 15, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, inspired by Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen, labeling the group as a terrorist organization.

Calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” Erdoğan initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

“They created a situation [suitable] to expel the movement’s members from public institutions. … They thought they could fake a coup,” Ataklı said in a video published on his YouTube channel on Thursday, adding that then-chief of general staff and current Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) head Hakan Fidan were also involved in the plot.

Akar and Fidan are among the key state actors who haven’t been asked to appear before a parliamentary commission that heard many retired generals, former ministers and mayors.

“July 15 was a terrifying incident. We still haven’t solved the mystery behind it. However, I can easily say it wasn’t a coup. … We must examine the results of such occurrences. Who benefited from it? They played [with us] under the pretext of a [fake] coup, and the government, one person [Erdoğan] profited handsomely from this, taking over the whole country,” Ataklı said.

“They declared a [state of emergency] four days after [the coup attempt]. Some 150,000 [Gülen] movement members were fired from jobs [by way of emergence decrees]. Now you decide who benefited from all this,” the journalist said, referring to Erdoğan and the AKP government.

“There’s no such a thing as FETÖ. They [AKP] made it up. Let’s not deceive ourselves or the people; it [the Gülen movement] isn’t a terrorist organization. They [the AKP] still scare people by saying they are,” Ataklı argued, using the derogatory term coined by the Turkish government to refer to the faith-based movement as a terrorist organization.

“We haven’t been able to speak out about this for five years. They intimidated us. They intimidated the opposition,” the journalist said, criticizing the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for embracing the government narrative of July 15.

Having worked for major news outlets in Turkey as an outspoken government critic, Ataklı now writes columns for the anti-government Korkusuz (Fearless) daily.

Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members, and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following an abortive putsch in 2016.

According to the latest official data, 622,646 people have been investigated and 301,932 have been detained, while 96,000 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup.

In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.

Source: Turkish Minute , July 16, 2021


Related News

Turkey’s Erdogan vows to cut off revenues of Gulen-linked businesses

“The business world is where they are the strongest. We will cut off all business links, all revenues of Gulen-linked business. We are not going to show anyone any mercy,” Erdogan said, describing the detentions so far as just the tip of the iceberg. The Turkish authorities had already seized a bank, taken over or closed several media companies, and detained businessmen on allegations of funding the cleric’s movement ahead of the failed coup attempt.

The latest step by AKP-Gov’t witch-hunt against Hizmet Movement

In Turkey, the increasing pressure over the freedom of press, property rights and authoritarianism have reached an alarming level. A recent report on the rule of law and respect for human rights inTurkey declared that Turkish government had been perpetrating systematic human rights violations since December 2013.

Pro-gov’t daily claims White House held special session on Gülen

Pro-government Turkish daily Takvim claimed in a Friday report that the White House held a special session on Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is based in the US, in September 2014.

Erdoğan escalates elimination of Gülenists from state [ with no proof of accusations]

Since the Dec. 17 graft probe, hundreds of prosecutors and judges and around 2,500 police officers who the government believes to be close to Gülen have been removed from their posts, and it seems that it is not going to stop there.

Turkey detains Mozambican software developer over links to Gülen movement

Helton Silva Malambane, a software developer from Mozambique who previously worked with the now-shut-down Fatih University, was detained by police at his residence in İstanbul over links to the Gülen movement, whose sympathizers the government accuses of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15. Twenty-seven-year-old Malambane was detained after police received anonymous tips about him.

Individuals can force change

Instead of Erdoğan’s accusations that the Hizmet movement had plotted to unseat his government, couldn’t it have been a handful of good men and women within the bureaucracy, i.e., the judiciary and the police, who leaked the investigation documents on Dec. 17 to the public to prevent these crimes from being covered up?

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

Turkish schools in Africa important for strong relations

The Hizmet Movement: ‘Terrorist’ or Terrorised?

The Independent: Turkish men ‘face torture’ after being extradited from Malaysia as post-coup crackdown continues

UN 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women

“Families are Meeting” Project Comes to Life

Row between Turkish government and Gülen movement heats up with new document

Hizmet and March 30 elections: What happened? (2)

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News