Fethullah Gulen responds to allegations

A TV channel started a defamation of Fethullah Gulen in June 1999 in Turkey based on a montage videocassette. Below is an phone interview with Mr. Gulen by famous anchor Reha Muhtar of Show TV. Gulen in this interview answers all the accusations such as penetrating the state institutions, bringing Sharia to Turkiye and being against the Turkish army.

Fethullah Gulen responds to allegations

A TV channel started a defamation of Fethullah Gulen in June 1999 in Turkey based on a montage videocassette. Below is a phone interview with Mr. Gulen by famous anchor Reha Muhtar of Show TV. Gulen in this interview answers all the accusations such as penetrating the state institutions, bringing Sharia to Turkiye and being against the Turkish army.

According to some media claims based on videocassettes, you are planning to take over the state and thus have been organizing covertly within government institutions? Is this true?

I cannot accept any claims made against me based on a cut-and-paste version of a videocassette made from some of my recorded speeches. Let me clarify a few points:

First of all, such claims have been made before and all have been dismissed either during the investigation or by the court.

Secondly, while the media in question so diligently unearths such devastating evidence against me, what have the state’s intelligence agencies been doing?

Thirdly, all business operations and entities supposedly connected with me are legitimate business organizations and foundations that operated according to the laws of the Turkish Republic. Even if one did intend to take over the government, one can only be prosecuted for his actions, not for his thoughts. This is an important rule of law.

Fourthly, as far as I can remember, the videocassette in question is a collection of my answers given to some questions asked by members of a group. Some of the questions broadcast during that particular program had to do with the favoritism shown to special interest groups and gangs as regards the filling of many bureaucratic positions within the Justice Department. A minister of justice at that time admitted this and defended this practice at his party’s congress. I simply offered some advice to those who lost their jobs or were somehow hurt by this action. I said that in such fights for ideology, unfortunate things would happen and that they should not be overly disturbed by these events. I have also advised those who were professionally hurt by the mafia, gangs, and ideological groups not to fall under the influence of their religious and nationalistic feelings.

Of course, these were presented in the montage – made from various sources collected from several archives over the years – in such a way as to depict me as planning to take over the state and prosecute me in a kangaroo court. Was the same treatment directed toward those who misused their official power in filling many Justice Department positions, which they themselves admitted? If not, the underlying reason is not to prove the alleged activity, but rather to assert some other ill intent. In fact, some members of the media have admitted this. Rumors are flying that someone has “pushed the button.” Who are they? Why did they do it? On whose behalf did they do so? Or are they themselves trying to take over the state? Are they trying to reach their goal by starting another campaign over fundamentalism, about which the state is very sensitive?

Throughout history, the truth has always been uncovered. The truth behind this dastardly attack shall also come out, and the innocent and the guilty will become known.

I would like to touch upon one more important point here: We do not judge a book by its cover alone. Therefore, one should be judged based on all of the available information, not just by a couple of words. One has to consider the time and purpose and circumstances under which such statements are made. To date, I have published many books as well as recorded sermons and speeches. All of these are available to anyone. These are the sources according to which I should be judged. In many of my speeches I have emphasized that a true believer would not – and must not – desire worldly gain or position while serving his nation, and that one can have no higher reward than winning the pleasure of God and the rank attained by serving faith and the Qur’an.

I do not exaggerate when I claim to have repeated this hundreds of times. Belief should enter the people’s hearts and cause them to love God. In the name of spiritual life and love, they should strengthen the faith of everyone they can and give hope to humanity. To serve the interests of others, however, I am being executed without a trial. The heavily doctored video twists the truth 180 degrees and gives it exactly the opposite meaning than what I actually said.

For example, on a TV channel I am quoted as saying, “Whenever I have entertained such thoughts as ‘I wish we were present, in the service of faith and the Qur’an, in the bureaucracy of Interior and Justice Departments,’ I receive a (divine) slap in the face.” What I meant here is that ‘any thought and wish to be a man of faith and love is the basic principle for a believer, nothing else’. That is, such expectations have no place in serving the faith and the Qur’an and therefore should never be entertained. These warnings were twisted, just like those I have made before.

All of this shows that the other side’s purpose is quite different and that they will use any means to reach their goal.

In any case, the matter has been brought before the court. I will respect its decision.

You say this now, but the videotapes show you talking about penetrating the Interior and the Justice Departments, and that moving too early, as in Algeria, should be avoided. You are talking about moving into the future. Does this not show that you have plans for the future?

First of all, my speech in the montage video in question should be watched in its original recording and its entirety, meaning that one needs to watch what was said before and after the selected portions. Second, I have always put the state’s interests ahead of everything else in the face of terrorism, anarchy, and unrest. As a result, I have frequently been accused of being overly pro-government and pro-state.

I have always worried about civil unrest or civil war in the country. Why? Because the rise of this nation, as well as a powerful Turkish state and its stability, is possible only in the presence of internal peace. But there are potential dangers here. This country is predominantly Muslim, and as much as our people are in the mainstream, they also possess the character to withstand any attack against their beliefs and religious and national values. The abuse of our citizens by enemies of the nation in southeastern Anatolia, and the use of Shia-Sunni differences to engender confrontation – as was the case in the unrest in Gaziosman Pasa, Istanbul, district – justify my fears.

In this particular video, I am talking about the need to avoid provocations and actions that, as the Qur’an proclaims, are worse than killing people in terms of their results. The misinterpretations of my advice against all kinds of street activities are neither innocent nor accidental.

This land of ours has been a stage on which foreign powers and their internal supporters have played their high-stakes games for centuries. In my considered opinion, the only way to guarantee this country’s future is to be aware of these realities and take the necessary measures to stop such intricacies before they are started. This can be done by those who are experienced in such games and will not be used as instruments. A judge, a city administrator, and a governor will not allow these harmful games to be played on Turkish soil at the expense of the Turkish nation, as long as they remain loyal to their national spirit and roots. Yes, those who represent the nations’ institutions will be able to stop these games and, therefore, stop the mafia, the gangs, and the special interest groups from harming this nation only to the extent that their sense of responsibility makes them aware of their duty to their nation to oppose such abuses. The harmony between state and nation depends on this.

Not everyone may agree with my views, but I do not believe that anyone should or would object to my sharing them with some of my concerned fellow citizens. Almost every member of this nation would want to see this country’s governors, administrators, and judges be of strongest moral fiber, God fearing, and believing in the hereafter where all will be held accountable for their deeds before a “High Court.” There may well be, and there probably are, powerful special interest groups that would not like to see this happen. They will always seek people they can manipulate to their benefit.

In fact, those who are so deeply disturbed by my speeches are just such people. This is not to say that I have marked any particular target in my speeches, and I dare anyone to find a plot against the government and the state in my words. Without any such intent, my advice was intended to bring forth a better Turkiye, one more confident and sure of her future.

People from all walks of life and varying intellects and interests visit me. Among them, some ask questions on matters of religion; others only criticize me. Among them one can find both “radical” and politically ambitious people. You can imagine the difficulty of persuading these people about the correctness of one’s position by refusing to see and talk to them.

At the time these talks were given, the chief of staff was warning the nation of potential dangers far exceeding those in Algeria. At exactly this same time, I recommended to my audience that they stay away from acts and activities that may lead the country toward a situation resembling the one in Algeria.

In some of the reports given to Western Intelligence Group (BÇG) (1), you are said to have talked about the “white Shariah” (clean-pure Shariah). What does this mean?

I do not remember using such a term. In fact, no such term has ever appeared in Islamic literature. If one is bringing it forth as evidence of wrongdoing, I have many times commented on the meaning of the word “Shariah.”

Islam is a religion, and the Shariah is its sociological and scientific definition. For example, a Sufi saint may, according to his own perceptions or [spiritual] discoveries, speak on a subject. The degree of truth in his words is determined by the principles of the Shariah. Therefore, the Shariah defines Islam, which is a religion, in terms of social and scientific principles and it often times means “religion.”

The Qur’an says: “God has made the religion a Shariah for you.” Thus some people understand it as an ideological system and a religious lifestyle, while some promote enmity against Islam using the term Shariah. Those attacking me on this matter represent the latter, and they are doing this intentionally. In my talks I have preferred to use more comprehensive terms like “religion” and “Islam” for the Shariah. When I used it, I meant Islam as a collective name of faith, worship, morality and human relations. I want to mention an important incident from my life: Shariah represents the scientific and societal aspect of the religion of Islam. In addition there is another Sheriah, which is called “laws of nature” today. It is the subject of the sciences and is called “Shariah of creation.”

Because I mentioned those above and encouraged people to learn sciences, one paper headlined ‘Fethullah Hoca talked about Shariah before a group of university faculty and reported me to authorities…

Today unfortunately some writers know very little and are misinformed about Islam. When one adds ill-intent to this, many people are hurt. As I try to be cautious myself under such circumstances, also advising others to be cautious should not be an act of crime.

But why do you talk about secrecy, moving quietly without hinting anything?

What could be more natural? The whole Turkish population is very disturbed with the state of affairs, to say the least, and is uncertain about the future. In a country where the voting age has been lowered to 18, college-age young people and citizens from all walks of life, a whole cross section, and all demographic representatives have a chance to actively participate in the elective process and run for elective office, would it be wrong of me to use whatever credibility I have to benefit the people? For years Turkiye has been in turmoil and a state of flux due to its social and economic woes. Special interest groups wish to – and do – take advantage of such upheaval. Many unscrupulous characters cannot stand to see God-fearing decent people getting in their way. Naturally they would not like to see honest and patriotic citizens occupy positions of authority, for this will only hinder their dastardly activities. Who has been harmed by a decent governor, judge, or city administrator? Has anyone lodged a complaint against such people? What, I ask, could be more natural than advising and warning concerned citizens against such depraved people? What have we gained so far, and what shall we gain by simply looking the other way? Why deny the truth to ourselves while these traitors continue to fleece the country?

Retired General Kemal Yavuz claims that the KGB and the United States support your works. Is there any substance of this claim?

I have answered such groundless, ludicrous, and unfounded allegations many times in the past. My responses and answers have been compiled in a book entitled The Unwavering Mentality of Slanderers. Talk is cheap! If he has an iota of proof to support his claim, I dare him to make it public. Otherwise, as a man who served his nation for years in the country’s most honored institution, he will be categorized as a common slanderer. Look at this fantastic claim! On the one hand I am working to establish an Islamic state modeled after that of Iran and, on the other hand I am being supported by the KGB and the United States. Can you possibly accept such an incongruity? The United States looks with favor upon moderate Islam, and it would help me set up a government based on the “Shariah.” What an imagination! What an outrageous claim! What is this nation’s impeccably capable intelligence agency doing while the KGB, the United States, and I are going about this business? Does the good general have any evidence to support this fantastic claim? Like all other groundless claims and rhetoric, this one is also designed to smear my reputation as a respected community figure. Such groundless and fantastically outrageous accusations are slanders directed against my person in order to damage my credibility before the Turkish people.

What do you mean by terms such as “our camp and the other camp?” Don’t you mean polarization?

These words are not mine, but have been used by others and forced into my vocabulary by necessity. Events over the years have divided this nation into many camps. This is a fact. Leninists, Marxists, narcotics gangs, weapons smugglers, and various underground organizations  – these are just a few. All of them have one goal in common: to harm the nation in order to advance their own self-serving illegitimate and illegal interests. Against them, however, stand the noble sons of this nation.

All my life, in accordance with my Islamic upbringing and values, I have never taken a position against a person. I have spoken against ideas and ideologies, as well as their attributes, but not against those who have adopted or represent them. I have never opposed unbelievers, but only unbelief itself. I have never opposed those who identify themselves as communists, but only communism.

One should show compassion to such people. Our Prophet (PBUH) admonishes us to help out our fellow man whether he be the villain or the victim. When asked how one should help the villain, he replied “by helping him change his villainous ways.”

Therefore, we must stand up against the principle or the ideology, not the person who holds it. Such behavior and attitudes lead to friendly persuasion, as opposed to disagreement, and therefore to unity of purpose. I have always been against the pronouncement of such destructive expressions as “our camp and the other camp.” Had it been otherwise, this would show in the behavior of those who respect and subscribe to my ideas. In order to accurately interpret the meaning of a term used by a person, those who seek to do so should familiarize themselves with the views and ideals he has presented over a long period of time.

What do you mean by “birth pains”?

I have long believed that Turkiye has been and should be moving toward a happy future. I wish to see a Turkiye worthy enough to assume its position among the world’s great nations and states. I yearn for a Turkiye that could be the guarantor of peace in the world. I wish to see a Turkiye at peace with its neighbors, but also a Turkiye that does not debase itself when seeking peace. I wish to see a Turkiye that is economically self-sufficient, that can offer economic help rather than beg. I wish to see a Turkiye in which there is no polarization into rival camps: no weapons smuggling gangs, narcotics dealers, and other parasitic entities leaching my people. I wish to see a Turkiye where a government elected “by the people and for the people” works harmoniously to serve those who elected it. I wish to see a Turkiye that can solve its educational woes, a state in which the hearts and minds of its citizens are filled with faith and knowledge.

But at this time the nation faces serious obstacles. For this reason, the job awaiting the citizens of this great country is formidable. I direct my advice and encouragements toward such an end. This is what I mean by “birth pains.”

Don’t the expressions you employ, such as “in the face of unfavorable power balance” and “should resort to finesse,” show that you are implementing certain plans and moving toward a target?

I have been trying to emphasize one fact here. I have never had an earthly or political ambition. When speaking about the prophets’ missions and functions, the Qur’an, in brief, describes them as teaching people about God and guiding them to the straight path. The Qur’an does not mention any political aspirations or worldly gains. The prophets addressed their nations and fulfilled their task perfectly, as commanded by God. Some believed them, some did not, and God passed His judgment on all of them.

But there were always some people who adamantly denied God’s messengers and tried not only to dissuade but also tortured and massacred those who believed in them. This is a historical fact. In recent times we have witnessed this fact in communist regimes and in countries like ours. Some fanatic atheistic groups have displayed an astonishing degree of hatred toward the Qur’an and Islam. This hatred has not only been directed against Islam, but also against many of society’s other values and institutions. I believe that the day will come when the identity of these groups will come to light and everyone will know who they are. These groups now have the power to influence many who do not see eye-to-eye with them. For years some of them have been known for their opposition to Kemalism and the armed forces. Although they number less than 1 in 1,000, at various times they have – and still do – flexed their muscles on certain issues more than the established major political parties have. From where does their power come, if not from the people? For whom and for what purpose do they use this power? Who may claim that they are more patriotic than other citizens of this country?

All of these and similar questions must be answered before I am asked what I mean by “balance of powers” and am lynched.

I am defending the values of this country. I believe that only by adhering to these values will Turkiye be able to move toward a bright future. I believe that future confrontations will be settled via convincing arguments – as opposed to brute force – made while dialoging with others. Therefore, we have to employ logic and common sense if we are to convince people of the correctness of our ways.

“I am trying to conquer everywhere,” you declare. What exactly do you mean by that?

If you believe in a value, the correctness of an idea, and the utility of something in society, you would want to share it with others.

Someone I know and respect says, “If they told me that a young person has died as an atheist, it is worth tearing my heart out when confronted with such news.” I believe in the hereafter. The lack of faith today is probably the world’s most serious problem. Atheism is a dangerous disease. As a believer, my heart cannot accept that anyone might be punished for all eternity. Some may argue that we should have freedom to not believe, for we are free to believe. That is normal. In fact, the Qur’an says that there is no compulsion in religion. Man is civilized because of using his logic and analytical abilities [for the good of humanity.] Only the unlettered, intellectually bankrupt and violent use the brute force. What is important is to communicate, to deliver the message. I wish that everyone would open his eyes to presence of God and the hereafter, so that they could live in peace and harmony on Earth and find heaven in the hereafter.

Some people either misunderstand me or misinterpret my words on purpose so they can claim that I desire to conquer the world with armies. I can only laugh at such claims. Yes, I am crazy about one thing: that everyone should experience the taste of faith in God and see how it establishes heaven in his soul. Everyone should get to know God; he should not force his soul to suffer the fire of Hell even in this life; that this heaven in the soul should  be carried on to Turkiye and, if possible, to the whole world.

You speak of “the lighthouses.” What are they? Why do you refer to them as “unknown”?

I used the term in one of my publications. The holy books talk about light. The term “lighthouses” is inspired from the Qur’an.. It uses the term “[unknown] houses” in the Chapter of Light. Thus the word “houses” does not carry the definite article “al-” corresponding to “the” in English. By “unknown,” the indefinite is meant.  This is no more than a grammatical explanation of a particular word mentioned in the Qur’an.

These houses are [described as] unknown because they are not established for a certain purpose. Each Muslim’s house may be a “lighthouse”; houses like Ibn Erqam’s and Yassavi’s, as well as those of the dervishes, were all “lighthouses.” I just want to use this term for some of the houses shared by young believers today.

Some of the Southeast Asian guests hosted in Muslim homes were so impressed that they asked if their homes would also be like these “lighthouses” if they became Muslim. In fact, the word “light” is frequently encountered in the names of institutions such as Light School, and Light Furniture. It never occurred to me that this might disturb some people.

Do you see any significant differences between the pre-1995 Fethullah Gulen – when you first appeared in public with the message of dialog and tolerance – and the post-1995 Fethullah Gulen? Could we mention a change in your attitude and rhetorik?

Change in thinking patterns is quite normal. Changing one’s view when it has been proven incorrect is even commendable. One should be able to accept the truth when he is shown to be wrong. After he changes, he should not be held accountable for his past values and behavior. This is the rule of Islam. Islam supersedes what was in the past. When someone accepts Islam, his previous sins are forgiven, they are neither reminded of the past sins nor condemned.

It is true that I started calling for tolerance and dialogue in 1995 but I mentioned tolerance and dialogue in my pre-1995 writings and speeches. They have been compiled in a book. I am an ordinary person, a Muslim, a person who tries to be a good Muslim. Like everyone else, I too may change my views, thoughts, and behavior on certain matters. The Qur’an itself speaks of the “progress” of religion. Time and circumstances play an important role in interpreting religion. One cannot object when time gives its ruling on an issue. In the past, I may have – under the effects of particular conditions – used strong language while expressing some of my views. I ask God for His forgiveness for any wrong that I may have committed. I have never hesitated to change when I saw myself in the wrong, and have always accepted the truth when corrected by others.

Why do you call Hitler and Napoleon, as well as Ataturk, geniuses?

Just as normal intelligence has its functions, genius has its own unique functions. Sometimes a genius may reach such extreme levels that he may become a fanatic or go insane. Hitler, Mussolini, and similar figures belong to the latter group. Ataturk, however, did not lead a strong nation to ruin, as did Hitler and Mussolini; rather, he established a viable state and a strong nation on the ruins of an empire. Calling both Ataturk and some other people “geniuses” does not mean that they are in the same category.

Retired General Kemal Yavuz has suggested that you come from a Kurdish background.

Look at this irony. While some accuse me of being an extreme Turkish nationalist, others mention my supposedly “Kurdish” heritage. Does faith recognize any choice for us as regards our family, color, race, physique, and/or parentage? If I came from a Kurdish background, would I be guilty of a crime? I am shocked that someone should even bring up this question. But in response to this outrageous assertion, I come from true-blue Turkish blood. Many generations back there was a Kurt (wolf in English) Ismail Pasha among my forefathers. Over the years many have read this as Kürt (Kurd), most likely on purpose, and thus conclude that I have Kurdish blood.

It has been claimed that you secretly communicated with Abdullah Öcalan and carried messages for him.

Never! No one abhors terrorism more than I do. I may have different ideas on stopping terrorism, but that’s a different matter. I have no brute physical force at my disposal to oppose terror; rather, I work for bringing peace through education and dialogue. In fact, according to the Yeni Yuzyil newspaper, the Ferhat High School in Van province has apparently been quite effective against terrorism. The question of my alleged contacts – or for that matter, contacts by anyone else – should be totally investigated before such unfounded slanderous statements are made about anyone. This way, the real story about the PKK can become public knowledge. I strongly believe that some day the real story will come out, and many faces will be red.

A few people from southeastern Turkiye have asked me about the possibility of PKK attacks on local schools and what preventive measures could be taken? In response, I tell them that the children of many prominent local citizens attend those schools and that the PKK would not risk weakening relations with them through such actions. Like many of my statements, these have been tailored in a way to make them sound like I communicate secretly with Öcalan.

Western Intelligence Group (BÇG) reports and alleged organizational activities engender claims that you plan against the armed forces and want to take it over. Can you elaborate on this?

I have already answered such questions many times. I have never been against the armed forces at any time or in any way. I have expressed my goodwill even to those following me closely simply because they happen to be members of the armed forces, our nation’s most respected institution.

I cannot imagine that the armed forces oppose any activity designed for the good of the country. But some people speak on behalf of the armed forces without the latter’s authorization to do so, among them Dogu Perinçek and many others. As for my supposed desire to take over the armed forces, in fact many times I have been worried sick about the possibility of divisions within the army ranks, as was the case during the Balkan War.

Moreover, the armed forces are frequently agitated. On May 27, 1960, such a provocation was the subject of the day. Those claiming credit for the May 27th coup admitted that they were motivated by reading magazines like Akis. Thousands of officers were retired after the coup. I was serving in the army during Talat Aydemir’s coup attempt. Despite my youth, I was worried that a crack might develop within the army. Various army personnel formed juntas during the March 9, 1971 coup attempt against the army. For someone who has always looked to the armed forces as the primary guarantor of the country’s safety and future, there can be no more worrisome events than these.

Attempts are made to make the armed forces appear to be against the citizens’ religion, beliefs, and essential values. I have always spoken against such attempts. I do not know what to say if showing that this institution (armed forces) is not and cannot be against the religion is disrespectful!

The supposed plans and schemas are all fabrications. Such rumors were around last year too, but drew no serious attention. As for those reports and claims that Al Baraka (Bank) was related to me – such nonsense. Abdullah Aymar is mentioned as America’s imam. I know of no such person. Someone named Abdullah Aymaz does work at Zamannewspaper, and for a while he was Zaman‘s representative in the United States. Sabir Ulker and Haci Kemal are mentioned as my assistants. As I remember, he is an elderly man whom I have not seen in recent years. Haci Kemal has been dead for quite some time. How can one belive in such a report that has wrong information.

The BÇG report contains claims that are impossible to believe. For example, it states that students studying in schools abroad will take over their countries’ governments and then support the establishment of Islamic state in Turkiye. There are schools in places Russia (Moscow), South Africa, and Denmark. These countries, all of which are far more secular than Turkiye, are not Muslim. In addition, those schools have been producing graduates for some time now and as far as we know have produced no student converts. Instead of fabricating such outrageous scenarios and paying millions of dollars to foreign lobbies to help Turkiye improve its foreign relations, would it not be more reasonable and logical to look at these schools as goodwill ambassadors that can win friends for us abroad?

Media outlets are part of the same comedy. Forty years ago they managed to hang a prime minister with the claims that he sent students to their death in meat grinders. Now the same people have fabricated an army of 3,000 revengeful students under my command. God have mercy on their souls.

The report prepared by the “Telekulak” gang (eavesdroppers) and published in the Star newspaper, as well as the video shown on ATV, has engendered media frenzy against me. This campaign bears a remarkable similarity to the 1960 one against the Democratic Party, which ended in hanging the prime minister and two of his cabinet officers. The only difference this time is that the undertaking has been launched by a civilian entity – the media. Between these two events, the setting up of news items and the style of the language used in the newspaper columns look like a carbon copy of what we saw during the 1960 coup.

The rumor that “the federal prosecutor will ask for death sentence, hanging by the neck” published by Sabah is quite similar to the Aksam headlines of forty years ago: “According to Turkish Criminal Code the anticipated sentence is hanging by the neck till dead.” The June 10, 1999, issue of Sabah published, without a hint of any basis, the following sentence: “It’s expected that the defendants will be tried according to section 1 of article 146.” One headline in its June 20, 1999, issue reported that the “prosecutor will ask for death sentence for Fethullah Gulen.” A few days after these headlines, the federal prosecutor denied that he would bring the case against me on Article 146, but stated that he might seek jail term of one to three years.

Another point in common is that both have made outrageous and outlandish claims that one can only view as ludicrous.

Forty years ago, led by Milliyet, the influential papers of that time accused the ruling party (the conservative Democratic Party) of killing many students and chopping them up in meat grinders. With a total disregard for human ethics and sensibilities, and without an iota of evidence, they raised the public’s emotions and eventually brought about the prime minister’s death by hanging. Here’s the headline from Milliyet’s June 2, 1960, issue: “Fresh corpses found in ice depots … Most of the corpses belong to the students killed during demonstrations …” No names or pictures, not an iota of evidence – circumstantial or otherwise. This is strikingly similar to yesterday’s headlines inSabah: “Death squads of Fethullah: According to report presented to MGK the ultimate aim of Fethullah Gulen is Islamic revolution. With this goal in mind, he is planning to train a death commando unit of 3,000 strong…” Just like forty years ago. No names or pictures, not an ounce of evidence – just ludicrous claims. Here’s another Aksamheadline: “Corpses have been ground to dust in meat grinders.” Again, not a shred of evidence is offered. And, yesterday’s Takvim: “Another shocking report on Gulen: 3,000 strong death squad.” The picture is the same as forty years ago.

Source:  The Reha Muhtar [Television] Show, June 22, 1999. English version is retrieved from HizmetNews.Com.

(1) Western Intelligence Group (BÇG) was a unit in the Turkish Army to watch if February 28 1999 National Security Council decisions, which is famously known as February 28 post-modern coup, had been implemented. It operated in the marine whose commander was General Guven Erkaya. This units was conceptualized by General Çevik Bir who then was deputy chief of general staff. It is claimed that BÇG blacklisted almost 6 millian people because of alleged fundamentalist activities. Founded illegally, it was legalized during PM Mesut Yilmaz administration but disbanded a few years later. (SourceWikipedia, in Turkish; translation by PII volunteers)

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