September 24, 2016

Biden’s office refutes Turkish minister’s claim that US has proof Gülenists plotted coup

US Vice President Joe Biden’s office refuted a claim made by Bekir Bozdağ, justice minister of Turkey, who said on Thursday night that Biden had confirmed that substantive information on the involvement of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen had been received by the US as part of an extradition request submitted by Ankara this month.

Erdoğan to US: What verdict? What court for terrorists?

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said during a reception before his departure from New York on Thursday that a court trial is not necessary for US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose teachings have inspired the Gülen movement, designated a terrorist organization and accused of plotting a failed coup in Turkey on July 15.

Turkey’s failed coup has spread to the classroom in EU states

There’s no hiding the growing tensions between the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and European countries with large Turkish communities, as the fallout from July’s failed coup reveals bitter divisions inside the Turkish diaspora – right down, most depressingly, to the classroom.

September 23, 2016

Gülen: Burden of proof rests with those who claim we plotted the coup

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is held responsible for everything that goes wrong in Turkey including a failed coup on July 15, said in an interview that those who accuse him of plotting the coup bear the responsibility of providing evidence.

Fethullah Gulen says will return to Turkey if US approves extradition

US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen is ready to return to Turkey if Washington approves Ankara's request for his extradition over the failed July coup, he told German broadcaster ZDF on Friday.

Erdoğan admits gov’t capitalized on coup attempt to pursue Gülen movement

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during a speech in New York on Thursday that a failed coup attempt on July 15 presented him with opportunities that are not available in normal times.

Debunking The Gülen-Erdoğan Relationship

Hakan Yesilova*

Ever since the deplorable, bloody coup attempt on July 15, Turkey analysts and armchair geostrategists have described Fethullah Gülen, the Muslim scholar residing in Pennsylvania since 1999, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as former-allies-turned-foes.

Turkey's post-coup crackdown hits 'Gulen schools' worldwide

"I think it's really sad and wrong they think we're terrorists, because we're not," says Chilla, a bright and articulate sixth-former at the elite Kharisma Bangsa high school near Jakarta, Indonesia's capital.

Crackdown on journalists leaves void in post-coup Turkey

Lack of investigative media means many questions remain over events of July 15th.

Why Obama, Others Ignored Turkish President

Ofem Uket

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called on world leaders to fight against United States based Islamic scholar Fethulah Gulen over what he (Erdogan) described as an act of terrorism orchestrated by Gulen against Turkey.

September 22, 2016

Liberal Turkish Journalists Champion Freedom of Expression, to a Degree

Zvi Bar’el

Yes, journalists in Turkey are being persecuted by the Erdogan regime, but maybe those journalists ought to stick up for colleagues linked to Fethullah Gulen.

CHP leader says Erdoğan’s UN speech only served to promote Gülen movement

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized a speech delivered by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a UN meeting on Tuesday in which he called on world leaders to take measures against the faith-based Gülen movement, saying that Erdoğan’s speech only served to promote the Gülen movement.

September 21, 2016

Gulen movement becoming victim of its own legend

Mehmet Ali Birand

I don’t know whether they are aware of it, but a danger that needs to be taken very seriously awaits the Gulen movement. In the eyes of the Turkish society, which is believing of conspiracy theories, the Gulen movement is mythicized beyond its real dimensions. The power and influence of the Gulen movement is being so exaggerated that if no precautions are taken, this imagined power will one day destroy it.

Fear Grows in Turkey as Crackdown on Gulen Followers Continues

The Turkish authorities are continuing their crackdown on followers of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is being blamed for a failed military coup attempt. With tens of thousands of people arrested, opposition parties are starting to voice concern that the crackdown is turning into a witch hunt.

September 20, 2016

Despite pressure, Pak-Turk schools won’t be shut

Clearing the ambiguities surrounding the closure of Pak-Turk Schools in Pakistan, the principal of the institute’s Raiwand branch has said the educational institutions will not be closed down on the pressure of the Turkish government.

France sentences attacker targeting Gulenists as Turkey releases gunman in similar case

A 28-year-old man of Turkish origin has been handed down a prison sentence of eight months and a fine of 23,000 euros by a French court after he attacked several institutions affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement in the country.

The state versus the people

Abdullah Bozkurt*

My newspaper, Zaman, which had the largest circulation in Turkey, was unlawfully seized by my government back in March, turned into a government mouthpiece overnight, and shut down in July with 160 other media outlets.

September 19, 2016

Journalist reveals organizational structure of Turkey’s purge commissions

Opposition newspaper Sözcü’s Ankara bureau chief Saygı Öztürk has uncovered the main actors in Turkey’s recent cleansing of dissenting voices from within state institutions, particularly of sympathizers of the Gülen Movement.

Gülen followers banned from mosque in Germany

The discriminative practices backed by Turkey’s top state-officials has taken a new turn with sympathizers of the Gülen Movement (a.k.a. Hizmet) being denied entry to a mosque in Germany.

RSF urges Turkey to ‘rescind draconian state of emergency decrees’

Reporters Without Borders (RSF), in a report released on Monday, called on the Turkish government to rescind decrees that have been enforced under the state of emergency declared after a failed coup attempt on July 15, as the administration continues to target journalists, pluralism and freedom of information.

Veteran who lost legs in PKK attack removed from civil service over Gulen links

A Kırıkkale man who lost his both legs in a PKK attack while doing military service in the eastern province of Bingöl, has been sacked from a state institution after authorities found out that private colleges linked to Gülen Movement granted scholarship to his children.

September 18, 2016

Amnesty International researcher criticizes witch-hunt in Turkey

Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher has leveled sharp criticism against Turkey over ongoing purges that have followed a failed coup attempt in July and said arrests and firings over alleged links to the Gülen movement have now turned into a wide-ranging witch-hunt.

September 17, 2016

Turks See Purge as Witch Hunt of ‘Medieval’ Darkness

Tim Arango, Ceylan Yeginsu and Safak Timur

Candan Badem teaches history at a university in southern Turkey, is a socialist and does not believe in God. But he lost his job and was hauled in by the police and accused of being a loyalist to a shadowy Islamic cleric who lives in exile in Pennsylvania.

‘Don’t link Thai schools with terrorists’

Thailand's foreign ministry has cautioned against any rush to link four Thailand-based schools to [an alleged] terrorist organization just because they have a handful of foreign shareholders.

Erdogan: A saint elsewhere?

Aisha Umar Yusuf

Twice before, in this newspaper, I had written about Turkish president, Recep Tayyib Erdogan. The last time was on April 25th 2015 when I wrote to commend him on his firm and principled stand with regards to Egypt’s current president and reigning pharoah, Abdelfattah Al-Sisi. In a piece I called ‘Time to look up to Erdogan’ I was full of praises for the Turkish president because of his insistence that Al-Sisi must release democratically elected Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi from prison or else Turkey will not normalise relations with Egypt.

September 16, 2016

Fethullah Gulen addresses World Affairs Council of Philadelphia about Turkey's failed coup

Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric accused of fomenting a failed coup in Turkey, spoke at length about the post-coup crackdown and denounced Turkish oppression of his supporters and other dissidents.

Fethullah Gulen Condemns Turkish Crackdown on His Supporters

An Islamic cleric whom Turkey accuses of masterminding July's abortive coup again condemned a Turkish government crackdown on his supporters, saying Thursday that his "heart is aching."

Turkish Cleric, Accused in Coup Plot, Calls Crackdown ‘Dark Pages’ in History

The Turkish Muslim cleric accused by Turkey of plotting a failed coup two months ago denounced the repression of his supporters on Thursday, calling the crackdown “dark pages in world history.”

NTIC Foundation slaughters 80 cows for indigent Nigerians

As Nigerians joined the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s Eld-ul-Adha, on Monday, the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges (NTIC) Foundation slaughtered no fewer than 80 cows and distributed same in size-able kilograms to indigent Nigerians to enable them celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir.

Long Arm of Erdogan

The Times Leading Article

Turkey cannot be allowed to export its ruthless crackdown to Britain.

Can a Post-Coup Turkey Get Along with Europe?

Ivan Krastev*

As I was boarding a Turkish Airlines flight to Ankara some days ago, a flight attendant handed me a slickly produced brochure telling the story of the failed coup attempt of July 15. It praised the Turkish people and their spirited defense of democracy, and it blamed the Gulen movement that allegedly organized the coup, portraying it as the sort of dark religious conspiracy that you’d expect to find in a Dan Brown novel.

Dutch Court: Gulen-Inspired School Is Not 'Terrorist'

Judges in Haarlem have banned four mothers from calling an Islamic primary school in Zaanstad a ‘terrorist’ school.

Pro-gov’t media lambaste US for congressional hearing on Turkish coup attempt

Several pro-government newspapers in Turkey have lashed out at the US administration for a recent US congressional hearing during which speakers expressed views that ran contrary to the Turkish narrative about a failed military coup attempt in July.

September 15, 2016

US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee: Charges against Gülen not credible

US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Dana Rohrabacher said during a hearing titled “Turkey after the July Coup Attempt” in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday that the Turkish government’s claims against a US-based Turkish scholar for masterminding the July 15 coup attempt lack substantial evidence and were not credible.

Success stories of Light Academies' beaming alumni

Established in 1998, Light Academy schools in Kenya boasts of a population of 2,150 students with many of the graduates already participating in national development.

‘Nigerian youths can excel in Olympiads’

Nigerian youths can easily be trained to excel academically on the world stage, says Mr. Sabri Unal, Deputy Managing Director (Academics) at Nigerian Turkish International Colleges (NTIC).

Turkey’s Changing Freedom Deficit

Timur Kuran*

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) rose to power in 2002 on the promise that it would give pious Muslims religious freedom. Fourteen years later, “freedom” is the last thing the AKP has delivered.

Fear and paranoia still stalk Turkey two months after the failed coup

Liz Cookman*

It’s been two months since a deadly coup attempt stunned Turkey, leaving some 240 dead and the country reeling. The physical scars are still raw – outside the parliament building in Ankara, which was hit by bombs and gunfire where helicopters fired into a crowd of protesters who had gathered to defend their democracy, the tarmac is still pockmarked with bullet holes. Dark, iron-coloured stains on paving slabs betray the final moments of the brutally slain. Yet the psychological damage, the paranoia and fear that permeate public life, is still being done.

Abundant accusations, little evidence

İsmail Sezgin*

The Turkish media –or what is left of it– has already found Fethullah Gülen guilty of the coup attempt on July 15. When challenged about the evidence, the most common reply is “Come to Turkey and see” or “Everyone in Turkey thinks this way.” This almost unanimous opinion is not a coincidence, and it does imply a monopoly over the Turkish media rather than any objective fact.

EU rapporteur clarifies comments distorted by Turkish daily

Turkey Rapporteur for the European Parliament Kati Piri issued a statement on Thursday saying comments she made in an interview had been distorted by the Habertürk daily, which claimed that Piri said the Gülen movement was the mastermind of a failed coup on July 15.

September 14, 2016

Turkey’s Intelligentsia Kneels to Erdogan

Sevgi Akarcesme*

On July 27, just minutes before my flight from Brussels to Newark was due to take off, a United Airlines staff member approached and asked me to leave the plane. I felt humiliated by the unspoken assumptions of nearby passengers, but I was not shocked: I knew that Turkey was canceling people’s passports to punish those it regarded as critics of its increasingly authoritarian government.

The anomaly of war

Burak Bekdil

The anomaly of war, French essayist Emile Auguste Chartier wrote, is that the best men get themselves killed while crafty men find their chances to govern in a manner contrary to justice. How much of that applies to modern Turkey remains unknown – though predictable.

Erdoğan’s expat supporters preventing Gülenists from entering mosques

With threats against followers of the Gülen movement — also called Hizmet — becoming common practice among supporters, particularly in Europe, of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, some European expatriate communities now preventing Hizmet members from entering mosques.

September 13, 2016

US Unlikely to ‘Speed Up’ Gulen’s Extradition to Turkey

Turkey has formally requested that the U.S. government extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen from the state of Pennsylvania where he has lived in self-imposed exile for 17 years. Ankara has accused Gulen and his followers — known as the Hizmet movement — of orchestrating a failed July 15 coup attempt that left more than 270 dead and thousands wounded. Gulen denies any role in the coup attempt.

September 12, 2016

Nobel laureate Pamuk: Post-coup Turkey sliding into terror regime

Prominent Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, Orhan Pamuk, has criticized the government's large-scale crackdown in the aftermath of the failed July 15 coup, warning that Turkey is heading toward “a regime of terror.”

Filipino-Turkish educational group gives out beef amid terror threats

Even with reports of terror threats in Davao City, a Filipino-Turkish educational group pursued their beef-sharing event on Monday, September 12, to celebrate peace and unity in the city.

Effort to Force Closure of Gülen-Inspired Schools Falling Flat in Eurasia

As part of a wide-ranging clampdown in the aftermath of the failed July coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration has urged countries in Eurasia to shut down schools associated with the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen. But outside of Azerbaijan, the call does not seem to be swaying Eurasian governments.

Turkish coup d’état: a failed test for the EU

Marta Cioci*

In the aftermath of the abortive Putsch orchestrated by the Turkish military, the EU finds itself in a slippery position in the attempt to offset its geopolitical concerns against the upholding of the values it promotes as a normative power. The Union’s leaders have not understood neither the substance of the golpe nor its implications, whereas the EU’s own role in the scenario should be much more pivotal.

Despite Turkey’s Horrible Abuses, CAIR Continues to Shill for Ankara

Steven Emerson*

A delegation from Turkey’s parliament came to Washington last week, in order to make the case for extraditing Fethullah Gülen — an opposition figure living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania.

September 11, 2016

‘We won’t stop the witch-hunt’ AKP parliamentary group deputy chair says

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Çanakkale deputy and parliamentary group deputy chairman Bülent Turan has said the AKP government will not stop a witch-hunt in the state bureaucracy for the sake of 1 percent of people who were mistakenly purged among 70,000 after a failed coup attempt on July 15 of this year.

Ankara mayor claims US, Gülen plan artificial earthquake in İstanbul

Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek claimed in series of tweets on Saturday that external powers, including the US, are planning to trigger an artificial earthquake in İstanbul in cooperation with FETÖ, an acronym for the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization, which Turkish government circles use to refer to the Gülen movement, inspired by the views of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Lessons from the UK’s Chilcot Report for Turkey’s post-coup response

Ozcan Keles

On September 24, 2002, the UK government published a fifty page dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction which was discussed in Parliament on the same day. The British Prime Minister Tony Blair stood before a cramped House of Commons and claimed that the ‘…intelligence picture that [the dossier paints] is one accumulated over the last four years. It is extensive, detailed and authoritative. It concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes...’ Tony Blair had penned a foreword to that dossier in which he claimed that he believed the intelligence had ‘established beyond doubt’ that Saddam had continued to produce weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Facing a disbelieving public, the PM went on a public charm offensive by doing a series of TV interviews and shows speaking directly to members of the audience.

September 10, 2016

Questions we dare not ask: Gülen and the coup

Özcan Keleş*

Gareth Jenkins once criticized Turkey’s infamous Ergenekon indictments on the grounds that they were “products of ‘projective’ rather than deductive reasoning, working backwards from the premise that the organization exists to weave unrelated individuals, statements and acts into a single massive conspiracy.” Other than being a far more extreme example of “projective” rather than “deductive” reasoning, how is the Turkish government and its media’s attempt at connecting Turkey’s failed coup with Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet movement he inspires (also known as the “Gülen movement”), any different?

Ambassador says US having difficulty in seeing clear criterion in anti-Gülen operations

US Ambassador to Turkey John Bass has said the United States administration is having difficulty in understanding whether a clear criterion is being used by the Turkish government in operations against followers of the faith-based Gülen movement.

Man gets prison sentence, fine after attack on Gülen-linked institutions in France

A 28-year-old man of Turkish origin has been handed down a prison sentence of eight months and a fine of 23,000 euros by a French court after he attacked several institutions affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement in the country.