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Erdogan Shuts Huge Swathe of Gulenist Institutions
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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan started to use his powers under the newly-declared state of emergency today to close 15 universities and over one thousand schools alleged to have links to the Gulen movement, which is accused of having staged the failed military coup on 15 July.

The extent of the closures underlines the sizable nature of the network of influential educational establishments, charitable institutions and other associations built up by followers of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen in the last thirty years. Those now being shut include 1,043 private schools, 1,229 charities and foundations, 19 trade unions, 15 universities and 35 medical institutions.

Mr Erdogan has brought forward a meeting of the Supreme Military Council to 28 July, at which he will discuss with military chiefs his plans for purging and restructuring Turkey’s 600,000-strong armed forces – with the aim of bringing them under tighter government control. At least 124 generals and admirals out of a of 358, or over a third of the total, have been detained as it becomes clear that the conspiracy to subvert the armed forces was far larger than the small clique that the government originally alleged had taken part. Mr Erdogan has also used the powers granted by the state of emergency to extend the period in which some suspects can be detained – from four days up to a maximum of 30 days.

The attempted coup has provoked a serious row between Turkey and the US over the extradition of Mr Gulen, amid Turkish accusations that the US knew about the coup. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that a dossier requesting the extradition of Mr Gulen, and providing evidence of his guilt, will be ready in a week to ten days. The 75-year-old cleric has vigorously denied involvement, but non-governmental experts on his movement in Istanbul say that they have no doubt that Gulenist officers organised and conducted the coup attempt.

Mr Gulen’s nephew, Muhammed Sait Gulen, was detained in the northeastern Turkish city of Erzurum and will be brought to the capital Ankara for questioning, the Anadolu state news agency claimed on Saturday. Among possible charges that could be brought against him is membership of a terrorist organisation, the agency said.

There is a widespread popular conviction at all levels in Turkey that US government and its intelligence agencies were complicit in the coup. The Daily Sabah newspaper is asking its readers to vote on the question: “which institution of the US provided largest support for the Gulenist terrorist group?” They are asked to mark the appropriate box for the CIA, FBI, Department of State and the White House. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called for the US to extradite Mr Gulen and to “stop standing up for savages who run over citizens with tanks, who strafe people from land and the air.”


President Obama has firmly denied Turkish allegations and demanded evidence of Mr Gulen’s involvement in the attempted putsch, but this is unlikely to dispel Turkish suspicions. Accusers say that the Gulenist movement is tightly run from the top, as in other religious cults, and is wholly under the control of its charismatic leader who is seen by some as having semi-divine powers. US security services were once interested in cultivating supposedly moderate Islamic movements such as the Gulenists as an alternative to salafi-jihadi extremists and this may explain their cosy relationship with Mr Gulen.

This war of words is unlikely to die away and Turkish leaders are angered by what they see as a tepid display of solidarity by Western leaders during the coup – followed by patronising admonitions not to over-react in purging those who tried to overthrow the government. Mr Erdogan complained about this on Saturday in an interview with France 24 television saying he could not understand why Turkey’s Western allies did not see that he had to impose stringent security measures after a coup that had killed 250 people. He said that “I’m under the impression that they [Western leaders] will only see that once all the political leaders of Turkey are killed, and then they’ll start to dance for joy.”

It is becoming clear that – leaving aside government paranoia – a large number of units from the Turkish armed forces took part in the coup on 15/16 July and that it nearly succeeded. The latest to be detained are 283 members of the presidential guard, which numbers 2,500 men. The hard core of the plotters were in the gendarmerie and air force and had allocated an elite unit to detain Mr Erdogan at his hotel in Marmaris on the Aegean coast at 3am on 16 July. But he had already left by the time they attacked because the plotters in operational charge of the event, fearing the imminent discovery of the coup, had brought forward its timing by six hours and were unable to tell this to the soldiers targeting Mr Erdogan who escaped shortly before they arrived.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Erdogan, Turkey 
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  1. Jason Liu says:

    Inspiring, to say the least. There are those who believe academic purges are fantasy, but with enough resolve it can be done. Europe should follow Erdogan’s example.

  2. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    If Dylan Roof’s act led to massive purge of all things white + south, then this makes the same kind of political sense.

  3. Rehmat says:

    Patrick Cockburn – did you ever think Erdogan might had learned the “Shuts Huge Swathe of Gulenist Institutions”, through his association with the Zionist entity since he was Mayor of Istanbul?

    Since 1948, the Zionist Jewish thugs have destroyed 400 Palestinian villages and town; over 600 mosques and one dozen churches.

  4. Another completely worthless piece of hackery masquerading as journalism. You take the Erdogan Regime statement and extrapolate back from it. Thus: ” The latest to be detained are 283 members of the Presidential Guard, which numbers 2,500 men. ”
    This indicates: ” a large number of units from the Turkish armed forces took part in the coup on 15/16 July and that it nearly succeeded. ”
    The Turkish military is some 600,000 strong. No way did a large number of units take part. It seems to have been confined to a small number of middle ranking officers based in Ankara and Istanbul. From the start it seemed to have been known to Erdogan, whose agents seem to have misdirected the coup leaders.
    You have numerous Russian speaking commentators, German, Italian, French, Chinese, Vietnamese, even English ( I was talking about John Derbyshire, you peasants ! ) speakers.
    Mr Unz , it’s time you employed a Turkish speaking commentator who would give us a more realistic view than the semi-retired and semi-detached Mr Cockburn.

    • Replies: @Parbes
  5. Parbes says:

    How dare you criticize “Mr.” Erdogan? Don’t you know that he is the new Hero Of People Power Democracy now, and everything his government spokesmen and controlled presstitutes declare MUST be taken as holy writ? How do I know this? Well, a Smart Man called Israel Shamir told me so!

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  6. I am surprised why Patrick Cockburn continues to swallow whole the Turkish Government’s story about it being a Gulenist coup.

    In fact the coup and its denouement of widescale purges reminds me of Stalin in the 1930s. He had a former camp follower but now implacable enemy (Trotsky) in exile. Like Erdogan he deliberately overplayed the influence of Trotsky so as to take aim at his real or imagined enemies (the Leninists – Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin) and the military (Tukhachevsky et al). And like Erdogan domestic politics was played out against the background of a foreign war in which the Soviet Union was deeply involved. It is true that the Spanish Civil war has had nothing like the direct and massive influence the Syrian war has had on Turkey but Erdogan’s manoeuvrings are straight out of the Stalin playbook.

    In Erdogan’s case the most important enemy is not the Gulenists but Turkey’s secular society and especially the military which a la Stalin he is trying to purge. The civilian politicians who ran to warp themselves in the banner of Turkish democracy must already know their mistake.

    Unlike Stalin who was almost certainly had Sergei Kirov, the Leningrad party chief killed as a false flag, the coup was real enough – but it has all the elements of a sting operation. The chief being away on holiday (but not as isolated as he appeared) and the imminent sacking of the . judges were intended to draw out the premature coup plotters and it worked like a dream. Of course it had a real risk and if the coup plotters had got their act together, taken Erdogan or at least closed off Istanbul airport it might yet have succeeded.

    The future for Turkey looks very bad but one good consequence should be as the Saker noted a reduction in Turkish involvement in Syria which has had the most pernicious consequences. That said Erdogan is simply no longer trustworthy by anybody.

    A final comment. If this had been Putin’s Russia, what would the Western governments and media been saying about the scale of this purge? Why we even have the BBC justifying it!

  7. “had brought forward its timing by six hours and were unable to tell this to the soldiers targeting Mr Erdogan”

    No one had a phone? It does seem the coup would have succeeded but for Erdogan being alerted just in time. Personally I tend to believe the Erdogan line, it fits with what we were seeing as the coup unfolded. If it was a false flag he has superhuman powers of misdirection and humility – given how weak he looked on that phone – not exactly a characteristic I associate with him.

  8. @Parbes

    Wash my mouth out, sir !
    It only remains for our hero to proclaim himself Sultan Recep I, Caliph and successor to the Ottomans. Istanbul will revert to its former name of Constantinople and the Kurds will be sent back to Iran where they came from.
    Some years later, it will be revealed that those participating in the hoax coup were hand-picked eunuchs, specially trained for years by former American athlete Caitlyn Jenner. The New York Times will denounce him/her/it and start calling him Bruce again.

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  9. TheJester says:

    Wow! What a deal … what a convenience! Define the word “terrorist” such that it encompasses everyone who resists the “will of the people” … with the “will of the people” defined as anything Erdogan says it is because his party was elected with a majority (hell, even it it wasn’t).

    Surprise … a one-party religious state led by a President for Life (later renamed Sultan Recep the First). No one intended that. It was just a accidental consequence of fighting terrorism to protect democracy in Turkey.

    Isn’t it strange that all of the countries/cultures/religions that insist on diversity in Western countries are trying their best to ensure that none of that nonsense happens in their own countries. Who is enlightened … and who isn’t?

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  10. Rehmat says:

    WOW!! How the Terrorism defined by the world-class terrorists …..

    “Our task is to recruit a barrier and once again put the fear of death into the Arabs of the area,” – Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli defense Minister (later prime minister of the Zionist entity).

    “Israeli interrogators routinely ill-treat and torture Arab prisoners. Prisoners are hooded or blind-folded and hung by their wrists for long periods. Most are struck in the gentiles or in other way sexually abused. Most are sexually assaulted. Others are administered electric shocks,” – Ralph Schoeman, Sunday Times, June 19, 1977.

    “There is no country in the world in which use of official and sustained torture is an established and documented as is in the case of Israel,” – Amnesty International.

    Shyam Chand, a former minister of Haryana state (India) and author of Saffron Fascism – in his article Terrorism Inc.: Nexus between CIA and Mossad, published in Mainstream Weekly, November 16, 2008 – stated: “How is that Zionist Americans and Israeli Jews are connected to so many things involving murders, single and plural? How is that the same Israeli security firm was incharge of all 9/11 airports as well as the London Tube and Madrid train station at the time of attack? Informed research points the finger of accusation to the same group of people. It turns out that the number of people murdered makes the Holocaust Industry victims bigger killers than victims……. Fone Fakers were invented by CIA and Mossad before 9/11 which was an inside job of both of them. The same Fone Fakers are used in India. Innocent people are arrested on the basis of calls made through these Fone Fakers…… Not only the nexus between the RSS and Mossad worth investigation, our defense co-operation with Israel needs reconsideration before the ominous shadow of Mossad falls on our defense forces.”

    Subhash Gatade in August 5, 2009 article titled Bomb Blast in Nepal: Global Dimensions of Hindutva Terror, exposes Mossad using Hindu extremists within BJP to expand terrorism not only into Pakistan but Nepal – to bring both countries back into Hindu high-caste domination. He quotes Indian Lt. Col. Purohit: “We ask four things – uninterrupted supply of equipment training, secondly allow us to start our office with saffron flag in Tel Aviv, number three political asylum and number four support our cause in the United Nation that a Hindu nation is born.”

  11. Rehmat says:

    How dare you insult a nice Jewish woman like Caitlyn Jenner, sir?

    Caitlyn Jenner, 66, I Am Cait star (formerly known as Bruce Jenner) who won a Gold Medal at the 1976 Montreal Summer Games has decided to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her win the Jewish way. She will pose nude except with her gold medal and American flag on a summer cover of Sports Illustrated – for the first time since becoming a transgender.

    “Until now, I had stashed my most prized possession at the bottom of my make-up drawer,” she said.

    Jenner revealed her new name and identity on the July 2015 cover of Vanity Fair, and since has written in support of LGBT Rights.

    Last month, in order to prove his allegiance to his wife’s tribe, Donald Trump invited Jenner to use either of male or female washroom at the Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas. There is a Trump International Hotel in downtown Toronto, Canada.

    Watch Jenner’s transformation from a fine male athlete to a Jewish lesbian.

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