Baku, Azerbaijan, July 19
By Rufiz Hafizoglu, Elena Kosolapova – Trend:
The Gulenist network try to divert the perception towards Turkey by producing alternative facts and a false narrative in an attempt to defame Turkish leaders and institutions, Director of News of TRT World Fatih Er told Trend.
“Unfortunately, Turkey has been subjected to a large smear campaign especially in Europe, which is also led by the Gulenist network worldwide,” Er said.
He noted that they even try to stop any other narrative from being heard by blocking the events and talks organized by relatively pro-government institutions and think-tanks.
“We, as TRT World, aim to tackle this issue by bringing the actual facts and figures regarding the coup attempt on our air as well as organizing events and talks worldwide to create a more inclusive environment where the actual story of July 15 can be heard,” he said.
According to Er, Turkish government has been carrying out operations against FETO [Fethullah Gulen’s movement] Terror Organization since 2014 after it became apparent that the group had a secret agenda to overthrow the government. He noted that the FETO had long been infiltrated into the government institutions, especially the Turkish military and even the media, and this terror group created a global network by exploiting the state resources.
“What we, as a nation, witnessed on the night of July 15, 2016 was the group’s latest and most obvious attempt in order to achieve their secret goals. Turkey survived a bloody coup attempt that was carried out by an army faction associated with Fethullah Gulen’s sinister, secretive congregation which deployed tanks, troops, helicopters, snipers and fighter jets to bring down Turkey’s legitimate government,” he said.
Speaking about the Gulen’s movement activity in the US, Er noted that in 2014, the FBI launched an investigation into the Gulenists’ more than 130 charter schools in the US, for which they have received more than 2 billion dollars in government funds since 2010. He went on to add that the group was (and is) accused of using these funds outside their legally designated objectives, thereby diverting the money to the Gulenist network.
“This demonstrates that there is a great suspicion over the group’s activities in the US as well,” he said.
Er reminded that after the attempted coup last year, the Turkish government has repeatedly called for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen by providing evidence for its accusations about him being behind the attempted coup. However, the US administration has been reluctant to proceed the extradition.
“Unfortunately, the US stance on this issue remains ambiguous considering the statements from the administration which support democracy and the elected government of Turkey,” he said.
On July 15, 2016, Turkish authorities said a military coup attempt took place in the country as a group of servicemen announced about transition of power to them. However, the rebelling servicemen started to surrender July 16 and Turkish authorities said the coup attempt failed. More than 200 people were killed during the attempted coup.
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