The Factions – Turkey 101
Most people don’t realize this but there are three major factions that in various ways vie for power.The first is Erdogan and AKP (Justice & Development Party) which is in the milieu of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is close to those same networks and pursues MB policies, representing the typical petit bourgeois class that MB always represents.The second is the Kemalist Turkish nationalists. They are historically connected to the Turkish military and deep state, similar to Egypt. They have historically been friendly with NATO while maintaining a somewhat friendly attitude to neighbors and Russia.
The third is the faction around Fetullah Gulen, the super-rich Turkish businessman who runs one of the world’s largest charter school and private school networks. He is very close to the CIA and has been more or less at war with Erdogan for the last few years.These three factions have been fighting for power for a while now, and it is these conflicts that really drove Erdogan to consolidate his power as he has, and implement the draconian laws that have created Turkey’s police state.
Which Faction Was Responsible For The Coup?
The Gulen Movement
A classified communication reveals that many secularists in Turkey are convinced that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is the creation of the United States Government (USG), and that Washington bolsters and funds the Fethullah Gülen movement.Is the CIA or another agency in the USG using the Gülen movement to fund “cold war” operations overseas? Is the USG using the Gülen Islamic schools to influence Central Asia with a more “moderate” version of Islam to rival more racial Islamic sects?If there is anyone who knows the truth about the inner workings of U.S. and Turkey relations it is FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds.Edmonds is considered the “the most gagged person in American history.” The USG invoked “state secrets privilege” in her case and she is prevented from revealing government corruption and cannot discuss certain aspects of her knowledge regarding her case. The DOJ’s Inspector General stated her claims are credible and Edmonds says her claims can be backed up by FBI files.Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook asked Edmonds via email about her thoughts regarding Gülen. Edmonds has been covering the Gülen movement for years and has extensive research on her website.Cook asked Edmonds, is Gülen a threat to US interests?“This has to do with Gülen’s role in terrorism,” said Edmonds. “Under the guise of schools [Madrasas] in Central Asia & Caucasus his network is involved in training terrorists [from Chechens to other Islamic Jihadis in the area]. The bureau had him under investigations since 1998. However, they were prevented from pursuing the cases [despite all evidence collected] due to direct pressure from the CIA/State Deptment. How do I know? Some of the case files were under the division where I worked [counterintelligence]. Other investigations were being conducted under the FBI’s crime & terrorism division.”Cook asked, “Is the CIA using the Gülen network to fund CIA ops in Turkey?”“They did,” said Edmonds. “It was also a channel for money laundering for their $20 billion worth network. They bring teachers from Turkey. They provide them with decent/high salaries, but then, they force them to voluntarily and individually contribute over 50% of their income to their various front charity organizations … I met with several ex-teachers and spoke with them in 2006-2008; however, because of overt and covert threats from Gülen’s network to their families in Turkey, they were not willing to come forward or go on record.”While under oath during a legal disposition, Edmonds, was asked if she had any information regarding Fethullah Gülen.“He landed on the Turkish government’s wanted list and was going to be persecuted for wanting to replace Turkey’s secular government with an Islamic/Sharia-type of government. When he was wanted in Turkey for that and was going to go jail, he actually got on a plane and came to the United States, and was given immediately a visa to stay in the United States,” said Edmonds.Edmonds states that Gülen has close ties to training militant Muslims.Edmonds claims in her testimony that “Gülen established more than 300 Madrasahs in Central Asia and what he calls universities that have a front that is called Moderate Islam, but he is closely involved in training Mujahideen (Al-Qaeda) – like militia Islam who are brought from Pakistan and Afghanistan into Central Asia where his Madrasahs operate, and his organization’s network is estimated to be around $25 billion, and that he has close ties to training militant Muslims.”When asked if she considers Gülen a threat to U.S. interests, she responded, “100%, Absolutely.”
In the past Dr. Necip Hablemitoglu, professor of history at Ankara University studied the relation of Fethullah Gulen’s community with the CIA. In his study he claimed that the CIA used Fethullah Gulen or that Gulen worked for the CIA. Dr. Hablemitoglu was assassinated in 2002, and his case has still not been solved. Regarding Gulen’s connection to the CIA, former Turkish Intelligence Chief, Osman Nuri Gundes, in his memoir claimed that Gulen’s movement has been providing cover for the CIA since the mid-1990s, and that in the 90s, the movement sheltered 130 CIA agents at its schools in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan alone. The memoir revealed that the CIA operates in Central Asia by using the Gulenists’ movement. Furthermore, the Washington Post, hastening its news sells, printed the partial and prejudiced coverage of this recently published memoir by Chief Gundes. I think that the publication was an important piece although not a fair, objective news analysis, but rather a marketing tool and a kind of propagandistic journalism for the Gulenists. I think that the author failed to demonstrate the intense secrecy of the organization and neglected to conduct further investigation to see if the Gulenists do have a connection with the CIA.. . . . .It is no secret that the CIA and Washington support Gulenists in Central Asia to counter the Iranian version of the Shia religious influence there. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, there was a social, political, and religious vacuum. Central Asian states were weak, so obviously the world would ask who would fill that vacuum.Even at that time when Gulen sent his followers to Central Asia, he asked them to hasten, urging, “If you don’t go now, later this door could be closed, and others will fill your place.” It was not a surprise that Islam filled that vacuum because the majority of the Central Asian countries have a Muslim heritage. Having recently emerged from an atheistic Communism, they more readily embraced their traditional religion. But after the collapse of Soviet Union the balance of power changed as well. Before this downfall, the East was dominated by the Soviet Union and the West by America, but afterwards the United States became the single superpower and thus had its chance to extend its power to Central Asia.. . . . .The story of the CIA’s involvement in this strategy emerges at this point. In the short run the Turkish social and economic model would restrain the Iranian model of Fundamental Islam and thus slow the growth of Fundamentalism in Central Asia and would prevent a confrontational approach to the region’s problems. But Washington did not calculate the long-term US interest in the region because in the long run aligning with Turkish Islam could backfire and could damage the U.S.’s economic interests in the Central Asian and Middle Eastern regions. For example, in 1979, the U.S. supported the small evil Taliban regime in order to contain the seemingly larger evil of the Soviet Union. After defeating the bigger evil, the small evil became problematic for the U.S. in that region. The U.S.’s interest in Central Asia would be affected long-term by the new growth of the Turkish version of Islam. Today this version of Islam has become almost a dominant power in Central Asia especially in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan. The political space to gain such power may have resulted from Gulen’s courtship with the CIA in those countries.. . . . .As for his relation to CIA, it is clearly mutual and symbolic one. As in Biology, the two live in association with one another. The specific from of symbiosis is mutualism in that both benefits. The CIA believes that it ameliorates radicalism by associating with Gulenists, and Gulen receives the protection and a foil by the CIA’s involvement
In 1953, the US clandestinely helped to overthrow the nationalist Mossadiq government in Iran. It had its hands in Sukarno’s downfall in Indonesia in 1965 and in 1973 it overthrew President Salvador Allende in Chile. Instead of those popular leaders, the US installed some of the cruellest dictators of the twentieth century: Shah Reza Pahlavi, Suharto and Pinochet.In connection with this analogy it may be worth mentioning another set of allegations to the effect that some of the Gülen schools in Central Asia have served in the past as convenient cover for 130 CIA operatives in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, who spied for the US government while working as English teachers.In his memoirs Osman Nuri Gundes, former head of the Istanbul branch of the Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT) even mentioned “Bridges of Friendship” as the code name of those operations. This particular case of alleged abuse of the Gülen schools by the CIA was later elaborated on by Cibel Edmonds in her memoirs Classified Woman: Sibel Edmonds Story. Edmonds is a former FBI translator who later became one of the most well-known American whistle blowers in the domain of national security.Edmonds claimed that the key link between Fethullah Gülen and his movement with the CIA was Graham Fuller, a prominent intelligence analyst at the RAND Corporation, former CIA station chief in Kabul and Vice President of the National Intelligence Council.Although he dismissed the allegations about the role of Gülen’s schools in hiding CIA operatives, Fuller admitted that he provided a reference to Gülen at the time the US immigration authorities planned to expel him in 2006.Fuller wrote a letter to the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security in defence of Gülen. Fuller wrote that he believed Gülen was not a threat to America. Due to this support, Gülen was allowed to stay in the United States. Another person who also wrote a similar letter in defence of Gülen was Morton Abramowitz, former CIA operative in Turkey who later served as a US ambassador in that country.