CIA spies hired as teachers at Gülen-linked schools: Prosecutors
ANKARA – Anadolu AgencyThe network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, dubbed the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) by Turkish officials and prosecutors, employed CIA spies to work as English teachers at their schools in Central Asian Turkic republics, according to an indictment against the main suspects into the coup attempt of July 15, 2016.
On March 8, the Ankara 17th Court of Serious Crimes approved the indictment against 221 suspects, including Gülen himself, said to be the central figure behind the bid to overthrow the government last summer.
The 2,500-page indictment outlines the “attempt to overthrow the democratic constitutional order by treasonous FETÖ members with 35 planes, 37 helicopters, 246 armored vehicles and around 4,000 light weapons.”
The network “hired American CIA spies with diplomatic passports [to work] as English teachers in its schools in Turkic Republics,” the indictment said, adding the terrorist group “cooperated with foreign countries in order to get their support.”
According to the indictment, foreign intelligence services have “controlled and used the Pennsylvania-based FETÖ network operating in 160 countries against Turkey.”
“The use of code names and changing phone numbers every three months reveal that the terror organization was under the umbrella of one or more foreign intelligence services,” the indictment said.
It also named Graham Fuller – a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, and former CIA station chief in Turkey – as a sponsor for Gülen when he applied for a residence permit in the U.S.
Gülen has been living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.
The indictment also said it was “very clear” that the Gülen network had links with international lobbies in Europe and the U.S., saying the group “gave money to a Brussels-based lobby for anti-Turkey campaigns” and “made generous donations” to U.S. election campaigns and sent some U.S. senators on “trips” to Turkey, without giving further details. The organization also “donated money to U.S. churches, and to senate and presidential election [campaigns],” it added.
A trial of defendants is due to start on May 22.
The Gülen network is widely believed to have orchestrated the attempted coup, during which at least 249 people were killed, while around 2,200 were wounded.
The government has also accused Gülenists of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.