LOCAL >Diyanet gathers intelligence on suspected Gülenists via imams in 38 countries

Umut Erdem – ANKARA

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Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has gathered intelligence via imams from 38 countries on the activities of suspected followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to be the mastermind of the failed July 15 coup attempt. 

The Diyanet briefed a parliamentary commission formed to investigate the thwarted coup and revealed its intelligence activities regarding the Gülen movement in Europe and Asia. 

The Diyanet said it gathered intelligence and prepared reports on Gülenists in, Abkhazia, Germany (three reports from Dusseldorf, Cologne and Munich), Albania, Australia (two reports from Melbourne and Sydney), Austria (two reports from Salzburg and Vienna), Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria (two reports from Plovdiv and Sofia), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.

Photos of individuals allegedly linked to the Gülen movement were also included in some of the Diyanet’s files. Gülen-linked schools, businesses, foundations, associations and media outlets were also included in the 50 reports prepared from the intelligence gathered from mosque officials, religious coordinators and religious services counsellors. 

One of the reports claimed that “[Gülenists] rarely visited mosques on Fridays or on religious occasions,” while the Cologne report said the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) had given key courses in the Oberbergischer Kreis district in Germany.  

“This place is seen as the main center of FETÖ [in Germany]. Recruitments, subscriptions and religious education offerings are managed from there,” it added.


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