Nearly 3,900 Gülenist ‘imams’ in Turkish police, new list shows
Mesut Hasan Benli – ANKARAThere are nearly 3,900 “imams” from the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen in the police, according to a chip recently confiscated by the police.
The chip showed that the date of the most recent update to the list of “imams” was on Jan. 30.
“Imam,” which traditionally refers to a religious public worker, is a term used by the Gülenist organization to mark local leadership.
According to the list, there are 3,895 “imams” in the police, of whom 65 are women.
The police, in cooperation with the National Intelligence Agency (MİT), conducted searches in the houses of several Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) suspects using information received from FETÖ confessors under the witness protection program.
A chip covered with a napkin was found in one of the houses, revealing that the Gülenists kept a record of some 273,000 police officers using 63 different methods of coding.
The most recent coding was carried out in April 2015, while the list of “imams” was updated on Jan. 30.
According to the list, there are allegedly some 35,000 police officers still linked to FETÖ, which is widely believed to have masterminded the July 15, 2016, failed coup.
The information in the chip showed that the group separated the police into five upper regions: Ankara, Istanbul, the western province of İzmir, the southeastern province of Gaziantep and the eastern province of Erzurum. According to the information, the so-called representatives of the regions hold meetings in Ankara and discuss monetary and information issues regarding Gülenists.
The group also reportedly collected money and gold from the police.
The person who gave the location of the chip is currently under the witness protection program.
“I joined this movement nine years ago. However, after the Dec. 17 and 25 operations I started to get away from them,” he reportedly told the police, referring to the December 2013 corruption cases that targeted figures close to the government and resulted in lasting enmity between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the Gülenists.
Four former cabinet members, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Interior Minister Muammer Güler, European Union Minister Egemen Bağış and Urban Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, were accused in the probe before they were acquitted by parliament.
Meanwhile, some 18 million messages sent by 215,000 ByLock users have been deciphered and sent to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office by MİT, daily Habertürk reported May 4.
In order to prevent any leakage in the messages, the information received was not registered in the system.
The deciphered messages were sent to Smuggling and Organized Crime Bureaus in all 81 provinces by special cargo.
The data will be used in cases into Gülen suspects.