Order sent to police to probe Gülen movement’s ‘possible armed branch’
ISTANBUL – RadikalTurkey’s Security General Directorate has sent a notice to the police chiefs of 30 provinces, as part of an investigation to determine whether the Fethullah Gülen movement includes an armed organization within its structure.
The head of Security General Directorate’s anti-terror branch, Turgut Aslan, sent the notice upon an order by the prosecutors’ office, asking for all related documents to be sent. The investigation is being run by the Investigation Office of Crimes against the Constitutional Order, which operates under the Ankara Public Prosecutors’ Office.
Ankara Public Prosecutors’ Office Head Serdar Coşkun has previously issued an order for an investigation into the Gülen movement, Al-Jazeera Türk reported on June 23.
The latest notice directs police to investigate “whether Fethullah Gülen and his movement possess armed force or power enough to topple the government or destroy the Constitution in the event of a possible armed action by the movement’s members serving in the army, gendarmerie forces, security units and National Intelligence Organization [MIT].”
It also requests the reexamination of all major incidents that have taken place in Turkey over the last 10 years, seeking the possible involvement of the Gülen members as perpetrators or abettors. The murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, the murders of three Christian missionaries in 2007, and the attack on the Council of State are among the key incidents that the probe requests be probed.
The notice ordered police to “immediately” locate where the movement allegedly keeps its archives and to conduct raids on these addresses. It will also identify the movement’s members, determine their addresses and seek permission from the authorities to allow monitoring of Gülenists' phone conversations and electronic communication records.
The operations to search and collect evidence should be conducted simultaneously and in strict confidence, the order stated.
The order also requested the questioning as a victim of former national police chief Hanefi Avcı, who was released on June 20 after being controversially sentenced to 15 years in jail for a book he wrote, along with other former police chiefs Emin Aslan, Celal Uzunkaya, Faruk Ünsal and Orhan Özdemir.
Avcı’s book, “Haliç’te Yaşayan Simonlar: Dün Devlet Bugün Cemaat” (Devoted Residents of Haliç: Yesterday, State, Today, Religious Community), and the book “İmamın Ordusu” (The Imam’s Army) by journalist Ahmet Şık, who spent 11 months in detention after the book’s publication, will also be sent along with the other documents as a part of the probe.