Gülenists ‘took Escobar’s financial structure as an example’
ANKARAThe movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen took drug lord Pablo Escobar’s financial structure as an example, Police Academy Vice President Professor Şafak Ertan has told a parliamentary commission formed to investigate the July 15 failed coup attempt, believed to have been orchestrated by the Gülenists.
“They [Gülenists] took Escobar’s financial structure as an example,” Ertan said Oct. 13.
“This organization used the term ‘movement’ as a cover. There are official documents saying that this is a criminal organization. If the document hadn’t been found, we wouldn’t have been able to talk about these today. It structured itself in the 1980s seeing today’s conditions. We took the documents from a cistern that they forgot,” he said.
Ertan, who was among the first figures that the commission consulted, noted that the Gülenists also took the Society of Jesus as an example when they were structuring themselves financially.
The commission, which was formed and approved by parliament, decided who to listen to and question on Oct. 13, while also outlining a timetable for the commission’s meetings.
The commission is made up of deputies from all four of Turkey’s political parties with seats in parliament. It held its first meeting on Oct. 7.
Nine lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), four lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), one lawmaker from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and one lawmaker from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were named to the commission.
Meanwhile, some 189 detention orders were issued on Oct. 14 for judges and prosecutors as part of an ongoing probe into the Gülen movement on suspicions that they were using the ByLock program, a messaging application that is said to have been used by the group for concealed conversations, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Police conducted searches at the Ankara courthouse and the Court of Appeals as part of the operation.
The suspected judges and prosecutors worked at the Justice Ministry and courthouses across the country, while some were investigation judges at the Court of Appeals and the Council of State.
Separately, an Istanbul court ordered the release of three generals and an admiral early on Oct. 14, marking the first release of high-ranking soldiers as part of the ongoing investigation into thwarted coup.
The court ordered the release of Maj. Gen. Veli Yıldırım, Brig. Şener Yazıcıoğlu, Brig. Ali Akyürek and Rear Adm. Ömer Mesut Ak on the grounds of a lack of evidence despite the suspicion that they cooperated with the coup plotters.
The Istanbul 5th Criminal Court of Peace initially rejected the demands for release by Yıldırım, Yazıcıoğlu and Ak.
However, the Istanbul 6th Criminal Court of Peace later ordered the release of the three soldiers following the lawyers’ appeal.
According to the court decision, there was no proof of the fact that the troops commanded by the generals participated in the coup attempt, although their names were included on a list of generals that would have overseen the imposition of martial law if the coup had been successful.
It also noted there were suspicions that the soldiers cooperated with the putschists but that the decision was made to release them given that they have permanent residences.
Yıldırım was forced into retirement in the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting convened after the attempted takeover.
Ak was also dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) following a decree law issued under the state of emergency.
Elsewhere, Education Ministry have suspended a total of 2,400 teachers over suspected FETÖ links. Thousands of teachers were previously suspended.
Meanwhile, Adil Öksüz, the Gülen movement’s “imam” of the Air Force and a suspected leader of the coup attempt, visited Ankara 12 times between December 2015 and July 2016.
“Imam,” which traditionally refers to a religious public official, is a term used by the Gülenist organization to mark local leadership.
According to the investigations, Öksüz, who was briefly detained before being released after the coup bid, sometimes hid the faces of the people with whom he visited Ankara.