So, was Musa really FETÖ’s “cartoons imam”?

So, was Musa really FETÖ’s “cartoons imam”?

Looking back now, everything does click into place. 

Things I could not have made sense of in the past, facts that were, somehow, up in the air are all finally coming together to take their places in that mysterious puzzle and, looking at the big picture taking shape in front of me, I feel that the mood swings caused by the bewilderment and anger at having been subjected to this cunning deception for decades are throwing me off balance.

When I set foot in the Ankara Office of the daily Cumhuriyet as a young diplomatic reporter almost forty years ago, on March 1, 1979, how could I fathom that Orhan Erinç, who was our managing editor at the time, was actually a FETÖ accomplice? His calm, gentlemanly personality and infinitely caring attitude must all have been part of the Gülen community’s efforts to project a tolerant and temperate front… There was no way I could know this then; I was too naïve.      

Hikmet Çetinkaya was Cumhuriyet’s İzmir bureau chief. Well, this got me thinking now. Those were the years Fethullah Gülen also lived in Izmir… It would later be widely talked that he had already started back then to quietly lure leftist, secularist opinion leaders into dialogue and even try to make them join his ranks. Who knows, perhaps Hikmet Çetinkaya was one of those journalists who ate maqluba at Gülen’s house in Izmir’s Karabağlar neighborhood. Hundreds of columns that he  later wrote against Gülen were, of course, a classical tactic of the Gülen community to throw everyone off the scent; I can take better stock of all that now.    

I must confess that it was Kadri Gürsel who surprised me the most. He and I had worked together when I was the editor-in-chief of the daily Milliyet. He was the editor of the foreign news desk. If I had been told at the time that someone from inside Milliyet was helping the Gülen community, he would be the last person that I would expect this from. That’s why my astonishment about him is greater than the others. We have to admit that he turned out to be the most professional of them all when it came to tricking and misleading us. Who would’ve guessed that a double-playing Gülen accomplice was hidden behind that European aristocrat looks of his, which is ingrained in his personality and all his demeanor and style from the way he dressed to the way he talked? I was dumbstruck.  

And what about the cartoonist Musa Kart? Even a momentary consideration that he may in fact be a cartoonist trained in the undercover houses of the Gülen community was more than enough to put a damper on me. Today, we know from experience that the community did not exclude any area from the concept  of the society that it yearned to create. Knowing the influence of cartoons on the society, there was no way they would neglect this area either. And if they were to bring the big masters of it on board, they of course had to win Musa over. At least it is a relief that he was not convicted of being a member of the network but merely an accomplice. That makes it impossible for him to rise to that rank, in other words it is not possible that Musa could be the community’s “cartoons imam”. This, at least, is a small consolation on my part.  

And Aydın Engin? He made the whole country believe that he’s been a communist all this time; he ran off to Germany after the coup of September 12, 1980 and led an exile’s life for years; and then came back only to be convicted of being an accomplice to FETÖ. I wonder if this might be the Gülen community’s way to infiltrate the communist circles? As if all this was not enough, the judge up and said to Aydın “I get a 007 James Bond vibe from you” during the hearing the other day. With the addition of this British spy angle, I am now totally confused about Aydın Engin. I give up…  

As for Ahmet Şık, one has to watch out for the most militant one, of course. Never mind that he has been the most outspoken critic of the Gülen community, and that he wrote several books against them. Sometimes those who utter the harshest words are the ones who build subconscious alliances with their arch enemy and unwittingly become their accomplice after a mental transformation of sorts.

And then guess what? Isn’t that me having maqluba with Gülen at his house in Karabağlar?

I woke up with the sound of the plane’s wheels hitting the runway. I was drenched in sweat. It was all a dream. Just before boarding the plane in Ankara, I had heard that Cumhuriyet staffers were convicted for aiding terror organizations and FETÖ.

I have recently gotten into this habit of sleep-writing my columns. It has been happening quite frequently. In my dreams, I go after surreal ideas and situations such as these and finish the column in a flash. Then I wake up only to find that my column was just a dream and “I hope this bodes well,” I say.

The other day, I had gone to Ankara to attend the 56th anniversary ceremony of the Constitutional Court. I had listened to strong speeches about the values that the judicial system must possess. I guess I should not catch such a late flight back to Istanbul next time.


Sedat Ergin, hdn, Turkey,