Turkish government hires UK law firm to probe Gülen’s global network

Turkish government hires UK law firm to probe Gülen’s global network

ISTANBUL – Reuters
Turkish government hires UK law firm to probe Gülen’s global network

AFP Photo

The Turkish government has hired an international law firm to investigate the worldwide activities of the government’s friend-turned-foe U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s Hizmet (Service) Movement. 

Robert Amsterdam, a founding partner of London-based Amsterdam and Partners LLP, said his firm was hired by the Turkish government “to expose allegedly unlawful conduct by the Gülen network worldwide.”

“We’re going to look into their activities throughout the United States, Africa and other regions where the network is active,” Amsterdam, who held a news conference in Washington to make the announcement, told Reuters by phone. 

The investigations will focus on a wide range of issues including the Hizmet Movement’s use of U.S. visas, educational operations as well as its members’ political activities, Amsterdam said. 

Alp Aslandoğan, president of New York-based Alliance for Shared Values, a foundation set up by Gülen sympathizers, dismissed the move as “the last step of a smear campaign.”

Aslandoğan told Reuters that these topics had occasionally been looked into by U.S. authorities without producing any convictions against the movement. 

Reuters reported that Turkish officials were not immediately available for comment. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Gülen, who has been in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania for the past 15 years, of running a “parallel structure” of supporters in the judiciary, police, media and other institutions who have been operating against him. 

It has been decided a trustee panel will be appointed for Koza İpek, a corporation linked to Gülen, upon the request of the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Oct. 26. 

Shares of Turkish mining firm Koza Altın slid more than 5 percent late Oct. 26 after the company had been placed in administrative receivership, but the company said it had received no such information.

A Turkish court last week accepted an indictment accusing Gülen of trying to overthrow the government and put him as the number one suspect among 69 people accused of running a “terrorist group” behind the 2013 corruption investigations, targeting Erdoğan’s inner circle, which were later thrown out of court.