The Army of the Imam: Infiltrating the Police
This is the central subject of the book. Already at the beginning it is stated: "Everybody knows that the Fethullahçıs (followers of Fethullah Gülen) since the mid-1980s systematically organized in the police organization and that today the majority of it is in their hands. It is also not wrong to say that the junta of 12 September 1980 strengthened the structure that they termed the “Islamic danger”.
The Fethullahçıs who according to a leading chief of police have more than 5 million followers and billions of dollars at their disposal have tried to infiltrate the police forces since the 1980s. They could not get organized in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSKTurkish Armed Forces ) and chose the second big armed force, the police. According to the organization model of the parish on education they started with the police colleges and police academies. Once the students graduated they became the cadres that the “parish entrusted”.
After 25 years the fruits of success were taken and the police organization has almost become the armed unit of the parish (highlighted remark: can this lead to legal problem?). Our thesis that an armed force exists against the TSK where the religious stream was not accepted and that it is organized on order and obedience was also the inspiration for the title of the book “army of the imam”. It would also be the source of intelligence information. This information would make organizing easier. Other important sectors for getting organized are the judiciary and cadres on property that determine the administrative structure of Turkey. This would pave the way to become a State.
The steps of organization
The organizing of the Fethullahçıs in the police started in the middle of the 1970s. The fact that right-wing political parties were governing had its effect. The long rule of the Motherland Party (ANAP) in the 1980s made it easier. The Minister of the Interior, Abdülkadir Aksu was known to be a Nakşibendî made sure that the Gülen movement had many freedoms. On pressure of the Gülen Parish Prime Minister Turgut Özal changed the Law on Police Academies in 1984, allowing for direct entry of students that had graduated from lyceums. Within 6 or 9 months these students would become deputy commissioners to start their career in the police.
Measures for prevention
Attempts were made to prevent the parish from organizing within the police. But despite all denunciations and documents, also presented in the media these attempts did not succeed. Among the “leaked” information was a cassette that allegedly contained a speech Fethullah Gülen made to his disciples. The cassettes that resulted in an investigation against him and made him flee to the USA under the pretext of “medical control” were shown on TV on 18 June 1999.
The station ATV presented them in the main news. In the speech Gülen said: “In order to walk towards the future you have to discover the key points of the system. This is important for our friends working at property and in the judicial sector. Do not go ahead by getting too prominent and making your existence known. There must not be any losses. Regardless of the departments our friends are working in, they have to be protected. Everyone has to act like a diplomat that can rule the world... There are politicians that are sympathetic to us. These are fans from RP to the DYP of today. Certain contacts to them are possible.”
Investigations with no result
The superintendents İsmet Sezgin Şenel and Nihat Dündar started an investigation on fraud in a draw for duty at the Police Academy in 1991. In the end a few people were punished. In the following year under Yılmaz Ergun as General Director for Security two more investigations were started. Official complaints were filed with Ankara State Security Court (SSCState Security Court ) against 102 people in the first case and 93 people in the second case. In these files the developments in the Police Academy between 1988-1991 were taken up on the subject of “Students of Fethullah Gülen” but the cases resulted in decisions of Ankara SSC not to prosecute anyone.
During the investigation of superintendents İsmet Sezgin Şenel and Nihat Dündar the chief of the Department for Intelligence (İDB), Tuncer Meriç sent a 4-page report on 10 March 1992 stating inter alias: “The illegal organization 'Students of Fethullah Hoca' is organizing in our organization just like it does in all of Turkey. They have chosen the police colleges, the Police Academy and police schools as their starting point... They have contacted almost 50% of the students at Ankara Police College... Among the leaders of the Fethullah Gülen group is K.Ö., teacher for religion at the Atatürk Anatolian Lyceum. He is in direct contact with Fethullah Gülen and gets his directives from him.”
An important element in the initial report of the superintendents were the revelations of a student named R.Y. He entered the Police Academy in 1987. Being a religious person he became a member of the group. Later he got in conflict with the group and was excluded. However, it was discovered that he had been acting in line with the group and one day before the final examinations he was expelled. He appealed to the Administrative Court, but at the same time wrote a denouncing letter, in which he accused the imam İ.K. to hold seminars for the students in Demetevler and other quarters of Ankara.
Later R.Y. withdrew his allegations in a statement he signed at a notary because he was afraid of the group. The reports of the superintendents of 29 February 1992 (102 suspects) and 28 September 1982 (93 suspects) were handed over to the prosecutor at Ankara SSC. In the first case the prosecutor decided on 14 October 1992 against prosecution. In the second case it took years for such a decision, taken on 20 March 1998. The reasons in both cases were the same: Article 163 of the Turkish Penal Code no longer existed.
In July 1998 the Presidency of the Intelligence Department issued bulletin 70 under the title of “Radical right and reactionary (fundamentalist) activities”. Some of the schools run by the Gülen movement were named as (lise=lyceum; kolej=college): İzmir Yamanlar Fen Lisesi, İstanbul Fatih Koleji, İstanbul Safiye Sultan Kız Lisesi, Mersin Yıldırımhan Lisesi, Ankara Samanyolu Lisesi, Van Serhat Lisesi, Denizli Server Lisesi, Erzurum Aziziye Lisesi, Erzincan Otlukbeli Lisesi, Eskişehir Ertuğrul Gazi Lisesi, Sakarya Işık Lisesi, Manisa Şehzade Mehmet Türk Lisesi, Aydın Nizami Erkek Lisesi, Fatih Üniversitesi. Outside Turkey 17 institutions were mentioned for Uzbekistan, one university and 13 secondary school in Turkmenistan, 30 lyceums and one university in Kazakhstan and other in countries such as the USA, Iraq and Pakistan.
In 1997 and 1998 the Tracing Council at the Prime Ministry published a report on reactionary activities not just in the army but in other places as well. According to these reports 2,956 people were detained in 1997 and 4,420 people were detained in 1998 for having participated in reactionary activities.
On 10 January 1999 the journal “Enlightenment” (Aydınlık) published the leading story under the headline of “Fethullah took over the police”. The news was based on a denouncing letter of either a police officer or the secret service itself. The story included many names and stated that 95% of the Personnel Department belonged the Fethullah Parish.
The initiative of 1999
- Separate page under The Army of the Imam: Trial of the Gülden Parish
It is interesting to notice that people affiliated to the sect were promoted early to important position in intelligence, while others that had graduated earlier were sent to unimportant jobs in small provinces. For instance, Mustafa Gülcü (graduated 1978) was deputy chair of the intelligence branch. At the same time Celal Uzunkaya (graduated 1978) was the Director of the Intelligence Branch in İzmir, Arif Akkale (graduated 1979) was the Director of the Intelligence Branch in Ankara. On the other hand, again at the same time Sabri Uzun (graduated 1974) had a minor post in Kocaeli, Hanefi Avcı (graduated 1976) was the Director of the Intelligence Branch in Diyarbakır and Yavuz Tokel (1974), İzzet Sezgin Şenel (1975), Muzaffer Erkan (1977) and Mustafa Aydın (1979) were on unimportant posts in various provinces.
There are rumours that some leading members of the police lost their jobs on conspiracy of the Fethullah Parish. In his book Hanefi Avcı mentions Mustafa Gülcü, at his time deputy chair of the central intelligence department. Another name that is frequently expressed is Faruk Ünsal, who was arrested on alleged relation to the mafia, when he was Chief of Sakarya Police. Another name is Adil Serdar Saçan, who years later should appear as one of the defendants in the Ergenekon trial.
According to information in the book of Saygı Öztürk “Sermon beyond the Ocean” (Okyanus Ötesindeki Vaiz” Adil Serdar Saçan belonged to the team of nationalist Kemal Yazıcıoğlu. When he was dismissed from this post as Director of the Order Department in İstanbul the team was sent to various other places. Commissioner Adil Serdar Saçan found himself in Muş. On intervention of nationalist colleagues of Yazıcıoğlu Saçan was appointed to the Intelligence Department.
Adil Serdar Saçan was one of the first to understand the “game” of the Fethullahçılar. They would send letters denouncing others of membership in a sect. At least five officers had been removed from their posts this way. The only “loss” for the parish was Ramazan Akyürek, who was appointed to Sivas. But he managed to become the director of the intelligence department in Adıyaman. He stayed until the lawyers of Hrant Dink in 2010 succeeded to prove that he had neglected his duty.
Hanefi Avcı on the subject
In his book of August 2010 Hanefi Avcı described how the parish organized in the police. He described why it was important to seize control over the intelligence department and the Presidency of KOM:They could have tried to gather information on persons and institutions this via the National Intelligence Organization (MITNational Intelligence Organization ) but would not have got very far. If they wanted to carry out legal actions against them they also had to be effective in KOM. This was not only true for the central department, but also for departments in important provinces, from where operations were to be conducted such as Istanbul and Ankara. In case they wanted to persecute people under protection they also had to be effective on prosecutors and judges at courts with special authority. These courts can deal with cases of civil servants that fall under special jurisdiction without asking local authorities for permission.”
The series of translated passages
- The Army of the Imam: Who are the Nurcus?
- The Army of the Imam: Who is Fethullah Gülen?
- The Army of the Imam: Infiltrating the Police
- The Army of the Imam: Trial of the Gülden Parish
- ↑ Years later the reporter of ATV, Mahmut Övür stated that the Ergenekon defendant Ergün Poyraz provided the cassettes
- ↑ Further details on places where the “students of Fethullah Gülen” gathered in Ankara have not been translated; DTFDemocratic Turkey Forum
- ↑ The Law 3713 on Fighting Terrorism (also called Anti-Terror Law) of 12 April 1991 abolished Article 163 TPCTurkish Penal Code (propaganda and membership of a fundamentalist organization). Compare article in a private Wiki
- ↑ Successor of the Western Working Group
- ↑ Journal Aydınlık, number 599
- ↑ Saygı Öztürk, Sermon beyond the Ocean, Doğan Publishing House
- ↑ See the article on Hanefi Avcı in Hürriyet of 1 October 2010
- ↑ The full name being Kaçakçılık ve Organize Suçlarla Mücadele Dairesi Başkanlığı (Presidency of the Department to Fight Smuggling and Organized Crime); DTF
- ↑ From the book “Haliç'te Yaşayan Simonlar: Dün Devlet Bugün Cemaat” (‘Devotee’ Residents of Haliç: Yesterday State, Today Religious Congregation), Angora Publishing House