Saturday, July 16, 2016

Turkey's Attempted Coup With Hillary Involved With Iman Accused

Nadene Goldfoot                                                               
Muhammed Fethullah Gülen b: 1941 in Turkey is a Turkish preacher, former imam, writer, and political figure. He is the founder of the Gülen movement. He was an Iman at age 17, having studied with Sufi masters.  He currently lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, residing in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

We just witnessed an attempted coup by some of Turkey's military on Friday.  President Recept Tayyip Erdogan has accused an Iman in Pennsylvania of being the catalyst for this and wants the USA to return him to their government, probably for trial.

This is an important event.  Turkey is very important to the USA. "Turkey is a member of NATO and a key US ally in the region, providing its airbase for the ongoing military campaign in neighboring Syria. It also hosts American nuclear weapons, with an estimated 50 to 90 B61 bombs stored at the Incirlik base."   This coup has caused the death of 265 so far with 1440 injured.  2,800 have been arrested, soldiers who participated in the coup.  Their grievance is that Erdogan has been taking over positions; not a very democratic thing to do.  However, with Erdogan's popularity, the head generals were not involved in this.

There are lots of Turkish Americans around his home right now planning to demonstrate in Washington who think that this Iman's plea of innocence is a lie.  The Iman is Fethullah Gulen.  "While in the U.S. in 1999 for medical treatment, he was charged in Turkey with attempting to create an Islamic state— anathema under Turkey's secularist constitution. He stayed in Pennsylvania, where he now lives on a 25-acre estate in the Pocono Mountains. Over the years, he said, he has left the estate twice." 

"Alliance For Shared Values  (AFSV) is a New York-based nonprofit umbrella organization and major part of the Gülen movement according to WikipediaHaving been inspired by Turkish preacher,  Fethullah Gülen, their stated goal is to "[serve] as a voice for civic, culture and service organizations around the U.S dedicated to promoting community service, education and interfaith dialogue. The president of the organization is Alp Aslandogan." 

"In 2014. the AFSV released a statement in which they condemned what they called "politically-motivated attempts to crackdown on law-abiding citizens" by then-Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan against members of the organization, including defaming Gülen and demanding his extradition without any charges or legal case against him. They also accused him of taking advantage of Turkey’s strategic relationship with the US."
Hillary Clinton, Presidential Candidate
The Daily Caller, conservative from USA, " alleged in 2016 that they had found connections between Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Gülen Movement, including the Alliance for Shared Values. They accused the AFSV of hiring the Podesta Group, a group co-founded by Clinton’s current campaign chairman and his brother, to lobby Congress on its behalf. They also claimed the AFSV's president, Alp Aslandogan, had formerly donated money to Clinton’s campaigns.  The article was referred to by the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, which is itself accused of being close to Erdogan."
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, in power since 2002 
This is the group's comment today after the President of Turkey's accusations. "News media reported about developments in Turkey today regarding actions of Turkish Armed Forces.
For more than 40 years, Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet participants have advocated for, and demonstrated their commitment to, peace and democracy. We have consistently denounced military interventions in domestic politics. These are core values of Hizmet participants. We condemn any military intervention in domestic politics of Turkey. Events on the ground are moving quickly and it would be irresponsible for us to speculate on them. We remain concerned about the safety and security of Turkish citizens and those in Turkey right now."Comments by pro-Erdogan circles about the movement are highly irresponsible."
Erdogan has said that "“Any country that protects Fethullah Gulen will be an enemy to Turkey,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday, naming the imam who Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asserts is the mastermind behind Friday’s failed coup."

So here's the conundrum:  the president of Turkey thinks Iman Gulen brought about an attempted coup and wants him returned to him or else-all troubles fall on the USA.  Hillary Clinton is involved with the group that has been defending Gulen from these accusations.  What will Obama do?   This is not the first time that Turkey has wanted him back.

Who is this Iman?  He's been put on trial 3 times in absentia in Turkey already.  He was noticed in Turkey about 50 years ago who taught a philosophy that blended mystical Islam with democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue.  He had many supporters who started 1,000 schools in more than 100 countries and included about 150 charter schools that were taxpayer -funded in the USA.  In Turkey they run universities, hospitals, charities, a bank and media of all types.

Erdogan's history has been that of a problem for Israel when Israeli sailors had to board a ship they brought in loaded with boxes for Gaza and had to be inspected.  The inspection was not welcomed and Turks were killed when Israeli sailors had to defend themselves. This was in 2010 when Turkey was in a flotilla of ships disregarding the Israeli blockade of Gaza receiving goods not inspected which many have had ammunition in them to use against Israel.  .  Iman Fethullah Gulen was against Turkey sailing to Israel and breaking their law.   "Mr. Gülen said organizers' failure to seek accord with Israel before attempting to deliver aid "is a sign of defying authority, and will not lead to fruitful matters." It certainly didn't.    Just recently the two countries finally settled things and are on good terms.  Erdogan himself has been leaving a secular outlook and has become much more religious.  Turkey is very important to the USA militarily, but they are having their own problems with rebels and with ISIS.

Gulen has been found to have ties with  John Esposito, an apologist for radical Islamists including the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  Gulen has had some surprising motivation.  " Gulen's efforts to make Turkey an Islamic state have brought him into conflict with the nation's military, which has long been a bastion of support for modern Turkish secularism as conceived by Kemal Ataturk." 

 "According to Rachel Sharon-Krespin of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Gulen is a bitter foe of Turkish secularism. In a detailed account of his public career, she portrayed Gulen (who has had well-publicized interfaith meetings with Christians and Jews) as an Islamic supremacist who wants Turkey ruled by Sharia."  

Update: 7/31/16 Fareed Zakaria CNN morning program on this subject, of course the imam denied being the instigator of the coup.  

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