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What is Fethullah Gülen?


By F. William Engdahl


25 July 2016

Since the failed coup attempt in Turkey of July 15 there has been much speculation in western media that it in fact was all engineered by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to provide him with the pretext to impose emergency rule and to jail any and all opposition to his rule. At this point evidence still suggests that that was not at all the case. Rather, as I wrote at the time when it was clear the coup attempt was collapsing, it was a coup initiated by the CIA acting through their primary asset inside Turkey, the networks of their fugitive Turkish asset Fethullah Gülen. When we examine more closely “what” is Fethullah Gülen he is anything but the grandfatherly image of a 75-year-old soft-spoken Islamic moderate, scholar and Imam. His networks have been called the most dangerous in Germany by Islamic experts and have been banned in several Central Asian countries. Now, too, in Turkey. What’s becoming clear is that the failed coup was in fact a dry-run, a dress rehearsal by Gülen’s controllers in Langley to see how Erdogan would react, in order to recalibrate and prepare for a more serious attempt in the future. Washington was not at all happy with the foreign policy turn of Erdoğan turning to reconcile with Russia and possibly also with Syria’s Assad.

Fethullah Gülen is not a “who” but, rather, it is a “what.” The what is one of the most extensive and elaborate surrogate warfare networks ever created by the United States intelligence community, spanning countless nations including the United States and Germany, as well as the historic Turkic regions of Central Asia from Turkey up to the Uyghur peoples of China’s oil-rich Xinjiang Autonomous Province.


Fethullah Gülen’s Spider Web

The following draws on research for my book, The Lost Hegemon: Whom the gods would destroy. I begin with a quote from a Gülen speech to his followers when he was still in Turkey in the 1990’s

You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers…You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it…2You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power…in Turkey…Until that time, any step taken would be too early—like breaking an egg without waiting the full forty days for it to hatch.” 
—Imam Fetullah Gülen, in a sermon to followers in Turkey

As they were deploying Osama bin Laden’s Arab Mujahideen “holy warriors” into Chechnya and the Caucasus during the 1990s, the CIA, working with a network of self-styled “neo-conservatives” in Washington, began to build their most ambitious political Islam project ever.

It was called the Fethullah Gülen Movement, also known in Turkish as Cemaat, or “The Society.” Their focus was Hizmet, or what they defined as the “duty of Service” to the Islamic community. Curiously enough, the Turkish movement was based out of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. There, its key figure, the reclusive Fethullah Gülen, was allegedly busy building a global network of Islam schools, businesses, and foundations, all with untraceable funds. His Gülen Movement, or Cemaat, has no main address, no mailbox, no official organizational registration, no central bank account, nothing. His followers never demonstrated for Sharia or Jihad—their operations were all hidden from view.

In 2008, US Government court filings estimated the global value of Gülen’s empire at anywhere between $25 and $50 billion. No one could prove how large as there were no independent audits. In a US Court testimony during the hearing on Gülen’s petition for a special US Green Card permanent residence status, one loyal Cemaat journalist described the nominal extent of Gülen’s empire:

The projects sponsored by Gülen-inspired followers today number in the thousands, span international borders and…include over 2000 schools and seven universities in more than ninety countries in five continents, two modern hospitals, the Zaman newspaper (now in both a Turkish and English edition), a television channel (Samanyolu), a radio channel (Burc FM), CHA (a major Turkish news agency), Aksiyon (a leading weekly news magazine), national and international Gülen conferences, Ramadan interfaith dinners, interfaith dialog trips to Turkey from countries around the globe and the many programs sponsored by the Journalists and Writers Foundation. In addition, the Isik insurance company and Bank Asya, an Islamic bank, are affiliated with the Gülen community.

Bank Asya was listed among the Top 500 Banks in the world by London’s Banker magazine. It had joint-venture banking across Muslim Africa, from Senegal to Mali in a strategic cooperation agreement with the Islamic Development Bank’s Senegal-based Tamweel Africa Holding SA. Zaman, which also owns the English-language Today’s Zaman, is the largest daily paper in Turkey

By the late 1990s, Gülen’s movement had attracted the alarm and attention of an anti-NATO nationalist wing of the Turkish military and of the Ankara government.

After leading a series of brilliant military campaigns in the 1920s to win the Independence War after World War I, Kemal Ataturk established the modern Turkish state. He launched a series of political, economic, and cultural reforms aimed at transforming the religiously-based Ottoman Caliphate into a modern, secular, and democratic nation-state. He built thousands of new schools, made primary education free and compulsory, and gave women equal civil and political rights, and reduced the burden of taxation on peasants.

Gülen and his movement aim at nothing less than to roll-back the remains of that modern, secular Kemalism in Turkey, and return to the Caliphate of yore. In one of his writings to members, he declared, “With the patience of a spider we lay our net until people get caught in it.”

In 1998, Gülen defected to the US shortly before a treasonous speech he had made to his followers at a private gathering was made public. He had been recorded calling on his supporters to “work patiently and to creep silently into the institutions in order to seize power in the state,” treason by the Ataturk constitution of Turkey.

‘Islamic Opus Dei’

In 1999, Turkish television aired footage of Gülen delivering a sermon to a crowd of followers in which he revealed his aspirations for an Islamist Turkey ruled by Sharia (Islamic law), as well as the specific methods that should be used to attain that goal. In the secret sermon, Gülen said,

You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers…until the conditions are ripe1, they [the followers] must continue like this…You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it…You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey…Until that time, any step taken would be too early—like breaking an egg without waiting the full forty days for it to hatch. It would be like killing the chick inside… Now, I have expressed my feelings and thoughts to you all—in confidence…trusting your loyalty and secrecy.”

When Gülen fled to Pennsylvania, Turkish prosecutors demanded a ten-year sentence against him for having “founded an organization that sought to destroy the secular apparatus of state and establish a theocratic state".
Gülen never left the United States after that, curiously enough, even though the Islamist Erdoğan courts later cleared him in 2006 of all charges. His refusal to return, even after being cleared by a then-friendly Erdoğan Islamist AKP government, heightened the conviction among opponents in Turkey about his close CIA ties.

Gülen was charged in 2000 by the then secular Turkish courts of having committed treason. Claiming diabetes as a medical reason, Fethullah Gülen had managed to escape to a permanent exile in the United States, with the help of some very powerful CIA and State Department friends before his indictment was handed down. Some suspected he was forewarned.

CIA Gives Wolf Sheep’s Clothing

Unlike the CIA’s Mujahideen Jihadists, like Hekmatyar in Afghanistan or Naser Orić in Bosnia, the CIA decided to give Fethullah Gülen a radically different image. No blood-curdling, head-severing, human-heart-eating Jihadist, Fethullah Gülen was presented to the world as a man of “peace, love and brotherhood,” even managing to grab a photo op with Pope John Paul II, which Gülen featured prominently on his website.

Gülen and the late Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1998, posing as a man of peace and ecumenical harmony.

Once in the US, the Gülen organization hired one of Washington’s highest-paid Public Relations image experts, George W. Bush’s former campaign director, Karen Hughes, to massage his “moderate” Islam image.

The CIAs Gülen project centered on the creation of a New Ottoman Caliphate, retracing the vast Eurasian domain of the former Ottoman Turkic Caliphates.

When Gülen fled Turkey to avoid prosecution for treason in 1999, he chose the United States. He did so with the help of the CIA. At the time he US Government’s Department of Homeland Security and the US State Department both opposed Gülen’s application for what was called a “preference visa as an alien of extraordinary ability in the field of education.” They presented argument demonstrating that the fifth-grade dropout, Fethullah Gülen, should not be granted a preference visa. They argued that his background,

“…contains overwhelming evidence that plaintiff is not an expert in the field of education, is not an educator, and is certainly not one of a small percentage of experts in the field of education who have risen to the very top of that field. Further, the record contains overwhelming evidence that plaintiff is primarily the leader of a large and influential religious and political movement with immense commercial holdings.”

Until an open clash in 2013, Fetullah Gülen (left) was the éminence grise behind Recep Erdoğan’s AK Party; Gülen is widely branded in Turkey as a CIA asset.

However, over the objections of the FBI, of the US State Department, and of the US Department of Homeland Security, three former CIA operatives intervened and managed to secure a Green Card and permanent US residency for Gülen. In their court argument opposing the Visa, US State Department attorneys had notably argued, “Because of the large amount of money that Gülen’s movement uses to finance his projects, there are claims that he has secret agreements with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkic governments. There are suspicions that the CIA is a co-payer in financing these projects.”

The three CIA people supporting Gülen’s Green Card application in 2007 were former US Ambassador to Turkey, Morton Abramowitz, CIA official George Fidas and Graham E. Fuller. George Fidas had worked thirty-one years at the CIA dealing, among other things, with the Balkans. Morton Abramowitz, reportedly also with the CIA, if “informally,” had been named US Ambassador to Turkey in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush. Sibel Edmonds, former FBI Turkish translator and “whistleblower,” named Abramowitz, along with Graham E. Fuller, as part of a dark cabal within the US Government that she discovered were using networks out of Turkey to advance a criminal, “deep state” agenda across the Turkic world, from Istanbul into China. The network reportedly included significant involvement in heroin trafficking out of Afghanistan.

On leaving the State Department, Abramowitz served on the board of the US Congress-financed National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and was a cofounder, along with George Soros, of the International Crisis Group. Both the NED and International Crisis Group were implicated in various US “Color Revolutions” since the 1990s collapse of the Soviet Union.

Graham E. Fuller, the third CIA “friend” of Fethullah Gülen, had played a key role in the CIA’s steering Mujahideen and other political Islamic organizations since the 1980s. He spent 20 years as CIA operations officer in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Afghanistan and was one of the CIA’s early advocates of using the Muslim Brotherhood and similar Islamist organizations to advance US foreign policy.

In 1982, Graham Fuller had been appointed the National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at CIA, responsible for Afghanistan, where he had served as CIA Station Chief, for Central Asia, and for Turkey. In 1986 Fuller became Vice-Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.

Fuller, author of The Future of Political Islam, was also the key CIA figure to convince the Reagan Administration to tip the balance in the eight-year long Iran-Iraq war by using Israel to illegally channel weapons to Iran in what became the Iran-Contra Affair.

In 1988, as the Afghan Mujahideen war would down, Fuller “retired” from the CIA with rank as Deputy Director of the CIA’s National Council on Intelligence, to go over to the RAND Corporation, presumably to avoid embarrassment around his role in the Iran-Contra scandal for then Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush, Fuller’s former boss at CIA.

RAND was a Pentagon- and CIA-linked neoconservative Washington think tank. Indications are that Fuller’s work at RAND was instrumental in developing the CIA strategy for building the Gülen Movement as a geopolitical force to penetrate former Soviet Central Asia. Among his RAND papers, Fuller wrote studies on Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Algeria, the “survivability” of Iraq, and the “New Geopolitics of Central Asia” after the fall of the USSR, where Fethullah Gülen’s cadre were sent to establish Gülen schools and Madrassas.

In 1999, while at RAND, Fuller advocated using Muslim forces to further US interests in Central Asia against both China and Russia. He stated, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Russians. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.” By all evidence, Fuller and his associates intended their man, Fethullah Gülen, to play perhaps the major role, in their operations to “destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”

CIA career man Graham E. Fuller was a key backer of Fetullah Gülen and architect of the CIA Islam strategy since Afghanistan’s Mujahideen.

In 2008, shortly after he wrote a letter of recommendation to the US Government asking to give Gülen the special US residence visa, Fuller wrote a book titled The New Turkish Republic: Turkey as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World. At the center of the book was praise for Gülen and his “moderate” Islamic Gülen Movement in Turkey:

“Gülen’s charismatic personality makes him the number one Islamic figure of Turkey. The Gülen Movement has the largest and most powerful infrastructure and financial resources of any movement in the country… The movement has also become international by virtue of its far-flung system of schools…in more than a dozen countries including the Muslim countries of the former Soviet Union, Russia, France and the United States".

CIA and Gülen in Central Asia

During the 1990s Gülen’s global political Islam Cemaat spread across the Caucasus and into the heart of Central Asia all the way to Xinjiang Province in western China, doing precisely what Fuller had called for in his 1999 statement: “destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”

Gülen’s organization had been active in that destabilizing with help from the CIA almost the moment the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, when the nominally Muslim Central Asian former Soviet republics declared their independence from Moscow. Gülen was named by one former FBI authoritative source as “one of the main CIA operation figures in Central Asia and the Caucasus.”

By the mid-1990s, more than seventy-five Gülen schools had spread to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and even to Dagestan and Tatarstan in Russia amid the chaos of the post-Soviet Yeltsin era. In 2011, Osman Nuri Gündeş, former head of Foreign Intelligence for the Turkish MIT, the “Turkish CIA,” and chief intelligence adviser in the mid-1990s to Prime Minister Tansu Çiller, published a book that was only released in Turkish. Gündeş, then 85 and retired revealed that, during the 1990s, the Gülen schools then growing up across Eurasia were providing a base for hundreds of CIA agents under cover of being “native-speaking English teachers.” According to Gündeş, the Gülen movement “sheltered 130 CIA agents” at its schools in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan alone. More revealing, all the American “English teachers” had been issued US Diplomatic passports, hardly standard fare for normal English teachers.
Today Gülen’s spider web of control via infiltration of the Turkish national police, military and judiciary as well as education is being challenged by Erdogan as never before. It remains to be seen of the CIA will be successful in a second coup attempt. If the model of Brazil is any clue, it will likely come after a series of financial attacks on the Lira and the fragile Turkish economy, something already begun by the rating agency S&P.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”
 
 


Behind The CIA Desperate Turkey Coup Attempt

By F. William Engdahl

18 July 2016

On the evening of July 15, a group of Turkish army officers announced that they had staged a military coup d’etat and had assumed control of the country. They claimed that Erdogan was in a desperate flight for his life and that they were now in the process of restoring order. The only problem for those army officers and their sponsors far away in Langley, Virginia and Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania– where Turkish political operator, Fetullah Gülen, hides in exile under CIA protection–is that they did not succeed. Behind the coup attempt is a far more dramatic story of the huge geopolitical shift that the often unpredictable political survivor, President (still) Recep Erdogan, was in the midst of making when Gülen’s loyalists made their desperate, now apparently failed coup attempt. What follows is a series of Q&A remarks to the background of the dramatic events unfolding in a pivotal part of the geopolitical order.

Q: How would you comment on the events of Friday to Saturday evening, when the army carried out a coup? Are these events were predictable? WE: The coup was a reaction to the recent dramatic geopolitical shift of Erdogan. It was instigated by networks in Turkey loyal to the CIA. It clearly was a desperate move, ill-prepared.

Q: What do you think are the real reasons for such a move of the army? WE: This was a network of officers inside the Army loyal to the Fetullah Gülen Movement. Gülen is a 100% CIA controlled asset. He even lives since years in exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania having gotten safe passage and a green card by former top CIA people like Graham Fuller and the former US Ambassador to Ankara.

Gülen has been a decades-long mad project of the CIA to weaponize political Islam1 as an instrument of regime change. Recall that in 2013 there were mass protests against Erdogan in Istanbul and elsewhere. That was when Gülen, who previously had made a deal with Erdogan’s AK Party, broke and criticized Erdogan as a tyrant in the Gülen-controlled media such as Zaman. Since then Erdogan has been moving to root out his internal most dangerous adversary, Gülen and friends, including raids on Zaman and other Gülen-controlled media. This is not about a battle between the White Knight and Evil Knievel. It is about power pure in Turkish politics. If you are interested in the details of the Gülen CIA project I urge readers to look in my book, The Lost Hegemon (German: Amerikas Heilige Krieg).

Q: Do you think these events in Turkey could lead to civil war, as interpreted by some commentators? WE: I doubt that. The Gülen Movement in the past two years has been severely reduced in influence by Erdogan and his head of intelligence—purges etc. The traditional so-called Ataturk Army as State Guardian is long gone …since the 1980s.

What is interesting to watch now will be the foreign policy of Erdogan: Rapprochement with Russia, reopening talks on the Russia Turkish Stream gas pipeline to the Greek border. The simultaneous Erdogan rapprochement with Netanyahu. And most critical, Erdogan’s apparent agreement, part of Putin’s demands for resumption of ties, that Turkey cease efforts to topple Assad by covertly backing DAESH or other terrorists in Syria and training them in Turkey, selling their oil on the black market. This is a huge geopolitical defeat for Obama, probably the most incompetent President in American history (even though he has some serious competition for the title from George W. Bush and Clinton).

Q: How should we interpret the information alleged that Erdogan sought asylum in Germany, and do you think that Germany would not approve? WE: There are many wild rumors. I have no information on that.

Q: How do you put the United States and Russia in relation to recent events? WE: It should be clear from what I have said that Washington was behind the coup as their impotent reaction to the major Erdogan geopolitical shift since June, when he fired Davotoglu as Prime Minister and named loyalist Binali Yıldırım. At that point Erdogan simultaneously turned away from the Washington anti-Assad strategy in Syria and towards Israel (who is in a sharp geopolitical conflict with Washington these days), towards Russia and now, even towards Assad in Syria.

Q: What impact on developments has the fact that Turkey is a member of NATO? WE: This is difficult to assess. Washington desperately needs Turkey in NATO for its global strategy, especially in controlling oil flows of the Middle East, and now its natural gas. This is why the moment it was clear the coup would fail, Obama and company “embraced” their “friend” Erdogan. It’s called damage control in intelligence parlance.

Q: Do you believe that it is good for Turkey that Erdogan and the current government is removed in this way, rather than in the elections? WE: By the time I am writing this, it appears he is firmly still in power, perhaps more than before.

Q: How do you think the events in Turkey may affect the European Union? WE: The EU is in the process of dissolving as a project. It was always a monstrous idea, encouraged in the 1950s by Churchill, by the early CIA and their European friends like Monnet, in order for the US better to control Europe. That was obvious when President Obama made his brazen intervention into British politics to tell the British not to exit the EU. The European Union is a monstrous top-down faceless bureaucracy, unelected, unanswerable to the people, sitting in Brussels next to NATO headquarters.
Brexit started the dissolution. It will now go rather fast now is my feeling. Perhaps Hungary will be next if the CIA is not able to do a color revolution against Orban before their October referendum on “Huexit.” France? Marie Le Pen’s supporters and millions of French are fed up with dictates from Brussels. Look at the recent criminal decision, despite huge scientific evidence that glyphosate, the widest-used weed killer in the EU, is carcinogenic, to ignore all health and safety evidence even of EU governments, and arbitrarily re-approve it for 18 more months of poisoning of the food and the population. This is not what the people of Europe or anywhere deserve from their civil servants.

Q: How do you think the events in Turkey may affect the migrant crisis, and do you expect the reopening of so-called Balkan route for refugees? WE: It’s too early to say. If Erdogan and Assad, brokered by Putin and Russia, and perhaps some cooperation from Israel, manage to make true peace in Syria, the refugee flow from the war could cease. People want to return home, rebuild their lives in their own country.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”
 

http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO9Aug2016.php

Graham E. Fuller Where Were You on the Night of July 15?

By F. William Engdahl
9 Aug 2016

Much has been written on the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey. The Erdogan government has pointed to the exiled Fethullah Gülen sitting in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, and formally requested his extradition to face charges in Turkish courts. Washington so far refuses. As a massive nationwide investigation by police and security forces continues inside Turkey, new damning details emerge almost daily that point to the key role of the CIA behind their Fethullah Gülen Movement (termed FETÖ for Fethullah Terrorist Organization in Turkish) and the US military. Now the Turkish media reports that none other than Gülen mentor, “former” CIA man Graham E. Fuller, along with another “former” CIA person and close Fuller associate, Henri J. Barkey, were at a luxury hotel on one of the Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara, some twenty minutes from Istanbul, on the night of July 15.

While Washington adamantly continues do deny any and all involvement in the failed July 15 Turkish coup attempt, Turkish media is revealing detailed information of the involvement of key US figures as alleged coup organizers. They include the former NATO International Security Assistance Force (Afghanistan) Commander, Army General John F. Campbell. And now new revelations name Henri J. Barkey, a former CIA man, now based as Bernard L. and Bertha F. Cohen Professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, conveniently, a mere 26 miles or 30 minute drive via PA-33 from Saylorsburg, home of the exiled Fethullah Gülen.

According to the Istanbul Yeni Safak paper, on the July 15 night of the coup Henri Barkey and a group of seventeen others, mostly foreigners, met for hours in a locked room in the Splendid Palas hotel on the tourist Princes’ Island outside Istanbul and reportedly followed coup developments on TV amid their closed-door talks, according to testimony of hotel personnel. The paper cites a source from Istanbul Police’s Intelligence, Counter Terror, Cyber Crime and Criminal Units, who reported that Barkey was holding a meeting at the hotel with 17 top figures, most of them foreign nationals, on July 15, the day of the failed coup attempt in Turkey.

According to the hotel management, Barkey had held a “meeting that lasted hours until the morning on July 16 in a special room. They have been following the coup attempt over TV channels,” the hotel personnel told police.

Graham E. Fuller too?

Other reports from well-informed Turkish independent journalists say that among the members present with Barkey the night of the coup was former CIA senior officer and mentor of Fethullah Gülen, Graham E. Fuller, former CIA Station Chief in Turkey. That would be no surprise. Fuller and Barkey are both old Langley CIA associates. Both have long involvement with affairs Turkish. They even co-authored a book, Turkey’s Kurdish Question.

Indeed, it would seem something recently has stung the 78-year old wily CIA veteran, Fuller. He claims to have retired from the agency years ago, when he went over to the CIA-tied RAND Corporation. Yet he re-emerged from the shadows during the Boston Marathon bombing to try, feeling obviously on the spot, to deny links to the two Chechyn brothers accused of that event. Fuller had then to admit that the Tsarnaev brothers had an Uncle, ‘Uncle Ruslan’, aka Ruslan Tsarnaev, a former employee of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton in Central Asia, who had lived in Fuller’s home for a stint when Uncle Ruslan was married to Fuller’s daughter. Bizarre enough, just ‘coincidence’ for sure… Yet if Fuller had not wanted to draw the spotlight on himself, he would have done better had he just shut up and let it blow over. Not very professional for a veteran CIA spook.


Now Fuller again in his personal blog rushes to deny being behind Fethullah Gülen and the Turkish coup. His blog post is a rambling paean of praise for his protégé, Gülen, writing that “Gülen comes out of an apolitical, more Sufi, mystical and social tradition. Gülen is interested in slow, deep social change including secular higher education…looking at the dramatically failed coup attempt against Erdogan last week, I believe it is unlikely that Gülen was the mastermind behind it.” Erdogan, never to my knowledge, called Gülen “mastermind behind the coup.” He said the Gülen networks played the key roles carrying it out. Masterminds, charitably using the word, were elsewhere, sitting in Tampa, Florida Centcom headquarters and in Langley, Virginia.

Despite Fuller’s clumsy attempt to sheep-dip Gülen, it’s been documented that the same CIA-backed Gülen organization, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990’s, rushed to establish Gülen schools across former Soviet Central Asia republics from Turkey into Chechnya and Dagestan in Russia, into Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and on into Xingiang, China.

In 1999, while at RAND, Fuller advocated using Muslim forces to further US interests in Central Asia against both China and Russia. He stated, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Russians. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”

Fuller’s book, Turkey’s New Geopolitics: From the Balkans to Western China, was published in 1993, just as Gülen’s organization was establishing a string of Gülen schools targeting the local children of the elites in Central Asia all the way to Xinjiang Province in Western China, home of many Muslim Turkic Uyghurs. By the mid-1990s, more than seventy-five Gülen schools had spread to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and even to Dagestan and Tatarstan in Russia, amid the chaos of the post-Soviet Boris Yeltsin era.

In 2011, Osman Nuri Gündeş, former head of Foreign Intelligence for the Turkish MIT, the “Turkish CIA,” and chief intelligence adviser in the mid-1990s to Prime Minister Tansu Çiller, published a bombshell book that was only released in Turkish. In the book, Gündeş, then 85 and retired, revealed that, during the 1990s, the Gülen schools then popping up across Central Asia were providing a base for hundreds of CIA agents under cover of being “native-speaking English teachers.” According to Gündeş, the Gülen movement “sheltered 130 CIA agents” at its schools in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan alone.

Full disclosure?

Then Fuller admits something that suggests, “Methinks thou doth protest too much.” He writes: “Full disclosure: It is on public record that I wrote a letter as a private citizen in connection with Gülen’s US green card application in 2006 stating that I did not believe that Gülen constituted a security threat to the US…”

Of course, Langley spooks by nature never make “full disclosure.” He omits that his letter was co-signed by a second senior CIA veteran of 31 years, George Fidas, and by an alleged CIA man, then US Ambassador to Turkey, Morton Abramowitz, himself a board member of George Soros International Crisis Group. Sibel Edmonds, former FBI Turkish translator and “whistleblower,” named Abramowitz, along with Graham E. Fuller, as part of a dark cabal within the US Government that she discovered were using networks out of Turkey to advance a criminal, “deep state” agenda across the Turkic world, from Istanbul across the Russian Federation into China. The network that she documented included significant involvement in heroin trafficking out of Afghanistan, perhaps one of the sources of Gülen’s great wealth.

Fuller also omits to say that Fuller’s successful CIA intervention to secure Gülen’s permanent Green Card special status was opposed by the US State Department whose attorneys stated, “Because of the large amount of money that Gülen’s movement uses to finance his projects, there are claims that he has secret agreements with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkic governments. There are suspicions that the CIA is a co-payer in financing these projects.”

The idea that Graham E. Fuller would be involved in the present CIA-Gülen Turkish coup attempt is given added credence from another statement by Fuller who, while at CIA played a key role in their 1980s Afghanistan Mujidideen war against the Soviet Union, a guerilla war where the CIA recruited a young Saudi named Osama bin Laden to oversee terror training of Islamic Jihadists in Pakistan.

The aim of Fuller’s unusual blog admission is clearly to make a case that neither he, Fuller, nor his protégé, Gülen had anything to do with the coup. We must then ask, “Graham E. Fuller, where were you on the night of July 15?”

The General with $2 billion

Details have also emerged alleging the role as the key military figure orchestrating the Turkish military in the failed coup. According to Yeni Safak, a paper close to Erdogan, just-retired head of the US Afghanistan Command, ISAF, General John F. Campbell, had not retired as announced this March to cultivate his rose garden and play golf. He was given a covert assignment some eight months before to recruit the Turkish military leadership of the coup. Already then Erdogan had been evidently slated for elimination in favor of a Gülen takeover of the country and its key institutions. They report that Campbell had made at least two secret visits to Turkey for top secret meetings in Erzurum military base and the Adana İnicrlik NATO Airbase since May, until the day of the coup attempt.

Equally interesting, the paper reports, in detail, how Campbell reportedly oversaw a bankroll of $2 billion to grease the skids of the Turkish officer corps for the planned coup. They wrote that the Nigeria branch of the United Bank of Africa (UBA) was the main base for the money transactions for the coup plotters: “Millions of dollars of money has been transferred from Nigeria to Turkey by a group of CIA personnel. The money, which has been distributed to an 80-person special team of the CIA, was used to convince pro-coup generals.”


For $2 billion presumably you can buy a lot of generals. The same report stated that according to sources, the CIA used the strong presence of Gülen Cemaat networks for the planned coup in central and eastern Turkey. The Yeni Safak report described testimony from those captured as to how coup military were recruited from Turkish officers at Incirlik airbase: “The supporters, who also were categorized as ‘those who will move with us,’ were provided a huge amount of money. All soldiers and officers in this category were considered as the devoted members of the FETO terror group (Gülen Organization.w.e.)


Turkish independent journalist sources have told me that the CIA infiltration of the Turkish military had taken place over decades, as part of the process of eliminating any nationalist Kemalist generals that might oppose a Gülen-led Islamist Turkey. According to these reports, Gülen recruits from lower ranks in the military were secretly given the answers to all military entrance exams to insure their admission into officer ranks. These sources estimate that perhaps over 50% of the senior ranks of the Turkish army was occupied by Gülenist generals before July 15.


The picture emerging of Gülen and his organization is hardly what Graham E. Fuller describes as “an a-political, more Sufi, mystical and social tradition.” In fact Gülen was forced to flee to the USA at the end of the 1990’s when Turkish secret police taped a closed-door sermon by Gülen to his closest followers in which he reportedly said, “You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers…You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it…You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power…in Turkey…” Sounds a bit like Lenin with a Koran.

Dunford’s rush trip

There must be some real fire behind all the smoke coming out of Turkey and the Erdogan government since the failed coup of July 15. The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph ‘Fightin Joe’ Dunford, is rushing to Turkey on an unexpected visit on July 31.

For the first time since the coup, on July 29, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly accused General Joseph Votel, Commander of United States Central Command of, “siding with the coup plotters.” At a July 28 seminar in Washington of the Aspen Institute think-tank, Votel had declared, “We’ve certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders, military leaders in particular. And so I’m concerned about what the impact is on those relationships as we continue to move forward,” referring to the arrested military prisoners in Turkey, to which Erdogan replied, “It’s not up to you to make that decision. Who are you? Know your place!”

Depending on what Erdogan does now going forward and with which countries, whether he formally withdraws Turkey from NATO, whether after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he acts to change Turkey’s support for toppling the Assad regime in Syria and draw closer to Russia and away from the West, the entire US geopolitical position across the Middle East into Eurasia as far as Russia and even China could become a catastrophe for the once-arrogant plotters, the old boring patriarchs of the CIA and their Gülen protégé. The next months will clearly be critical in the most unimaginable ways.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

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