“No Gülenist is at ease” – Turkish pro-government think tank

The head of European Research at Turkish pro-government think-tank the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) has said that Turkey’s extradition of six members of the Gülen movement from Kosovo showed no movement member could be at ease anywhere in the world.

The Islamist group, composed of the followers of exile preacher Fethullah Gülen, was allied to Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party until a power struggle divided the groups in 2013.

The Turkish government has since outlawed the group, which it calls the Fethullahist Terror Organisation (FETÖ) and blames it for the failed July 2016 coup attempt.

Enis Bayraklı, who is also a professor at the Turkish German University, said Western countries were refusing to send Gülen movement members back to Turkey for purely political reasons.

“As I have said, the attitude of the West on the FETÖ issue is completely political,” he said.

“Tomorrow if there is a dramatic change in the international balance or if relations with Turkey are re-evaluated, they will begin returning FETÖ members from the United States and Europe. I can say that wherever they are in the world, no FETÖ member is now at ease.”

Many countries in Central Asia, Africa and the Balkans had been prevented from extraditing their Gülenists by Gülenist infiltrators inside the state, Bayraklı said, but Western countries were refusing on the basis of their own interests.

“In those countries, they do not want to give back FETÖ (members) because they want to use it as a political card,” he said.

“Not only FETÖ, but they do not give back the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) members either. Despite recognising them as a terrorist group, PKK members swarm throughout Europe. This is a completely political situation.”

However, the political pressure was now such that Turkish Gülenists in Germany could not walk the streets without fear, Bayraklı said.

“In Germany, FETÖ members can no longer comfortably walk the streets, because they fear reactions from Turks in Germany,” he said.

“Every one of them has become paranoid, thinking that Turkish intelligence are after them. They are not psychologically at ease. They all voice their fears in statements in the German press.”