Jul 03 2019

Turkey organises screening of Gülen documentary in Brussels

A lobbying group for Turkey’s ruling party organised in Brussels the first-ever public screening of a government-made documentary on the Gülen movement, a religious group Turkey accuses of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016, Anadolu Agency reported on Tuesday.

The English-language documentary, which is titled “The Network” and was directed by British journalist Andrew Wilson, was produced by the Turkish presidency’s communication directorate in cooperation with state-run broadcaster TRT World, Anadolu said. 

The free screening was organised by the Union of International Democrats (UID), a Cologne-based advocacy group for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), in cooperation with a theatre run by Brussels’ Saint-Josse municipality, according to Anadolu.

Zeki Levent Gümrükçü, Turkey’s Ambassador to Belgium, said at the screening that the documentary displayed not only the Gülen movement’s role in the failed putsch, but also its “dark side”. 

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government designated the group a terrorist organisation and launched a purge against its members living in the country and abroad. The government also accuses the Gülen network of infiltrating state institutions and acting as a parallel state.

The movement headed by Fethullah Gülen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, denies Turkey’s allegations.

In a 2017 article for De Zeit, German-Turkish journalist Canan Topçu described UID as “(President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan's linguistically eloquent and well-trained henchmen” and “the European offshoot of the Turkish governing party AKP.”