Informant tells of Gülen police protection, exam-fixing

Turkish police officers were given unpaid leave to protect exiled Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen at his mansion in the United States, a former member of the secretive movement told a court.

The man, identified as “E.Ü.”, a Turkish police officer, was arrested after authorities cracked an encrypted messaging service called ByLock that was used by the group’s members to communicate and receive prayers, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.

“E.Ü.”, assigned to the Turkish consulate in Boston, said he saw many important figures visit Gülen. They used passwords sent via ByLock to enter the residence, he said.

Turkey says Gülen masterminded an attempted military coup in July 2016 and has designated his group as a terrorist organisation, arresting tens of thousands of its members who worked in professions such as the police, judiciary, the government bureaucracy and academia. Ankara has called on Washington to hand Gülen over for trial. The preacher denies involvement in the  coup attempt.

Taking account of his confessions and incarceration over the past 19 months, the court in the eastern city of Kars reduced “E.Ü.”’s prison term to four years and two months from 10 years and two months, then released him.

“E.Ü.” said he also met many members of the movement while in Boston, drinking with them and chatting about religion in cafes near the consulate.

“I requested leniency,” he told the presiding judge. “With your permission, I want to return to my family, my motherland and my nation.”

While at police academy "E.Ü." said Gülenist operatives used to instruct examiners to ask easy questions to candidates belonging to the movement by lifting a green pen from the table. They raised a red pen to instruct them to ask difficult questions to others, he said.