FETÖ’s first coup attempt remains a stark reminder for Turkey

It has been eight years since the Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ), which had long posed as a charitable movement with a religious connotation, showed its true colors in an unprecedented coup attempt.

On December 17, 2013, prosecutors and police chiefs linked to FETÖ took their first step to overthrow the government in a wide-ranging investigation targeting ministers and people close to the government over corruption allegations . The investigation, which led to arrest warrants, was followed by another operation on December 25, seen as FETÖ’s first open attack on the government, a frightening move for a country that has suffered multiple blows. of state.

Yet FETÖ would not stop there and, three years later, he again tries to seize power, this time in a more brutal way. He used his military infiltrators, who slaughtered 251 resisting people across the country. Since then, Turkey has stepped up its operations against members of the terrorist group, hunting them down across the country and around the world. Tens of thousands of people have been detained or arrested both after the first attempt in 2013 and after the foiled coup attempt in 2016.

The operations from December 17 to 25, 2013 revealed that members of the law and order forces linked to the FETÖ had secretly wiretapped people close to the government for three years and concocted evidence by falsifying audio recordings and documents to imprison them, with the ultimate aim of implicating the Prime Minister in their bogus affairs.

Arrests followed, including the children of four ministers, while Zekeriya Öz, now a fugitive prosecutor wanted for FETÖ membership, told reporters following the operations they did not have the power to stop ministers but that they would send the investigation back to Parliament. Turan Çolakkadı, chief prosecutor in Istanbul, where the operations and investigations were based, opposed the FETÖ-linked cadres involved in the disguised coup attempt and hampered their investigations. Çolakkadı had announced that the operations had been carried out without his knowledge and had suspended all those involved in his office.

Çolakkadı, who retired in 2016, told the Sabah newspaper on the anniversary of the coup attempt that he never felt that FETÖ would undertake such an operation. “Every month, every year since 2013 has shown how big this group is. I think they absolutely had the support of foreign powers and did not act alone. The state should completely eliminate its infiltrators from its agencies. Otherwise, they can reappear, “he warned.

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