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Re: INSIGHT - Turkey - More on Gulen movement

Released on 2012-03-16 18:00 GMT

Email-ID 98475
Date 2010-03-22 02:38:54
another example of your loyalty is tested in the recruitment process is
when they decision comes for your university placement. THey will often
test you to see if you will place the movement before your family. For
example, you may have your whole family in Istanbul, but they will tell
you to go to Ankara university. WHen you are away from home, the Gulenists
will provide housing and take care of you. It allows them to strengthen
their control over you and earn your loyalty by separating the target from
the family.
On Mar 21, 2010, at 8:35 PM, Reva Bhalla wrote:

PUBLICATION: for Turkey series
Source was a hardcore Gulenist for 10 years and then defected from the
movement when he came to the US several years back. He was recruited
when he was a high school student and was raised in the movement to
focus on military penetration.Since he knows a great deal about the
Gulen and sensitive military matters, the movement has been careful not
to alienate him. They have people who check up on him (similar to how I
now have people checking up on me) and they have a mutually dependent
relationship where they use each other for information They want to be
careful that he doesn't write any big criticism against them. The source
wants to tell the inside story of Gulen but it's too risky for him. He's
quite paranoid when I talk to him, but now that he's 'liberated' from
the movement, he drinks wine and can loosen up after a while.
(as a side note, in DC there are a couple Turkish restaurants that are
well known, Levante's and Diwan. Levante's, I learned today, is owned by
Kurds. My waiter was also from Diyarbakir. What i found that was
interesting, and something I've noticed for a while, is that Turkish
govt officials will not come to Levante's usually because it's well
known that it's owned by Kurds. Just another example of polarization)
Fethullah Gulen is not as active as he used to be in the movement. He
gets sick more frequently (he has diabetes). They now have a council of
elders, 12 'wise men'. Most of them are in the US, close to Fethullah.
They meet regularly and make decisions on the big issues affecting the
The Gulenist model is obviously very successful. Even US diplomats are
gradually becoming more influenced. They say the Kemalist model has been
unsuccessful in bringing Turkey closer to the West, but the Gulen
through their business and diplomatic efforts have been successful.
The source has also tried like us to acquire a database of the Gulenist
schools. They give him the exact same answer they give us -- that the
education effort isn't centralized and so they don't have a good
database. Source agrees that that is total BS.The schools are central to
the movement's efforts. They keep this list close hold.
The source described for me how the Gulenist recruitment process works.
In Turkey, preparing for your university exam is a huge deal (Emre has
explained this to me in a lot of detail). You essentially have to sign
away a couple years of your life to study for this. The Gulen schools
are known to provide the best preparation, offer the best resources,
etc. A lot of students will attend them, regardless of their
political/religious affiliation. Yout start out going a couple times a
week, then 3 times a week, then every day of the week by the time you're
done. They make it a gradual process and earn your trust. The movement
will then take the brightest students from the class and will focus on
them. THe mentor for each student will change every year. They'll test
your loyalty by calling you late in the evening, early on a Saturday
morning, etc. and ask you to attend something or perform some task. The
task doesn't really matter at the beginning. What they want to see is if
you'll obey them and respond to their beck and call. This is all a
process to test their loyalty. Then, when they get the results for their
university exams, they'll place the top students in the military
academy. From there, they position themselves to influence the
institution. Source estimates that roughly 30% of the military may be
influence/linked to Gulen currently. They are trained from a very early
age how to interact with military personnel, learn the ranks, act
secular, etc. The source was involved in this process. When they are
assimilating in the military, they drink, go out with girls, etc., all
while remaining loyal to the movement. Once you are placed in a
strategic institution, whether it be the military, police judiciary,
media firm, etc., you will be handled by what's the equivalent of a case
officer. They are trained on how to communicate with their handlers in
secret and receive order. Again, this is run very much like a
professional intelligence organization.
In the police force, the Gulenists have a lot more room to maneuver. All
of these efforts kicked of in the early 1980s, but in the 1990s is when
Gulen really gained traction. In the police, they're not as strict as
the military when it comes to background checks. So, for example, it
won't matter much if you go to mosque, have a wife who wears the
headscarf, etc. The Gulenists are extremely strong in the police and
may by now control a majority of the force by the source's estimate.
As far as funding, for years, the Gulenists were very non-transparent.
He described how each city in Turkey is responsible for certain
countries. So, the Gulen in Ankara for example, are in charge of
Azerbaijan, Turkemnistan, etc. The businessmen in that Turkish city are
then responsible for funding initiatives in those countries. There were
literally suitcases of cash being transferred to these countries, but
later, through organizations like Tuskon, they've legitimized the
process a lot more.