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Pro-Erdoğan journalist claims former Zaman executive tied to Turkish intelligence since 2012

Cem Küçük and Hüseyin Gülerce (R)

Cem Küçük, a staunchly pro-government journalist known for his attacks on government critics on social media, has said former Zaman daily executive and columnist Hüseyin Gülerce, who testified against the alleged media establishment of the Gülen movement, has been tied to Turkish intelligence since 2012.

From his column in the Türkiye daily on Wednesday, Küçük attacked Gülerce’s critics, saying that Gülerce has been working for the government and providing critical intelligence about the Gülen movement since Feb. 11, 2012. He said Gülerce risked his life and made sacrifices for his nation by working from within against the Gülen movement, which is accused by Turkish authorities of being behind a failed coup in 2016, .

“Gülerce started aiding the state before Dec. 17-25 process [Dec.17-25 corruption probe in 2013, which implicated several members of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family, his inner circle and four former ministers] since Feb. 11, 2012 and that is when he first submitted intelligence about [Fethullah] Gülen to the state. … Of course Gülerce continued to exist within the Gülen organization during this period and went on collecting critical information for the state. This involved significant devotion and sacrifice. Gülerce risked his life,” said Küçük.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement, inspired by the views of Turkish Islamic Fethullah Gülen, of masterminding a July 2016 attempted coup in Turkey, a claim strongly denied by Gülen and his movement.

Contrary to accusations made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish government, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament concluded last month that Gülen and the movement he inspired as a whole were not behind the failed coup in Turkey.

The UK Parliament statement came a week after Germany rejected Erdoğan and the Turkish government’s accusations against the Gülen movement about July 15.

The head of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Bruno Kahl, said Turkey could not convince them that US-based Turkish-Islamic scholar Gülen was behind the failed coup in July.

Similarly, Devin Nunes, chairman of United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said he has not seen any evidence showing Gülen’s involvement in the putsch in Turkey.

In addition, a report prepared by the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (IntCen) revealed that the coup attempt was staged by a range of Erdoğan’s opponents due to fears of an impending purge.

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