The Alliance for Shared Values (AfSV), the official representative of the Gülen movement in the United States, in an online statement on Sunday confirmed the existence of a plot against imprisoned followers in Turkey on the evening of the general and presidential elections on June 24.
The statement came in response to a series of writings posted by former Zaman reporter Ahmet Dönmez, who fled Turkey for safety overseas, on his personal blog. Throughout last week, Dönmez reported on an alleged plan by Turkish intelligence to start a rebellion in Ankara’s Sincan Prison and put the blame on the Gülen movement, in order to incite further public reaction against the movement, similar to a botched coup attempt in July 2016. Furthermore, Dönmez claimed that some people close to the leader of the movement, Fethullah Gülen, collaborated with the intelligence agency in the plot against the movement. According to Dönmez, due to a power struggle between two factions within the movement’s inner circle, the plot was exposed and prevented.Dönmez said his request for an interview with the alleged collaborator, İ.K., known as Sezai, had gone unanswered. Until the release of the AfSV statement, the Gülen movement had not commented on the plan, which would have strongly impacted its large following. Dönmez also said his interview request with Gülen was denied and that he decided to go ahead with the story as part of his attempt to reveal the facts.
In the statement the AfSV urged Gülen movement followers to reject any request to commit an illegal or violent act from anyone regardless of their status within the movement.
Dönmez in his posts referred to the seeming involvement of Gülen movement-connected people in the July 15, 2016 attempt as seen in footage from Akıncılar Air Base in Ankara, saying that a similar plot was in the works to send people the message that the movement had organized a rebellion.
The former Zaman reporter also referred to a statement by convicted gang leader Sedat Peker on July 16, 2017 exposing a rebellion to free Gülen followers in prison. Peker threatened to hang Gulen followers on trees in event of such a rebellion.
In its statement the AfSV said the Gülen movement has been investigating the issue with its resources as a civil society organization as it recognized that some people who appear to be on the side of the movement could have been involved in a plot to harm the movement itself.
The government in Turkey holds the movement responsible for the July 2016 coup attempt, which was followed by a massive purge that dismissed, detained or arrested hundreds of thousands of Gülen movement sympathizers. Many were forced into exile, and a number of them were abducted by Turkey in some countries collaborating with Turkey’s intelligence agency.
The AfSV stated that despite all the oppression inside and outside Turkey, the movement’s followers have remained loyal to peace and the rule of law.