Following the press conference we held yesterday concerning the new suit brought against the U.S.-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, we were expecting the typical onslaught on threats, insults, and misinformation from the Gülen media empire just like last time, most notably led by Today’s Zaman.
But what’s been surprising about the propaganda effort this time has been the militant message control.
Instead of addressing any of the facts contained in the complaint regarding Gülen’s role in ordering the false imprisonment of his religious opponents, Zaman went into high gear on a single message aimed at defaming both the plaintiffs and the lawyers. This same message was repeated by a reporter at the press conference, from multiple Zaman figures on Twitter, and then in their article itself. At no point did any of these voices deny any of the very serious substance of the lawsuit, but instead just attacked plaintiffs and counsel based on the same false claims.
Since the first press conference, I have been confronted by the stark reality of their shocking behaviour outside of Turkey. I have met with numerous former Gülenists who come forward despite fearing for their lives; academics in fear of their reputation; and diplomats in fear of their standing. Not with respect to the Turkish government, but with respect to this reclusive cleric in the Poconos.
In 35 years of legal practice, I have never seen any organisation operate in such a clandestine and covert manner as the Gülen organisation. Further, they appear to be pursuing a classic false flag operation – promoting freedom of speech and democracy on one hand while suborning human rights for all those who do not buy into their Gülen myth – the fairly obnoxious self-referential praise that they heap on themselves and their leader at each turn.
Today’s Zaman, with it’s defamatory attack on both on myself and the individual plaintiffs, does nothing more than add to a long list of hysterical overreactions by this group to any criticisms.
I intend to confront their lies and defamation directly with facts, with witnesses, and with the same commitment to the truth that they exhibit with their commitment to falsehoods and deception.
However many of wonderful committed followers there may be, the leadership of this organisation is frightening in its pursuit of its agenda to obtain power and influence at any cost, at the expense of any principles.
That the Gülenists can fashion themselves as “educators,” using false Anglicized names, violating U.S. laws in countless manners, while exploiting young Turkish immigrants, beggars belief.
May Today’s Zaman defame me everyday, because only through their lies and mischief will I understand that we are on the right path.