Commentary, Politics

Is the fight against FETO complete?

Turkey's fight against FETO is not over, but gets even deeper as the full extent of the terrorist group's secretive structure gradually emerges.

Unfortunately, the fight against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETO) has not yet been completed although we have seen substantial progress so far. The secrets regarding this clandestine terror cult continue to be unraveled. A series of important data, documents and connections have been identified. As the mysteries surface, the extent of the threat FETÖ has been posing against the continuity of our state, national unity and solidarity becomes more and more clear.As of late, it has been revealed that the police chief who was in charge of searching for Adil Oksuz, a fugitive mastermind of the July 15 coup attempt, also has links to FETO. This instance is enough to prove that we have to be hypervigilant against all the possible threats posed by the terror group. Here, I would like to touch upon two factors that I believe to be of utmost importance, particularly following the June 24 elections.

It is high time to implement Turkey’s new security strategy, which entails eradicating the terror elements in the very places they originate from, in the context of the fight against FETO. From now on, we have to focus on and identify the sources harboring FETO.

Recently, FETO operative Kemal Batmaz’s telephone conversations with FETO leader Fetullah Gulen have been identified and sent to the U.S. as evidence, which is a very critical development with regards to proving Gulen’s links to the coup attempt, as Batmaz was found to be one of the key figures organizing the attempt. Turkey has undoubtedly gained strong leverage for the extradition of Gülen thanks to this evidence.

However, we all know that the issue is not solely a legal one, but closely linked to the political aspects of Turkey-U.S. relations. Therefore, we have to emphasize the fact that Turkey has secured an even stronger position following the June 24 elections. It is essential to seize this opportunity and employ it in the fight against FETO.

Furthermore, we must closely monitor the terror group’s activities in the countries where it is active, beginning with the U.S., and engage in extensive diplomatic moves to prevent the terror group’s activities abroad, in order to eradicate the terror group at its source. In the new term, I expect the Foreign Ministry to implement President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vision for fighting FETO in all of our missions.

Obviously, the anti-FETO fight is not a subject of secondary importance, but among the leading issues that needs to be tackled for the continuity of our state. It has been proven so far that FETO is even more dangerous than the PKK and Daesh.

Of course, this does not mean that the state will push the fight against the PKK and other terror groups into the background. Nevertheless, it is crucial for the state elite to prioritize the anti-FETO fight in the new term.

The second factor I would like to underline is that FETO has a deep and intricate organizational structure along with its civilian structure. During the new term, the networks and organizational structure of the group require a meticulous study so as to resolve the unknown features of the group and eradicate it through this.

Although the civilian structure of the group has been deciphered to a great extent, its intricate structure has not yet been completely unraveled.

So, we must regard the next five years as an opportunity to fight against and dissolve FETO so that no other clandestine group will ever dare to attempt another insurrection.

Source: Daily Sabah

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Fahrettin Altun is a Professor at Ibn Haldun University and the General Coordinator of SETA Foundation, Istanbul. Altun is the Editor-in-Chief of the monthly political magazine Kriter, the author of “Modernleşme Kuramı: Eleştirel Bir Giriş" and the co-author of “Freedom Press in Turkey.” Currently a columnist for Daily Sabah and Sabah newspapers, he is also a weekly analyst on “Enine Boyuna” and “Dışa Bakış” – two television series aired live on TRT 1 and TRT Haber respectively. Altun’s research areas include sociology of media and political communication, Turkish modernization and political culture.