After the article of 10 January 1999 in the journal “Enlightenment” (Aydınlık) under the headline of “Fethullah took over the police” further investigations were carried out. This time they ended in a court case, but a verdict of acquittal. The details in the book "The Army of the Imam" have been restructured and summarized.
Ankara Police HQ becomes active
On 18 March 1999 Ankara Chief of Police Cevdet Saral sent a letter to the Presidency of the Inspecting Council and the Presidency of the Intelligence Department on the subject of “Fethullah Gülen and the Light (Işık) Sect”.
“The Fethullah Gülen Parish is outside the habitual organization model of structures within a State. According to the sect the offices are primary and the persons are secondary... The Light Sect is not active through the 62 people against whom persecution is demanded; on the list are people unrelated to the sect; the investigation has to be carried out by a small number of trustworthy personnel... It also has to be researched, whether the issue falls under the State Security Courts.”
On 21 March 1999 Fethullah Gülen emigrated to the USA under the pretext of medical treatment. Meanwhile the rumour spread that Ankara Police HQ prepared a comprehensive list of police officers from the Gülen group.
Second report and faulty list
Cevdet Saral sent a second report to the General Directorate for Security, the Presidency of the Inspecting Council and the Presidency of the Intelligence Department. The report was carefully prepared, but not the list of names of officers to be dismissed from the intelligence department. There were even repetitions in it.
From the intelligence department in Diyarbakır Avcı had come to Istanbul under Necdet Menzir as Chief of Istanbul Police. He was known for his successes in the fight against terrorist organizations, not only by tapping phones but also conducting operations that ended in extra-judicial killings.
The list was also criticized by journalists opposed to Fethullah Gülen. One of them was Uğur Dündar. He argued that high ranking police officers with great successes against the Mafia and gangs had been put on the list. Years later it was learned that more than half of the persons listed had no connection to the Gülen Parish. A high ranking officer said: “Did I not know Cevdet Saral and Osman Ak I would say that they compiled the list to whiten the organization of Fethullah Gülen.”
Unaware of the developments against them Cevdet Saral and his deputy Osman Ak sent the report to the prosecutor at Ankara SSC. On the report of 21 April 1999 the prosecutor Nuh Mete Yüksel started an investigation. The report alleged that Fethullah Gülen used some terms in his book to hide his true aim that was to erect a theocratic regime based on the hegemony of a clan...
Objections to the reports
Later reports appeared in the press that the report from Ankara Police HQ was incorrect. Journalist Soner Arıkanoğlu reported that on appeal of some persons mentioned in the report superintendents of the police worked a year on the issue and on 13 June 2000 concluded that the report was incorrect.
The prosecutor at Ankara SSC Nuh Mete Yüksel finished his investigation in about one year. On 3 August 2000 he asked the court to issue an arrest warrant against Fethullah Gülem. This was done on a second attempt, but on 28 August 2000 the arrest warrant in absentia was lifted.
The report of the General Directorate for Security
As part of the ongoing court case a report was requested from the General Directorate for Security on the aim and strategy of the Fethullah Gülen group and Nur Parish. The response carried the date of 13 October 2000. It said that there had been no armed actions. It explained the foundation, organization and intention and in particular the activities in the educational sector. On the points in question the report stated:Foundation
Fethullah Gülen, registered in Korucuk village of Pasinler district in Erzurum province, son of Ramiz and Rabia was born on 27.04.1941 (corrected to the original 1942), started to work as teacher (hodja) at the Qu'ran course in Kestane Pazarı in Izmir province in 1968.
Fethullah Gülen was first active in the New Asia group, the biggest fan in the Nur Parish. He was particularly known for his sermons. He defended that it was wrong to put daily politics in front of everything. Their aim was to tell the society the truth of faith.
Because of the negative image of the term Nurculuk he never said that he was a Nurcu. When quoting Said Nursi he did not mention his name. With the help of businessmen he founded many companies and foundations and opened many schools, dormitories and classes. An intense activity of trade can be observed.
The media structure and the propaganda activities that get attention in public are based on the idea of Said Nursi seen as the natural leader of the group in terms of “Faith, Life and Reign”. The current phase is the vitalization of faith and the level of living.
In order not to catch attention in and outside the country the members of the parish use the word “Light” (Nur) instead of Nurcu that has a bad connotation in public. Obedience is very important in the parish and those who do not abide by the rules are reported to the administrative cadres.
Aim and Structure
The aim of the F.Gülen group is to have a say in the political and economic power balance in Turkey. However, as long as the group does not believe in its own power direct contacts and an open political stand are avoided. The basis for this the finding of Said Nursi who said that in order that Islam becomes dominant in Turkey 50 to 60 % of the population have to be strong believers.
Relating to the structure the classification of Said Nursi as “Student-Friend-Sympathizer” becomes important.
The problems that the students cannot solve are forwarded to the regional imams, if they cannot solve them they are forwarded to the provincial imams. This is a hierarchy organized from the bottom to the top. The responsibilities mainly on educational activities start with the country and go down to the level of specific homes.
On activities of the Gülen Parish educational and media institutions are mentioned.
The trial at Ankara SSC
The trial started at Ankara State Security Court (SC) on 16 October 2000 and ended on 10 March 2003. Relying on Law 4616 (known as the amnesty of Rahşan Ecevit) the case was suspended under the condition that the same offence would not be committed within the next five years.
Prior to this development the lawyers had asked the General Directorate for Security as part of their right for information on an evaluation of foundations, association and educational institutions allegedly related to Fethullah Gülen.
Investigations in Istanbul
In Istanbul Adil Serdar Saçan, Director of the Department to Fight Smuggle and Organized Crimes asked for permission to investigate against the Gülen Parish. On 23 July 2001 the chief prosecutor at Istanbul SSC, Aykut Engin Cengiz gave permission.
In his defence Saçan also pointed at some “coincidences”: “At the beginning of my defence I stated that 1980 three deputy commissioners were appointed to the Police Academy. They visited the Light Houses. I stated that one of them was R.A., who is still leading the intelligence department.
The series of translated passages