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Turkish gov’t makes over 12,000 talks abroad to defame Gülen movement

by Stockholm Center for Freedom on . Posted in News

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Turkish government under the rule of autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has mobilized all state facilities to defame the Gülen movement all over the world. According to a report by state-run Anadolu news agency, Turkish diplomatic missions and government institutions abroad have made over 12,000 formal talks as part of the government’s global defamation campaign targeting the Gülen movement.

In one of its largest black propaganda and hate speech campaigns, Turkish government, which has launched a massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged followers of the Gülen movement following the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, has tried to communicate the international community to persuade them on their own perception of the movement. According to the report, more than 400 of over 12,000 propaganda and defamation talks targeting the Gülen movement were allegedly made with foreign presidents or prime ministers.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu made 808 contacts and 304 telephone calls to foreign officials about the Gülen movement as part of Turkish government’s systematic defamation campaign. Turkish foreign ministry has also sacked 25 percent of its staff in a bid to purge its office from alleged followers of the Gülen movement.

As many as 2,789 written or video interviews were given to the international press by the Turkish missions and institutions under the direct directives of Erdoğan abroad to defame the movement. The same missions and institutions have also conducted 267 press conferences and published 646 articles and letters for the same purpose. Also, the a website 15.07.gov.tr in the English language was launched for the defamation campaign.

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), an effective instrument of radical Islamist policies of Erdoğan regime abroad, has been also organizing events to shape public opinion about the Gülen movement, at its 58 offices in 56 countries spread across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

In partnership with state-run Anadolu news agency and Yunus Emre Institute, TİKA opened photo exhibitions on controversial coup attempt in several countries and tried to defame the Gülen movement.

A controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

According to a statement from Turkey’s Justice Ministry on July 13, a total of 50,510 people have been arrested while 169,013 others have been the subject of legal proceedings since the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 on coup charges.