From friend to foe: Fethullah Gülen
“Et tu, Brute?” “You too, Brutus?” These were purportedly the last words of the Roman dictator Julius Caesar when he was assassinated with a knife by his friend Marcus Brutus. This famous quotation from one of the most infamous assassinations in history is often used for unexpected betrayals.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey didn’t use these words, but maybe had them in mind when he talked about betrayal and being “stabbed you in the back”, by his former ally and one time friend, Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.
He refused to utter the influential Muslim clerics name during his speech in December 2014 at “The Great Turkey Symposium” in the capital Ankara, but it was clear to all who he meant when he said: “You deem him a friend, but you may not know and notice that the person you deemed a friend has been marketing his will, comprehension, homeland and nation to dark circles.”
Now, the leader of the Gülen Movement faces criminal charges in many cases, including those seeking life sentences for his alleged attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government of then Prime Minister Erdoğan by plotting a coup and forming a terrorist organization.
Turkish authorities included Gülen in its most-wanted terrorists’ list, next to leaders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The Gülen Movement is officially deemed a national security threat in Turkey’s Red Book that lists the country’s security threats. There are four arrest warrants against Gülen and the…