Turkish government blocks access to Fethullah Gülen’s four critical videos in Youtube

Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric who has been living in the United States in a self-imposed exile since 1999, has become the arch-enemy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since 2013.

Turkish government has blocked access to four critical videos of Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen which were recently posted in Youtube on Tuesday.

Following a demand for censorship by the Bureau of Press Crimes at İstanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office, İstanbul 9th Penal Court of Peace has decided to block access to the videos in Youtube posted by a user named “HerkulNagme”. The court has listed the blocked videos in its decision as “Diyanet or report?” which was posted on July 28, 2017; “The age of Sufyanism, social insanity and legal struggle (Bamteli)” on August 6, 2017; “Third Satanic Phase” on August 11, 2017; and “The last satanic scenario (Bamteli)” on August 13, 2017.

Gülen said in his last two videos in Youtube that Turkish government circles that have scapegoated him and his movement for all the crimes in Turkey are planning to assassinate prominent people in Turkey and put the blame on him and his followers.

In a video shared Sunday night on the Herkul.org website, where his speeches are aired, Gülen said after a graft probe in 2013 and a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2017, government circles are now planning to pin the blame on him and the Gülen movement, also known as Hizmet, for the planned assassination of several famous figures in Turkey.

Underlining that dark power circles around the government were not successful in convincing people and especially the international community of the followers of the Gülen movementbeing behind the failed coup last year, Gülen said they have prepared a serious plan to assassinate prominent people in Turkey and link it to him in order to turn people against the movement.

The court has claimed in its censorship verdict that Gülen’s videos are propagating terrorism, despite there were just criticism against despotic implementations in Turkey by the government of autocratic President and the Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Several pro-government media outlets in Turkey and the Turkish service of the Sputnik news agency reported on Gülen’s speech, saying he ordered his followers to assassinate prominent people in Turkey by only using the part where Gülen narrates the conspirators’ plans.

Following the spread of the fake news in the Turkish media, the relevant part of Gülen’s speech was shared with English subtitles on several other social media accounts including that of Osman Şimşek, a disciple of Gülen’s staying with him at a retreat center in the Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania, where Gülen has been in self-exile since 1999.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Şimşek said a court decision had also banned access to his Twitter account for the sixth time.

Gülen said in the speech on Sunday: “Now others [government circles] are thinking: ‘So what should we do now? We need something more serious, we need to assassinate a few very important people, and finish them [Hizmet followers] off’.”

“Do you understand what I’m talking about here? I’m telling you of things that are being talked about by everyone, things plotted behind closed doors but now being uttered publicly. They’re saying, ‘Let us take care of [assassinate] a few important names, stir up some commotion in such a way that people will surely view it as a ‘coup,’ and thus we will have fooled all those who haven’t already been convinced’.”

Turkey had also blocked access to Wikipedia on early May 2017, through a court measure used to block access to pages or entire websites to protect “national security and public order.” The Turkish Telecommunications Authority (BTK) had said an Ankara court ordered that a “protection measure” related to suspected Internet crimes be applied to Wikipedia. The access to Wikipedia is still blocked in Turkey.

Turkey, which is known as the land of massive censorship in recent years under the despotic rule of Erdoğan, is also the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 277 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of August 15, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 252 are arrested pending trial, only 25 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 135 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. Turkey’s Contemporary Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) recently announced that more than 900 press cards were cancelled.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President 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 them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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