A story appeared yesterday on the English language Hurriet Daily News website, and it appears that Erdoğan's folks are trying out a new public line against their FETO foes - accusing them of being "Masonic."
The Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), which has been blamed for the failed coup attempt of July 15, has emerged as a “modern-day masonic organization,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said, defining the organization as a new religion.
“We know that these people regard only those who are inside their community as believers. Those people have only put their community forward by removing the idea of Muslim unity. Unfortunately, they have succeeded in removing Muslims from the unity of the mosque for years. These people have emerged as a modern-day masonic organization. They have become pharaohs,” Kurtulmuş said at the opening ceremony of the Extraordinary Religious Council in Ankara on Aug. 3, almost three weeks after a deadly coup attempt blamed on the group.
The deputy prime minister also defined the organization as a “new religion.”
“In this respect, they are actually a new religion. They have entered a phase of religious supremacy ontologically to put up a new religion by integrating God’s latest religion with another religion and completely adding great delusions to this issue. Moreover, one of the most significant problems of this organization is the fact that they do not accept other Muslims separate from themselves and regard them as the ‘other.’ They did not regard those people as individuals of Islamic law within their circles, even if they had 99 Muslim signs, if they were not from them,” Kurtulmuş said.
Back in 1975 when Erdogan was a callow youth in the Youth Commission of the National Salvation Party, he wrote and directed a play called "Mas-kom-yah" (Mason-Communist-Jew). And anti-Masonic articles appear occasionally in the press. Masons there today must keep a low profile.
Most regular, recognized grand lodges around the world are in amity with the Grand Lodge of Turkey, but Masonry in that nation has had a tumultuous history since its reputed beginnings in 1721. One notable violent event occurred back in 2004, when attackers with automatic weapons and explosives burst into a Masonic lodge in Istanbul, Turkey, sprayed it with bullets, and set off several bombs. One person was killed, along with one of the terrorists, and six people were injured. Ultimately, eighteen suspects were questioned, and ten were charged with the operation.
In March of 2015, a story appeared in the Turkish press purportedly producing aged, stained documents that alleged Gulen became a Mason in the early 1970s. According to the ridiculous claims in the article:
The secret documents also prove that Gülen communicated with the Moon Sect, MOSSAD and CIA via Knights Templar, as he was nurtured and prepared as a project.Nonsense, but it plays well there.
The Grand Lodge of Turkey immediately denounced the documents as forgeries, but obviously the government's goal is to connect Gulen and Freemasonry, and by association, bring suspicion on the rest of the fraternity there.
H/T Istvan Horvath
UPDATE FRIDAY AUG. 5th:
I am receiving conflicting messages out of Europe and elsewhere about this situation, as you can probably imagine. Yesterday after posting the first part of this story, I was contacted by two Masons in Europe with a warning not to discuss Masonry with Turkish Masons. At that time, I felt it was of enough concern that it needed to be passed along.
Then today, I received a message from a Turkish Mason who said lodges were merely closed for the summer, and there are no problems for Masons in Turkey.
Given the nature of the earlier messages, coupled with ongoing mainstream news coming out of Turkey, AND combined with the ongoing propaganda war between the Erdogan versus Gulen supporters and detractors, it is difficult to ascertain what can be believed. The coup attempt and the subsequent crackdown (which has included the shuttering of newspaper and television operations, arrests of employees, and the blocking of some Western websites) has unleashed much misinformation.
I hope to update this with more definitive information actually from within Turkey as soon as possible. It is NOT my intention to spread false information, and will correct this story and post a new one with appropriate mea culpas if it turns out to have been false in any way.
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