Pro-government media vindicates ISIL member

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has taken its fight against the Gülen movement, inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, to the next level. So far, the government and its media outlets have accused the Gülen movement of victimizing the military, civilian bureaucrats and business circles. Over the last year, they found people to speak against the Gülen movement. However, those who have spoken against the Gülen movement are all shadowy figures, such as the owner of the Metro coach company (Metro Turizm), well-known for their criminal activities, mafia relations and other wrongdoings.

It seems that the publication of such news has not produced the impact that the AKP government wants to create. Now, the government and its supporters have changed their strategy. They have reached out to radical Islamists to speak against the Gülen movement and vilify the movement.

The first figure was the leader of Tahşiyeciler (Annotators), a group that is linked to al-Qaeda. Their leader does not hide his sympathy for al-Qaeda. The next figure, one that the pro-government Star daily found to speak against the Gülen movement, is worse. The daily found Halis Bayuncuk, also known as Abu Hanzala, a well-known supporter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), to speak against the Gülen movement.

Here is the link for those who want to see the interview that the Star conducted with Abu Hanzala:

In that interview, Bayuncuk claims that the Gülen movement victimized him and that he does not have any ties to al-Qaeda or ISIL. Is it really true? Who is Halis Bayuncuk, aka Abu Hanzala?

Bayuncuk was born in Bingöl and began his radical Islamist activities while he was in Turkey. Then he went to Egypt to study. While in Egypt, he was also involved in radical Islamist activities. He was sent to Turkey to preach for a radical Islamist network that he is part of. The Turkish police as well as Egyptian police raided and arrested the members of Abu Hanzala's network, which is affiliated with ISIL.

Now the AKP government, in order to vilify the Gülen movement in the eyes of ordinary people, has found radical preachers to speak against the Gülen group.

For this column I found a video of Abu Hanzala delivering a sermon that has English subtitles to share with you. Here it is.

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