3 Years After the Coup Attempt in Turkey: Need for a better understanding of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO)

Date(s) - 16/07/2019
17:00 - 20:00

Press Club Brussels Europe


Three years have passed since the coup attempt in Turkey on July 15,2016. Having condemned the coup attempt in a rather formalistic way, the international community has immediately focused on the measures taken by the Turkish state against the perpetrators of the coup attempt and did not pay enough attention to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO) that orchestrated this coup attempt, which killed 250 innocent civilians and security personel and left thousands injured. However this vicious terrorist organization continues to pose a threat to both Turkey and the countries it operates in, as it still enjoys a large space for its malicious activities abroad, disguised in the fields of education and civil society.

So, there is certainly a need for a better understanding of this unconventional terrorist organization in order to be able to see what they actually stand for. To this end, academicians and journalists from Turkey and Belgium who have written extensively on FETO will share their views and experiences to shed light on and raise awareness of this secretive organization.

17:00 Opening Remarks by H.E. Levent Gumrukcu, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Belgium

17:15 – 18.30 Panel Discussion


  • Dr. Enes Bayrakli, Coordinator of SETA Brussels (Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research)


  • Nedim Sener,  Journalist, Posta Daily, selected as “World Press Freedom Hero” by IPI due to his efforts on investigative journalism
  • Prof.Dries Lesage,  Ghent University- Department of Political Science, Author of “What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Turkey. High Time for an Honest Debate”
  • Prof. Hilmi Demir, Consultant at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), Author of “Gulen Organisation: The Radicalisation of an Esotoric Cult Religious Community.” 
  • Dr. Veysel Kurt, Istanbul Medeniyet University- Department of Political Science, Author of “Armies and Politics in the Middle East”.   

18:30  Opening of the exhibition featuring photographs taken by Anatolian Agency during the night of 15 July

Please confirm your attendance by e-mail to: ozlem.yanar@mfa.gov.tr by July 10th
*CVs of the speakers: 

Dr. Bayraklı earned his BA, MA and PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna, and conducted research for his PhD thesis at the University of Nottingham in Britain between 2009 and 2010. He took office as a deputy director at Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Center in London in 2011-2013. Mr. Bayraklı also served as the founding director of Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Centers in Constanta and Bucharest during the period of August-December 2012. Mr. Bayraklı has been a faculty member in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Turkish German University since 2013. Currently he is also the director of European Studies at SETA foundation. His fields of research include the Islamophobia in Europe, Far right movements in Europe, Transformation of Turkish Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Analysis.

Nedim Şener has been a professional journalist since 1991. He worked at Dünya, Milliyet and Posta newspapers in Turkey and is also the author of 14 books. He spent 376 days in prison between 2011-2012 due to a FETÖ plot. He was declared World Press Freedom Hero by the International Press Institute (IPI) in 2010 and awarded with Oxfam/Novib PEN Freedom of Expression award in 2010, CPJ International Press Freedom Award in 2013 and Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media in 2015.

Dries Lesage is Associate Professor at Ghent University’s Department of Political Science, where he heads the Ghent Institute for International Studies (GIIS). He teaches History of World Politics (1815-present), Theories of International Relations and Globalization and Global Governance. One of his research interests, besides global governance and multilateralism, is Turkish domestic and foreign politics. Late 2016 he published the Dutch-speaking book ‘What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Turkey. High Time for an Honest Debate [Wat u niet mag weten over Turkije. Hoog tijd voor een eerijk debat]’.  

Hilmi Demir is a graduate of Ankara University School of Divinity. In 2001, he completed his doctorate in the Kalam branch of Ankara University’s Social Sciences Department. In 2002-2003, he worked at Kyrgyzstan National University. In 2009, he became an associate professor. He currently teaches at the Hitite University School of Divinity and is a consultant to the Area Studies program of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV). He is an expert on radicalization, cults groups, Salafism, sectarian conflict and ISIS, and has written widely on these topics in national and international outlets.

Veysel Kurt completed his BA in Uludag University, International Relations Department in 2006 and received his MA degree from Istanbul University, Social Science Institute in 2009. He has completed his dissertation on civil-military relations in the Middle East at the Istanbul University in 2016. He currently teaches at the Istanbul Medeniyet University Departmant of Political Science.