One of the developments triggered by the Ukraine war is Sweden and Finland’s bid to join NATO. This membership attempt, which the U.K. and the U.S. openly encouraged or pushed Sweden and Finland into, signals both the causes and the results of the war. It was already known that the U.K. has long had influence in these countries. The fact that Sweden in particular is a gathering center for organizations carrying out anti-Türkiye operations was also known. Türkiye rightfully considered these countries’ support to terrorist organizations a major problem, especially on the grounds of security. However, the long-term transformation undergone by terror organization members in North Eastern countries should be taken no less seriously than the security issue. We need to pay particular attention to the changes that took place in the faith dimension. This is an actual state, and the results of geographical detachment are beyond projections. When these countries’ NATO membership came up on the agenda, Türkiye rightfully stipulated the condition that they end their support to terrorist organizations.
Sweden openly supported not only the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) but also the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). Of course, this reality was veiled with European values, including legal justifications. Hence, in exchange for accepting Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership application, Türkiye demanded the extradition of FETÖ fugitive Bülent Keneş – a demand accepted by Sweden. However, this deal between the two countries was deemed void due to court decisions. Sweden had considered the extradition of the terrorist member reasonable. however, this process has been disrupted for the time being on legal grounds. Surely Türkiye voiced its objection loud and clear. But does this point to an internal problem for Sweden, or is an outside intervention involved? There is no doubt that we must answer this question by considering the centers that earn organizations such as the PKK and FETÖ their true identity. Terrorist organizations create major problems for the countries embracing them as well. This is an indication that terrorist organizations are no longer the internal matter of countries that use terrorism as a weapon. These organizations are now a problem for countries other than the likes of Türkiye, which certain forces want to discipline through terrorism. Even if they decide to extradite the individuals on the terrorist list, it will not be so easy to achieve the desired result.
FETÖ’s association with religion, nation and the region was completely over after Dec. 17-25, 2013. We need to recognize that this detachment turned them into an effective weapon for global power centers. This relationship will lead to critical results, especially in terms of the affiliated groups within. Besides the voluntarily affiliated groups, there are also those groups that were transformed via infiltration by FETÖ elements. The position taken by groups within the network of relations signals a positioning much beyond simple opposition. New non-national groups may emerge. This should be taken into consideration along with the long-term outcomes. Therefore, a similar detachment by other groups within the network of relations will not be surprising. FETÖ created an area of maneuver by spreading over time the process in its own respect. This applies to the present time as well. The internal support must also be evaluated in the context of spreading the process over time.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is making the necessary warnings regarding terrorist organizations both within and outside. Though serious counter-steps are taken within against terrorist organizations, it is difficult to say that particularly FETÖ and its network of relations have collapsed. This shows that the struggle between power centers, which are referred to as globalists, and Türkiye is ongoing. Türkiye is making every effort possible, contrary to many European countries, to preserve its pro-national characteristic. This is what clarified the dual group within. The fact that those claiming the existence of polarization in Türkiye avoid talking about the sides involved is meaningful. This is because the tension is not the result of polarization in the classical sense. In this case, there is a direct relationship between spreading the process over time and expanding non-nationalistic groups’ maneuver area. President Erdoğan’s warning must not be limited to the security dimension. This also applies to states that provide an opportunity for terrorism.
FETÖ still has support within and hopes to carry on its presence into the future through this. It is possible to say that this support is provided at various levels. What does this mean and what results will it produce? Surely these are questions that need to be considered. This is a much more critical matter for individuals and groups that are sensitive with respect to preserving nationalistic quality.