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July 21, 2016 12:20 pm

German TV Airs Pro-Erdogan European Lobbyist Claim of ‘Zionist Parallel Structures’ Behind Failed Coup in Turkey

avatar by Ruthie Blum

Fatih Zingal, deputy chairman of the Union of European-Turkish Democrats. Photo: Facebook.

Fatih Zingal, deputy chairman of the Union of European-Turkish Democrats. Photo: Facebook.

A Turkish-German lawyer falsely claimed on Sunday that a Jerusalem Post article acknowledged the existence of “Zionist parallel structures” behind the failed coup in Turkey last weekend.

Fatih Zingal, deputy chairman of the Union of European-Turkish Democrats (UETD), made this assertion during a panel discussion on the widely viewed “Anne Will” show, broadcast on Das Erste, Germany’s main public network – as part of his defense of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s massive crackdown against members of the military, judiciary and academia, in the aftermath of the quelled attempt to oust him.

Zingal, among five panelists on the show, said that the English-language Israeli paper wrote that these “Zionist structures” are considered “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

“Parallel structure” is a common catch-phrase used by Erdogan and his AKP Party to describe cleric Fethullah Gülen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States. It is Gülen whom Erdogan immediately accused of being behind the failed coup, which began Friday night and was quashed by the government on Saturday.

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The article Zingal was ostensibly quoting – “Fethullah Gülen and the Jews: A different angle” – was an opinion piece published on July 10 in the Jerusalem Post.  Its author, Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, wrote: “Gülen is emerging as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and we should care; Gülen and his movement are very influential in the Turkish, US and worldwide private-school education network. His teachings will impact our collective future.”

Nowhere in the op-ed did she claim that he was running a “parallel structure” to the Turkish government; nor did she describe him as working with “Zionists.” On the contrary, she called Gülen “deceptive, perhaps a hypocrite at best and strikingly treacherous at worst. His writings betray a man who is virulently anti-Semitic and whose belief system is irreconcilable with and deeply opposed to Christianity, the West and the US.”

Jaffe-Hoffman did say in the article, however:

…Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East has until recently shifted away from Israel and more toward friendship with Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria. Many in foreign policy circles believe this is less a policy of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and more a result of the systematic infiltration and influence of the shadowy Gülen cult of the Turkish government.

Her piece was quoted extensively in the pro-AKP English-language Daily Sabah.

The UETD was founded in Germany in 2004, but also operates in France, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands and the UK, where it promotes the Erdogan government among Turks in those countries.

Zingal is a regular on the talk-show circuit in Germany, appearing as a defender of the Erdogan government.

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