“Stop Gülen” ad displayed in NYC in response to FETÖ defamation
The "Stop Gülen" ad is seen on digital billboards in Time Square, New York, U.S., March 13, 2021 (AA Photo)

“Stop Gülen” ad displayed in NYC in response to FETÖ defamation

An advertisement against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) was put on display on digital billboards in New York City’s famous Times Square on Saturday for all to see.

The ad was an apparent response by the Turkish-American community to the terrorist group’s recent defamation campaign ad, which was taken down after receiving backlash.

“He lives in Pennsylvania. He killed 251 innocent people,” the ad said, referring to the victims of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt perpetrated by Fetullah Gülen-led FETÖ.

FETÖ’s recent anti-Turkey ad, broadcast on a screen in Times Square, prompted the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) and members of the Turkish American community to protest.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), TASC co-Chair Halil Mutlu said the ad outraged the Turkish-American community, who he said flooded the advertising company with emails and phone calls.

In addition to the reactions of hundreds of Turkish people, Mutlu said the TASC also reached out to the managers of the advertising company and informed them about the terrorist group’s activities and its coup attempt in Turkey.

“They told us they were not aware of these (things). They only broadcast the ad as a commercial enterprise,” he said.

Mutlu said he told the company that the ad would hurt the Turkish community in the U.S., and they would file a lawsuit if the company did not remove it.

“When they realized the determination of Turkish society, they removed the ad,” he said.

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Gülen were behind the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and nearly 2,200 injured.

Gülen denies any links to the coup but evidence that surfaced after the thwarted coup attempt shows that he actually gave approval for the plot to seize power by FETÖ-linked military officers, ranging from generals to non-commissioned officers.

The shadowy group is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Turkey has issued multiple extradition requests to the U.S. for Gülen, but despite close relations between the two NATO allies, they have fallen on deaf ears.

Turkey has also sought a preventive arrest to keep Gülen in the U.S. after reports emerged that the terrorist leader was planning to flee to another country.

Ankara says evidence shows that Gülen’s group formed a quasi-state within the Turkish government and attempted to topple it with the ultimate intent of taking over the state through a coup.

This article originally appeared in DAILY SABAH on 14 March 2021.