Indonesian religious council visits Anadolu Agency

By Meltem Bulur and Adem Salvarcioglu

ANKARA (AA) – Members of an Indonesian religious council that considers it religiously forbidden to be involved in the activities of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) visited Anadolu Agency’s headquarters in Ankara on Wednesday.

The group was welcomed by Anadolu Agency’s international news editor-in-chief Faruk Tokat and Foreign Languages Editor-in-Chief Mehmet Ozturk.

The Council of Ulema Tariqas of Indonesia declared all FETO activities "haram" (forbidden) on Oct. 10 through an Islamic ruling, or fatwa.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated a failed coup on July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Ozturk briefed the Indonesian delegation about the activities of Anadolu Agency, its goals, international structure, operations and 13 languages of broadcast, including its Indonesian service, which became active in 2017.

Noting the importance of the council’s ruling on FETO, Ozturk emphasized that the terrorist organization was not a religious organization despite having the appearances of one.

Council president Professor Ahmed Rahman said the body, which was established two years ago, exclusively discussed matters concerning Islamic Sufism at annual conferences with members from Indonesia and other Asian countries.

“We hope the government will support us to implement this fatwa," Rahman said, adding the main reason for the fatwa was that the council had found FETO’s teachings to be “not directly based on the Qur’an and Sunnah [the Prophet’s way of life]”.