As outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the middle of an official visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople without meeting with Turkish officials during his stay in the country, Turkish media are taking aim at Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, alleging he has links with the self-exiled imam Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara holds responsible for the failed 2016 coup.
In a front-page article, the opposition nationalist newspaper Aydinlik is attempting to implicate the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the failed coup in 2016. “Here is the Patriarchate’s link with FETO,” the main headline reads, pointing out that the Fanari Patriarchate and the head of the Rumi Forum program, Raşit Dervişoğlu, are trying to exonerate FETÖ and target President Erdogan.
According to the publication, the Rumi Forum is one of the most important structures of FETO in the USA – headquartered in Washington – and its program director is Raşit Dervişoğlu, while Alexandros Karloutsos, one of the most important names in the US Archdiocese, is also a confidant of Bartholomew.
In another post, Aydinlik essentially accuses Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of acting as a “spy” for the United States. “It’s like a US patriarchate,” the headline reads, provocatively arguing that “Fanari today stands far more on the side of the US than Turkey”, stressing it continuously is acting against Turkey, not only on religious but also on geopolitical issues.