5

Turkeypurge.com has an article on the trial of a (Turkish-American) NASA scientist, convicted in Turkey:

The prosecutor submitted as evidence in the case a statement by an anonymous informant, a Bank Asya bank account belonging to Gölge and a one dollar bill found in his brother’s room. Dollar bills are considered by the Turkish government to be a secret sign of connections to Pennsylvania-based Turkish Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is blamed for the coup attempt in Turkey, a charge he strongly denies.

It seems pretty ridiculous to consider that as (part of the) evidence, but then, what is normal in Turkey these days... Are there any other reports that the Turkish legal system uses possession of dollar bills as a sign of belonging to Gülen movement? I.e., is the generalization in that article reasonably justified?

6

Seem crazy, but the justice minister himself said yes... and was apparently backed up the prime minister. AP reports:

“There is no doubt that this $1 bill has some important function within the Gulenist terror organization,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag recently told the A Haber television channel. “Prosecutors are asking as they investigate what these are. What does this mean? Why are they being carried? Does it signify a hierarchy to them? Is it some sort of ID that identifies them to one another?”

The minister said he had received information speculating on the banknotes’ significance, “but contrary information may also surface, so I don’t want to share it at this moment. This will be clearly revealed once the investigation is complete.”

One idea making the rounds in Turkish news media is that the letters at the start of the banknotes’ serial numbers correspond to ranks in the movement. According to a report in the Aksam daily, one theory is that F designates a high-ranking soldier or police chief; J and C represent low-ranking soldiers; E and S are for instructors and academics in Gulenist schools and B is for students.

“With one American dollar, this organization turned the children of this country into monsters,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Thursday in a speech.

A senior government official said “multiple” people questioned for suspected participation in the abortive military coup told prosecutors they received $1 bills from superiors within the Gulenist movement.

“They were told that Fethullah Gulen himself had blessed the banknotes,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Authorities’ initial assessment, he said, was that the cleric’s movement was using the banknotes “to simulate a physical connection with Fethullah Gulen.”

Also, this amusing one, don't know how true:

The discovery of traces of cocaine on a dollar bill spurred a Turkish prosecutor to drop charges against an alleged member of an organisation blamed for the failed 2016 coup attempt, Russian news site Sputnik reported on Friday.

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    It is worth to note that what is happening is that a given organization choose to use dollar bills as their secret symbol because of one of its features, and not that the bills were printed with this in mind. – T. Sar - Reinstate Monica Jul 19 '18 at 13:17
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    @T.Sar there's no guarantee that that's what's happening. It's merely what is claimed by the Turkish Government. I don't think we can consider their publications to be credible sources on the activities of putative enemies at this point. – Ben Barden Jul 19 '18 at 21:05
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    @BenBarden: Nowadays it strikes as quite convenient for them to convict as many Americans as possible, hoping for an exchange (of sorts) with Gullen, who lives in the US... and which they basically accuse US of "supporting" hurriyetdailynews.com/… – Fizz Jul 19 '18 at 23:14

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