Necip Hablemitoglu, a professor of history at Ankara University, was a known critic of the Gulen movement. He criticized the movement publically in a nationally broadcast television program in 1999. He had been engaged in research regarding the activities of foreign associations and foundations in Turkey. Prior to his assassination, Hablemitoglu had been working on a book entitled The Mole (Köstebek) in which he claimed that followers of Fethullah Gulen had been organizing illegal formations within the state bureaucracy. Writing in the introduction to his book, Hablemitoglu asked “who could imagine that they could organize within the intelligence agencies that are supposed to be fighting against them, and that they could become so strong that they can be used (by others) against those who defend the authority of the state? This mole is a story of treachery.”
As a consequence of his public statements and research into the activities of the movement, Hablemitoglu had been receiving threats and was the victim of a defamation campaign by FETO-aligned newspapers. Hablemitoglu was recorded on CCTV footage leaving his local supermarket on the evening of 18 December 2002. It is suspected that he was assassinated outside his home several minutes later.