• Erdoğan’s war against Hizmet: Step by step

    Erdoğan’s war against Hizmet: Step by step

    PM Erdoğan’s response has been to call this a coup attempt against his government orchestrated by a coalition of foreign and domestic enemies and to call for Turkey’s second struggle of independence against these forces. Erdoğan claims that the ‘domestic pawn’ of this plot is the Gülen-inspired Hizmet movement which he claims to have infiltrated the state.
  • PM Erdoğan confesses to creating ‘super judges' for anti-Hizmet plot

    PM Erdoğan confesses to creating ‘super judges' for anti-Hizmet plot

    The PM Erdogan has been harshly criticized for his remarks by observers and legal experts, who agree the remarks have come as a clear indication that the prime minister is directly involved in a planned legal action against a civil society group -- the Hizmet movement. According to the prime minister's plans against Hizmet, it is already clear which court and judges will handle the legal case against the movement.
  • On Hizmet: Why do I not criticize it?

    On Hizmet: Why do I not criticize it?

    Hizmet believes a termination plan on Hizmet, which was drafted back in 2004, is now in action. Hizmet has been defending itself via media or various platforms. If false evidences or documents are not fabricated, the only basis of those against Hizmet is the opposition and outcry of the pro-Hizmet media.
  • Interior minister fails to answer questions on plot against Hizmet

    Interior minister fails to answer questions on plot against Hizmet

    Interior Minister Efkan Ala has failed to respond to parliamentary questions concerning a plot against the Hizmet movement within 15 days, as required by the internal regulations of Parliament. A plan to portray the Hizmet movement, a social and religious grassroots movement inspired by the teachings of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, as a terrorist organization was exposed on June 20 by a parliamentary question submitted by former Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin. Although parliamentary questions require a response within 15 days, the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Efkan Ala did not address the question. He further ignored a warning issued by the president of Parliament requesting a response no later than 10 days after the original deadline. The plot was exposed last week when Şahin submitted a question to Parliament asking if there is a secret plot against Hizmet and if the AK Party had mobilized its resources to gather evidence to initiate an operation against the movement. Şahin resigned from the AK Party in December of last year over a government corruption and bribery scandal. When resigning, the former minister stated that the AK Party was under the control of a “narrow oligarchic group.” In his parliamentary question submitted on June 20, Şahin said he had received a large number of documents pertaining to an alleged plan, called the “Action Plan,” drafted by the Interior Ministry that ordered intelligence officers to investigate the “archives” of the Hizmet movement and gather evidence to launch a police operation against the group. Şahin noted in his question that the Hizmet movement is known as a peaceful group making efforts to preserve the Turkish nation's faith, scientific and cultural values and promotes these values abroad so as to enhance the prestige of Turkey. He added that the government has been using state resources to attack those who sympathize or are affiliated with the Hizmet movement. “Is the government plotting against the Hizmet movement and innocent people?” Şahin asked in this inquiry. Opposition says Ala almost mocks Parliament Members of the opposition reacted to the indifference exhibited by Ala, claiming he mocked Parliament by sending one-sentence responses to their questions. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Chairman Oktay Vural said in the General Assembly of Parliament last week that while he tries to fulfill his duty to monitor the government, the interior minister responds with short and generic answers that are disrespectful to Parliament. Referring to the response to questions he directed to Ala in October 2013, Vural said he had been insulted by “an appointed minister who threatens the rule of law” when his questions were dodged. In response to Vural's question about the management of parking lots in Ankara, Ala had simply stated that all actions were being carried out in accordance with regulations. MHP Ankara deputy Özcan Yeniçeri also complained about Ala's attitude, saying Ala does not approach the proceedings in the manner of a statesman and instead mocks them. According to Yeniçeri, in a voice recording leaked on the Internet Ala allegedly said that the power of legislation could be used to legitimize illegal actions. Yeniçeri was critical of Ala's alleged remarks, which implied that they could legalize anything because they had the support of 50 percent of the public. Similarly, Republican People's Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Celal Dinçer criticized Ala for submitting one-sentence answers to his questions. The response to Dinçer's question concerning police officers who were reshuffled after the Dec. 17 corruption probe led Dinçer to state that Ala was simply mocking and ignoring Parliament. Dinçer condemned Minister Ala for mocking the deputies in Parliament.
  • Turkish charity calls for increased aid to Gaza

    Turkish charity calls for increased aid to Gaza

    Turkish charity Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There) has launched an aid campaign for the people of the Gaza Strip and called for more humanitarian aid to the region, where 342 Palestinians have been killed during Israel's massive attack on Gaza. Since the start of the campaign, members of the foundation have distributed food, blankets, household goods and other items to the victims in Gaza. The foundation has decided to increase the amount of humanitarian aid to those affected by the Israeli military's intensified air and ground attacks. Yusuf Yıldırım, who is in charge of foreign aid at Kimse Yok Mu, said on Saturday that the humanitarian situation is getting worse in Gaza as the people of the region are struggling to survive Israel's deadly attacks. Yıldırım called for an increase in aid for the people of Gaza, saying, “I ask that Turkish people to boost the amount of humanitarian aid for the Palestinians.” Another representative of the charity, Dr. Nasar al-Said also said there has been a shortage of medical supplies and basic foodstuffs such as rice, sugar, bread and milk in Gaza, adding, “All aid from Turkey has a huge importance to the Palestinians.” In an effort to heal the pain the children and women of Gaza are suffering, Kimse Yok Mu hosted an iftar for 13,000 people, delivered food to 2,000 families, delivered household goods to 200 families and sent blankets to 350 families. The foundation also drilled a water well in Gaza, where thousands of people are struggling with hunger and thirst, in addition to delivering milk to 1,000 children so far. Kimse Yok Mu doctors also extended a helping hand to the 350 Gazans who were injured during attacks by the Israeli army by carrying out free surgeries and providing medical relief. The charity also launched a donation campaign to collect medical supplies for Gazans. Kimse Yok Mu is also repairing houses that were damaged during the Israeli attacks on Gaza residents. The foundation has not forgotten about children, delivering 1,750 liters of milk along with 1,215 packages of diapers to families with children. Regarding the worsening conditions in Gaza, Yıldırım drew attention to the dire living conditions in Gaza, which have made access to daily consumer goods very difficult, adding, “With our local branch in Jerusalem, we are working to distribute supplies and aid to the people of Gaza.” Yıldırım also repeated his call on the Turkish people to raise the level of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Palestinians reported intensified air strikes and shelling as the death toll from Israel's ground offensive rose to at least 384, including many civilians. Several Israelis -- soldiers and civilians -- have also been killed since the fighting began more than 10 days ago. Hamas was elected to power in Gaza in 2007 but Israel refuses to recognize the government. Since then, Israel has staged a series of massive attacks. Major air and ground operations were first carried out in 2009 and 2012. The most recent attacks are ongoing.

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