GYV warns on provocative remarks, urges respect for peaceful protests

Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) Chairman Mustafa Yeşil. (Photo: Cihan)
Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) Chairman Mustafa Yeşil. (Photo: Cihan)


Date posted: October 11, 2014

The Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) on Friday called for the government to refrain from provocative statements that may undermine peace in the society and to respect the right of freedom of assembly, while denouncing the violence displayed in mass protests across Turkey that was triggered by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacks on the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani.

In a statement published on its website on Friday, the GYV, whose honorary chairman is Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, said, “the greatest danger to our nation is government officials making statements that undermine social peace and contradict the rule of law, and using provocative language instead of calling on everyone to act with common sense.”

It also called on Turkish leaders to urge all segments of society to act with moderation and avoid using any rhetoric that may be perceived to condone terrorist acts.
“All parties involved should put all of their efforts, within the bounds of national and international law, towards finding a solution to the human tragedy in Kobani and not use it for political gain,” the statement noted.

The foundation underlined that it was concerned about the present killings, injuries and destruction of public and private property that recalled the dark days of anarchy and terrorism in the 1970s.

“Returning to the spiral of violence of the 1970s may lead to the disintegration of democratic institutions in the country and no one will benefit from that. The fates of the countries in our region that failed to implement principles of democracy, rule of law, freedoms, pluralism, human rights and equal citizenship should make deterrent examples for us all,” the statement explained.

The Gülen-linked organization also slammed ISIL by saying that the terrorist organization is “committing crimes against humanity and tarnishing Islam’s peaceful message.”

“Its [ISIL’s] violent acts against people in Syria and Iraq and its recent attacks on Kobani are terrifying and deserve condemnation,” the statement added.

It emphasized that the authorities should respect those who exercise their right to peaceful protest and demonstration but warned against committing acts of violence.

It said violent incidents may undermine the settlement process that was started by the Turkish government in 2012 to end years-long Kurdish conflict by encouraging feelings of hatred, animosity, dissociation and polarization among various parts of society.

The GYV unequivocally noted that the settlement process must be kept alive despite the incidents that have taken place.

The statement also mentioned that many institutions that are run by volunteers from the Hizmet movement, a faith-based social movement that was inspired by Gülen, were attacked during violent demonstrations.

It dismissed false accusations that Hizmet was behind the violent events, saying that “the movement has also been running a number of schools that are praised by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq; therefore, it is irrational and unfounded slander to portray the Hizmet movement as the instigator of these violent incidents.”

“Illegality, violence and terror will not solve any problem, it will exacerbate it,” the statement underscored.

The GYV suggested that Turkey should adopt a new constitution “that guarantees the rights of all citizens without any discrimination and complies with European Union and the European Court of Human Rights norms.”


 

GYV’s full statement

We are deeply concerned to see the shocking events that are reminiscent of the shady days of anarchy and terrorism in the 1970s. We wish God’s mercy for the victims of the violence and we offer our condolences to their families.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is committing crimes against humanity and tarnishing Islam’s peaceful message. Its violent acts against people in Syria and Iraq and its recent attacks on Kobani are terrifying and deserve condemnation.

Human nature urges any conscientious person to be moved by the potential disaster, God forbid, that may befall our neighbors and those who exercise their right to peaceful protest and demonstration.

Any just cause will lose its respect when its followers commit acts of violence and fail to keep away from provocateurs whose shady networks incite them to conduct destructive acts. This undermines the settlement process, which must be kept going, and encourages feelings of hatred, animosity, dissociation and polarization among various parts of society. It is wrong to hold all Kurds, the majority of whom are peaceful, responsible for the illegal acts of a small faction, this damages internal peace.

The greatest danger to our nation is government officials making statements that undermine social peace and contradict rule of law, and using a provocative language instead of calling everyone to act with common sense. Turkey’s leaders are supposed to call on all segments of society to act with moderation and avoid using any rhetoric that may be perceived to condone terrorist acts.

All parties involved should put all of their efforts, within the bounds of national and international law, to find a solution to the human tragedy in Kobani and not use it for political gain.

During the protests, institutions run by the volunteers from the Hizmet movement, such as schools and dormitories were attacked. These institutions have been working towards peace through non-discriminatory education. The Hizmet movement has been supporting the settlement process, albeit with certain doubts, and working toward a solution for the Kurdish issue as well as many other social problems and has hundreds of thousands of Kurdish volunteers. The movement has also been running a number of schools that are praised by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq; therefore, it is irrational and unfounded slander to portray the Hizmet movement as the instigator of these violent incidents.

Illegality, violence and terror will not solve any problem, it will exacerbate it.

Returning to the spiral of violence of the 1970s may lead to the disintegration of democratic institutions in the country and no one will benefit from it. The fates of the countries in our region that failed to implement principles of democracy, rule of law, freedoms, pluralism, human rights and equal citizenship should make deterring examples for us all.

All roads that do not aim to draft a constitution that guarantees the rights of all citizens without any discrimination and complies with European Union and the European Court of Human Rights norms lead to dead ends.

Source: Today's Zaman , October 10, 2014


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