Turkish NGO in Cambodia Denies Links to Terror

The Asian Religious Youth Peace Camp program was organized by the Mekong Dialogue Institute
last month. Supplied
The Asian Religious Youth Peace Camp program was organized by the Mekong Dialogue Institute last month. Supplied


Date posted: August 17, 2016

The Mekong Dialogue Institute (MDI), a Turkish NGO based in Phnom Penh, on Monday denied any links to terrorism, although the organization was inspired by Fethullah Gulen, the man accused by the Turkish government of being behind last month’s failed coup in Turkey.

Hamza Kissac, director of the public relations department at MDI, wrote to Khmer Times saying that Mr. Gulen was the source of inspiration when MDI was created and his institute had the responsibility to share Mr. Gulen’s point of view.

“As he is our source of inspiration when we established our Mekong Dialogue Institute, it is our duty to share Mr. Gulen’s opinion that he rejects any links to the failed coup in Turkey last month,” wrote Mr. Kissac.

He added that Mr. Gulen was a well-known intellectual and Islamic preacher who has received many peace awards from the international community. Mr. Gulen has also been acknowledged by Time and Foreign Policy magazines, he said.

In an effort to show that MDI and Mr. Gulen did not have any links to terrorist organizations, Mr. Kissac shared the op-ed written by Mr. Gulen and published in the French newspaper Le Monde last week.

In the article, Mr. Gulen said he condemned the coup and urged the government to set up an international investigation because he thinks the current Turkish court has been politicized by the government, making the current judiciary no longer independent.

“The Turkish judiciary has been politicized and controlled by the government since 2014 and, consequently, the possibility of a fair trial is very small. For this reason, I have advocated several times for the establishment of an international commission to investigate the coup attempt,” wrote Mr. Gulen.

Concerning his Hizmet movement that has been accused by the Turkish government of trying to create a parallel state in the country, Mr. Gulen said the Hizmet movement was a peaceful one with participants opposing injustice and defending their rights by legal means.

“Hizmet movement participants have complied with the law, opposed injustices through legitimate means and only defended their rights within the legal framework…Turkey’s legal and law enforcement agencies have been mobilized for the last three years to investigate and reveal an alleged ‘parallel state’ that they claim I run,” added Mr. Gulen.

He also said the fact that the Turkish government has labeled the Hizmet movement a terrorist organization could cause many institutions created by this movement around the world, such as schools and hospitals, to close their doors.

According to an online source, the Hizmet movement is a liberal Islamic transnational religious and social movement led by Mr. Gulen, who now lives in the US. The movement is labeled a terrorist organization by Turkey’s ruling AKP party.

The movement has attracted supporters in Turkey as well as in Central Asia and other parts of the world. It is active in the field of education, with private schools and universities in more than 180 countries, as well as in the fields of media, finance and health.

In a press conference at the Turkish embassy in Phnom Penh last month, Ilhan Tug, Turkey’s ambassador to Cambodia, claimed the Zaman International School (ZIS) was related to the group that led the failed coup to overthrow the Turkish government.

He asked the Cambodian government to close the school as soon as possible.

In response to the statements made by Mr. Tug, ZIS officials denied any links with terrorist organizations, saying the ambassador’s claims were unfounded and lacked evidence. School officials said they wanted to sue the ambassador for defamation.


Khmer Times could not reach the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.

Source: KhmerTimes , August 17, 2016


Related News

Local priests participate in landmark interfaith trip to Turkey

Paula Doyle Twelve archdiocesan priests are exploring ancient Christian sites and visiting Catholic faith communities in Turkey this week, as part of a trip organized exclusively for Catholic clergy by an organization of Turkish-American Muslims that promotes intercultural and interreligious awareness. Father Alexei Smith, archdiocesan director of ecumenical/interreligious affairs, and Msgr. Thomas Welbers, pastor of […]

Pak-Turk schools: Parents urge government against transferring administration to Erdogan-linked organization

“All the Turkish teachers and administrators have left Pakistan and the schools are being run by Pakistanis,” said one of the parents Syed Amir Abdullah. He added that the government still seemed hell bent on ruining these institutions by handing them over to an ‘infamous organisation’ which has no experience of running them.

Gülen’s education model discussed at Indonesia conference

An international conference held between Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 in Jakarta has discussed the ideas on education of well-respected Islamic scholar Fetullah Gülen, who has pioneered educational activities in a number of countries along with efforts to promote intercultural and interfaith activities around the world.

Gülen not only my hero, also a model for other religions

“He is not only my hero for what he has done for the Muslim societies but also [offers] a model for all other religions,” said Dirk Ficca, executive director of the Chicago-based Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Hizmet contribution to global peace discussed in Addis Ababa

Participants at a forum organized by the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have discussed the contribution of the Hizmet movement, inspired by well-respected Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, to global peace.The event, titled “Africa Dialogue Forum,” was attended by many high-ranking representatives from more than 40 countries. Gülen sent a message to the event […]

Journalists and Writers Foundation’s statement [on arrest warrant issued for Mr. Gulen]

It is a well-known fact that then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had sent Bülent Arınç to Mr. Fethullah Gülen to give him the message, “We are ready to do anything you want us to do,” and that he had called on Mr. Gülen to return to the country to “put an end to homesickness” in the witness of tens of thousands of spectators in a stadium.

Latest News

Australian Relief Organization completes orphanage refurbishment project in Malawi

Study Reveals Horrible Pattern Of Hate Speech By Erdoğan, The Chief Hatemonger In Turkey

Turkish court jails 17 housewives over alleged coup involvement

Fethullah Gülen’s Statement of Condemnation on the Bombing in Manchester, UK

Enes Kanter: “I’m getting death threats almost every day”

International Workshop – Hizmet Movement between Political Islam and Civil Islam

3-month-old with oral disease also under arrest as parents imprisoned over coup charges

Civil death: Amnesty report on social upheaval caused by Turkey’s purge of public servants

Thunder’s Enes Kanter in London after detainment in Romania over politics

In Case You Missed It

Graduation ceremony of the Turkish school in Senegal

Deputy PM says image of gov’t-Hizmet fight ugly

Dr. Reuven Firestone Interviewed by Muslim Turkish Movement “Hizmet”

Ramadan meal iftar helps Muslims break religious, cultural barriers with guests

Police raids Şifa University hospitals in gov’t-led intimidation operation, report says

Is Gülen Movement A Religious Community (cemaat) or A Social Community (camia)?

Conceptual contradictions when it comes to rhetoric about ‘parallel state’

Why Mr. Gülen was targeted

Fethullah Gulen’s Video Message for International Women’s Day

Copyright 2017 Hizmet News