Turkey’s ‘terrorists’ active in India. But who are they really?


Date posted: August 22, 2016

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was in New Delhi recently, claimed that Fethullah Gulen’s Hizmet movement has also infiltrated India.

The Turkish government has now rebranded the movement as the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation, and Cavusoglu said that the ‘secretive transnational criminal network’, is operating in India through schools and associations.

Interestingly, Gulen was once an important ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and going by his ideology, comes across as a more moderate figure than Erdogan, who has been pushing an Islamic ideology which has little space for secularism.

Till very recently, Erdogan’s policy being criticised for allegedly allowing Turkish territory to be used by terrorists, who would easily be allowed to travel to neighbouring Syria, much like how Pakistan was used as a transit point by jihadis after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

WHO IS GULEN AND WHO ARE HIS FOLLOWERS?

Gulen, a follower of the Hanafi School of Sunni Islamic legal reasoning, cannot be termed as a secular leader. But he is seen as an advocate of modernity and interfaith dialogue, akin to Sufism.

There are institutions that are affiliated to or inspired by Gulen’s Hizmet movement, and are involved in imparting education in India.

Take the Learnium chain of schools, for example, which has branches in Delhi and other Indian cities. While the school administration could not be reached for comment, the activities undertaken by the school do not appear to come in the category of terror activities, as is being claimed by the Turkish government.

Another branch in Hyderabad, called the Iqbalia International School, too, according to its website, caters to students from all sections, and has an inclusive management committee. The modern school follows the CBSE curriculum, and claims to train the students in the Turkish language, besides offering Spanish and Russian as secondary languages.

Similar schools are run in other countries, including in Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the neighbourhood.

Even the Indialogue Foundation, another such organisation, which claims to be inspired by the Gulen movement, has been in India since 2005, and has expanded to five cities, including Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata. Its activities, according to its website, seem to be confined to initiating dialogue between different cultures and religions.

The foundation has helped organise the International Festival of Culture and Languages, alongside the Union Ministry of Culture, the UN Information Centre for India and Bhutan, the Arya Samaj, the Chinmaya Mission, the Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee, the Art of Living Foundation, the India Islamic Cultural Centre, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali and others.

Among other things, the foundation also holds events to connect businessmen from Turkey and India.

TURKEY’S FOREIGN POLICY CHANGES

Turkey is going through a turbulent phase after the failed coup attempt in July. Critics point out that President Erdogan has taken the opportunity to target his political opponents.

Several dissidents, including journalists, have been arrested in the aftermath of the failed coup, besides the government banning media outlets which it felt were associated with Gulen, the ‘spiritual leader’ in exile, who the government claims masterminded the attempted coup.

Erdogan and other officials have claimed that a section of the Turkish armed forces loyal to Gulen was involved in the failed coup.

Indian government agencies are said to be investigating the concerns conveyed by Turkey about the working of Gulen-inspired organisations, according to officials of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Turkey has recalibrated its foreign policy after the happenings in July, with the Erdogan dispensation now seemingly keen to reach out to Russia and others for a solution of the crisis in Syria. Earlier, it was seen to be aiding the flow of foreign fighters to Syria, where they would fight for terrorist organisations like the ISIS and Al Qaeda. Turkey is seemingly unhappy with the US, and wants it to extradite Gulen.

Things between Erdogan and Gulen, who lives in exile in the US, turned sour especially after allegations of corruption came up against the Turkish President and his family.

TURKISH STANCE ON PAKISTAN AND KASHMIR

Meanwhile, the Turkish foreign minister, during his visit to Delhi, also said that his government is reaching out to all countries where the Gulen ‘terrorist organisation’ has a presence, asking them to take action against it.

Indeed, before coming to New Delhi, Cavusoglu was in Islamabad, pressing the Pakistani government to initiate action against organisations affiliated to the Gulen movement.

However, that was not the only thing the Turkish foreign minister spoke about. He had rather strong comments to make on the ongoing unrest in Kashmir, which the Indian government insists got aggravated due to Pakistan’s continued support to terrorist elements.

Instead of shunning Pakistan’s use of terror as a tool of foreign policy, Cavusoglu said Turkey “fully supports Pakistan’s position on Jammu and Kashmir”, and that as an active member of the Organisation on Islamic Cooperation’s contact group on Kashmir, Turkey would ask the Secretary General to mobilise the contact group and send an observer mission.

OIC secretary-general Iyad Ameen Madani visited Islamabad on 20 August, and was briefed on the “alarming situation” in Kashmir, including the “human rights violations” and that both sides reviewed additional actions that 57-member OIC could adopt.

An unhappy Indian government is said to have raised the issue with Turkey, according to reports, in which it was told that the Turkish government believes that Kashmir is a bilateral dispute between India and Pakistan.

Even in June this year, Turkey had sided with Pakistan at the important Nuclear Suppliers’ Group meeting, where India’s membership came up for discussion. While it did not oppose India’s bid, it pushed for Pakistan’s entry, even when the latter’s membership was not even a part of discussion, according to reports.

However, during his trip to India, the foreign minister is said to have assured that Turkey will back India’s bid for permanent membership, a boost for the Modi government, which is also trying hard to convince the Chinese to not create ‘procedural hurdles’.

Meanwhile, with no end in sight to the chaos in the Middle East, India has been pragmatic in its outreach. MJ Akbar, the Minister of State for External Affairs, is visiting Iraq and Syria, the two worst affected countries in the region.

Edited by Shreyas Sharma

Source: Catch News , August 22, 2016


Related News

Long Arm of Erdogan – His campaign should not be allowed to infiltrate the streets of Britain

Germany, dependent on Turkey to hold back the migrant flow to Europe, has been muted in its response. The United States, under pressure to push Mr Gulen out of his exile, has also tried to soothe nerves in Ankara. Britain should not be so amenable. This campaign should not be allowed to infiltrate the streets of Britain.

Gülen’s German collaborator, or the German slap?

Is President Gauck the German controlling agent for the German cell of this merciless terrorist organization? Did President Gauck make that speech –unusually bold [and honest] for a visiting dignitary – because he, too, is being held hostage to blackmail by the Gülenists? Did the Turkish “parallel state” tap Mr. Gauck’s phones and blackmail him? Or did Mr. Gauck say what he said because he had been paid by Lufthansa which, according to Mr. Erdoğan’s men, was one the foreign conspirators behind the Gezi Park protests?

Gülen has strongly rejected comparison to Iran’s Khomeini time and again

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ’s recently rehashed allegations that Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen planned to return from the US to Turkey in a way similar to Iran’s revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini are decades-old discredited claims that have been refuted time and again by Gülen himself in his published statements.

Gülen media, pro-government media, is it the same thing?

If the Cemaat has done something illegal, such as bribing an official to acquire construction license for its schools or illegally coercing businessmen to financially contribute to its activities, is it possible for this country’s citizens to condemn it. If the Cemaat is involved in illegal activities, then it is up to the state or government to reveal them and bring the Cemaat to justice.

Teachers, parents oppose Pak-Turk Schools takeover

A group calling itself the Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges Parent-Teacher Association expressed concern on Saturday over reports that the government was going to hand over the school management to “a political entity”. Speaking at a press conference at the Raiwind Road campus, they said they would oppose such a move.

Turkish nationals in Bangladesh living in fear

In a recent press conference, Ambassador Devrim Öztürk claimed that some Turkish nationals in Dhaka, in particular those working at the Turkish Hope School, were involved with what he called the Gülenist Terror Organisation (FETÖ). Foreign Ministry officials who spoke to the Dhaka Tribune said they saw the ambassador’s request as a violation of diplomatic norms.

Latest News

Gulen-linked school manager released on bail by Tbilisi court

EP’s Rebecca Harms Visited Turkish Educator Çabuk In Georgian Prison

8,480 Turkish nationals sought asylum in Germany in 2017

Georgia: MEP Rebecca Harms on Asylum for Cabuk

Gülen calls on int’l community to pressure Turkey over rights violations

Fethullah Gülen’s statement regarding the family that drowned in the Meric (Evros) River

Fethullah Gülen’s Statement of Condolences for Florida High School Shooting

Hundreds of young Turkish children jailed alongside their moms as part of a post-coup crackdown

3 dead, 5 missing in attempt to escape Turkey’s post-coup crackdown

In Case You Missed It

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Assault on Press Freedom in Turkey Senate Floor

Jihad Turk on Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet Movement

Turkish Cultural Center In Greenburgh Collects Coats, Blankets For Refugees

AKP winning perception war !

London-Based Turkish Academic To Run 10,000 Meters To Raise Fund For Purge Victims In Turkey

Panel on Middle East perspectives held at Ishik University

The Alliance for Shared Values Statement on Ankara Attacks

Gursel Tekin: Gulen’s remarks on the third bridge are valuable

Deutsche Welle: Power struggle between old friends in Turkey

Copyright 2018 Hizmet News