In the end, when analysing this most recent coup attempt, and judging the Hizmet movement or Fethullah Gulen’s involvement comes down to the simple fact that Hizmet activity revolves around education, charity and dialogue, and underpinning all of its work are love, compassion, equality and positive engagement. Essentially, this is epitomised in the fact that the turkish word ‘Hizmet’ literally means ‘service’.
The Turkish president actually requested 170 countries where the schools are established and run for the same favour, but while only two, including Somalia, obliged on the grounds of their indebtedness to Turkey, the other countries have either refused or are undecided as they asked for proof of Erdogan’s claim.
Tanzania has dismissed an allegation by Turkey that the Feza schools in the country are being used to radicalise the youth and fund opposition against the Ankara government. Stung by a failed coup last month, Turkey has targeted businesses associated with Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim Cleric it wants extradited from the US to face charges in Ankara of plotting the coup and funding terrorism activities.
Several African states have rejected Turkey’s request to close schools run by the Hizmet movement. Turkish President Erdogan accused Fethullah Gulen, who owns Hizmet, of involvement in the failed July 15 coup. When Turkish President Erdogan visited Uganda and Kenya in May, he sought to stamp out the influence of the Islamic cleric Gulen. He accused the preacher of using his connections to try to overthrow him, allegations which Gulen denied.
President Erdogan has also asked the Government of Nigeria to close down all Turkish schools in Nigeria allegedly because Fetullah Gulen was the main architect of the failed coup in Turkey. Is this request in Nigeria’s national interest? In which way is the Turkish failed coup likely to impact on Nigeria’s national security? How important is Nigeria-Turkish relations in the country’s overall global relations?
Turkish government anger with the Gulen movement, over its alleged involvement in the failed July 15 coup, has spread to Africa. Governments are being pressured into closing down Gulen schools. Children are romping around the school grounds apparently without a care in the world. A few of them are standing together and reciting in unison […]
Mr. Abudulahi, a professor, added that the schools were playing very significant role in the development of education in Nigeria and should not be closed. He said that the school was one of the most secured in the country, adding that even in the hit of Boko Haram activities in the North ast, it remained open in Yobe. He further added that so long as the NTIC had operated within the laws of Nigeria, it should be allowed to remain in operation.
In Kenya, where Gulen’s Omeriye Foundation has grown from its first school in 1998 in the vast Nairobi slum of Kibera to a nationwide network of academies, the government has resisted pressure to close them down. Turkish officials have requested Kenya to shut down the Gulenist schools on a number of occasions before the attempted coup.
For an economy almost in recession, these kind of controversies could be worrisome. This is actually not the time to close down any legitimate business in Nigeria. Turkish schools and their promoters have not really given the Nigerian government any reason to worry. They have been law abiding citizens in Nigeria.
Erdogan has unlimited power for the next three months during the state of emergency and he is already thinking of instituting the death penalty (remember the Austro-Hungarian German dictator called Hitler). Here’s to hoping he self-implodes in the next three months, because it is doubtful he will relinquish his hold on power at the end.
Turkey at large will lose as Erdoğan chooses the retaliatory path and purges relentlessly, splitting the country into supporters and adversaries. A climate of fear and indignation will envelop not only the many institutions that were hit hard, but Turkey in general, and the Middle East will suffer even further than it is already suffering.
Turkey’s failed coup last week has emboldened President Tayyip Erdogan to become an all-powerful democratically elected dictator. The attempt by his opponents to take over the state by force provided him the political cover to destroy all remaining opposition to his rule without no fair judicial process.
Notwithstanding the series of conflicts in various parts of the country, there is a high hope that Nigeria is heading towards peace and a brighter future, Initiator of Hizmet Movement and foremost Turkey-based scholar, M. Fethullah Gulen, has declared. He disclosed this in a message to the Ufuk Dialogue’s 5th Dialogue and Peace Awards Ceremony, […]