Martin Luther, the Christian leader who is called “the Father of the Reformation,” described two kingdoms: the kingdom of the world and the kingdom of heaven. In the contrasts between Erdoğan and Gülen, we surely see examples of this distinction.
The U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen calls the United Nations to form an international commission to investigate Turkey’s controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, and to acquit himself after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused him of launching the coup d’état.
The Hizmet Movement, founded by exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, hosted a panel discussion by its South African branch last weekend. The purpose of the event was to clarify misconceptions about the movement and its involvement in the current political situation in Turkey.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Thursday that Kazakh-Turk high schools that are allegedly linked to the faith-based Gülen movement belong to Kazakhstan and that Turkish teachers working at those schools will not be extradited to Turkey unless they are proven guilty of a crime.
Since its inception fifty years ago, Hizmet people has been consistently peaceful even at times of political persecution such as the1980 coup and 28 February (1997) military memorandum. Despite all efforts of persecution, imprisonment, abductions, ill-treatment, and tortures, the movement has maintained its peaceful resistance and has not resorted to any violent response.
I also condemn President Erdogan’s reckless and immoral efforts to defame this peaceful movement that has dedicated itself to universal humanitarian values. I trust in the wisdom and fairness of world leaders to recognize this defamation campaign for what it is.
Let me just remind you of some examples of the anti-Semitic discourse and hate speech in the Turkish media from the State Department’s report. “In December Forestry Minister Veysel Eroğlu said that Fethullah Gülen will end up dying in the U.S. and be buried in a Jewish cemetery.”
Addressing students being sent abroad on scholarships, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak has said he would strangle supporters of the Gülen movement wherever he sees them, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Friday.
In a video shared Sunday night on the Herkul.org website, where his speeches are aired, Gülen said after a graft probe in 2013 and the July 15 coup attempt, government circles are now planning to pin the blame on him and his movement, also known as Hizmet, for the planned assassination of several famous figures in Turkey.
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) İstanbul deputy Metin Külünk has said Turkey’s top religious officials should declare supporters of the Gülen movement apostates, the Yeniakit daily reported on Monday. Erdoğan himself has called Gülen movement people “terrorists,” “traitors,” “vampires,” “leeches,” “tumors” and “viruses.”