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.”
A year after a failed coup on July 15, 2016, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said he did not know who had attempted to carry out the coup when they blamed the Gülen movement, in an interview published in Hürriyet.
De La Salle Philippines president Bro. Armin Luistro and leaders of religious groups on Tuesday expressed support to two non-government organizations being linked to terrorist organizations, noting the NGOs’ track records in peace-building.
Speaking during the general assembly of the European Parliament (EP) on Thursday, Harms said working in institutions such as schools or universities with links to the Gülen movement is not a crime and that, similarly, being critical of the government and being a critical journalist are not crimes.
Alparslan Kuytul, president of the Furkan Foundation and leader of a religious group critical of the Turkish government, said he was advised to put the blame on the faith-based Gülen movement for a police intervention in a meeting of his followers in April and that the government would ultimately clear the way for his group to operate freely.
Speaking to reporters, Ayse said it was “completely unacceptable” that the Malaysian government would accuse her husband of having links to the IS. “Even if they accuse him for other things it would still be acceptable but they’ve accused him of an unreasonable and terrible thing like being involved with murderers,” she said with tears in her eyes.
Fethullah Gulen: As I have stated earlier, I have long called ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Murabitun, and many other organizations terrorist, maybe fifty times. And I have said a Muslim cannot be a terrorist; a Muslim can never engage in terrorism.