“In the big picture, Erdogan knows that the EU needs Turkey and will come back begging for a new agreement on the migrants. That’s why he will play a game of brinksmanship,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish program at The Washington Institute.
Turkey’s relentless pursuit of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen’s supporters during the past four months – both at home and abroad – has now resulted in Turkish military personnel serving at NATO bases seeking asylum, fearing persecution if they return home.
“Germany is an outward-looking country and is open to all those who are politically persecuted as a matter of principle,” Roth said. “They can apply for asylum in Germany. That applies not just to journalists.” Roth also spoke out against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown against opposition lawmakers and critical journalists and academics.
In a written statement released both in Turkish and English, UK-based academic Özcan Keleş denied recent allegations about him that appeared in Turkey’s mostly pro-government media outlets, saying that only his name, his father’s name, his hometown and the fact that Aksaray is a city in Turkey were accurate in the articles. “Everything else is untrue,” Keleş says.
The extracts in this booklet have been selected according to the current volume’s theme from among Gülen’s books already published in Turkish. Some of them have been translated into English before but most of the extracts have been translated into English and arranged into different chapters in the present volume. Some of the texts are revised and altered by Fethullah Gülen himself.
The human rights body of the Council of Europe, the Commission against Racism and Intolerance, issued a report on Wednesday about the increasing use of hate speech, even by senior state officials. While President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the Gülen sympathizers “viruses,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım labeled them microbes. The movement is the main target of a massive purge and witch-hunt in Turkey.
At least three Turkish diplomats, reportedly including one military attache, are seeking asylum in Germany in the wake of the failed military coup in Turkey, German media cited government sources as saying. That would likely further strain tense ties between Ankara and Berlin after Turkey was outraged by a resolution passed by Germany’s parliament that declared the 1915 massacre of Armenians to be genocide.
When Ercan Karakoyun goes to a restaurant in Kreuzberg or Neukölln, Berlin’s boroughs with a large migrant population, he never sits with his back to the door. When he leaves, he looks left and right before exiting, to make sure no one is waiting for him. He also stopped visiting Turkish mosques, fearing an attack.
Another woman, a former Turkish journalist before the government shut down papers that spoke out against it, said: “I feel like my voice has been taken. People don’t feel safe in London, even going shopping, because we don’t know what radicals will do.”
What really annoyed the Dutch government, however, was when the Turkish consul general sent a letter to local authorities in the Netherlands advising them how to curb public protests opposing the government in Ankara. That brought a coldly dismissive response from foreign minister, Bert Koenders: “The Netherlands deals with Dutch society and that has nothing to do with the Turkish government.”
Calling for an international probe into the accusation, Gulen told ZDF that he would be ready to answer to such an investigation. “If their accusations stand, then I will accept what they want. But they have neither succeeded in showing any concrete proof nor given an answer to my suggestion. Therefore, these are all just mere assertions,” he said.
Dutch Education Minister Jet Bussemaker announced that there is a parliamentary debate over the Islamic University of Rotterdam for cancellation of the “university status” of the institution due to Rector Ahmet Akgündüz’s repeatedly hateful and discriminatory remarks against Turkey’s minorities and the Gülen movement.
None of this has stopped the government from undertaking a huge, self-destructive purge, with around 10,000 people arrested, 100,000 people dismissed, and the seizure of assets of more than $4 billion, numbers that worry not just human rights activists but foreign investors as well. The government’s fury is understandable but it should distinguish between those who took part in the coup and those who simply belonged to the Gulen movement.