Gülen movement’s silent majority


Date posted: February 7, 2014

ORHAN MİROĞLU

I am definitely someone who is curious about how the Gülen (Hizmet) movement’s educational institutions, which are all over the globe, are going to be affected by the developments in the wake of the events of Dec. 17.

After all, we are talking about schools, preparatory schools, and thousands of teachers and students — an enormous network.

I’ve had the opportunity to see some of these schools in both Arbil and the US. The schools I saw in Arbil offered only limited space in their classes, and so it was not easy for prospective students to register. Offering a high level of education, the Gülen schools in Arbil were very popular; many people were interested in getting a spot at one. It was clear that at least a portion of the staff set to lead Kurdistan in the future were being trained at these schools.

I also noticed that the newly developing Kurdish bourgeoisie was making a real effort to get their kids into these schools. In any case, this was the situation in Kurdistan; I doubt that it is much different in, say, Kazakhstan, or other places where the Gülen schools are present.

Recently, a well-respected academic who I encountered in Ankara — someone who is not a member of the Gülen movement — noted that there is a certain worry outside of Turkey in regards to the fate of the educational institutes being run by the Gülen movement. He underscored his belief that some precautions need to be taken to see that these schools are not harmed by the ongoing developments as a result of the Dec. 17 corruption investigation.

It barely needs to be mentioned that the Dec. 17 period has deeply affected and saddened the many thousands of workers and volunteers connected with the Gülen movement.

After all, it is not difficult to understand that the reasons pushing so many people so far from home have been a love of service and a love of their own country. During the course of my travels, I also had the chance to meet a few of the teachers dedicated to their service and to teaching in these schools. Most of them had sacrificed some of their own opportunities so that they could simply contribute to the schools at which they are working.

It is not very difficult to guess that thousands of these people are now engulfed in the deepest sense of sadness and disappointment at what is happening.

Most likely, these are people who are busy thinking hard about what the future will bring to the teaching institutions to which they have dedicated so much time and effort, and how the damage that has been done can be repaired.

Yes, these are like the silent majority of the Gülen movement, and they are now waiting for the storm to die down.

Over the past decade, relations between the Gülen movement and the government had not been ones of conflict, but rather were based on reciprocal respect and trust. In fact, this reciprocal respect and trust elicited positive reception in foreign countries, bringing a certain level of esteem and respect to the work of the Gülen movement abroad.

In the meantime, as Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç mentioned just last week, in countries where official Turkish envoys had remained passive, and where there is really no history of diplomatic relations with Turkey, the Gülen movement was able to form relations that opened the path forward for the Turkish government, which was, in the end, a great advantage for Turkey.

It is perhaps too early to detect the real damage that has been done. But when one observes what has happened thus far, it is not difficult to say that it is the Gülen movement that has emerged from all of this the most damaged. And what’s more, there is clearly an aspect to this damage that concerns everyone in Turkey. Because, after all, those schools — scattered all over the globe — are feathers in the cap not only of the Gülen movement, but of Turkey as a whole. Might there be a move soon towards mutual peace on these fronts? It looks exceedingly difficult. In fact, those speaking of peace are viewed askance these days. Of course, even at the end of the fiercest of wars, peace does come, if at a price. I say, let us not forget this truth.

Source: Todays Zaman , February 7, 2014


Related News

Police, gov’t inspectors raid Gülen-inspired private, prep schools in Gaziantep

In another instance of a government-orchestrated operation targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, the police along with inspectors from several ministries and institutions conducted raids at eight institutions owned by the Safa Education Institution, which was established by volunteers of the movement in Gaziantep, early on Monday.

Japanese students assist Syrian refugees in Turkey

A group of Japanese university students and professors recently came to Turkey to provide educational assistance to Syrian refugees, according to Turkish news sources on Tuesday. The volunteer group, which came to Turkey through the agency of charity Kimse Yok Mu, consisted of 15 students and professors from Meiji Gakuin University.

Cemevi next to mosque embraced by residents in Malatya

Since the groundbreaking ceremony of the first ever joint mosque-cemevi (Alevi place of worship) culture center was held in Ankara on Sept. 8, there has been an ongoing debate on the presence of joint religious centers, with Cihan news agency reporting on Monday of a site in Malatya’s Doğanyol district that has a mosque and […]

Pro-Gov’t Columnist Suggests Setting Turkey’s Silivri Prison Ablaze To Kill Inmates From Gülen Movement

Fatih Tezcan, a pro-government public speaker and columnist, said in a video message posted on social media that people should gather in front of Silivri Prison, which mainly hosts people jailed over links to the Gülen movement, and set it on fire, similar to the Madımak Hotel in Sivas when an angry mob in 1993 torched the hotel, killing 37 people, mostly members of the Alevi sect.

The Gülen Movement and human rights values in the Muslim world

ÖZCAN KELEŞ* Fethullah Gülen is many things at once and it is this combination of characteristics, abilities and qualifications, some of which have hitherto seemed mutually exclusive, that marks him out from the rest and has provided him with a transformative edge. It is the combination of three particular characteristics that have enabled Gülen to […]

Shahbaz lays foundation stone of Pak-Turk school

LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan and Turkey enjoy brotherly and friendly relations and, with efforts of the Punjab government, mutual ties between the two countries are transforming into economic cooperation. He was addressing the foundation-stone laying ceremony of a school under the Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges System at […]

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Gülen: purge of public officials seems ‘arbitrary’

‘Hizmet’s solution against radicalism should be announced to world’

Media & Ethics Forum 2015: Democracy & Censorship in the Digital Age

Professor Wagner: With Gülen, the key is love

Turkey Continues Its Witch Hunt Against Gülen Followers

Mesut Kacmaz – the abducted Turkish teacher

Turkey coup and Fethullah Gülen: Why blame a progressive Islamic modernist?

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News