‘Portraying Hizmet against settlement process groundless’


Date posted: February 23, 2014

23 February 2014 /TUĞBA KAPLAN, İSTANBUL

Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) Vice President Cemal Uşak traveled every inch of Central Anatolia as part of the Wise People Commission for two-and-a-half months last spring to hold meetings with locals in order to listen to their demands and opinions related to the government’s settlement initiative with the Kurds.

Uşak further elaborated that bestowing legal rights and meeting their basic demands top the list of urgent steps. The end of the armed conflict with the PKK militants is surely a necessary step toward the solution, but it is not enough “since unless the steps that the Justice and Development Party [AK Party] has pledged to take actually occur and can be a source of hope for the Kurds, it is impossible to talk about a permanent solution.”

Uşak said that Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the Hizmet movement, endorses negotiations with the PKK as part of the settlement process but under the condition of protecting the dignity of the state. “The sole necessity that this movement operating in 160 countries wants is peace, tranquility, stability and safety. For such a movement that sees these four elements as prerequisites for the conduct of its services, opposition to a solution in any country, as well as in Turkey, goes against the grain and is implausible,” Uşak said.

He said Gülen’s words about the language and ethnic identity of the Kurds in Turkey in particular must be heeded, as he sees these as fundamental rights and bestowing them is an obligation of justice.

Hizmet’s foes are churning out lies

Uşak believes that this defamation against the Hizmet movement using such arguments as its alleged resistance to the attempts to untangle the messy Kurdish question is a deliberate campaign of libel and slander by foes of the movement. “They are doing this by means of abusing the feelings of our Kurdish brothers, who have already become very vulnerable and sensitive [due to discriminatory policies] for many years,” he noted. For him, the BDP seems to have a perception that any weakness of the government will eventually harm the settlement process and therefore it defends the idea that the government shouldn’t be criticized except by the BDP. For instance, the Kurds are boasting about not having been involved in the Gezi protests, Uşak asserted. “The BDP read the Gezi events as an attempt to push the government to weakness. Additionally, it is annoying them that Hizmet has adopted a critical stance toward the government,” he said.

Those who claim that the Hizmet movement is against the settlement process are also ignoring the GYV’s activities to facilitate a rapprochement with the Kurds, Uşak argued. The GYV has organized three meetings directly related to the settlement process along with another meeting indirectly connected to it, he said. “Subjects associated with finding a solution to the Kurdish question were elaborated on while discussing the concept of tutelage in meetings three times in Turkey and once in Arbil. In all of these meetings, the problems concerning mother language and [ethnic] identity were addressed and [the outcomes of these meetings] were publicized. The GYV did all this even before the government announced its projects like the Kurdish initiative, the democracy initiative and the brotherhood project [the settlement process]. Beyond that, we know from Gülen’s recent interview with the BBC that he sent a letter to the prime minister about the solution to the Kurdish question and stood by our Kurdish brothers,” said Uşak.

New constitution a gauge of sincerity

Uşak also discussed the government’s failure to draft a democratic constitution. “The point the AK Party reached in terms of a new, civilian and democratic constitution, despite the fact that it had almost given its word of honor, is a disappointment. Unless you achieve a new, civilian constitution, it is impossible to guarantee the rights of either the Kurds or non-Kurds,” he said.

When asked if the graft probe will adversely affect the settlement process, Uşak argued that any action that may stir up trouble for the political authority, especially on the eve of local elections, may impact the settlement process. “Even a power shortage or water cut in a neighborhood in İstanbul could cause trouble for the government and hence, these developments could lead to an impairment. But whatever happens, we have to protect this ceasefire like the pupil of our eye,” he said.

How society sees the settlement process

Regarding his observations during his trips to Anatolia last year in April and May with the wise people, he mentioned that some 27 to 33 percent of the population will support the AK Party no matter what it does. For Uşak, these ardent supporters think that the AK Party has done nice and useful things for them so far. They have difficulty understanding the negotiations with a known [terrorist] organization but they are confident that the prime minister and the government know what they are doing and they give the government unconditional support. In addition, there is another part of society, about 20 percent of the population, who backed the government in its quest for peace but who have reservations about holding talks with the terrorists and think that granting amnesty to the militants or releasing the PKK’s jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan is unacceptable, according to Uşak. He also noted that for about 30 percent of the Kurds they talked to, granting amnesty to the militants and parole for Öcalan are sine qua non for a permanent solution.

Source: Today's Zaman , February 23, 2014


Related News

European court rules Asya-like seizure of bank unfair

In a decision that could potentially set a precedent for similar cases in Turkey, the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Tuesday ruled that the seizure of the country’s Demirbank in 2001 was unfair.

‘If you are against us, you are the other’

Turkey has been witnessing a rigorous debate for the last couple of weeks over the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) vow to finish off the test prep schools, which are a source of both money and influence for its old ally, the Hizmet Movement led by the self-exiled leader, Fethullah Gülen. Like many controversies in Turkey, the issue of closing the courses and integrating them into Turkey’s poorly-established and -organized education system was not only about the prep schools, which was only the tip of the iceberg.

Journalist reveals MGK decision to fight against all religious groups

In a statement that came as a confession, a reporter from the pro-government Sabah daily said a decision was made at the National Security Council (MGK) meeting on Thursday to wage an effective war against all religious groups in the country.

EU denies claims of designating Gülen group as ‘terrorist org’ in report

The European Union has denied claims by the Turkish press that it has, for the first time, called the Gülen movement a ‘terrorist’ organization in its upcoming progress report slated to be published on Tuesday. A source who spoke to Ahvalnews on the condition of anonymity categorically denied claims made by Turkish media sources.

Gülen says never considered establishing political party

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has reiterated that he has never thought of establishing a political party, saying that the Hizmet movement has never had organic relations with a political group.

AKP official: Torture claims won’t be investigated if victims are Gülenists

A Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy has said there will be no investigations into claims of torture and mistreatment of people put into prison after a July 15 coup attempt if those victims are sympathizers of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

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

Abant Platform meeting launches with identity debates in Turkey

Woman with soft tissue tumor held in Ankara prison for 8 months: report

Kenya Embassy Donates Food & Warm Clothes to Syrian Refugees

Fethullah Gülen extends condolences over death of Turkish literary giant

Bipartisan think-tank: The U.S. should not interfere politically in Gülen extradition case

Erdogan’s Hate Speech against the Gulen Movement

Fethullah Gülen, sent a message to the Geneva Peace Conference

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News