Extraditing Gülen: A smart move for the PM?


Date posted: March 8, 2014

CİHAN ÇELİK

In the latest salvo in his battle for his political life, the Turkish prime minister has started to threaten to bring U.S.-based scholar Fetullah Gülen back to Turkey to face a possible criminal case for his alleged role in what the premier called a “civilian coup plot” attempt. In legal terms, there has been no legal investigation or arrest warrant for Gülen, whose Hizmet (Service) Movement has waged a fierce war against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government via a massive corruption scandal.

After all, the prime minister’s move is politically motivated and aims at showing to his supporters as well as his enemies that he is still strong enough and in charge of the country, which has been apparently governed by the “Hizmet parallel state,” not by his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Erdoğan suggested that the U.S. administration is not cool on extraditing Gülen, but it is his version of the story and, for now, it highly unlikely to see Gülen on a plane en route to Turkey.

That being said, the wisdom behind the idea of bringing Gülen back to Turkey is also highly questionable. By putting an old but influential figure on trial, the AKP government might create a “new hero,” who would become more powerful and dangerous for its rule.

With the huge support of Gülen and his Hizmet followers, the AKP government for years led a judicial campaign that saw military personnel, including senior soldiers, before judges; doing the same for Gülen risks backfiring on the prime minister. Moreover, Erdoğan would lose another one of his cherished pieces of political ammunition: Playing the victim.

Since coming to power, the prime minister has been using how he and Turkey’s conservative half have suffered under military juntas to cement support for his party. The policy of playing the victim, indeed, worked and Erdoğan’s rule eventually became unquestionable. However, it was Gülen and his Hizmet Movement who sent tremors to the epicenter of his rule and keeping the enemy closer than a friend does not always entail victory in every fight.

Besides, Erdoğan already has a legitimacy problem, at least in the other half of the country, which has not voted for him in the course of his 11 years in power. The fear threshold created by the prime minister throughout his rule seems to have been effectively overcome and criticism against him, which was a taboo, has slowly become louder recently.

On the other side, publishing nearly identical front pages or broadcasting nearly day-long coverage about the PM, pro-government media has reversed the ethical codes and called on others to pick sides, preferably with Erdoğan. It would be a tough choice to pick his side considering the dirt spread out in the graft case, and the new trend is to speak against him, not in favor of him.

Against the rising criticism against him, the prime minister is setting the upcoming local elections as a task that will somehow acquit him of the corruption allegations and strike into the heart of the plot against his government. Even if his AKP is the first party in the elections, that would not mean that he and his officials are all clear.

But those familiar with his aggressive rhetoric and policies must be sure that he will continue to play the victim who yet again survived and is now coming for his revenge. That’s why he settled for only a huge reshuffle campaign, mainly in the security forces. The purge was unseen but the wave will be much bigger after the March 30 elections.

That’s why the prime minister has started voicing plans to extradite Gülen back to Turkey in a threat to his followers, not to the scholar himself. The prime minister is also calling on them to pick a side before his last stand against the movement.

Source: Hurriyet Daily , March 8, 2014


Related News

Gülen’s lawyer files lawsuit over unlawful police probe into Hizmet

Nurullah Albayrak, lawyer for Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, has filed a lawsuit against a police chief who issued a written order to 30 provinces to launch a sweeping campaign into the faith-based Hizmet movement on what Albayrak says are trumped-up charges.

The tragic end of the witch hunt

Several claims and accusations have been voiced, and the Hizmet movement has been described as a gang and a “parallel structure,” Are these accusations based on concrete evidence? No. Fabricated news published by pro-government media outlets, unfounded accusations and slanderous claims that are legally null and void have been refuted one by one. However, the pro-government media does not care about this, since they do not care in the least about rights or the rule of law.

Fortunately, we have not closed Gülen schools

Mehmet Ali Birand June 9, 2012 When I was invited to become one of the judges in the International Turkish Olympiad, I was initially surprised. I was also a bit embarrassed because I never considered myself to be an expert in Turkish songs and folk songs, but I could not turn the offer down because […]

Nigeria: Hizmet Movement not terrorists

The Concerned African Youth against Tyranny (CAYAT) has denied report that the Fethullah Gulen Movement and Hizmet Movement are terrorist groups. National Coordinator of the organisation, Mr. Musa Shaba said yesterday in Abuja that contrary to claims by the Turkish government the movement has become the face of Turkey in Nigeria and Africa.

Kurds, Turkey and growing with Öcalan’s help?

As far as the Kurds living in other countries are concerned, as Fethullah Gülen underscored in his Rudaw newspaper interview, Turkey should not only be interested in the well-being of Turks’ ethnic brothers in other countries but also Kurds’ and other ethnically non-Turkish citizens’ brothers and relatives all over the world. Thus, instead of seeing an autonomous Kurdish region in northern Syria as a threat, we must be happy that our Kurdish relatives on the other side of the border will hopefully have better living standards and human rights.

Opposition condemns Erdoğan’s vindictive remarks against Gülen movement

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s televised remarks on Wednesday night suggesting that the witch hunt against members of Gülen movement will show no sign of abating under the new government has drawn condemnation from opposition political parties.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

Embassies Embark on Diplomatic Moves for the Release of Detained Sierra Leonean in Turkey

CHP deputy calls Erdoğan’s order to bring down Hizmet ‘crime’

Bulgarian producer introduces his fourth documentary on Fethullah Gulen

Grondahl: Turkish community strong in wake of threats from back home

Erdogan, Gulen Combat Islamophobia, Extremism

Number of Kimse Yok Mu volunteers triple

Fourth Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival in Los Angeles

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News