[Event of the Week] Gülen breaks his silence, responds to allegations


Date posted: March 24, 2014

ISTANBUL

Having stayed largely silent in the face of relentless attacks amounting to hate speech by beleaguered Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was incriminated in a massive corruption scandal, Fethullah Gülen spoke to Today’s Zaman and provided his account of how he sees the recent events in Turkey in his first interview with the Turkish media since Dec. 17.

 

The Turkish Islamic scholar, who has inspired a worldwide network active in education, charity and outreach programs, described the large-scale slander, pressure and oppression campaign his Hizmet movement is currently facing as worse than that seen during the military coup regimes witnessed by Turkey. He called on his supporters to remain patient and not to despair.

In an extensive interview that was published in Today’s Zaman as a five-part series last week, Gülen gave his thoughts on the corruption investigations, the upcoming local elections, whether he would support any political party, the slander leveled against him, the voice recordings that have been leaked onto the Internet, the release of convicts from the Ergenekon trial, the settlement process with the country’s Kurds, the rumors of a possible lawsuit against members of the Hizmet movement after the elections, Hizmet’s alleged involvement in an effort to take over the Fenerbahçe sports club, how he sees Turkey leaving the current crisis behind, his possible return to Turkey and other issues many have been wondering about. Gülen said his deep conviction of Islam will not allow him to turn a blind eye to the allegations of corruption, lamenting the fact that Erdoğan’s government has failed to take measures to tackle these allegations despite early warnings from state agencies. As for the wiretapping of phone conversations of unsuspecting citizens, Gülen said the authorities should investigate the illegal recordings, adding he had also been victimized as such. He said he was concerned by the government’s moves in the last few years to cut back on fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey, accusing the government of not addressing the demands of Alevis, Kurds and Gezi protesters.

Source: Todays Zaman , March 23, 2014


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