Misreading Turkey’s Twitter Controversy


Date posted: April 8, 2014

Y. ALP ASLANDOGAN

In a recent article (“Trial by Twitter”), Halil Karaveli repeated the allegations of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey’s ruling party, that sympathizers of Fethullah Gülen are engaged in wiretapping. But he relies on innuendos, not evidence. Gülen has categorically rejected illegal phone tapping or the unauthorized publication of the transcripts made from legal phone taps, including recordings of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He views investigating or publicizing people’s faults as a sin and, indeed, has himself been the victim of an illegal phone-tapping scheme, in which Erdogan used the contents of his private conversations for defamatory purposes.

If Karaveli wants to decode Gülen’s intentions, he should rely on Gülen’s words and actions of the last 50 years, not on conspiracy theories. Gülen and the participants of the movement he helped create have no interest in the privileges of power, which is evident from their purposeful abstention from holding political office or negotiating for political advantage. In their projects focusing on education, health care, humanitarian assistance, and intercultural dialogue, they are driven by intrinsic rewards alone.

The notion of Gülen supporters being entrenched in the judiciary is both unlikely and impossible to prove. The judiciary employs roughly 13,000 people. In 1995, Justice Minister Mehmet Mogultay publicly stated that he and his predecessor had hired some 5,000 people from the Turkish social democratic party Republican People’s Party (CHP), including 3,000 judges. And there are thousands of Kemalists, liberals, Marxists, Alevis, nationalists, and AKP sympathizers in the judiciary as well. If anything, then, Gülen sympathizers are likely to be a small minority in the judicial branch, with no way of having the kind of oversized influence that Karaveli suggests. In fact, a 2010 investigative report by Aksiyon, a Turkish news magazine, noted that members of an association of judges and prosecutors known for its Kemalist orientation were disproportionately represented in the higher judiciary.

Gülen’s sympathizers have consistently supported democracy in Turkey. Like other engaged citizens, they practice their democratic right to be involved in policy debates. To suggest that it is nefarious that “Gülenists are prepared to fight against policies” is simply undemocratic. Similarly, by suggesting that Turkey’s recent municipal elections were inconsequential, Karaveli insulted Turkish citizens and revealed his own biases. He was also wrong to claim that Gülen has endorsed the opposition. In a recent BBC interview, Gülen said that encouraging people to vote for a party is an insult to their intellect.

Gülen has devoted his entire life to advancing democracy and equal opportunity. His supporters have established several nonprofit organizations that play a vital role in Turkish civil society. Articles such as this one do Gülen and all of his supporters a great disservice.

Y. ALP ASLANDOGAN
President of the Alliance for Shared Values, a non-profit organization associated with the Hizmet movement in the United States.

Source : (Foreignaffairs)

Source: Foreign Policy , April 8, 2014


Related News

Erdoğan escalates elimination of Gülenists from state [ with no proof of accusations]

Since the Dec. 17 graft probe, hundreds of prosecutors and judges and around 2,500 police officers who the government believes to be close to Gülen have been removed from their posts, and it seems that it is not going to stop there.

Turkey Faces International Trouble for Persecuting Gulen’s Schools

Ankara-The Turkish authorities’ pursuit of Fethullah Gulen’s schools is damaging Turkey’s relations with some countries that host schools of “Hizmet Movement” (Service Movement of Gulen), classified by Ankara as a terrorist organization.

Islamic scholar Gülen calls for ‘reasonability’ in prep school row

Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has called on the government to act “reasonably” in its plan to close test prep schools, adding that they were the ones receiving a “slap,” in a veiled reference to a statement from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. You have to defend it without making concessions in the language you use,” Gülen said in an apparent message to members of the “Hizmet” [Service] movement.

Hizmetophobia: A by-product of the Turkish Muslim Spring

Hizmetophobia, as a version of Islamophobia, is wrong. I call on all Hizmet critics in Turkey and abroad to refrain altogether from negatively stereotyping a widespread civic movement without presenting credible evidence other than conspiracy theories, gossip and personal fears.

HRW report: No evidence to accuse Gülen movement of terrorism

The Human Rights Watch’s latest world report states that there is no evidence to prove the charges of “terrorism” held against the Gülent movement, which is inspired by the teachings of prominent Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Erdoğan using hate speech against Gülen movement, says MEP

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s accusations against a faith-based movement led by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen amidst a corruption scandal are both uncalled for and amount to “a kind of hate speech” that has the risk of sparking violence against the group, a senior member of the European Parliament has said.

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

Al Arabiya: Gulen confident US will not extradite him

The Journalists and Writers Foundation’s suggestions for a constitution

Ultranationalist Columnist Says Turkey Must Get Rid Of Gülen Followers, Hints At Mass Burning

Mavi Marmara and Gülen’s critics: politics and principles

At least 275 including elderly woman detained over Gulen links over past day

Jailed journalist Ayşenur Parıldak given courage award by Norwegian rights group

Turkish authorities withdraw license of station linked to PM Erdogan’s opponents

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News