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

Predictability in Erdoğan’s Turkey

The most significant damage beleaguered Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has inflicted on Turkey in a frantic effort to rescue himself, his children and close associates from legal troubles amid massive corruption, money laundering and illegal land-zoning deals was a blow to the “credibility” of Turkey and “predictability” in its political and economic environment.

Gülen’s lawyers: PM’s only correct statement is that he visited Gülen

Lawyers representing Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen dismissed on Friday remarks made by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu that Gülen rejected an invitation from Davutoğlu to return to Turkey on the grounds that “it was not time yet.”

Gülen Movement has been used to undermine Ergenekon trial

‘Whenever new evidence surfaces related to Ergenekon, some people claim that that evidence was planted by Gülen sympathizers within the police force. This is quite unrealistic because important documents have been found in places where the police have never been able to access’ 5 February 2012 / YONCA POYRAZ DOĞAN, İSTANBUL A veteran journalist has […]

Fethullah Gulen — His Vision, Our Response

A Muslim religious leader, Fehullah Gulen, is daily in the news, as Turkish president Erdogan accuses him of plotting the recent coup, calling him a terrorist. We are so used to Muslim clerics being or being considered terrorists that we give the matter little thought.

If whoever touched Gülen was doomed, we would have been ashes by now

“If whoever touches him is screwed, it should have been me who would have gotten screwed first; I should have been in ashes by now because I have published the harshest material against Gülen. I have published the most derogatory books against him.”

I came to Nigeria with just a piece of luggage –Turkish International Colleges foundation coordinator

When Behlul Basaran arrived Nigeria in 2000 from Turkey, he was armed with a single piece of luggage, an enthusiastic spirit and hope. Inside his luggage was his letter of scholarship for a university education from the Hizmet Movement, which had started building a relationship and foundation for quality education with Nigeria.

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

Turkish medical group goes to Tanzania with largest medical personnel team

Kimse Yok Mu cheers up Panamanian Orphans

Arrested journalist: I am on guard duty for democracy

Pak businessmen asked to attend Istanbul Expo

Russian envoy’s murderer attended sermons of controversial pro-Erdoğan cleric

INTERPOL and U.S. reject baseless charges against US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen

Saudi Scholar: Turkish gov’t must give up ‘terrorist’ slander against Gülen

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News