Misreading Turkey’s Twitter Controversy

Date posted: April 8, 2014


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.

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

Samanyolu permission to shoot Ramadan program in mosque

Requests submitted by the Samanyolu Group seeking permission for two of its stations to shoot programs in the gardens of two mosques in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul during the holy month of Ramadan have been turned down by the İstanbul Mufti’s Office.

Gulen named author of the month in Casablanca

The Moroccan capital city Rabat-based Elfiye Publishing, the largest publishing company in the nation, named Gulen the author of the month.

Intel chief first gives anti-Hizmet file to Obama, then visits Gülen, STV president Karaca says

Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan gave a file containing a plan to finish off the Hizmet movement inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen to US President Barack Obama and then the MİT head visited Gülen at his home in Pennsylvania, Samanyolu Media Group Chief Hidayet Karaca stated on Tuesday.

Division at home, cooperation abroad

Last week I visited Canada to speak at a panel on Turkey in Ottawa and give a lecture on Turkey-EU relations at the Munk School for Global Affairs in Toronto. The panel was part of the first Turkic-Canadian Convention intended to boost economic and cultural relations between Canada and Turkey. The convention was organized by the Anatolian Heritage Federation and was also attended by five members of the Turkish Parliament from the three major parties.

Opposition, diplomats slam gov’t attempt to shut down Turkish schools

The government’s attempts to shut down Turkish schools abroad which are affiliated with the Hizmet movement, inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, have been severely criticized by opposition members and diplomats.

‘The work of Hizmet followers is really tackling the fundamentals of what is needed in the society’

Hizmet Movement is represented by the people that I’ve met. I see that there is a common purpose of like-minded people, in a very grass-root way, coming together, pushing for some ideals that they believe in, in the society, and I’m touched by the genuine motivation of the people that I’ve met. I am impressed with the sacrifice that individuals that believe in this contribute to this collective goal that they are trying to reach.

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

‘Parallel’ inspection launched against prominent Jewish-Turkish businessman İshak Alaton

‘Turkish schools in Nigeria are not owned by government of Turkey’

Fethullah Gulen Denies Coup Involvement

The fate of prosecutors

Philippine education minister invites Turks to open more schools in his country

Turkey’s Wrong Turn

Outgoing chairman proudly admits Istanbul Bar Association refused to serve Gülen followers

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News