Turkish opposition: Enquiry against Gülen politically motivated


Date posted: April 30, 2014

ANKARA

Turkey’s opposition parties across the political spectrum criticized reports that a criminal investigation was launched against Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, saying that the allegations are a political tactic by embattled Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to distract public interest away from a big graft scandal that has implicated himself, his family members and his senior government officials.“The government is desperate to shift the public debate away from corruption. Erdoğan is resorting to all kind of tactics to move the public discussion away from graft investigations that involve himself, his close family members and his ministers,” Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Chairman Oktay Öztürk said.

He also questioned the timing of the move targeting Gülen, asking why the government has waited until now if there are serious allegations incriminating the Islamic scholar. “Who will believe Erdoğan after Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 of last year, when two corruption investigations were made public?” he asked Today’s Zaman over the phone.

Speaking to the private NTV network on Wednesday, Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik claimed that an investigation is being made into Gülen based on “serious allegations extending as far as spying activities”.

Sources at the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office denied the existence of such an investigation, however, saying that only a routine examination on claims against Gülen, based on a complaint filed by several people, was being made. Prosecutors are required by law to examine any petition filed with the office and they can only launch criminal investigation when there is strong evidence.

Gülen’s lawyers say that there was no available information regarding criminal investigation into the Islamic scholar as of Wednesday in the National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP), a judicial network where any investigation must be filed by prosecutors before moving on to execute a probe.

On Tuesday after the ruling party parliamentary group meeting, when asked by a reporter if a formal process will be started to seek Gülen’s extradition from the United States, Erdoğan replied, “Yes, [one] will begin.”
Erdoğan, in an interview on Monday night with Charlie Rose on American public television station PBS, said the US should extradite Gülen. When Rose asked Erdoğan if he thinks the US will comply with Turkey’s request for extradition, Erdoğan said he hopes to see that happen. The prime minister then quickly added that the US should at least deport him.

Erdoğan acknowledged that the Islamic scholar has permanent legal residency in the US by virtue of a “green card,” which also gives Gülen legal rights in the US.

Gülen’s lawyer Nurullah Albayrak, however, said that Erdoğan’s remarks should be seen as an attempt to influence any future trial process that may involve his client by putting pressure on judges and prosecutors. “Even if there is a court decision to extradite Gülen in the future, this should be communicated through the [Turkish] Justice Ministry to the US authorities,” he said, adding that the US courts will review such a request should one ever be made officially.

The US can extradite green card holders to their countries of origin in cases where the act that formed the basis of the request is considered a crime under the laws of both the US and the requesting country, if the offense is not a political one, there are no concerns about a fair trial and the political authority agrees to do so. Given these conditions, however, it’s almost certain that any request from the Turkish government for Gülen to be extradited will be denied.

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Erdoğan Toprak also criticized the government, saying, “Turkey is a country governed by a rule of law.”

“Impromptu remarks made by Erdoğan [on Gülen] saying ‘we’ll do this and that’ confuse politics with the law,” he told Today’s Zaman, stressing that the law is being abused for political purposes.

“The government should respect the rule of law in this country,” the CHP deputy underlined.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Diyarbakır deputy Altan Tan also lashed out at the government, saying that the prime minister should respond to allegations involving himself first and foremost before proceeding with an extradition request on Gülen.

“The prime minister’s remarks on Gülen’s [possible] extradition is a political maneuver,” Tan underlined, saying that there are no legal justification for asking the US government to extradite Gülen.

Gülen is in self-imposed exile in the US, though there is no legal hurdle preventing him from returning to Turkey. Shortly after he went to the US in 2000, he was charged with establishing an illegal organization in Turkey, but he was eventually acquitted in 2008.

After the corruption and bribery investigation went public on Dec. 17 of last year, some 50 people were detained, including the sons of three then-Cabinet ministers and several high-profile businesspeople. Allegations arose that several other government officials were also involved in illegal activity.

Erdoğan responded to these allegations by reassigning prosecutors assigned to the graft investigation and thousands of police officers and others, claiming that they were under the control of Gülen and trying to create a “state within a state” and topple his government.

The MHP’s Öztürk said the Turkish prime minister’s character is remiss, noting that he had praised Mr. Gülen for years and invited him to return from his self-imposed exile. “Now he wants to put him in jail,” Öztürk said, adding that Erdoğan has nothing to do with the supremacy of rule of law in Turkey.

“If they [Erdoğan and his close associates] respected the law, neither him nor [any] minister would be in the position they occupy today,” Öztürk said.

Source: Todays Zaman , April 30, 2014


Related News

Gülen’s lawyer: Doctored tapes part of plans to finish off Hizmet movement

Nurullah Albayrak, the lawyer of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, released several recorded phone conversations of his client on Wednesday, saying they were illegally wiretapped in violation of individuals’ privacy and that some politicians are using them as an instrument in their shady plan to finish off the Hizmet movement.

Turkish Prisons Are Filled With Professors — Like My Father

A Turkish professor who was my father’s colleague and frequently visited our house is now incapable of counting right amount of money to pay for a bottle of water at a prison canteen. He is traumatized as a result of days of harsh treatment during the interrogation. He is sharing a prison cell with my father, longtime friends, in western Turkey.

Rebecca Harms: Working in Gülen-linked educational institutions not a crime

Speaking during the general assembly of the European Parliament (EP) on Thursday, Harms said working in institutions such as schools or universities with links to the Gülen movement is not a crime and that, similarly, being critical of the government and being a critical journalist are not crimes.

Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) gathers all colors of Turkey at iftar

ESRA MADEN, İSTANBUL Many distinguished figures including Turkey’s spiritual leaders, politicians, artists, businessmen and journalists came together at the same iftar (fast-breaking dinner) table on Tuesday night in an event held by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV). GYV Honorary President Fethullah Gülen greeted the guests with a message he issued for the night. “Ramadan […]

Why Gulen Should Not Be Extradited

To extradite Gulen would not only imply a high chance of an unfair trial, but would also sound the death knell of a blueprint for global peace. Gulen’s ideas have all the potential for a global approach to peace-building. John L. Esposito, a professor at Georgetown University and a highly respected expert on Islam, called Gulen’s initiatives “extraordinarily unique”, and suggested it would be “wise” for other Muslim movements to emulate them.

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

The signatory states and their courts need to decide where their loyalty lies: With the authoritarian Erdogan government or with the human rights and judicial guarantees solemnly enshrined in their respective constitutions?

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

70-year-old intending Hajj pilgrim detained on coup charges at airport

Turkish Islamic scholar Gülen resides in social facility, not a mansion

Bulgaria, the state sentenced to compensate Turkish journalist

‘Living Together’ under capital punishment

Journalists and Writers Foundation to hold peace conference at UN

NBA Player Enes Kanter: I’ve Spoken Out Against Turkey’s President Erdogan and Now I Can’t Go Home

To escape punishment, punish them all

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News