Date posted: August 30, 2014
Fethullah Gulen is a Turkish scholar, thinker, social entrepreneur and opinion leader known as founder of Gulen Movement. He stances for democracy, interfaith dialogue, peaceful coexistence, and secular education where universal values are embodied by altruistic teachers.
The Turkish Muslim cleric accused by Turkey of plotting a failed coup two months ago denounced the repression of his supporters, calling the crackdown “dark pages in world history.” The severity of the crackdown in Turkey has raised concerns in the United States and Europe that Mr. Erdogan has used the failed coup as a pretext to eradicate political rivals and groups he deems a threat to his power.
Everywhere in Turkey, people are talking about the clampdown on the Turkish media. The situation is quite dire. At Samanyolu, a TV station, has 14 broadcast channels in Turkey, English, Arabic and Kurdish and dozens of radio stations and popular news portals. Foreign news chief, Adnan Tokkapi, said its general manager, Hidayet Karaca, has been held in prison without conviction since December 2014.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, even before the coup occurred, has been seen as a dictator who has constantly sought to crackdown on his opponents, and consolidate his power within the country. Turkey has one of the worst freedoms of expression record globally, with tons of journalists imprisoned for criticizing the Turkish Government.
Police seized Gülen’s 1,500 books; 24 CDs featuring Gülen’s speeches; TL 435,200 ($148,000) along with $99,200 and 700 euros; several laptops; two guns and some digital data, during operations targeting the alleged terrorist network of the movement.
Fethullah Gülen has emerged as one of the most persuasive and influential voices in the Muslim community calling for dialogue as a step toward peace. Indeed, he offers “a way to live out Islamic values amidst the complex demands of modern societies and to engage in ongoing dialogue and cooperation with people of other religions.”
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s message on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) appeared on Wednesday in the UK-based Guardian newspaper. In the message, Gülen says the actions of ISIL are a “disgrace to the faith they proclaim and crimes against humanity.”