A dirty war in the run-up to the elections

Prof. Mumtazer Turkone
Prof. Mumtazer Turkone

Date posted: February 24, 2015

With the Gülen movement officially marked in police reports as being a “terrorist organization,” we can say that the ruling party’s war against the civilian populace has truly reached its dirtiest stage. A brief summary: The Gülen movement is undoubtedly one of the Muslim world’s most peaceful and tolerant civil movements ever. Within this movement, religion is present as a source that nourishes people’s altruism; the movement’s areas of interests, however, are shaped by problems on the global level that are then faced through strong civilian solidarity.

Areas dealt with by the Gülen movement are as critical as they are basic: education, health and assistance with both food and water resources. At the same time, it is impossible that a movement as globalized and spread out as the Gülen movement could or would possess a secret agenda. Which is why when such a movement is labeled a “terrorist group” one can only suspect the intentions of those casting such labels.

When Recep Tayyip Erdoğan started building his own autocracy following the 2011 elections, he began a covert war against the Gülen movement, using the tools placed at his disposal by the state. The reason for this war? Erdoğan viewed this strong civilian movement as the greatest barrier to his own rule and knew that the Gülen movement would not remain quiet in the face of weakening democracy and justice. Perhaps the most ambitious move made by Erdoğan in this covert war was to try and shut down Turkish private preparatory schools.

Then, while making plans to defend himself from the Dec. 17-25, 2013 corruption investigations, Erdoğan decided to try and kill two birds with one stone. It was now time to bring out into the open the war that had been, until that day, covert. Using a label borrowed from Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, Erdoğan declared that the Gülen movement was in fact a “parallel structure,” going on to assert that the investigations into corruption in the government were in fact nothing more than a Fethullah Gülen-led “coup attempt.”

What made this defense on Erdoğan’s part feasible was the media power in his hands, the result of funding through state bidding tenders. And this is how the political ruling powers in the country stepped forward to try and criminalize the strongest civilian movement in Turkey.

In the end, though, political lies have a lifespan, too. When you use your political power to declare someone else guilty, if you don’t wind up proving your claims, you start to look like a big liar. Erdoğan used every tool available to him in his quest. On trips abroad, he complained to politicians in other countries about the Gülen movement. He personally oversaw a long-term media campaign against the Gülen group. He brought forward thick dossiers filled with unsubstantiated allegations about the Gülen movement. He uttered insults against individual members of this movement, insults the likes of which in most countries would immediately constitute a scandal.

But in the end, as mentioned above, lies and slander only live for so long as eventually the truth has a way of making its way to the light. Around the time the Gülen movement was marked down in police reports as being a “terrorist group,” there arrived a proposal in Parliament to form a “research commission” whose job it would be to look into all these claims.

The proposal itself came from opposition parties in Parliament, calling for research to be made into assertions about “coup attempts,” “the parallel structure” and a civil movement that has “all the characteristics of a terrorist group.” As you may have guessed, the proposal was immediately rejected by deputies from the ruling party. And so it was that any attempts to research the existence and actions of a “parallel structure” were blocked by those making the original allegations.

The real goal herein is of course to block the emergence of the giant lie being foisted by the ruling party.
But until what point? In order to sustain this lie, there will be no end to the need to create new lies. Which is how we arrive at one of the latest lies, the story about the “assassination attempt against the president’s daughter.” Such a completely childish lie must have seen improbable, even to Erdoğan, as he himself wound up making it clear he didn’t believe the claims.

Yes, we can see in this all just how truly dirty the war being waged against Turkey’s strongest civil movement really is. And sadly, we appear to be at the dirtiest stage yet of this war.

Source: Today's Zaman , February 23, 2015

Related News

It’s not about a conflict between the government and Hizmet movement

Insanity ripples through the country, the media and the people. If graft or corruption is the prevailing form of life spreading from the state to society, and if this form of life is supported by people, then we are hitting the bottom day by day. A prosecutor can say “We can detain 500 thousand people if necessary” and still hold his post as if he said quite an ordinary thing. Whereas in Europe mental health of such a prosecutor would be called into question and most probably examined.

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.

The tragic story of a Turkish family fleeing to Greece from persecution

When the body of the 5-year-old Aylan Kurdi was found in the Greek island of Kos in 2015, Turkish president Erdoğan said: “What has drowned in the Mediterranean is not only the refugees. Humanity has drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.” However, President Erdoğan didn’t say a word about Turkish family’s tragedy, who were fleeing from the persecution of his own regime this time.

Embassies Embark on Diplomatic Moves for the Release of Detained Sierra Leonean in Turkey

David Junusa, a Sierra Leonean national who lives and works in Ankara was detained at the Kavaklidere Police Station in Ankara when he showed up to renew his expired residency permit.

A cami and cemevi together

TUĞBA AYDIN A groundbreaking ceremony for the first cultural complex in Turkey that will have both a cami (mosque) and a cemevi (Alevi place of worship) was held in Ankara on Sunday with the participation of Labor Minister Faruk Çelik, Alevi CEM Foundation President İzzettin Doğan, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ankara deputy Sinan Aygün and […]

Turkey: Detained higher education professionals at risk of torture

Scholars at Risk (SAR) is gravely concerned about sweeping actions against Turkey’s higher education sector, including most recently prolonged incommunicado detention and related risks of torture and ill-treatment of hundreds of higher education professionals, in violation of Turkey’s obligations under domestic and international law.

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

Who’s conspiring against Erdoğan?

Turks are not cows

Turkish court orders 81-year-old man to stay behind bars on coup charges

Australian Relief Organisation Orphanage Refurbishment Project in Malawi

Turkish Olympiad students visit Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek

Islamic scholar Gülen’s poems turned into songs for international album

119 people in Turkey died due to crackdown on Gülen movement in 2019 (430 people died since 2016)

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News