Date posted: April 25, 2015
İlhan İşbilen, an independent deputy for İzmir, has said some sections of society are part of a “dirty scenario” that aims to make sure the Gülen movement, a faith-based grassroots social initiative, is uttered in the same breath as extrajudicial political killings.
Talking to the Millet daily on Friday, İşbilen, a former Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy, criticized former Zaman daily columnist Hüseyin Gülerce for his remarks on pro-government media outlets. “He [Gülerce] knows very well that Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi [‘master teacher,’ a term of respect used for Gülen] and the Hizmet movement have violated the rights of no one. How can the Hizmet [movement], which preaches the teaching ‘Whosoever kills one person, it is as if he has killed all of mankind,’ undertake political murders? This is an operation to alter the perception [of the public].”
Gülerce spoke to the pro-government media outlet the Sabah daily on April 13 and claimed that members of the Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, were being hypnotized by saying the movement had turned into a “global hypnosis movement.” He went on to claim: “The [parliamentary] elections on June 7 are a matter of life and death for the parallel structure. There could even be political murders committed before the elections as part of a plan [to cause] chaos.” The derogatory term “parallel structure” is a term invented by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his associates within the ruling AK Party to refer to followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the US. “One hundred people in the close vicinity of Gülen know this structure. As far as I know, Fethullah Gülen will not return and will continue until his movement is completely finished,” Gülerce said.
Continuing his condemnation of Gülerce, İşbilen said: “We must understand Gülerce’s statement as this: There will be a political killing soon. This murder will be heaped upon the Hizmet movement. They [pro-government circles] are aiming to exacerbate the issue in pro-government newspapers and media channels and suppress [the movement].
“They [pro-government circles] should know that this movement, which has always stood against oppression, will always hold its head up high. Their [government circles’] only care is to rob the country and use their [political] immunity whilst doing this.”
There has been a large-scale attempt to suppress the Gülen movement — with acts ranging from trying to pin unsolved murder cases on the movement to closing down schools and prep schools affiliated with it — since two major graft investigations incriminating Cabinet officials, their sons, businessmen and bureaucrats close to the administration and even members of then-Prime Minister Erdoğan’s family went public in December 2013.
Nurullah Albayrak, Gülen’s legal representative, said in a statement released in January that people are trying to pin unsolved murders on his client and the Hizmet movement. “The defamation campaign against my client is continuing, with the mobilization of all state resources. Unfortunately, as a reflection of the undemocratic position the country has reached, this process is being undertaken with the logic of a witch hunt,” said Albayrak.
Speaking about his client, Albayrak said: “Until last year, it was being said that he [Gülen] should be nominated for a Nobel Prize for his positive contributions to society. The worthless accusations and allegations that are being [thrown about today] will have no credibility in Turkey or abroad.”
Source: Today's Zaman , April 24, 2015