Gülen’s lawyer: Views other than state ideology considered a crime in Turkey


Date posted: February 13, 2016

Nurullah Albayrak, the lawyer of prominent Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, has criticized the blocking of herkul.org, a website that regularly broadcasts speeches by Gülen, saying views that are different from the state ideology are considered a crime in Turkey today.

State-controlled Internet watchdog the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) blocked access to herkul.org based on a decision taken by the İstanbul 7th Penal Court of Peace on Thursday.

Visitors could not access the website on Thursday but received a notification saying TİB had imposed a “protection measure” for the website.

Underlining in a statement on Friday that blocking herkul.org is unjust, Albayrak reiterated that the official ideology of a state cannot be imposed on people in a democracy, nor can people be forced to share the same view. “Having views other than the official ideology of the state is considered a crime in anti-democratic societies,” he added in the statement.

Albayrak also rejected assertions that his client Gülen gives orders through the website as is claimed in the court decision. He also said no concrete evidence has been given to courts in other trials of Gülen to support the allegation that the scholar passes orders to his followers through herkul.org.

“If we even consider that he does so, Penal Courts of Peace are not authorized to give a decision on cybercrimes according to Law No. 5651 on cybercrime. A High Criminal Court must look into the case,” Albayrak said.

The website’s editor, Osman Şimşek, also condemned the ban. “Access to our herkul.org website was blocked by a court decision. Now it will not be able to build bridges among our hearts. … God is generous!” he tweeted.

The move comes amid increasing pressure on the Gülen movement, which is inspired by the scholar.

Since Turkey’s largest-ever corruption investigation was made public on Dec. 17, 2013, following police operations in the homes and offices of people from the inner circle of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AK Party leadership have accused sympathizers of the Gülen movement, especially those in the police forces and judiciary, of plotting to overthrow the government. The movement strongly rejects the allegations brought against it.

Since the scandal, a number of business groups, media outlets, aid organizations, civil society organizations, universities, private schools and prep schools that were established by people sympathetic to the Gülen movement have been targeted by government-orchestrated police raids and investigations.

Erdoğan has openly announced on several occasions since December 2013 that he would carry out a “witch hunt” against anyone with links to the movement. He has also ordered officials in AK Party-run municipalities to seize land and buildings belonging to institutions that are linked to the Gülen movement by any means necessary.

Source: Today's Zaman , February 12, 2016


Related News

Professors in Gaziantep profiled alongside students

Those mainly profiled are reportedly followers of the Hizmet movement, a faith-based movement inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. The daily also claimed that other religious groups that voiced criticism or disapproval of the government’s activities were also profiled, mainly civil servants or those who planned or hoped to be employed in a state post.

Inside the rural Pa. compound where an influential Muslim cleric lives in exile

It was July 15. And what was happening, they soon learned, was a military coup. Gulen, who suffers from diabetes and heart disease, was distraught, Simsek said. Realizing “we couldn’t really do anything,” Simsek said, the group began to pray, loudly and together. Several wept. They didn’t stop praying until early the next morning.

Lambsdorff: PM’s explanations on corruption cases were not convincing

The vice-chairman of the Liberal Group in the European Parliament, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, who represented his group in the meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday, said he was not convinced by the arguments put forward by the Turkish prime minister to explain the corruption cases which erupted on Dec. 17 and the unfolding events afterwards.

Plot to discredit Gülen makes its way into espionage indictment in Germany

Wiretapped phone conversations among three Turkish suspects that were included in an indictment prepared by the federal attorney-general of Germany against them over charges of espionage have revealed that the suspects plotted a plan to defame the renowned Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

‘Democracy’s Challenge with Turkey’ debated in Abant Platform

A large group of Turkey’s intellectuals gathered on Saturday in the Bolu province for the 34th Abant Platform meeting to debate the country’s democracy problems, amid criticism of increasing authoritarianism and conflict in the country.

Fethullah Gulen: Killing of Russian envoy ‘heinous act’

U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen on Monday condemned the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey as a “heinous act of terror” and urged the Turkish government to identify anyone who aided the gunman.

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

Niagara Foundation’s Peace & Dialogue Awards – Michigan 2014

Parliament Speaker Cicek visits Turkish School in Kiev

Buhari’s wife hails culture

Kimse Yok Mu’s free eye surgeries project inaugurated in Pakistan

Arabs, Turks attempt to redefine Arab uprisings, political trajectories

Scholars at Abant Meeting call for EU negotiations, domestic reform

Gulen followers encourage education, awareness

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News