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

Will Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Allow Kidnappings In His Country?

The recent politically motivated kidnapping incidents backed by the Turkish authorities which targeted the followers of Gulen movement in Malaysia raise serious questions about the standards of the rule of law, civil liberties, the individual rights and quality of the political system of Malaysia.

Dialogue Institute provides insight in Kansas City area on Turkey

Erdogan contends the failed takeover was inspired by cleric Fethullah Gulen, now in voluntary exile in the U.S. Erdogan is systematically trying to eliminate Gulen’s followers and has asked the U.S. to extradite him. Gulen has emphatically denied any involvement in the coup attempt and has suggested that it was staged as an excuse for Erdogan to stop dissenters. Gulen’s history suggests he is more humanitarian than militant.

Erdoğan’s imaginary power struggles

When we look at international media coverage of the recent corruption scandal in Turkey, we see that the events are generally seen as a “power struggle” between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the Hizmet movement.

Hizmet, Gaza and the 14-year-old boy

I cannot say, “I feel,” as feeling is required, but neither can I deny my God-given nature of being deeply moved by the suffering, injustice and pain of others. Years ago there used to be a rickety “Islamic” video store opposite Turnpike Lane mosque on Whiteman Road, North London.

Hizmet turns theories of Millennium Development Goals into practice

The 2015 Millennium Development Goals of the UN were discussed in the international panel, with participants agreeing that the goals can only be sustainably achieved through education.

Lawyer Karahan: Hate crimes against Hizmet can be prosecuted at ECtHR, ICC

The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) has taken over management control of some of the privileged shares of Bank Asya as part of a government-operated crackdown on institutions affiliated with the Gülen movement, also known as Hizmet, and shareholders will be filing a lawsuit against the action, but this week’s guest for Monday Talk has said it is likely that the case will end up at the European Court of Human Rights and even at the International Criminal Court.

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

Mother of 5 children abandoned in parking lot released on high bail

Alevi associations react against halt of mosque-cemevi project

EU expresses concern over declaration of Gülen movement as terrorist without due process

Global Doctors Movement goes to Africa, performs 65 cataract surgeries

[Press Release] The Corruption and Slander against the Hizmet Movement

Why do I take sides

I object to AK Party’s ‘New Turkey’ (2)

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News