What to know about the group Erdogan is blaming for Turkey’s coup

Date posted: July 15, 2016

Justin Worland

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blamed an international opposition network for leading a coup against his government in a statement to the Turkish people delivered through FaceTime and broadcast on television.

The movement—known as the Gülen movement or Hizmet—is led by Turkish imam Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999. Despite his distance, he remains one of the most influential people in Turkey. From afar, he has run a powerful movement calling for a secular and democratic government.

What is the movement?

Gülen’s movement presses for a moderate version of Sunni Islam that emphasizes tolerance and interfaith dialogue. The organization lacks any official hierarchy or structure, but followers have built up a network of think tanks, schools and publications in locations around the world—including in Texas. The TUSKON business confederation, which has 120,000 businesses under its umbrella, has strong ties to the Gülen movement and provides financial support.

But why would a pro-democracy movement potentially want to overturn a democratically elected leader?

Observers have suspected that the movement’s intentions may not be wholly pure and that some of the movement’s most powerful figures may actually want to consolidate power themselves. “It is clear they want influence and power,” a senior U.S. official told the New York Times in 2012. “We are concerned there is a hidden agenda to challenge secular Turkey and guide the country in a more Islamic direction.”

Why doesn’t Gülen get along with Erdogan?

The pair initially acted as allies thanks to a shared belief in a moderate version of Islam that could work in politics. The modern Turkish state was founded by the avowedly secular Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, but Erdogan’s AKP Party, known as the Justice and Development Party in English, was more Islamist than past Turkish governments, though it still endorsed secularism and democracy over strict adherence to conservative Islamic beliefs—at least when the party was first founded in 2001.

But the alliance had ended by the time Erdogan became president in 2014—he was previously prime minister—though why exactly remains unclear. Erdogan accused Gülen of encouraging Hizmet loyalists to push a corruption investigation targeting government ministers and others close to Erdogan. Gülen has denied that claim.”It is not possible for these judges and prosecutors to receive orders from me,” Gulen told the BBC in 2014. “I have no relation with them.”

For his part, Erdogan hasn’t bought it and has said he made a grave mistake by joining forces with Gülen.
Where does Gülen live?

Gülen lives in a compound in a remote Pennsylvania. A visit by the BBC suggested that the recluse lives a modest life.

Source: Time , July 15, 2016

Related News

Gülen criticizes remarks insulting members of Hizmet movement

Fethullah Gülen has strongly criticized remarks that insulted members of the Hizmet movement, saying that these kind of behavior won’t solve problems. Gülen didn’t directly mention Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s name, but it was obvious that he was responding to the prime minister’s remarks on Friday, when he said the government will “come down to your caverns and tear you to shreds.”

The Gülen community and the AKP

TAHA AKYOL The Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), which is in line with Fethullah Gülen, has issued an announcement on relations with the ruling party. It is certain that Gülen made the last retouches on the text himself. Gülen defines the movement shortly as “Hizmet” (translated roughly as “service” in English). I asked those who […]

Astonishing questions about the failed coup attempt in Turkey

Many people watching the stunning events in Turkey believe that the coup attempt was nothing but a pure ‘theater.’ The leader of the coup was a pro-Erdogan General Mehmet Disli, brother of AKP deputy Saban Disli, who defines himself as Erdogan’s confidante. The poorly-planned coup attempt has started with the capture of Istanbul’s Bosporus Bridge. […]

Erdoğan’s stance on Turkish Schools turns to hatred after corruption probes

The discourse that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan displays towards internationally-located Turkish schools — which are run by Turkish entrepreneurs inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen — shifted completely towards a hateful stance after corruption investigations went public in December 2013 incriminated Erdoğan, his family members and close associates.

OKC Thunder’s Enes Kanter laughs off being called a terrorist by Turkish government

OKC Thunder center Enes Kanter has been accused in Turkey of being a terrorist and has a warrant out for his arrest, according to a report from a pro-government Turkish newspaper.

The dangers of demonization [of Hizmet movement]

Government supporters have accused the Hizmet movement of aiming to discredit a number of ministers and their relatives. The claim relates to a recent investigation into alleged bribery in public tenders, which saw the sons of three Cabinet ministers taken into custody alongside construction moguls and bureaucrats.

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

Dehumanize me Turkish-style — no comment

Talking with the “Religious Terrorist” that Turkey Wants Trump to Extradite

Turkish nationals in South Africa fear abductions

Turkish investors eye Kenyan school sector

Erdoğan distorts Gülen’s NYT op-ed, says it is about Bank Asya operation

Islam-state-society relationship: the Turkish model

Amir Hussain on Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet Movement

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News