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

FM Davutoğlu annuls decree ordering Turkish embassies to support Gülen Movement: Reports

The first decree was signed by then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül during the first months of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government with the demand of support from National View Organizations and Turkish schools operated by the Gülen community.

Detainee says was pushed to make accusations about Gülen movement

Cleaning company owner Abdullah Yıldırım, who testified in court as part of an investigation launched based on a complaint from Okyanus Group CEO Nusret Argun, said police officers encouraged him to make accusations about the faith-based Gülen movement during interrogation.

Şimşek: Despite slander, Gülen remains silent to avoid provoking gov’t supporters

Osman Şimşek, editor of herkul.org — the website that usually publishes Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s speeches — has said that the Islamic cleric doesn’t respond to slander and insulting remarks so as not to provoke those who support the government.

Return to Turkey or lose citizenship, gov’t tells Gülen followers

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) will revoke the citizenship of followers of the faith-based Gülen movement who sought refuge abroad due to a government crackdown on alleged movement sympathizers if they do not return to Turkey within a certain period of time, the pro-government Sabah daily reported on Thursday.

Turkish gov’t issues detention warrants for 121 women on Int’l Women’s Day

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants on International Women’s Day for 121 women over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Counterterrorism judge found to be PM’s strong supporter

Judge Yusuf Şahin, who was appointed to the Van Counterterrorism Court in April, shared a photo of the prime minister on Facebook with the tag “Liderlerin lideri Erdoğan” (Erdoğan, leader of all leaders). The judge also posted comments on Facebook praising the prime minister and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and leveling strong criticism at Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the inspiration behind the faith-based Hizmet movement, which works in the fields of education, charity and outreach.

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

ABA urges Obama to protest Turkey’s suppression of free speech

Erdogan drags Turkey toward totalitarianism

Turkey’s picture on freedom of the press bleak on WPFD

Pro-gov’t daily sets up hotline for informing on Gülen followers in EU

Once lauded as model, Turkey’s Africa initiative loses momentum

Erdogan’s persecution: Mother with infant under arrest until husband surrenders self

Mischief-makers and the Hizmet movement

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News