Date posted: July 17, 2016
For more than 40 years, Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet participants have advocated for, and demonstrated their commitment to, peace and democracy.
Mr. Gulen has reiterated his clear stance on democracy, in the wake of the coup attempt in Turkey. Here is what he had said back in June 1994:
“I believe, from now on, both in Turkey and in the rest of the world, there will we no going back from democracy.”
Detained in the southern province of Isparta, Turkey, as part of a post-coup investigation, a woman, identified with initials Ö.A., has been transferred to a prison 1,291 kilometers away from home. Her 6-mont-old baby reportedly accompanied her under detention as her husband was already in jail as part of an investigation in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç on Monday called on prosecutors to take legal action against the Taraf daily and journalist Mehmet Baransu, who last week revealed a controversial National Security Council (MGK) document indicating that Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) signed on to a planned crackdown on the Hizmet (Gülen) movement in 2004.
Several pro-government dailies have run stories with far-fetched allegations that a prestigious peace award was presented to Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen thanks to the sponsorship of a “parallel” — a defamatory term invented by the ruling party to describe Gülen and his sympathizers — foundation, even though the organization was founded in Japan.
Turkish diplomatic offices around the world are gathering information in a bid to undermine organizations loyal to a Muslim cleric. Turkey is pressing nations to crack down on the Gulen movement’s network of schools and charities outside of the country.
Unfortunately, the botched coup is likely to act like the infamous Reichstag fire under the Nazis and accelerate the Erdogan government’s race to the dictatorial bottom. He is likely to become more vindictive and paranoid—because he does have enemies everywhere. Never mind that he bears responsibility for the authoritarian policies and corrupt practices which have energized his most fervent opponents.
“If this is a witch-hunt, yes, we will carry out this witch-hunt,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a few months ago to confront criticism that his government has gone too far in removing police officers and prosecutors who carried out a corruption investigation against his ministers and son.