Scholarly views in the aftermath of the coup attempt: A responsible government would rather support the Hizmet Movement


Date posted: August 8, 2016

Dr. Paul Parker, Elmhurst College: As I look at the way the government in Turkey today has responded to the Hizmet Movement specifically, I’m disappointed. Frankly, I’m disappointed. And I’m surprised, too. I had not expected it.

What I would like to see is a return to greater democracy. We don’t want to see a country punishing its political dissidence. We want to see a country giving its political dissidence a platform because in democracies when we have disagreements, it makes democracy stronger. But there has to be freedom to disagree without being thrown in jail, without being maligned in the newspaper or on television.

When the Hizmet Movement or Hocaefendi are mentioned specifically by governmentally influenced press in Turkey, it harms Turkey. Yes, it harms Hocaefendi, but not nearly as much as it harms Turkey. Turkey is hurting itself today when it limits political discussion, when it maligns its political adversaries, when it uses political tools and economic tools to harm social services and educational institutions in Turkey. I don’t think this harm will last. I think the harm will pass away. But it’s a shame that it’s going on now.

Dr. Frances Hassencahl, Old Dominion University: As you’re going on the road to democracy, you start to see conspiracies and you also want to blame other people for your shortcomings or the things that you wish may have worked out differently. And, in some respects, I’m seeing this happening… and this has happened in our politics, this happens in other people’s politics too… the kind of scapegoating, blaming, trying to deck responsibility for bad decisions that you’d made…

People have to remember that the Gulen Movement is basically a civil society movement.

Dr. Muhammad Elahee, Quinnipiac University: It is so sad that in Turkey, from where Hizmet Movement originated, that the government is accusing Hizmet Movement of creating problems, of being spies of other countries. It is very unfortunate. There is a saying that, if you do good work you earn true enemies and false friends. And I think that is what happened with Hizmet Movement in Turkey.

Unfortunately, as I was mentioning a few minutes ago, in most Muslim countries we do not find any movement that provides service to the people; that promotes education; that promotes interfaith dialogue; that helps people in distress… Hizmet Movement was filling that gap. But I don’t know why Turkish government is perceiving Hizmet as a threat to their political goals. It is something that is completely inexplicable to me. And I think Turkish government is making a big mistake.

Rabbi Lawrence Seidman, California: It’s easy, apparently, in Turkey to stir up conspiracy theories. People seem to like conspiracy theories.

But I cannot understand how a responsible leader of a country criticizes Hizmet because everything I see are things the country should have.

If I think about the US analogy, if we had more support and better schools, if we had more opportunities for poor people to get out of their slum conditions and go to universities, if we had more opportunities and places to respond to natural disasters, these are all good things…

And I would think a responsible government would support all those things. I think there’s a fear… when we hear that the government of Turkey is expressing negative opinions about these, I can only think that there is not a future of democracy. The drive is to have a less educated electorate, a less sophisticated population, fewer educated people coming from minority groups—from the Kurdish population, from the other minorities—and that’s bad for the country and bad for the world.

So, I hope those things are wrong, and I hope those things stop and we can have a country where everybody can contribute to society in the best way possible.

 


Related News

Turkey ‘looking for scapegoats’ by linking schools in Nigeria to failed coup

Speaking with TheCable in an interview on Friday, Cemal Yigit, spokesman of NTIC, said Gulen does not own the Turkish schools in Nigeria, and that the schools are the property of private investors – some of them Nigerians. He said that the Turkish government was on a purge of the opposition in Turkey, and that it was trying to decimate any organisation that shared the philosophy of Gulen by tagging them terrorists.

Yamanlar Koleji crowns Turkey with second gold medal

Furkan Bahar, a student from Yamanlar Koleji, a private high school in İzmir, has won a gold medal at the 46th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) held in Hanoi, Vietnam between July 20 and 28. IChO welcomed representatives from 77 countries. Bahar, a member of the national chemistry team appointed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), became the winner of Turkey’s only gold medal in the competition.

Fethullah Gülen always supported settlement process, lawyer says

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has always supported the settlement process aimed at ending decades of conflict in Turkey, his lawyer said on Sunday. “Gülen has always made positive statements about the [settlement] process,” Nurullah Albayrak, Gülen’s lawyer, said. Albayrak’s remarks were aimed at dismissing claims that Gülen was “sabotaging” the settlement process and supported […]

Multilingual singer Julie Slim breathes life into songs

“Music is transformational; it can transform you. It is a way of expression, it connects people, it can be a teaching and therapy tool, it makes people feel things they had not felt before,” Slim told Sunday’s Zaman in an exclusive interview ahead of her performance at Fatih University Conservatory’s Turkish music department.

Turkey pays a price for purging counterterror professionals

In the wake of the abortive July 15 coup, he purged thousands of experienced counter-terror police and rotated others out of areas they know best. In effect, this means the Turkish security and police are operating blind. It can take years to gain the experience in any particular locality that those whom Erdogan fired had.

Turkish volunteers in US rush to help Oklahoma tornado victims

ORHAN AKKURT, NEW YORK Turkish charity organization Raindrop Helping Hands, a subsidiary of the US-based Raindrop Turkish House, has been helping Americans suffering in the aftermath of a powerful tornado that hit Oklahoma on Monday, leaving 24 dead. The Turkish charity first provided tornado victims with the most urgent needs such as food, water, gloves, […]

Latest News

Formerly Gülen-linked schools in Albania face growing gov’t pressure

Exclusive: Turkey, Kosovo violated fundamental rights of expelled teachers, UN body says

Sacked policeman’s grim death sparks debate on COVID-19 data in Turkish prisons

Dissidents of the Turkish government are living in fear in Canada

Turkish Food Festival seeks to teach Greenville about Turkey’s culture and cuisine

Chestnut Retreat Center offers a look inside their Saylorsburg facility and its mission

Erdoğan’s overarching purge is not a road accident

Is Gulen the scapegoat of Ankara crisis?

Post-coup purge in Turkey leaves children parentless after mother and father are put behind bars

In Case You Missed It

Zaman Editor-in-Chief Dumanlı faces probe over ‘insult’ to Erdoğan in news report

Fethullah Gulen Condemns Turkish Crackdown on His Supporters

‘My 5-month old son is slowly going blind in prison,’ says jailed mother

New Constitution expected to eradicate remnants of Feb. 28 coup

Old reflexes of media against faith will rise again

Sending Fethullah Gulen to Turkey would be a national disgrace

Turkish court orders 81-year-old man to stay behind bars on coup charges

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News