Turkish preacher isn’t running terrorist gang


Date posted: August 20, 2016

Fatih Harpci

Fethullah Gülen is the man the Turkish president blames for a coup attempt on July 15 in Turkey.

Well known as a Muslim social advocate and the inspirational leader of a civil society movement called Hizmet, Gülen has now been branded a terrorist by the Turkish authorities without any court order or hard evidence of his involvement.

Is Gülen really a terrorist leader? Actually, the Turkish people asked the very same question in 2000 when Ankara State Security Court’s chief prosecutor opened a case against Gülen charging the Turkish preacher had set up a terrorist network. The prosecutor has charged hundreds of schools and organizations founded by people inspired by Gülen’s ideas, and Gülen was acquitted of all charges.

Now the Turkish government follows the same path and designates the Hizmet initiative, which promotes education, community service, and interfaith dialogue, a terrorist organization. After studying the movement, I have seen that Gülen has been preaching understanding, tolerance, human rights and democracy — but definitely not violence.

Schools established by the Hizmet volunteers are aimed to raise generations who respect universal human values and are educated through modern sciences and spiritual formation. Gülen reiterated his views on education in the interviews July 17, right after the attempted coup. If any of these schools were ever involved in any “terrorist” activity, as the Turkish government blindly claims, the many host countries would be the first to shut them down.

In his 56-page defense presented to the Turkish court in 2001, Gülen emphasized that his personal views and the surveys and studies conducted on the movement proved that both national and international academic circles did not see Hizmet as a terrorist organization or “Muslim supremacist cult.” Almost everyone both in Turkey and abroad knows that Gülen was the first Muslim leader who condemned the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Gülen stated, “I would like to stress that any terrorist activity, no matter who does it and for what purpose, is the greatest blow to peace, democracy and humanity.”

When people were searching for moderate Muslim voices, he had already issued press releases for the attacks in Madrid, London, Boston, San Bernardino, Mogadishu, Orlando, Lahore, Paris, Istanbul, Nairobi, Brussels and many other places, condemning any type of terrorism and religious extremism.

Given the popularity of the Hizmet across the world and lack of evidence that Gülen is indeed linked to terrorism, I believe it will be unequivocally impossible to confirm that the movement is a “separatist terrorist organization,” as claimed by the Turkish president. Gülen always makes a broad social critique of violence, terrorism and racism, while promoting social justice, harmony and peace.

Yes, the Turkish government blames Gülen and his sympathizers for the attempted military coup. Gülen has rejected all accusations that he was behind the coup attempt and declared his clear stance on democracy. This is also what he stated back in 1994: “I believe, from now on, both in Turkey and in the rest of the world, there will be no going back from democracy.”


Harpci, who was born and raised in Turkey, is an assistant professor of religion at Carthage College in Kenosha: [email protected].

Source: Wisconson State Journal , August 19, 2016


Related News

Is man living in Pennsylvania responsible for Turkey coup attempt?

Low-flying military jets buzzed over Turkey’s capital of Ankara. Soldiers blocked major bridges in Istanbul. State-run television announced that the military had imposed martial law.

What is going on in Turkey? Who is Fethullah Gülen?

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the president of Turkey, a NATO member nation that hosts our nuclear weapons. Evidence indicates he’s an Islamist. Erdogan’s fundamentalist convictions led to persecution of Fethullah Gülen whi has been compared to Gandhi, Luther, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr., but Erdogan accuses him of launching the recent military coup. Gülen is a scholar and man of the cloth.

GYV Presient Yesil: We knock on all doors

Mustafa Yesil is the president of the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), which is known as the Gulen community’s institutional representative. He has addressed a wide range of issues, among them the Gulen movement, eavesdropping, the arrest of Aziz Yildirim (chairman, Fenerbahce soccer team), the National Intelligence Institution’s (MIT’s) head Hakan Fidan’s query.

Fethullah Gulen: From Izmir to the Global Hizmet Movement

Gulen’s name has progressively reached a wider Western audience. But, let us note that most of news coverage paints Gulen within a political narrative — forgetting (or ignoring) four decades of civil society advocacy, education and dialogue activities and support for democracy and human rights. There is more to Gulen than this current political paradigm. Some history and perspective will help set the facts straight.

Nigeria – Our students should not be victims of Turkey’s high-handedness and authoritarianism

We strongly condemn the arrest, detention and deportation of some Nigerian students from Turkey’s capital city, Istanbul, over the botched coup in the country. The harassment and intimidation of our students by the Turkish Government over a matter that does not concern them is undiplomatic and utterly reprehensible. The Turkish government should not visit the punishment for the alleged actions of its political enemies on innocent Nigerian students.

Gulen movement becoming victim of its own legend

I don’t know whether they are aware of it, but a danger that needs to be taken very seriously awaits the Gulen movement. In the eyes of the Turkish society, which is believing of conspiracy theories, the Gulen movement is mythicized beyond its real dimensions. The power and influence of the Gulen movement is being so exaggerated that if no precautions are taken, this imagined power will one day destroy it.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

The cleric, the coup and the conspiracy

2 Turkish teachers killed in Somali school bus attack

Abant Platform Proposes Mother Tongue Education

The Persecution of the Hizmet (Gülen) Movement in Turkey: A Chronicle

3rd Annual International Women’s Conference

The Peace Islands Institute of New Jersey Awards Recognize Excellence

Students from 32 countries participate in international cultural festival in Cambodia

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News