WaPo publishes editorial from Fethullah Gulen on the day Erdogan meets Trump

Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gulen
Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gulen


Date posted: May 16, 2017

Jazz Shaw

If nothing else, the timing of this is certainly interesting. Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Washington for his meeting with President Trump scheduled for later today. It’s an encounter which I already described as problematic at best, given Erdogan’s new status as a strongman and tyrant, and it doesn’t seem to hold the promise of much benefit on our part. And as you’ll recall, one of the main themes of Erdogan’s crushing of all dissent in his own country is his long standing claim that exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the attempted coup last summer. That’s why it seems to be a rather pointed jab for the Washington Post to publish a lengthy editorial from Gulen in their newspaper slamming the Turkish president on the day of the meeting.

Of course, virtually everything Gulen is saying in his op-ed is true, albeit with his own unique spin and a packaged denial of being involved in the coup. His critique of Erdogan’s regime is pretty much beyond question as we’ve been discussing here for months on end. And he even attempts to offer a way that western powers could help push Turkey back on the path toward true democracy, even if his approach seems a bit gauzy and pie-in-the-sky.

But the Turkey that I once knew as a hope-inspiring country on its way to consolidating its democracy and a moderate form of secularism has become the dominion of a president who is doing everything he can to amass power and subjugate dissent.

The West must help Turkey return to a democratic path. Tuesday’s meeting, and the NATO summit next week, should be used as an opportunity to advance this effort…

The people of Turkey need the support of their European allies and the United States to restore their democracy. Turkey initiated true multiparty elections in 1950 to join NATO. As a requirement of its membership, NATO can and should demand that Turkey honor its commitment to the alliance’s democratic norms.

For better or worse, Gulen is making some important points and I almost hope that both Erdogan and Trump are handed copies of this editorial before their meeting. I say “almost” because, while the message rings true, there probably isn’t a more divisive figure on the planet (in terms of the relationship between the United States and Turkey) to deliver it. We still have no way of knowing whether or not Gulen was behind the coup, was tangentially involved or is completely innocent as he claims. But what’s more important is that Erdogan believes that he was, or at least sticks to that claim in public so he can hold Gulen up as public enemy number one. Having one of the nation’s largest newspapers publishing his critique of Erdogan on the day of the meeting just seems like a pretty obvious broadside which is likely to inflame what’s already shaping up to be a tense meeting.

Then again, I’m not sure that there’s really all that much to lose here. What’s really going to come from this meeting? Erdogan has made it clear that he’s not backing down on either his attempts to get us to extradite Gulen or his ongoing assault on the Kurds. If the White House has been applying any pressure on him to release Pastor Andrew Brunson from prison it obviously hasn’t worked thus far. So I’m not clear on what our expectations should be today. In a best case scenario Trump could walk away with some sort of improved agreement on military cooperation and, just possibly, a promise for Brunson to be released. But at what cost? Are we going to give up Gulen in exchange, sending him off to what is almost certain torture and death without the benefit of a trial? Not that we owe him all that much, but it would certainly give the impression of having negotiated over a hostage release with someone who is allegedly still one of our allies.

Far more likely, assuming there aren’t already plans in place for those agenda items, is that this will wind up being some sort of grip and grin photo opportunity producing nothing more than some generic joint statement about how important the relationship between our two nations is. That winds up being a huge favor to Erdogan, giving him even more prominence and legitimacy on the world stage, while leaving the United States looking as if we’ll just continue to turn a blind eye to his despotic tendencies.

It’s too late to cancel the meeting now and I certainly hope that I’ll be proven wrong. But I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for anything wonderful to come of this.

 

Source: Hot Air , May 16, 2017


Related News

Gülen makes donation to needy Myanmar Muslims

Turkish Islamic scholar and intellectual Fethullah Gülen has donated $10,000 to support Myanmar Muslims who have long faced discrimination in the Asian country and have been targeted in killings by local Buddhists. Gülen donated $10,000, earned from the sales of his books and audio recordings, to leading Turkish charity association Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody […]

Secular Turks may be in the minority, but they are vital to Turkey’s future

What a decade and a half of AKP experience has shown is that the problem with democracy in Turkey has deep social roots that go way beyond the political power struggles on the surface. Both an authoritarian political culture and conservative social values inhibit the emergence of a pluralist democracy. In the last decade, Muslim conservative elites have shown little interest in establishing a fully fledged democracy. This is not surprising: democracy is largely understood by most Turks to be just about elections.

Gulen movement sympathizers committed to interfaith dialogue, charity and nonviolence

George Mason University professor, Jack Goldstone, shares his view of Fethullah Gulen and Gulen Movement. Goldstone says he is particularly glad that Gulen has such a remarkable influence over his sympathizers who are committed to the promotion of interfaith dialogue, charity and nonviolence. Speaking of Gulen’s anti-violence stance, Goldstone recalls Gulen’s touching statement, as he […]

Turkish Cultural Center holds friendship dinner

The Turkish Cultural Center of Staten Island (TCCSI), held its is Sixth Annual Friendship Dinner and Award Ceremony at The Vanderbilt in South Beach on Thursday.

International Women’s Day Message from Fethullah Gülen

No society can truly move forward if women, who make half of its population, are limited in their freedoms, rights, and opportunities. The way women are treated and the rights given to them are signs of where that society stands in terms of universal human values.

Gülen’s Dialogue on Education: A Caravanserai of Ideas

Professor Tom Gage portrays eight modern educators and the development of their theories viewed from personal, cultural, and historical perspectives. He links their ideas to those of Fethullah Gülen, a highly influential educator of today who draws on an entirely different tradition.

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

TÜBİTAK changes olympiad scoring system, penalizes private schools

A Personal Story from Turkey: I am a “Man of Law” Not a Terrorist!

African village named ‘Turkiye’ to show thanks for humanitarian aid

Turkish authorities deny release to critically ill cancer patient arrested on Gülen links

Parents of Nigerian-Turkish International College students decry call to close schools

Australia-Turkey Dialogue Workshop

An Experience of Co-Existence: Panel on the Example of Istanbul and Şanlıurfa

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News