Systematic Efforts by the Erdoğan Regime to Portray Hizmet as a Violent Organisation


Date posted: September 2, 2017

Since its inception fifty years ago, Hizmet people has been consistently peaceful even at times of political persecution such as  the1980 coup and 28 February (1997) military memorandum. Despite all efforts of persecution, imprisonment, abductions, ill-treatment, and tortures, the movement has maintained its peaceful resistance and has not resorted to any violent response.

There has been a systematic campaign in Turkey by the Erdoğan regime and its acolytes to provoke the followers of the Hizmet Movement into violence and portray the movement as a violent organisation.The Defamation and dehumanisation campaign against the movement that had already accelerated after the December 17 corruption probe have transformed into the religious persecution of the Hizmet movement and an indiscriminate crackdown on the Hizmet people and dissenting voices after the July 15 coup attempt. Despite all efforts of persecution, imprisonment, abductionsill-treatment, and tortures, the movement has maintained its peaceful resistance and has not resorted to any violent response. While the Erdogan regime has been struggling to create an opposite perception, there appears to be a new concentrated effort by the regime that would lead to the portrayal of the movement as an (inter)national security threat.

Last week (13 August 2017), in his weekly broadcast sermon, Gülen talked about a widely circulated rumour of a plot, that some important public figures will be assassinated in Turkey, and the blame will be put on the members of the Hizmet movement. Gülen’s message was distorted by pro-Erdogan and anti-Gülen media circles as ‘an order of assassination to his followers’. On 15th August, online access to the video was blocked by the İstanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office. On 18th August, it was reported that two people who were members of so-called ‘FETÖ and PDY’ were arrested in Balikesir in preparation for the assassination of prominent figures, which in reality turned out to be a case of fraud. Yesterday, Gülen published a message condemning these new defamation efforts by Erdoğan regime.

Although this plot has not materialised yet, that would not be the first time that the pro-Erdoğan and anti-Gülen media circles (comprising mostly of Turkish media) pinned the blame on Gülen and his sympathisers without any evidence. In 2015, it was falsely reported that Gülen ordered the assassination of President Erdogan’s daughter Sümeyye. The news made to the headlines in the pro-Erdogan media outlets. The only evidence for the assassination was a twitter conversation between 3 people, including a journalist and 2 opposition MPs, which was later revealed to be fake.

Similarly, when Andrey Karlov, Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated by an off-duty police officer in Ankara, Erdogan had no doubt that the assassin belonged to the Gülen Movement, although he did not offer any evidence for his claim. Later, it was reported that Jabhat Fath al-Sham (formerly the al-Nusra Front) claimed responsibility for the murder, which they denied later. The authorities have not conducted any further investigation on the case.

One can observe a similar pattern in the case of the 15 July coup attempt last year. President Erdoğan and PM Yıldırım were quick to pin the blame on Gülen for the coup attempt, despite the fact, as acknowledged by Yıldırım, that they did not have any intelligence or evidence about the identity or affiliation of the putschists when they had initially blamed Gülen and the Hizmet Movement. Even though they insist on blaming Gülen and his followers, which resulted in a massive purge, there is still no hard evidence that links Gülen to the coup attempt.

Dr İsmail Sezgin, Executive Director of the Centre for Hizmet Studies said:

“Hizmet’s core principles and teachings are against use of violence. According to Gülen, peace and peaceful resistance is the default position. In any case, an action’s religious, moral and legal legitimacy is compulsory; therefore, political reasons cannot justify the use of violence. Even at the time of great hardship and persecution, peaceful resistance has been at the centre of Hizmet’s philosophy. Since its inception fifty years ago, Hizmet people has been consistently peaceful even at times of political persecution such as  the1980 coup and 28 February (1997) military memorandum. It would be entirely irrational to expect Gülen and Hizmet people to act against these fundamental teachings.”

Source: Centre for Hizmet Studies , August 25, 2017


Related News

Inability to generate values

Many are quick to note that Turkey does not have a worldwide brand. It is true that this country, with a population of about 70 million, has virtually no world-class brand. Some people are trying to destroy the few brands it does have (such as Turkish schools — which are run by Turkish entrepreneurs inspired by the ideas of well-respected Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen).

In A Letter, A Jailed Woman Reveals Abuse And Ill-Treatment In Turkish Prison

A letter by a jailed Turkish woman who wrote to her aunt from Konya prison revealed the ill-treatment of detainees who were subjected to abuse, inhuman and cruel treatment in Turkey’s detentions and prisons.

‘Removal of Gülen’s books from NT shelves offends the public’

Former Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay has condemned a recent decision made by the new trustees of Kaynak Holding to have all copies of books written by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen removed from the shelves of NT bookstores across the country, saying that the “indecent” act of censorship offends the public.

Australian NGOs support Gülen against PM Erdoğan’s insults

Erhan Bozkurt, a director at AUF, spoke at the press conference, which representatives from the federation’s 38 NGOs, which have been operating all over Australia for 25 years, attended. The Turkish community in Australia, Bozkurt said, was deeply wounded by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s insulting language toward both Gülen and the members of his movement, stating that no other religious scholar has been targeted by this many acts of defamation in recent history.

German Politician: Turkey like Nazi Germany after Reichstag

FDP leader Christian Lindner said he saw parallels between Erdogan’s behavior and the aftermath of the Reichstag fire in 1933 portrayed by the Nazis as a Communist plot against the government and used by Adolf Hitler to justify massively curtailing civil liberties. “We are experiencing a coup d’etat from above like in 1933 after the Reichstag fire. He is building an authoritarian regime tailored solely to himself,” Lindner said.

Alevi associations react against halt of mosque-cemevi project

Several Alevi Bektaşi Associations affiliated with the Federation of Alevi Foundations (AVF), which together represent 600 cemevis and 300 local Alevi community associations, have strongly condemned the refusal by Ankara’s Mamak Municipality

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

Gov’t’s pressure for closure of Turkish schools abroad yields no result

Dr. Reuven Firestone Interviewed by Muslim Turkish Movement “Hizmet”

Fethullah Gülen versus Ayatollah Khomeini?

3 detained Turkish educators and their families handed over to Turkey by Gabon

Inspectors finds no flaw in Kimse Yok Mu activities

THY passengers strongly criticize embargo on Today’s Zaman

Members of US Congress withstand intense pressure over press freedom letter

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News