Professor: Carrying out service, Hizmet seeks peaceful coexistence; accusations are manipulative and absurd


Date posted: September 3, 2017

Tom Gage

I think it is absolutely a travesty, what has happened [in Turkey]. I have been to Turkey ever since the 1950s. I was there first in 1959 and I’ve been to Turkey over 24 times.

When I was on my way to Turkey [in 1959], I was in Gibraltar. Only 14 years after the World War II, when there were hundreds of thousands of Christians and Jews trying to get out of Europe into Africa; people forget about that. But, in fact, at that time there were no democracies in Europe but for four countries, and three of them were neutral. Only England was a thriving democracy and it was fascism.

What I have seen happen in Turkey is a stunning reversal of promising/emerging change that I have witnessed all throughout the 1980s and 90s. And then all of a sudden, under the auspices supposedly of democracy, to see what has happened has been one of the most wretched things that I have observed in my lifetime.

Totally absurd. People are grabbing on to the word terrorism to simply label what they are bothered by. I’ve seen President Erdogan’s actions; in fact I published an article in the 80s on a man named Çelik Gülersoy, who was responsible for renovation of all Osmanli (Ottoman) buildings in Istanbul. He was ruined when the President was the mayor of Istanbul. It is something that I’ve suspected all along. There were signs that the AK Party being promising. And I think the civic group (Hizmet) was no way a competitor with the AK Party. Many of the members were voting for the AKP. They weren’t a rival group. The United States press has been wretched in portraying the Hizmet Movement. This is a wonderful group of people who are encouraging schools around the world. They’re bringing people together. When a disaster hits, the Kimse Yok Mu organization is the first one there, with a battalion of people to help people in need; and it is the word hizmet. That means service.

A good book from the University of California, where I got my degrees, came out last year by Martin Marty entitled: Hizmet Means Service. I think people if people keep that in mind about what Hizmet constitutes and what Hocaefendi has established in his career, they would better understand what is being perpetuated under the auspices of terrorism [accusation], under the nonsense that ‘this is a parallel organization within the state’ is manipulation of other terms often used in the history of Turkey, to totally misrepresent the past and to cast aspersions on one of the greatest movements.

I met Martin Luther King in the 60s. And I think that Fethullah Gülen is right there with Martin Luther King to advance understanding and an alliance of civilizations and not to perpetuate the clash.


* Tom Gage is Professor Emeritus in English Department at Humboldt State University, California.

Source: 30 Plus TV , August 29, 2017


Related News

Borough President Adams Celebrates Eid with Food Donation

With the city recently following up on it’s secular image by declaring Islamic and Chinese religious holidays for school children, so too is the Brooklyn Borough President following suit by recognizing the diversity in his borough.

Pro-gov’t media continues smear campaign against Hizmet movement

In order to defame the Hizmet movement, A Haber — a member of the government-designed “pool media,” created through funds raised by various businessmen to protect the government’s interests — has described a Felicity Party (SP) election campaign conducted by women in the province of Hatay as “black propaganda” against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

Turkish aid group sending rescue team and disaster relief to Nepal

The Turkish humanitarian aid organization Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There) has announced that it has dispatched a search and rescue team to quake-stricken Nepal and also pledged TRY 100,000 in disaster relief.

Dialogue and Friendship Dinner Unites Multi-Cultural, Faith Groups

Against the backdrop of the San Antonio skyline, members of various religious and cultural groups from every corner of the city broke bread and shared a thoughtful discussion during the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest‘s 11th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner.

Alevi demands remain unfulfilled as their disappointment grows

SEVGİ AKARÇEŞME, İSTANBUL The democratization package unveiled by the governing AK Party (Justice and Development Party) on Sept. 30 further disappointed already discouraged Alevis who have been expecting the state to officially recognize their houses of worship in accordance with other steps taken to equate all faiths in the country and this frustration led a […]

Ministerial bureaucrats being purged over their alleged affiliations with Hizmet

Radikal said the only criteria in these purges is the “parallel state,” a term the government uses to define those bureaucrats known to favor the Hizmet movement, which is a grassroots movement based on voluntary participation to spread interfaith dialogue and tolerance with a particular emphasis on education.

Latest News

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

Turkey’s post-coup purge and persecution makes no exception for children

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences for the Beirut Explosion

Turkish Cultural Center Hosts Food Drive

Hizmet movement demonized by Erdogan regime but loved abroad

In Case You Missed It

Turkish schools abroad victims of AKP-Gulen conflict

Gülen says many would like to be in detained journalists’ shoes

Gülen: PKK employing tactics similar to those of Feb. 28

Council of Europe warns against hate speech by senior state officials in Turkey

Alleged Gülen sympathizers in prison banned from communication with outside world

Turkish Twitter war over education

Kimse Yok Mu and Tuna Foundation lifting up Romanian orphans’ spirit

Copyright 2020 Hizmet News