Date posted: December 13, 2017
Hundred of members of Turkey’s Gulenist network have sought refuge in neighbouring Greece. Turkey accuses the network of being behind the failed coup in July 2016. And in recent months, the number of lives in exile appears to be increased as the BBC’s Cagil Kasapoglu reports from Thessaloniki, Greece.
Camera & Producer: Efrem Gebreab
Source: YouTube , December 8, 2017
Efforts in Canada by Turkish authorities and supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have made life miserable for Gulen followers here, many say. They have been made unwelcome in mosques and restaurants frequented by Turkish-Canadians, and they have been cursed and protested against by fellow citizens.
Mischief-makers continue to work hard. Every objective conscience sees that the Hizmet movement now has to struggle for its rights and to defend itself against some unjust and fallacious accusations, such as that the Hizmet movement has created a parallel state, that it is an illegal organization and that it is even a junta.
The Turkish government’s seizure of Zaman, the largest-selling newspaper in Turkey, is an attack on the country’s human rights, civil society and freedom of expression and the media. In his effort to consolidate power and silence all dissent, president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s actions only serve to highlight his growing authoritarian tendencies.
A moderate preacher rooted in the Sufi mystic tradition of Islam, Mr. Gulen is known for emphasizing interfaith dialogue. But Mr. Erdogan calls Mr. Gulen and his followers a “cancer” and a “terrorist organization” that is building a “parallel state.” The rancour is personal.
Gülen’s movement presses for a moderate version of Sunni Islam that emphasizes tolerance and interfaith dialogue. The organization lacks any official hierarchy or structure, but followers have built up a network of think tanks, schools and publications in locations around the world.
In the eyes of the government of Turkey, where Gülen is from, the sprawling building immaculately cast in the bright colors of the red Kyrgyz flag is little short of an incubator of terrorism and plots to subvert the state. Ankara’s antagonism to Gülen’s international influence has deep roots, and the Turkish government’s attempt to link the educator with the recent failed coup is intensifying that animosity. But Kyrgyzstan, which is host to at least a dozen Gülen-linked schools and one university, is holding its ground — up to a point.