Or is it Gülenophobia?


Date posted: February 14, 2012

Turkey’s frequently changing agenda has recently been dominated by one issue: An İstanbul prosecutor overseeing an investigation into a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-linked terrorist organization has asked the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office to hear the testimony of National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan and has obtained arrest warrants for four other MİT agents.

MERVE BÜŞRA ÖZTÜRK, 14 February 2012, Tuesday

Different subjects of discussion derive from this issue. Recently, in a heated debate among Turkish columnists, claims have emerged that there has been a conflict between the Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen’s community and the government, specifically the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

In his article titled “I see Gülen people everywhere,” referencing a line from the movie “The Sixth Sense,” Taraf’s Yıldıray Oğur explained how he thinks there is a tendency among Turkish people to speak of the Gülen community as if it is a covert organization. Oğur argues the opposite, saying that for 30 years a great number of sociologists and political scientists have written on and studied the Gülen community — there are hundreds of schools founded by the community. However, Oğur says, the Gülen community is treated as if it is a small tribe in the Amazon. “We have seen enough of the community’s moves and policies for 30 years to say that it is not a community that opposes the AK Party. What I find even more unreasonable is that the prosecutors and police who were declared heroes of democracy when investigations were conducted into the terrorist organization Ergenekon are now criticized for allegedly being Gülen supporters. What is the reason behind this change in reaction?” asks Oğur, suggesting it may be a fear of Gülen and his followers.

Bugün’s Nuh Gönültaş feels if we are to accept that the Gülen community disagrees with the government and that the prosecutor’s suspicion of MİT agents is the community’s doing, then we have to think about what it would gain by doing such a thing. “Technically, the Gülen community is not a structure that can be considered as opposition to the AK Party. So the government and the community are not rivals or necessarily in opposition. Another important fact that should not go unnoticed is that the Gülen community stands on its own feet and does not receive any financial support from the government. So how can we discuss the political influence of the Gülen community when for years it has emphasized its non-political stance?” On the other hand, Radikal’s Cengiz Çandar noted that those who are known to be supporters of Gülen openly support the prosecutor’s move with regards to MİT and, in this respect, criticize a bill that was presented by the government to Parliament last week in which specially authorized prosecutors would have to receive permission from the prime minister before taking legal action against MİT agents. Çandar then asked if the Gülen community has nothing to do with the prosecutor’s decision about the MİT agents, then why are they so clear about their stance opposing the government?

Source: Today’s Zaman http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-271402-or-is-it–gulenophobia.html

 


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