A word on the power of the Fethullah Gulen-followers


Date posted: February 17, 2012

HASAN CEMAL

I am a person who knows the power of the Gülen Community (the “Cemaat”), or as the colloquial phrase goes, the Fethullahians or Fethullah-followers, very well.

I can easily say they are both powerful and competent.

How do I know that?

Because of football.

Yes, that is so. They are very well organized abroad. I was watching the European Football Championship in Austria and Switzerland in 2008. Turkey was in semi finals; we were going to play against Germany in Basel. All the hotels and pensions were booked, and I could not find a place to stay. I called a colleague from the community and explained my situation. Before long my phone rang, he was able to find a place for me to stay in Basel in a couple of hours.

Can the community capture the state in this country? Is there such an intention? I do not know, but I think the odds are slim. I don’t even think the community has or will have the power to capture the state.

 

The people I know from the community are people who have generally adopted democracy. What is important for them is to reach peace and serenity by accepting democracy and the rule of law as the joint platform.

In 2010, I was in South Africa, watching the World Cup. One of the important games was in Durban; the other was in Cape Town. Again there were no rooms available. I got in touch with the community once again, and in the end they were able to host me, as in Basel, in the dormitory of a Gülen school.
How else do I know of the power of the community?

It might also give an idea of the power of the community that some top businessmen visit Fethullah Hodja in the United States from time to time. I also met Fethullah Hodja at the beginning of the 1990s, and witnessed his conversations in different environments. In those conversations he mostly focused on tolerance, dialogue and reconciliation. I was impressed by some of his ideas and his peaceful stance; I have written about this atmosphere positively.

From the community, I know mostly journalists. They make good newspapers, and there are serious newspapers among them. I contact those journalists who I know are from the community when I visit capitals around the world.

The community is also involved in the business world, as well as education and universities.
What about the judiciary and the police? There is not much doubt the community has become very powerful, especially in the judiciary and the police, and has been very influential at certain critical points. It is known that they have undertaken very effective roles in the weakening of “military tutelage” – in other words in the Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) cases – for better or for worse.

The Fethullah-followers in the judiciary and the police have played another critical – and I think wrong – role in the Kurdish issue and the PKK matter, with the recent KCK operations, extending to the “National Intelligence Organization (MİT) incident.” The KCK is the Kurdistan Communities Union, the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Yes, that was wrong.

But, do these interrogations constitute a “judicial coup attempt” against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan?

This is an exaggerated viewpoint. It involves too much conspiracy. However, isn’t it true that the power of the community in the state, especially in the judiciary and police, bothers the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) and Prime Minister Erdoğan?
It does, all along the line.

Didn’t some developments in the Balyoz case, or the İlker Başbuğ incident, bother Erdoğan?
No doubt they did.

Did Erdoğan underline the community’s presence in parliament under the AK Parti umbrella during the last general elections? He did, and in a serious way.

It is a fact that the community cannot take Erdoðan down, they don’t have such power. Moreover, the community would not want to fight with the government, with Erdoğan.

On the other hand, the community regards Erdoğan as inadequate in some respects and criticizes him. The community does not opt for a “fight,” especially with “the state.” This stance is not new. It goes back to the past – to Sept. 12, to Feb. 28.

Can the community capture the state in this country? Is there such an intention? I do not know, but I think the odds are slim. I don’t even think the community has or will have the power to capture the state.

The people I know from the community are people who have generally adopted democracy. What is important for them is to reach peace and serenity by accepting democracy and the rule of law as the joint platform.

Hasan Cemal is a columnist for daily Milliyet in which this piece appeared on Feb. 16. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News , February 17, 2012


Related News

Take protests seriously, work to solve problems, Fethullah Gülen urges

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has urged that the protests that have gripped Turkey for nearly 10 days not be underestimated or ignored, adding that “we share the blame” for the unrest. Gülen also urged restraint and patience from his followers and said “our duty is to work to rehabilitate hearts.” Gülen frequently used “we” in a […]

Erdoğan says personally pursuing fight against ‘parallel structure’

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan acknowledged during a speech on Tuesday that he has personally been pursuing a “fight” against the so-called “parallel structure,” adding that his administration is ready to cooperate with district governors to “clear” its members from state bureaucracy.

No evidence Gulen movement is guilty of subversive activities

The suggestion that Mr Gulen intends to create a new religious political order in Turkey is untrue. He has spoken against political Islam and has always supported a democratic system. In one of his speeches, he explained: “Islam does not propose a certain unchangeable form of government or attempt to shape it.

Gülen says planned assassinations of prominent figures in Turkey could be blamed on him

In a video shared Sunday night on the Herkul.org website, where his speeches are aired, Gülen said after a graft probe in 2013 and the July 15 coup attempt, government circles are now planning to pin the blame on him and his movement, also known as Hizmet, for the planned assassination of several famous figures in Turkey.

Erdogan regime keeps defamation of the Gülen mov’t, calls it crusader organization

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Yasin Aktay has said the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Gülen movement are crusader organizations that are serving the same purpose.

Former Dutch FM: I don’t understand Erdoğan’s Hizmet hatred

The Netherlands’ former foreign minister Bernard Bot has said that he cannot understand Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hatred against the Hizmet movement, a social movement known for its cultural and educational activities.

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

Watch out! Anatolian Tigers on the prowl

Royalties provide Fethullah Gülen with modest income, his lawyer says

To save itself, Turkish govt stabs hard-won democracy

Divided republic of RTE

Avni: New plot under way to blame Gülen movement for PKK attacks

Turkey’s post-coup crackdown moves overseas

AK Party gov’t searches for scapegoat for stalled PKK talks

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News