Turkey’s Gulen movement sees a smear campaign

Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen
Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen


Date posted: April 26, 2012

ATUL ANEJA, April 26, 2012

As the endgame in Turkey’s transition to a mature democracy nears, media attacks have sharpened against the Gulen movement — a mass mobilisation vehicle that has, over the years, openly and peacefully challenged the concentration of privileges among the country’s military-backed old guard. Simultaneously, the movement has offered a socio-political alternative based on inclusivity, growth and societal harmony.

On Tuesday, The Journalists and Writers Foundation, affiliated to the Gulen movement, dismissed media allegations that the movement’s founder, Fethullah Gulen had supported the so-called “soft coup” of February 1997, which led to the fall of the government of the former Turkish Prime Minister, Necmettin Erbakan.

The attacks on the Gulen movement have not been restricted to Turkish media alone. The International Herald Tribune (IHT) recently ran an article in which critics of the movement accused Mr. Gulen’s followers of overwhelming the core organs of government, which, they allege, have begun to systematically target its opponents.

Far from becoming authoritarian, Mr. Gulen’s supporters say their movement is being subjected to an escalating smear campaign.

They say the fierce and intensifying assault on the movement has a context. It comes at a time when investigations in the country are picking up steam and exposing in graphic detail the conspiracy by the military-backed “deep state” network, Ergenekon, to stage a coup and subvert the promising democratic process. In a detailed rebuttal of the IHT piece, Bulent Kenes, Editor-in-Chief of the widely-circulated daily Today’s Zaman,points out that “some people and groups who are being investigated by prosecutors and courts on charges of having shady ties with the Turkish deep state are trying to carve some protection for themselves and garner public support by falsely claiming that they undergo these investigations because of their criticisms against Mr. Gulen”.

Mr. Gulen is not new to controversy, or worse. For eight years, till his final acquittal in 2008, he was tried over allegations of undermining the secular fundamentals of the Turkish state. Some scholars, such as James C. Harrington, are of the view that Mr. Gulen’s “trial has great ramifications both in and outside Turkey because it involves the rise of moderate, democratic movement in the Sufi Islamic tradition and the effort to suppress it”.

Mr. Gulen’s ideas of democracy, secularism, public service and business enterprise, immersed in the moderate cultural medium of Sufi Islam have been vigorously rejected also by proponents of Islamist extremism.

Thus, the Gulen movement finds itself in the crosshairs of both hard-line secularists and the Islamists.

Analysing the contradiction, some say that behind its soft veneer, the Gulen movement has been, in large measure, responsible for the fundamental social turnaround that challenged the status quo.

The Gulen movement naturally attached itself to grassroots business enterprises which had emerged mainly in Anatolia. The rise of the Anatolian Tigers, and the new culture of entrepreneurship, piety and orientation towards the international market are seen by some, as an expression of a new Turkish renaissance.

In the words of Vali Nasr, author of The Rise of Islamic Capitalism:Why the New Muslim Middle Class Is the Key to Defeating Extremism, Anatolian businessmen “combine religion, hard work and economic innovation in much the same way as did Calvinist Burghers of northern Europe in the sixteenth century when capitalism was just starting out”.

It is this new entrepreneurial class, riding on Mr. Gulen’s ideas, and looking for larger economic and political space, that has seriously challenged the old establishment, and earned its wrath. It is therefore not surprising, some analysts say, that the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the political face of the assertion by the Anatolian Tigers, and the Gulen movement are facing such unprecedented vitriol from a fading bourgeoisie that is still unwilling to throw in the towel.

Source: The Hindu http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3356870.ece


Related News

Who put those 4.5 million dollars there?

It is fair to say that no government, no organization, no company, no social club could ignore and permit any attempt from within to destroy itself. Even in that case, it is up to independent courts to probe such a conspiracy, plot or coup attempt. It is up to the independent courts, free of political pressure, to investigate both suspicions of a coup attempt and suspicions over large-scale corruption.

Turks Should Question The Official Narrative That Gulen Was Behind The Coup

I am not trying to absolve one side or the other. The coup attempt was a heinous assault on Turkey’s civilian politics and the plotters must be punished in a fashion that deters similar actions in the future. What I am trying to understand is why everyone agrees that Gulenists did it when there is little evidence and that is even questionable.

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

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has said he believes many people, including he himself, would like to be in the shoes of Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı and Samanyolu Broadcasting Group General Manager Hidayet Karaca, who were detained in a police operation on Sunday, implying that it is an honor for the journalists to be in custody under Turkey’s current circumstances.

PM Erdoğan: Internet bill protesters are defenders of immorality

Media outlets ran stories based on leaked voice recordings and the documents of a second probe, which has been stalled since Dec. 25, 2014, when the government started removing or reassigning thousands of police officers and police chiefs as well as the prosecutors carrying out the investigation. The press has since reported that the depths of corruption within the government is actually a lot bigger than initially assumed.

Turkish witch-hunt against the Gulen movement lacks one thing: Evidence

Fethullah Gulen and his movement are being purged not for terrorism, but for being unwilling to mindlessly follow the new elite ISMAIL SEZGIN Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declares that the 15 July coup attempt was orchestrated by the Islamic cleric, Fethullah Gulen. Yet, there is little concrete evidence against Gulen. Instead, the government has […]

Turkey deserves a civilian constitution – Cemal Yigit

The Ufuk Dialogue Foundation is a platform where Christians and Muslims come together to promote peaceful coexistence, mutual understanding and dialogue, especially between the two religions. This is because we believe that if we come together we can talk the talk and walk the walk.

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

President emphasizes importance of domestic peace for development

Mother of three arrested with baby as police fail to locate teacher husband

Kimse Yok Mu reaches out to orphans in Mongolia

AKP deputy: “Imprisoned Gulen supporters and PKK members will be massacred by furious mobs”

By Extraditing Anti-Erdogan Leader, Trump Would Betray American Values

Human Rights Watch: Emergency Decrees Facilitate Torture in Turkey

Rwanda’s First Lady Receives Turkish School Administrators

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News