Islamic scholar Gülen warns Hizmet movement against possible plots


Date posted: September 6, 2013

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has warned volunteers of Hizmet, a social movement known for its cultural and educational activities around the world, against possible plots aiming to portray the movement as a criminal network by placing illegal materials in houses and institutions affiliated with the movement.

With Turkey going through a turbulent time regarding reverberations of the protracted conflict consuming Syria and other related problems in Turkish domestic and foreign policy, Gülen warned against plans that aim to cause entrenched problems in Turkey’s socio-political landscape by creating deep polarization among social and political actors.

“For instance, some people could place weapons or drugs at houses and institutions [affiliated with Hizmet] to pave the way for legal probes and an enduring smear campaign against the movement,” Gülen said, in an implicit reference to the efforts of clandestine organizations targeting the Hizmet movement.

A plot allegedly devised by an illegal group within the Turkish military and uncovered in 2009 suggested that the group planned to discredit the Gülen movement in ways similar to those described by the scholar.

An indictment concerning the Action Plan to Fight Reactionaryism, which prosecutors say also targeted the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), revealed that according to the plot, religious communities were to be framed in the public eye as “terrorist organizations” through subversive plans.

Members of the military were to plant unlicensed weapons, ammunition and narcotics in homes, schools and other institutions owned by the followers of the Hizmet movement. Police raids at these houses would result in the arrest of those individuals. The public would then start believing that religious communities had “terrorist intentions,” according to the plot.

Retired Col. Dursun Çiçek, who had his signature on the plot, was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment on Aug. 5 in the trial of the Ergenekon terrorist organization on charges of plotting to overthrow the government.

Source: Today's Zaman , September 05, 2013


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