Practicing Muslims and negotiating with the Kurdists

Dr. Ihsan Yilmaz
Dr. Ihsan Yilmaz


Date posted: January 10, 2013

DR. İHSAN YILMAZ

The Hizmet movement has taken the lead on several sensitive issues in Turkey, ranging from democratization and the EU process to interfaith dialogue. I think it must also take the lead in supporting the peace attempts. It does not have to give a blank check to everyone and can voice its concerns, but it must put its weight behind the hopes for a peace settlement.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s recent decision to negotiate a peace process must be strongly encouraged by parties, groups and so on that are eager for peaceful coexistence in Turkey.

I am extremely enthused that the Republican People’s Party (CHP) said it supports the AKP government on this. I think practicing Muslim Turks also have a historic duty to contribute to this probable peace process.

I am of course not naive and know very well that the issue is very complicated and that there are several domestic and international parties to it. Not even the AKP or the Kurdists are monolithic on this issue. Another Silvan or an Uludere-kind incident is quite probable. Despite all these, we must give peace a chance. While the state must be agile against any probable Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) abuse of the process by strengthening its military capability by taking advantage of the cease-fire, the state must focus its energies to achieve a settlement with the Kurdists. The state, the AKP and its voters must be ready to make political “sacrifices” to end the decades-old terrorist activity so that lives from both sides are protected.

Nevertheless, at this stage talking about risks, the fragility of the process and security-oriented precautions must be avoided. We also need to refrain from harshly criticizing the Kurdists at this stage. If the state is currently sitting at a negotiating table with them, we must give them a chance before rushing to blame the Kurdists for never wanting peace. We need to be cautiously constructive on this. The state of course must calculate all probabilities as to what would happen if the process fails, but the public opinion must focus on the positive side. If the Kurdists provoke the process, this would be their fault. Yet, if the Turks keep talking about the impossibility of peace, they would be the ones who do not want peace.

What role must practicing Turks play in this? I think they must first try to convince themselves on emphatic acceptance and put themselves in the shoes of the Kurds. They need to seriously think about fairness and justice. They also need to free themselves from nationalistic contamination and remember the ideas of Islam. Secondly, they need to understand that their practicing Muslim Kurdish brothers and sisters have increasingly been emotionally divorcing themselves from the Turks, including the practicing Muslim Turks. An increasing number of them have been blaming practicing Muslim Turks for failing to feel for their suffering brothers. It is not the essence of the matter, but if practicing Turks are worried and concerned about the unity of the nation, peaceful coexistence and the fate of Turkey, they must know that their nationalist attitudes are actually working towards harming Turkey.

The Hizmet movement (aka Gulen movement) has taken the lead on several sensitive issues in Turkey, ranging from democratization and the EU process to interfaith dialogue. I think it must also take the lead in supporting the peace attempts. It does not have to give a blank check to everyone and can voice its concerns, but it must put its weight behind the hopes for a peace settlement. Hizmet should also consider that if the process fails, there will be many to put the blame on Hizmet’s shoulders by pointing to its cautious attitude.

Source: Today’s Zaman January 9, 2013


Related News

Minister Yildirim’s high praise for Fethullah Gulen

Minister of Transportation, Maritime and Communication, Binali Yildirim, spoke at the Turkish Language Olympiads Cultural Festival participated by two thousand students from 140 countries, at Kulturpark in Izmir. In his remarks, Yildirim said: “Izmir is the city of tolerance, tourism and maritime, compared to a queen in Victor Hugo’s diaries. You’ve added to its beauty. […]

Turkic American Alliance Condemns Government Takeover of Zaman

Turkish government seized control of Zaman Newspaper, the largest and highly circulated newspaper in Turkey. The takeover is a violation of the freedom of press which is vital for every democratic state and requires political intervention from the international community.

What else should Gülen say?

Fethullah Gülen’s stance on corruption and anti-democratic practices has never changed. Osman Şimşek, the editor of herkul.org, which broadcasts and publishes Gülen’s speeches, recently published a letter that Gülen sent to Erdoğan in May 2006. In the letter, Gülen warns the prime minister that his government had begun to deviate from its democratic line.

Hakan Şükür’s resignation

The resignation of İstanbul deputy Hakan Şükür from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is not an ordinary resignation. It is the most serious incident that disrupts the prestige of the AK Party in the eyes of pious voters.
Şükür’s statement about his resignation must be carefully studied. This statement explains the Hizmet movement’s perspective regarding the recent row between the government and the Hizmet community for the first time and with a clear wording.

Hizmet movement and perceptions

We are going through a very critical period. We need the common sense and support of all the precious members of the Hizmet movement as we have never needed them before. We must protect our democratic gains. I pen this article as a person who closely sided with the Hizmet movement during the attacks of Ergenekon — a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government — and the deep state, and who backed its justified objections to the government’s plan to shut down the prep schools.

Exiled Turkish Leader Gulen Slams Erdogan for Coup Attempt in Report

A coup attempt in Turkey last July that killed more than 300 people was an “outrageous, heinous scenario constructed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his accomplices,” Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen said this week.

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

Ethiopian President receives Ethio-Turkish schools delegation

Oil-rich Nigeria seeks Turkish energy, construction partnerships

Future’s continent and African renaissance

Should We Send A Man We Know Is Innocent To His Death Abroad?

Erdogan’s Faux Coup may have been Turkey’s Reichstag Fire

Reactions pour in over Turks’ controversial arrest in Malaysia as UN joins calls against extradition

Efforts to accuse Hizmet movement of conspiracy failed, says lawyer

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News