Top AK Party official likens Gülen’s stance on peace talks to that of Mandela

AK Party Deputy Chairman Hüseyin Çelik
AK Party Deputy Chairman Hüseyin Çelik


Date posted: January 11, 2013

Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Hüseyin Çelik has expressed appreciation for Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s support for ongoing talks with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), likening Gülen’s remarks to those of South African politician Nelson Mandela.

In his latest weekly speech, broadcast on website Herkul.org last Sunday, Gülen said as long as national dignity and pride are not undermined, every necessary step should be taken to maintain peace because “there are benefits in peace.” He said those steps should be taken even if they seem unnerving at first.

“Chris Hani, who was like the spiritual son of Mandela, was killed by an immigrant at a time when peace talks reached a peak point in South Africa. The assassination [of Hani] was clearly an attempt to sabotage the peace talks. Mandela appeared on television at the time and said that he felt like a father whose son was assassinated. But he was not going to talk about revenge and holding a grudge, he said. What he meant was this: The assassination was an attempt at sabotage. Therefore, if people sought revenge, they would contribute to what the saboteurs aimed for in the first place. Mandela’s remarks calling for common sense and tolerance were what brought peace to South Africa, and Gülen’s similar remarks are what will bring peace to our country, ” Çelik said.

Other deputies also welcomed Gülen’s support for the peace talks

Independent deputy Ahmet Türk told CNN Türk in an interview on Wednesday, “the view of Fethullah Gülen [on the peace talks] is reasonable and welcome,” adding that he had carefully followed the scholar’s statements.

Türk, who visited Öcalan last week as part of the peace talks, said in the interview that Gülen stressed the fact that “we should accept who we are” and that he lauded the messages of tolerance in his speech. He said he found Gülen’s remarks “positive.”

State officials and Öcalan have been having talks to broker a deal for the disarming of the terrorist group. There is support for the peace talks from many circles in society including the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Turkey’s mainstream media.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Sırrı Sakık also said he attaches great importance to Gülen’s statements. “I am very happy to see that Turkey agrees upon a point at last,” he stated. Sakık also called on the public not to be carried away by provocations and attempts at sabotage as we are going through quite delicate times.

Source: Today’s Zaman 10 January 2013


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