Response to aspersion on Hizmet

Hüseyin Gülerce
Hüseyin Gülerce


Date posted: December 6, 2013

HÜSEYİN GÜLERCE

The Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) made an important statement on Thursday. Its press release, issued in connection with the recent tension that threatens to disrupt social consensus, seeks to defuse tension with regards to the rift between the government and the Hizmet movement.

“[T]he ways in which legitimate demands are voiced should not be offensive and should not allow those demands to be perceived as unjust,” it advises, addressing the volunteers who are inspired by the movement, while sporting recommendations for the government, political parties and civil society.

The most striking part of the press release is about recent allegations and slanders. Concerning the claim — I think this is more than a claim; it is slander — that the Hizmet movement will lend its support to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and campaign for Mustafa Sarıgül in İstanbul — although the CHP hasn’t announced his nomination — the press release says: “[I]t is impossible for [the Hizmet movement] to encourage its members to lend support to any specific political party or candidate. In particular, some recent approaches that put the spotlight on certain targets or political choices are completely illusory.”

The most unfair and ruthless slander in recent days is that the Hizmet movement partakes in conspiracies devised abroad against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The GYV responded to this claim as follows: “All conspiracy theories that suggest that by opposing — which are nothing but civilian and democratic in nature — the plan to close down prep schools the Hizmet movement is actually seeking to ‘divorce the ruling Justice and Development Party from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,’ ‘prevent Erdoğan from being elected as president,’ ‘establish a political party and seek a political career,’ ‘conspire with foreign powers against the AK Party’ or purse similar political projects are totally baseless, unfounded, clearly slanderous and defamatory.”

What bothers me the most is that the Taraf newspaper added fuel to the rift between the government and the movement by running a story about the National Security Council’s (MGK) 2004 decision. The press release notes the tutelage regime in force at that time, invalidating conspiracy theories:

“It appears that the decision in question had been signed involuntarily by the civilian government in the anti-democratic circumstances of the time, but this decision does not tally with the government’s subsequent democratic practices.”

In addition, the GYV expressed its concerns about the profiling of citizens, civic groups and public employees. “It is worrisome to witness developments that echo the said MGK decision, such as the plan to ban prep schools, the profiling of public employees or the purging of bureaucrats who are affiliated with certain communities,” the statement said.

Without a doubt, the most significant part of the GYV’s statement was about the videotape conspiracy that infringed on the privacy of individuals and occupied the country’s agenda before the elections. Unfortunately some certain circles have directly or indirectly attempted to put the blame of the videotapes, which have been posted on the Internet, on the Gülen movement. For those who fear Allah, there cannot be a more grave insult or nefarious attack than this. This time, the state’s intelligence unit should be more vigilant in this regard.

During the debates on the tension between the Gülen movement and the government, the people of Turkey have been upset because of erroneous expressions. Hearts have been broken and minds have been clouded. Now, it is time to mend the bridge. Blaming each other for our mistakes will not pave the way for peace and a heart-softening process.

As it is stated in the statement: ” The Hizmet movement nurtures a heartfelt desire for Turkey to be endowed with true democracy, transparency and full-fledged rule of law and shows due respect to the nation’s democratic preferences and to Parliament.” No one will then have a problem with the elected government. And if the government embraces everyone and places a priority on justice and the rule of law, then everything will be fine.

Source: Today's Zaman , December 6, 2013


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