Fethullah Gulen, the [Gulen] community, and the prep schools

Hadi Uluengin
Hadi Uluengin


Date posted: December 27, 2013

Hadi Uluengin

It is no secret that my bonds of affection with the honorable and wise religious leader Fethullah Gulen and his movement go back more than twenty years.  Even in those sinister days of 28th of February [military coup], when the army generals spread fear, I did not jump on the bandwagon. To put it bluntly, I did not sell the [Gulen] community.

In those days when the secularists like me, guided by their old prejudices, raised a ruckus and labeled the community radical the author of these lines underlined again and again on the vital importance of this visionary leader and his remarkable movement.”

I repeatedly indicated how Mr. Gulen, starting out with a religious perspective, was conveying a message of civility, reconciliation, solidarity, and brotherhood/sisterhood. In the final analysis, his universal message and culture are revolutionary not just for Turkey, but for the entire Islamic world.

I also noted that [his message] is closely related to the Nur teachings of Bediuzzaman. As a result, while I continued to criticize the movement’s relative lack of transparency, lack of visible women, and the shallowness of its aesthetic criterion, my love and friendship for its leader continued.

However, to be honest, I should also add the rumors that the prosecutors and judges of the Ergenekon and Balyoz [coup attempt] cases are connected with the Gulen movement.

It does not matter how much of a grudge I bear against the defendants, for the lopsidedness of penalties always prick my conscience.

If these rumors are to some extent true, then I want to think that they are contrary to Gulen’s personal will, as I have no doubt about his sense of justice.

But as I said, presumption (about the movement’s or Gulen’s involvement in those trials) is only an assertion. However, as the attempts to defame the movement are a reality, any criticism remains unreliable, except for one: the lack of transparency.

You probably guessed right: I wrote these lines because of the conflicts between Mr. Gulen/the Hizmet movement and the AKP government due to the latter’s initiative to close down the prep schools.

This decision can neither be upheld nor be approved for three reasons.

First, it is not a matter of these schools being something ennobling in essence; rather, it is a matter of the shortcomings of the current Turkish education system making them mandatory. Therefore, it would be disastrous to close them down.

Second, closing these schools down by means of a suddenly announced decision and without establishing any consultation mechanisms can only be considered another example of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ever-growing authoritarian governing style. Not even the military governments ever touched the movement’s schools.

And finally, one would either be very naive or extremely partisan to think that this attempt is innocent, that there are no secret plans to finish off the Hizmet movement.

In any case, all of this leads to the same conclusion: Under Erdogan’s leadership, the government is becoming an intolerant one-man tyranny in its attempt to fulfill his social engineering vision.

However, I am obliged to play the devil’s advocate and adopt a fair approach.

I believe that the 2004 National Security Council’s brief and the reports profiling the Hizmet Movement in following years were not implemented, although the government members who signed and subsequently hid them were unethical.

To tell the truth, except for the last few months of the AKP’s governance, one cannot say that any compulsive, confiscatory, or spiritual measures have been taken against the movement at all.

I trust that Fethullah Gulen Hocaefendi, with his endless sense of fairness, is aware of this situation. He feels offended firstly because the government signed it without hesitation, and secondly because it has profiled [both him and the movement].

In any case, resisting the closure of the movement’s prep schools is the same as resisting an authoritarian course of events!

[Original article is in Turkish]

Source: Taraf Newspaper , December 12, 2013


Related News

Hizmet school ready to pioneer education in Kurdish

Following the decision to allow education in languages other than Turkish in private schools, as part of the democratization package recently unveiled by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a private school run by Gülen movement volunteers said it is ready to start education in Kurdish once such a law is introduced.

Erdogan: A Classic Case Of How Power Corrupts

To consolidate his reign, Turkey’s president Mr. Erdogan intimidated his political opponents, emasculated the military, silenced the press, and enfeebled the judiciary; most recently, he pressed the parliament to amend the constitution to grant him essentially absolute powers.

Gülen lawyer denies claims of shooting movie about Erdoğan family

A lawyer for Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, Nurullah Albayrak, has denied claims that the scholar or his sympathizers are shooting a movie about Turkey’s prime minister and his family.

Who is Fethullah Gulen? (by National Catholic Reporter)

By blaming Fethullah Gulen and the Gulen movement for the coup attempt, Mr. Erdogan’s authoritarian tendencies have only increased as witnessed by the tens of thousands arrested and detained, and the radical curtailing of free speech. It now appears that in Mr. Erdogan’s hands Turkey’s future and that of the Middle East will be less democratic, less stable and more tumultuous than ever.

Pro-gov’t daily repeats Bharara controlled by Gülen movement, calls him ‘stupid’

One of the staunchly pro-government newspapers in Turkey, the Star, daily has repeated earlier claims about a US attorney, saying that he is controlled by the faith-based Gülen movement and “stupid.”

Gülen calls for broadening freedoms, improvement in Kurdish rights

Well-known Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has encouraged the broadening of rights and freedoms of people and the improvement of ties with Kurds to restore peace and security in areas long plagued by a simmering conflict that has killed at least 40,000 people. Speaking to Rudaw, an online newspaper in northern Iraq’s Arbil, Gülen touched […]

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Ethiopian schools linked to Turkish cleric are sold to German educators

Erdoğan steps up campaign against Gülen-inspired schools abroad

Extraditing Gülen: A smart move for the PM?

Incredible achievement by Turkish school in Papua New Guinea

Defamation campaign against Hizmet condemned by CSOs from across country

Fethullah Gulen denies ties to attempted coup in Turkey

Why so merciless on yourself?

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News