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

Erdoğan’s Religious Guide Approved Torture And Abuse In Turkey

Turkish president’s chief religious counsel Hayrettin Karaman, professor of Islamic law, has given approval to overlook torture and other crimes committed by members of security services, saying that Turkey is at total mobilization and under attack from within and outside.

The Hizmet movement and politics

Dr. Ihsan Yilmaz, 28 March 2012, Wednesday There has recently been criticism directed against the Hizmet movement that it has been or is becoming a political movement. Its adversaries keep making these accusations, and nothing can be done to convince them. But for anyone sincerely interested in what the movement is actually up to, some […]

Gülen movement acted ‘courageously’ when gov’t-involved graft revealed, Altan says

Ahmet Altan, the former editor-in-chief of the Taraf daily, has said that the Gülen movement acted “courageously” during the public revelations of the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption scandal that implicated several senior members of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government.

A February 28 tactic from the PKK

The people of the nation know Gülen, who has spoken for years from the lectern at mosques, and they know those on the other side, too. If the shadows of the weapons cast over these people were only to be lifted, we would see whose side they would stand on.

TUSKON says systematic campaign of defamation is under way

The Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists’ (TUSKON) has criticized what it said a systematic campaign of defamation against the business conglomolarete, stressing that its business activities that help contribute to Turkish economy should only be welcomed.

Albanian lawmakers reject Erdoğan’s call to close Turkish schools

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call for the closure of Turkish schools in Albania unleashed a swirl of debate in the Albanian political and media landscape, leading to intensified pressure on the government to clarify its position and Education Minister Lindita Nikolla saying that the government has already shut down a number of schools regarded as unfit according to criteria set in a recent education reform.

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

Fethullah Gülen’s teachings discussed at conference in Algeria

Will the Gulen Movmement found a political party?

Secular Turks may be in the minority, but they are vital to Turkey’s future

NPR interviews Stephen Kinzer on graft probe and Fethullah Gulen

Hizmet Movement blog now available in Portuguese and Arabic

Leaked emails reveal Erdoğan’s son-in-law’s team fabricated news against Gülen in US

It is unfair, unjust and politically motivated to incriminate the Gulen Movement

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News