Gülen, Hizmet, the state and the AKP

İhsan Yılmaz
İhsan Yılmaz


Date posted: January 1, 2014

İHSAN YILMAZ

Without a sound knowledge of Turkish political history, it is very difficult to understand why Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet movement have been very sensitive about governmental, constitutional and legal issues despite being primarily an educational and dialogue movement that endeavors to stay away from daily politics.

The answers to questions such as, “What does the Hizmet movement want from the state?” “Why has Gülen been determinedly encouraging his sympathizers to accept state jobs?” and “Why are there several media outlets owned by Hizmet-inspired people?” cannot be answered convincingly without referring to modern Turkish political history.

After Team B of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) led the War of Independence from 1919-1922, they decided to follow most of Team A’s policies with a more revolutionary zeal. Most of the CUP politicians were Turkish nationalist, social Darwinist, anti-religious laicist, etatist and Jacobin people who did not trust the people. They decided to create a homogenous secular Turkish nation in Anatolia, since they blamed both Islam and the ethnically-religiously diverse population of the Ottoman Empire for its fall. We all know what happened to Armenians, Greeks and Kurds during and after World War I, but very few people paid attention to what happened to practicing Muslim people, who have always been the majority in this country.

The Kemalist oligarchic elite has always perceived urbanite, educated, organized, practicing Muslims as an existential threat. Religion has always been a security issue in the Republican era. Until it was abolished in 1991 by former Prime Minister Turgut Özal, the notorious 163th article of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) was used by the state to unjustly imprison many thousands of practicing Muslims who were simply reading spiritual books that had nothing to do with politics. The media, which was strictly controlled by the state, portrayed them as traitors, spies, terrorists and so on. There were not human rights and civil society organizations to defend their basic and fundamental rights. Only a very few, select people who were approved by the Kemalists could become police officers, prosecutors, soldiers and judges. And almost all of these bureaucrats always served the unjust aims of the Kemalist oligarchy.

In response to all this, Gülen has placed much emphasis on education. With a new ijtihad (independent reasoning), he always stated that instead of building a mosque, religious businessmen must establish secular schools that will educate the future’s engineers, doctors, lawyers, journalists and yes, police, prosecutors and judges. As the most recent Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) statement repeated, Gülen and the Hizmet movement have consistently “expressed a demand for EU reforms, the establishment of a fully democratic Turkey, the establishment of the rule of law, the most advanced fundamental rights and freedoms, equality of all before the law, a civilian constitution and a transparent state that can be held accountable; in addition, they have extended efforts to make ensure that these goals are achieved.”

As a result, it is only normal and democratic that now, potentially 1 or 2 percent of bureaucrats are people who are inspired in varying degrees by the Hizmet movement, which is espoused by a few percent of the population in Turkey. On spiritual and religious matters, they voluntarily take their inspiration from the Hizmet movement, but on bureaucratic and administrative matters they have to obey the orders of their superiors within the bureaucracy. What the Hizmet movement expects them to do is be just, obedient to the rule of law, democratic and supportive of human rights and freedoms, including religious freedoms. This is more than enough for the Hizmet movement, which flourishes in democratic environments and hates top-down Iranian-type revolutions, since they mostly produce insincere parasites and hypocrites.

As the GYV statement repeated once more, the Hizmet movement believes that there is only one solution to the emergence of a “parallel state,” “autonomous bureaucrats” or uncontrollable cliques that seize the state. It is a fully democratic and transparent state complying with EU standards, governed by the supremacy and rule of law and a government that is held accountable to Parliament, the judiciary, the Court of Accounts, the media and the general public.

The Hizmet movement has been working tirelessly towards this goal. It has now become crystal clear that the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan government does not have such a goal.

Source: Today's Zaman , January 1, 2014


Related News

Detained woman, newborn baby transferred to police station 240 km away from home

Detained hours after giving birth at a private hospital in İstanbul early on Tuesday, Ayşe Kaya has been transferred to a police station in Edirne, a northwestern province some 240 kilometers away from home.

Outgoing chairman proudly admits Istanbul Bar Association refused to serve Gülen followers

The Istanbul Bar Association has turned down sympathizers of the Gülen movement who requested lawyers for their hearings in the post-coup trials, the outgoing president Ümit Kocasakal said on Saturday.

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

It seems that the bias of the Supreme Constitutional Court, the highest judicial body in Turkey, may force the Turkish government to pay a large sum of money, according to a prominent computer expert, who monitors erroneous decisions of the Constitutional Court on Internet applications used by Turkish citizens.

Ankara assassination: Why Erdogan blames the Gulenists and ignores the jihadists

Ironically, Erdogan finds it more expedient to blame Hizmet, rather than Daesh (IS), for the jihadist atrocities being consistently perpetrated in Turkey today. Thus, the Turkish Islamist president has got a scapegoat following all terror incidents of jihadist nature or other internal crisis engulfing the country.

Int’l Gandhi Jayanti Conference on ‘Education as a Basic Right of Humankind’

One of the striking activities of Indialogue, is annual Gandhi Jayanti conference focusing each year on different trajectories of Gandhian thoughts and intellects. Research papers addressing Gandhi’s perspective and other treasured philosophical trends are invited from different academic disciplines.

Islamic scholar Gülen files libel case against PM Erdoğan

Gülen’s lawyer Nurullah Albayrak said on Monday that Erdoğan moved beyond borders of freedom of expression and used excessively harsh insults against the Islamic scholar. Gülen is demanding TL 100,000 in compensation for the allegedly denigrating remarks.

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

Executives of TUSKON call on Ghana GCCI

Hizmet without borders

Princeton professor accuses Gulen of orchestrating Turkish coup, Harvard professor disagrees

Turkey stands by Somalia during Eid Al-Adha

“We will root out every single Gülenist from the Balkans,” Erdoğan says in Serbia

Sen. Schumer & 70+ Senate Colleagues Call on State Dept. to Address ongoing Intimidation of Media and Censorship of the Press in Turkey under President Erdogan’s Administration

Woman miscarried twins in prison, dead bodies not returned to family

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News