Date posted: January 5, 2014
The Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), whose honorary chairman is Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, dismissed reports that Gülen has sent a letter to the prime minister.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a group of journalists on Saturday that Gülen had sent him a “peace letter.” Then claims emerged that the letter included the scholar’s attempts to seek reconciliation with the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the prime minister over recent tension that broke out with the launch of a corruption investigation that targeted the government.
According to the GYV statement, the letter was neither a peace nor a reconciliation letter and it was not sent to the prime minister. “The letter in question was sent to another state official. It did not include any negotiation [with that official],” read the statement.
“We’re saddened that a series of incorrect comments were made over false information,” the foundation noted, regarding the letter. “It is possible that Mr. Prime Minister’s words were not fully understood and were wrongly evaluated.”
According to the GYV, the letter followed a meeting Gülen recently had with an individual dispatched by a “respected state dignitary” and the former reciprocated with a letter.
Osman Şimşek, editor of herkul.org, a website that typically publishes Gülen’s speeches, also posted a statement on the website on Sunday in which he said the letter does not contain an excuse or offer of negotiation. In his letter, as Şimşek stated, Gülen expressed his sadness to see that members of the Hizmet movement, inspired by Gülen himself, were being targeted due to ongoing developments in Turkey.
He revealed that the letter was given to a special envoy sent by President Abdullah Gül and was addressed to Gül.
“In those days [of the corruption debate], it was conveyed to us that President Abdullah Gül, having held meetings with various groups in the name of peace for the nation and to prevent debates from escalating further, wished to send an envoy to Gülen to transmit his thoughts as well as to learn Gülen’s considerations,” Şimşek explained.
Gülen also recalled that he had expressed his wish to some high-level state authorities on various occasions not to have prep schools, which he said are very beneficial to the country and its population, shut down by the government. He said prep schools should be allowed to carry on their existing missions.
The renowned scholar, in addition, denied claims that he has influenced state activities, including giving orders or directives to civil servants. He also expressed his sadness to see that some police officers who were involved in investigating the corruption allegations that targeted some government members and bureaucrats as well as businesspeople were removed from their posts on the grounds that they were followers of a certain group, namely the Hizmet movement.
Gülen also said he would continue to ask his friends and followers to act with common sense and work for peace in Turkey.
Source: Today's Zaman , January 5, 2014