Reactions snowball after PM likens Hizmet members to Hashishin


Date posted: January 15, 2014

İSTANBUL
Many people from various circles, including politicians and historians, have leveled harsh criticism at the prime minister after he likened members of the Hizmet movement, inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, to a shady group that carried out politically motivated assassinations in the past.

During his parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan again accused the Hizmet movement of orchestrating a wide-reaching corruption and bribery investigation which has implicated some members of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government.

Increasing the intensity of his criticism this time, the prime minister likened the Hizmet movement to the Hashishin, or Hashashim, a religious sect of Shia Muslims originating from Persia. The group, thought to have been active between the 11th and 13th centuries, reportedly carried out politically motivated assassinations after consuming hashish. They usually targeted Muslim rulers. The word “assassin” is derived from the Hashishin.

“We saw this in history during the rule of the Great Seljuk Empire. We saw how a fanatical secret organization tried to take the state higher-ups captive and cooperated with enemies to this end. The Republic of Turkey will never allow such insidious powers or attempts to paralyze the state,” Erdoğan said.

Independent deputy Ertuğrul Günay, who recently parted ways with the AK Party, said he was saddened by the behavior displayed by the prime minister after the launch of the corruption investigation. “I think the prime minister is suffering from serious confusion and has difficulty explaining the troubles he has been faced with. … I cannot explain the prime minister’s actions, directing harsh words at very reputable people and circles [referring to the Hizmet movement],” he stated.

Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader Mustafa Destici called the prime minister’s remarks “ugly and unacceptable.” He said the Hizmet movement carries Turkey’s national and religious values to all corners of the world, adding that the prime minister had in the past hailed the movement for this mission. “No one except terrorist organizations deserves to be likened to the Hashishin. The prime minister has been using polarizing and separatist language recently. This will not do the country any good.”

Since the corruption investigation was made public on Dec. 17, as a result of which 24 people, including the sons of two former ministers, were arrested, Prime Minister Erdoğan has called the investigation a “dirty operation” against the government and Turkey and claimed that the investigation was orchestrated by a “parallel state” and a “gang within the state,” in a veiled reference to the Hizmet movement. “If you pity, you will become pitiable,” he said, indicating that he will continue with his struggle against the movement.

Mustafa Armağan, a writer known for his historical research, said the Hashishin were the first terrorist organization in history. The Hashishin sought to spread the Ismaili Shia rule and killed many Sunni rulers to this end. “It is unjust to compare the damage inflicted on the Sunni Islam world by the Hashishin to the services delivered to Turkey by the Hizmet movement,” he added.

According to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Özcan Yeniçeri, the prime minister is using separatist instead of conciliatory language. “Erdoğan is the prime minister of every citizen of this country, including me, but he does not behave so,” he complained, saying the prime minister is using discourse against the Hizmet movement similar to that of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The terrorist group often refers to the movement as a “gang.” In this way, Yeniçeri said, the prime minister is seeking cooperation with the PKK.

“The Hashishin was a separatist organization that inflicted great damage on the Turkish nation. Their purpose was to divide the nation and disrupt peace. The Hizmet movement, on the other hand, is a civilian initiative that strives for Turkey not to be divided and for youths not to fall into the hands of the terrorist PKK. For us, the real Hashishin are the separatists. If the prime minister is looking for a Hashishin, he should look into the mirror,” the deputy stated.

Intellectual and Ali Bulaç, who writes a column for Today’s Zaman, thinks the prime minister made a wrong and disturbing comparison between the Hashishin and the Hizmet movement. “The Hashishin were an underground organization. They were a group of assassins. They targeted statesmen and public officers. They did not know what they were doing as they were consuming hashish,” he said. According to the writer, the prime minister likening the Hizmet movement to the Hashishin will lead to unhappiness among the public. “I cannot understand why the prime minister made those remarks,” he added.

Source: Todays Zaman , January 15, 2014


Related News

Mysterious visitors to holdings

Reports of certain visitors paying “unexpected” visits to various Turkish holdings and company headquarters are currently being spread in economy circles. As these guests are connected or close in some way or other to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), their visits can hardly be perceived as routine. These influential people are not making their visits for a cup of coffee. They send a short and clear message to the chairman of the executive board or to the general director, asking them to make a statement criticizing the Hizmet movement.

Al Gore’s daughter fasted for the first time for Peace Islands Institute’s iftar dinner

Iftar dinner (breaking of fast), which was held in Columbia University, brought together numerous prominent members of the community. The event, organized by Peace Islands Institute (PII), New York Interfaith Center and Columbia University Religious Studies Department, hosted former US Vice President Al Gore’s daughter Karenna Gore and one of the Indonesia’s prominent religious figures, Imam Semsi Ali.

Turkey after the purge: Journalists and judges pay the price

Immediately after the failed coup, the administration published lists of people that Erdogan claimed had participated in the coup. The lists included people from all professions, and journalists were no exception. Turkey now has the highest number of imprisoned journalists in the world, with three times the number jailed as Iran and China.

Turkic American Alliance’s iftar brought diplomats together in Washington DC

The Turkic American Alliance (TAA), which is an umbrella organization with more than 200 member organizations, and its component organization Rumi Forum came together to host a Ramadan Iftar for many dignitaries in the Washington, D.C. area on Tuesday, July 30th. Several ambassadors, congressmen, diplomats and leaders of the Turkic community and organizations attended the dinner.

Biden in Turkey: Holding the Line on Human Rights

This week, Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Turkey to meet with President Erdogan and Prime Minister Yildirim. This is one of the last opportunities for the Obama Administration to emphasize face-to-face how important it is to honor human rights and rule of law in the wake of the attempted coup of July 15.

Did they make mistake?

We are experiencing a period of turmoil in which we strongly need the supremacy of law, the presumption of innocence and the individuality of criminal offenses. A grave campaign instead is being carried out to insult and denigrate millions of people. Why would the Hizmet movement consider forming a parallel state within the state given that its members hold no intention other than Allah’s will? Considering that democratic options are available for seeking positions within the state, why would people within the bureaucracy strive for greater political power?

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

What’s not to love in this coup?

Anti-Hizmet plot no more innocent than practices of coup periods

Turkey wants India to crack down on ‘Gulen’ schools

UN demands access to 3 Turks forcibly returned from Malaysia

Being a Non-Muslim During Ramadan

When the masks have fallen

Growing number of Turkish citizens apply for asylum in Germany

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News