Gülen’s lawyer says claims of luxury homes part of smear campaign


Date posted: January 27, 2014

ANKARA

The lawyer of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has denied claims made by some Turkish newspapers that the scholar is having luxury residences constructed for him in Turkey.

The pro-government Sabah and Takvim dailies on Jan. 23 and 24 published reports saying that Gülen gave the order for the construction of a luxury villa in Ankara for when he returns to Turkey and that the expenses for the construction are being met by Turkish businessman Akın İpek, chairman of Koza İpek Holding. On Jan. 25, the dailies reported that another luxury residence for Gülen is being built in Bursa which is, again, being paid for by a Turkish businessman. Claims emerged again on Jan. 26 that Gülen is also having a waterside mansion built for him in İstanbul.

Gülen’s lawyer, Orhan Erdemli, denied the allegations, saying the claims are fabricated and were made up as part of a smear campaign against his client. According to Erdemli, Gülen adopts a modest lifestyle and pays rent for his room in a house in Pennsylvania where he lives.

Gülen is highly respected both in Turkey and in many countries around the world for educational activities he has pioneered, along with his efforts to promote intercultural and interfaith activities around the globe. He is in self-imposed exile in the US, though there is no legal hurdle that prevents him from returning to Turkey. Shortly after he went to the US in 2000, he was charged with establishing an illegal organization in Turkey, but was eventually acquitted in 2008.

Erdemli underlined that the news reports targeting his client seem to be coordinated by the “same center,” but did not elaborate. He said some of those reports sought to present Gülen as the leader of an illegal organization. “But Turkish society did not give credit to such claims against a person whose innocence had been proven by court decisions. Efforts to discredit my client have gained a new dimension and they are now aimed at presenting Gülen as a man who loves luxury,” the lawyer complained.

However, no one can claim that they have witnessed Gülen living in luxury, Erdemli said. “My 75-year-old client has spent his whole life among the people. People know very well that Gülen preferred to live in a small wooden hut when he was a young man though he had the opportunity to enjoy a luxurious life. And nothing has changed up until now,” the lawyer noted.

According to the lawyer, Gülen has the means to lead a comfortable life thanks to royalties from his books but he opts to lead a modest life instead, in a room that only has a bed, a writing table and personal clothing. “He has not purchased any real estate and has prohibited his siblings from purchasing real estate,” Erdemli added.

According to the lawyer, Gülen has advised his followers and other Muslims to lead modest lives as well.

Last week, businessman İpek, known for his support to the Hizmet movement inspired by Gülen, denied reports in the Sabah and Takvim dailies which claimed that the businessman is constructing a luxury villa for Gülen. İpek said the mansion shown in the photos published in the dailies has belonged to his family for over 40 years. According to the businessman, the mansion had recently been renovated as his mother will move in.

Source: Todays Zaman , January 27, 2014


Related News

Pulitzer Prize equals five years in prison in Turkey

The statement in the headline belongs to Bülent Arınç, deputy prime minister and spokesperson for the Turkish government. Moreover, he is responsible for the government’s media policy. For Western readers, I should clarify that he was not joking when he said, “A journalist might win the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting, but he should face the consequence of five years in prison.”

Kimse Yok Mu to send aid for Syrian refugees with 50 TIRs

Aid materials were collected from various provinces in the Marmara Region and the TIRs arrived in Bolu province. The aid material will be given to around 117, 000 Syrians in the refugee camps. 300 tons of flour, 25 tons of milk, 200 tons of dry food and clothes have been loaded in trucks.

The Hizmet movement, politics and the AKP

Hizmet cannot establish a political party because politics all over the world are mostly based on contention, challenge, belittling opponents and division. Forming a political party would harm the Hizmet movement but similar to Rumi’s compass, it endeavors to establish critically constructive contact with every single human being on the planet. Its main mission is to build bridges across cultures, communities, religions and so on.

Erdoğan threatens Kosovo PM: You will pay

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday lashed out at Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj for dismissing the interior minister and the secret service chief over the abduction of six Turkish nationals to Turkey, threatening that he would pay for it.

Today’s Zaman journalist faces deportation [from Turkey] over critical tweets on government

Zeynalov, a national of Azerbaijan, has been put on a list of foreign individuals who are barred from entering Turkey under Law No. 5683, because of “posting tweets against high-level state officials,” The move comes in an already-troubling atmosphere for media freedom. Late on Wednesday, Parliament passed a controversial bill tightening government control over the Internet in a move that critics say is aimed at silencing dissent.

Reactions pour in over Turks’ controversial arrest in Malaysia as UN joins calls against extradition

The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia has expressed serious concern about the recent arrests of three Turkish nationals in Malaysia, joining calls on the government to refrain from extradition.

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

Int’l scholars discuss ijtihad, qiyas at İstanbul symposium

Applicants affiliated with CHP, Hizmet movement face discrimination

Turkey cooperates with smugglers to catch Gulen sympathizers seeking asylum abroad

PM Erdoğan once defended Hizmet, said it was Feb. 28 [military coup] victim

Erdogan purge far worse than the McCarthy era

Rumi Forum bestows Peace and Dialogue Awards

Pregnant female judge held in prison in dire conditions speaks out

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News