U.S.-based Turkish cleric says used as scapegoat in graft scandal


Date posted: January 28, 2014

REUTERS

U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen has denied giving orders to police and prosecutors in a corruption inquiry rocking the government, saying his worldwide movement of followers was being used as a scapegoat to divert attention.

In his first TV interview in 16 years, the influential preacher told the BBC that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan appeared to have been misled by a “circle of royals”, a reference to the advisers who surrounded Ottoman sultans.

The corruption scandal, which has led to three cabinet resignations and seen businessmen close to Erdogan detained, has become one of the biggest threats to the prime minister’s 11-year rule, spiralling into an open feud with Gulen, whose followers say they number in the millions.

Erdogan has portrayed the corruption inquiry as an attempted judicial coup by a “parallel state”, a veiled reference to Gulen’s Hizmet (“Service”) movement, which exerts strong if covert influence in the police and judiciary.

“I think there is a circle of royals around him…I believe they reflect issues differently,” Gulen said in the interview, broadcast on Monday and conducted at his home in Pennsylvania, where he has lived in self-imposed exile since 1999.

Gulen, 72, rejected suggestions he had established “a parallel state”, saying the thousands of police officers and prosecutors purged by Erdogan’s government were not all from his Hizmet movement and shared many different ideologies.

“There will be nationalists among these people, for example … But for the sake of exaggerating the issue, to show it as an alternative state that has infiltrated everywhere, they claimed that all those people they purged share the same ideas, same feelings,” he said.

Gulen, who was eloquent throughout the interview, pausing at one point to have his blood pressure taken by a doctor, said he was sure that there were genuine corruption allegations to be answered by the government.

“These bribes, corruption by civil servants, misconduct in tenders … these have been considered as crimes up until now … so that police structure has moved to fight against this,” he said.

“They were not aware that these had ceased to become crimes,” he added sarcastically.

The government has denied it is behind the purge in the police and the reassignment of more than 100 prosecutors and judges since Dec. 17, when the graft probe erupted, but the moves have brought the investigation to a virtual halt.

Local media have reported that arrest warrants for 45 people, including the prime minister’s son, have been lifted by newly-appointed prosecutors. (Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

Source: Reuters , January 27, 2014


Related News

Gülen’s Dialogue on Education: A Caravanserai of Ideas

Professor Tom Gage portrays eight modern educators and the development of their theories viewed from personal, cultural, and historical perspectives. He links their ideas to those of Fethullah Gülen, a highly influential educator of today who draws on an entirely different tradition.

US-based Turkish cleric denies involvement in coup plot

Fethullah Gulen told reporters at his Pennsylvania compound he knows only a “minute fraction” of his legions of sympathizers in Turkey, so he cannot speak to their “potential involvement” in the attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey and the “forgotten” Zaman journalists in jail

Two years of the seizure of his newspaper and his sacking, the former bureau chief of Zaman newspaper in Brussels, Selçuk Gültasli, visited the EFJ-IFJ headquarter to deliver a special briefing on “the desperate situation of Zaman journalists and media workers in jail” in Turkey.

Hizmet Essay Contest 2015

The Hizmet Essay Contest is an annual contest series that encourages research on the Hizmet movement as well as the works of the Turkish Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gulen. The contest aims to motivate individuals to think critically about issues that affect the international society and, how to tackle these important issues from a Hizmet perspective.

After coup, Turkish activist afraid to return home

Okumus said he has lots of questions about the origin of the coup, and is suspicious about Erdogan’s motives to blame Gulen. He said the coup has created a kind of with-us-or-against-us mentality in Turkey, one that will ultimately hurt the country and its relations with the United States. Turkish officials have already fired tens of thousands of teachers, university deans and others they say have ties to the failed coup plot.

When Iconic Islamic scholar wins prestigious peace award

The Gulen movement has spread to over 160 countries across the globe and has a vast network of schools, charity organisations, health institutions and cultural dialogue centres.

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

Peace Islands Honors Noteworthy NJ Residents

Woman looking after disabled children alone as prosecutor husband under arrest for 270 days

Turkish Cultural Center opens in New Hampshire

Egyptian professor impressed with Fethullah Gulen

At least 275 including elderly woman detained over Gulen links over past day

Kosovo grants asylum to Turkish national

Global Spying Network: Erdogan’s Worldwide Monitoring of Gülen Supporters

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News