Hermann says Erdoğan’s efforts to destroy the Hizmet movement are aimed at consolidating his own power and regime. “Erdoğan wants to wipe out everyone whom he sees as a rival. There are not many left to challenge him. That left the Hizmet movement as a corrective force. The movement is a danger to him.
Subsequent to the corruption probe the AK Party had denied the charges, blaming the Hizmet movement accusing it of orchestrating the probe. “This is when the antagonizing rhetoric started,” according to Alkan. President Erdoğan has in fact openly vowed to bring down the movement and anyone it perceives as being affiliated with it.
“Part of what we are doing involves interfaith work,” says Turk, and he brings up the role of the Pacifica Institute in California that does similar work in accordance with the teachings of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. “The same values are taught by Gülen,” Turk says, and adds that students from the Gülen-inspired Hizmet movement attend Bayan Claremont as well. “We are educating the next generation of Islamic scholars and community leaders,” Turk says.
When it comes to how Europe sees Erdoğan’s claims and the demonization of the Gülen movement, European Commission officials clearly told Turkish officials, including Çavuşoğlu, that the AKP’s demonization of the Gülen movement seems like an effort by the ruling party to cover up the corruption investigation, because there is no other way to explain why prosecutors and police who have been investigating a major corruption [scandal] were removed.
We are not convinced that shutting down prep schools will either improve quality of education in Turkey or increase educational equality,” said Batuhan Aydagül, director of the Education Reform Initiative (ERI or Eğitim Reformu Girişimi, ERG).
Gülen recognizes democracy as the only viable political system of governance. He denounces turning religion into a political ideology, while encouraging all citizens to take an informed and responsible part in political life of their country. He stresses the flexibilities in the Islamic principles relating to governance and their compatibility with a true democracy.
As [Sunni scholar] Bediüzzaman Said Nursi aptly noted, we should combat the arch-enemies of the Umma (the Islamic community)—namely ignorance, poverty and disunity—with reasonable middle- and long-term projects for promoting education, science, art, trade, democracy, human rights, women’s empowerment, tolerance and dialogue. Any quest for democracy may fail if it does not stand on a firm foundation. The Hizmet Movement has long been trying to do this. with schools, universities, business associations, charitable foundations, dialogue institutions and media outlets.
Mustafa Yesil is the president of the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), which is known as the Gulen community’s institutional representative. He has addressed a wide range of issues, among them the Gulen movement, eavesdropping, the arrest of Aziz Yildirim (chairman, Fenerbahce soccer team), the National Intelligence Institution’s (MIT’s) head Hakan Fidan’s query.
While it is a movement inspired by faith, this [Hizmet movement] community of volunteers develops and delivers reasonable and universally acceptable projects which are in full compliance with humanitarian values and which aim to promote individual freedoms, human rights and peaceful coexistence for all people regardless of their faith.
My fourth criticism is the lack of empathy. We haven’t empathized enough with Kurds, Armenians and Greeks. In 2011, Journalists and Writers Foundation said to the commission of Constitution in the parliament that, besides Turkish, using Kurdish as a language of education should be considered a human right.
Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has inspired the popular civic and social movement called Hizmet, said the ballot box is not everything, urging his followers to not stick to only one but to cast their votes freely based on their personal conviction. He added that focusing on the ballot box only makes some people comfortable in telling lies.
Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has inspired the popular civic and social movement called Hizmet, has said he is concerned with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government’s moves seen over the last couple of years to cut back on fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey.