The purge of the Hizmet Movement is what the Kurdish question was to Kemalism, a necessary tool with which to construct a new national identity, a tool to silence those who question it, and to design a social and political system that will foster it. Unfortunately, Turkey has no chance of going back, even to its fragile and dysfunctional democracy, without this narrative being completely rejected.
Turkey is where it is today, not because of Gulen and the Hizmet Movement but rather as the product of a change of heart in the current government leadership, flushing good governance and tolerance components from the country’s management affairs running systems. Solution to the Ankara crisis can only be found through establishing its root cause rather than finding a scapegoat.
İbrahim Demirtaş, a major in the Turkish military who testified as an informant in investigations into sympathizers of the faith-based Gülen movement, has admitted that his statements were false and made in order to avoid prosecution and jail time.
German police have removed the Gülen movement, which Ankara designates a terrorist organisation, from its ‘dangerous’ and ‘to be followed’ watch list, Sözcü newspaper reported, citing a domestic security report from the country’s Southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
In remarks that fueled suspicions even further that the Turkish government was involved in a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Thursday that July 15 was a “project” he did not like or approve of.
The European Union has denied claims by the Turkish press that it has, for the first time, called the Gülen movement a ‘terrorist’ organization in its upcoming progress report slated to be published on Tuesday. A source who spoke to Ahvalnews on the condition of anonymity categorically denied claims made by Turkish media sources.
German Ambassador to Turkey Martin Erdmann has said his country’s judiciary does not recognize the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization and that Turkey should present credible evidence of criminal activity to Germany for the extradition of Gülen-linked individuals.
Dr. Kadir Akyuz of University of Bridgeport, CT, USA has carried out a poll to find out who the general public believe was behind the bloody coup attempt in July 2915. According to his results, opposition does not believe the Gulen movement but it was conspired by the “deadly combo” of Tayyip Erdogan and Dogu Perincek.
Teacher Gökhan Açıkkollu, who was tortured to death while in police custody in the wake of a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 over alleged membership in the faith-based Gülen movement, was found innocent one-and-a-half years later and “reinstated” to his job.
HRW report: “People continued to be arrested and remanded to pretrial custody on terrorism charges, with at least 50,000 remanded to pretrial detention and many more prosecuted since the failed coup. Those prosecuted include journalists, civil servants, teachers and politicians as well as police officers and military personnel. Most were accused of being followers of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Their charge often lacked compelling evidence of criminal activity.”
The agenda of the Turkish authorities [against Hizmet] goes far beyond the attempted coup, it is about the need to neutralise a movement that became a political threat when its followers within the judiciary and police started exposing corruption within the government’s ruling inner circle in December 2013.
Journalist Cem Küçük, a staunch supporter of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, suggested during a live TV program that Turkish intelligence should kill family members of jailed Gülen followers in order to turn the inmates into operatives for the Erdoğan regime.
“I don’t even know who Gülen or (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan are,” mother Oury Mbaye told the website following reports her child’s school could be handed over to the Turkish government-controlled Maarif Foundation. “If they are imposing managers on me that have no experience in education, I will transfer my children to a French school. I did not choose Maarif.”