I am of the firm opinion that Hizmet movement had been practically the core civilizing, and transformative engine for strong Turkish civil society in this modern age. The movement has had, without any doubt, facilitated and consolidated Turkey’s strong civil society and democracy.
Stressing that In Turkey or elsewhere, authoritarian rulers have exploited the differences within the society to polarize various groups against each other, Gülen said “citizens should come together around universal human rights and freedoms and be able to democratically oppose those who violate these rights.”
Despite the outward appearance of Islamic observance, Erdogan regime represents a complete betrayal of core Islamic values. These core values are not about a style of dressing or the use of religious slogans. They include respect for the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, accountability for the rulers and the preservation of inalienable rights and freedoms of every citizen.
Kosovo is at a crossroads: It can either entrench the rule of law and progress with Euro-Atlantic integration by investigating matters like the recent extradition, the financing of Turkish corporate acquisitions and the operations of TIKA — or it can succumb to Erdogan’s Islamist and anti-Western agenda.
Turkey’s operation to abduct six Turkish citizens from Kosovo last week reinforced the image of a country “acting outside the bounds of normal behaviour” for an EU candidate and NATO member country, according Freedom House project director Nate Schenkkan.
In Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the tweet has been turned into a crime, and a troubled democracy is being turned into a dictatorship. Gradually but inexorably, a nation that once aspired to be an exemplar of enlightened moderation is being transformed by Mr. Erdogan into a dreary totalitarian prison.
“After the 2010 election, Erdogan and the AKP failed to politicise the Gulen movement, a civilian Islamic phenomenon,” Erdem says. Power-hungry forces within the AKP reached out to Gulen, intent on tapping this source of mass political support. When the tactic failed, Gulen supporters came to be seen as enemies of the state.
Gülen say, “The principles and form of government that form the basis of democracy are compatible with Islamic values. Consultation, justice, freedom of religion, protection of the rights of individuals and minorities, the people’s say in the election of those who would govern them…[are] principles espoused by both Islam and democracy.”
It was rare, if not impossible, to find in ’80s and ’90s a Muslim cleric who spoke in favor of democracy, integration with the Western world, and universal human values. Fethullah Gülen was one of those. This book collates Gülen’s ahead-of-his-time comments on some of the debated issues as he phrased in interviews in the past few decades.
Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a deputy from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has announced that Turkish government has systematically violated 12 fundamental human rights during the ongoing state of emergency in the country.
Recently a messenger came to Colorado with dark warnings from a troubled land: Abdulhamit Bilici, the former editor-in-chief of Zaman, Turkey’s go-to newspaper before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s brutal crackdown. You don’t often meet people like Abdulhamit Bilici in the United States. You almost can’t believe that someone with his backstory sits before you.