- Posted August 30, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Protests across Turkey
Gulen movement is a transnational religious & social movement led by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen. He has attracted a large number of supporters in Turkey, Central Asia and increasingly in other parts of the World. The movement has been described as a “pacifist, modern-minded Islam, often praised as a contrast to more extreme Salafism.” Exact number of supporters of the Gulen Movement is not known, as the movement is rather secretive according to some but others say there is no official membership structure, estimates vary from 1 to 8 million. The movement consists primarily of students, teachers, businessmen, journalists and other professionals. They are engaged mostly in private schools and educational institutions but also industry and food. They make profit approximately 10-20 billion US $ per year.
Conflict between Gulen Community and AKP Government was going on for a while. Now it is an open war. Gazeteciler ve Yazarlar Vakfı (Journalists and Writers Foundation) is a foundation that consists of journalists and writers supported and founded by Gulen Movement. They published a notice regarding AKP government & their policies. PM already mentioned that ‘’the target for the MIT (Turkey’s Central Intelligence Agency) General Secretary being called to prosecutor’s office was himself. Fidan is The Secretary of Turkish Intelligence Agency.’’ Fidan has been called for an inquiry regarding his interview with PKK in Sweden. PM first said that:‘’their government never talks with terrorists.’’ Later he said ‘’he knew that Fidan went to meet with PKK members.’’ After a few months he changed it again to say that ’’he sent Fidan to Sweden to discuss with PKK.’’ Erdogan mentioned that Fidan’s prosecution was a move against him and his government that is was made by the Gulen Movement.
Movement responded:” There is no way an ordinary prosecutor can ever start an investigation about PM. Even chief public prosecutor of the court of cassation can’t make any statement. Since this is the situation making a statement as -the PM was going to be arrested- is ridiculous.’’
PM’s assistant Arinc made noncommittal comments about movement & tried to lighten the mood. His comments on Kanal 24 were like:”Movement is not a bad thing. Gulen likes both PM Erdogan and President Gul. The PM has same good emotions for Gulen too. We and everyone should know their limits.”
Movement says that:”Creating a tutorship and trying to be a forcefully partner of government. That is a slanderous action. If there’s such an aim that somebody is trying to purification the public that’s surely contrary to the basic laws of the legal system. Respect for the decisions of the government’s that was chosen by the free voters is necessary. But black listing people for being in the service of the Gulen Movement and then eliminating them from government from their job is nothing acceptable.”
After Arinc’s comments severe comments came from Movement. Response to government: ‘’As a Non Governmental Organization We make recommendations to people. But government members say that : ‘’Don’t interfere with politics, if you are into politics so much then you establish your own party or wait for the elections‘’. Movement goes on their comments: ‘’none of those comments are acceptable for the soul, norms or with the values of the democratic system. Our movement is indispensably feel obliged to respond.’’
Front lines of the movements’ comments:
‘’Are we behind the Gezi Park Resistance? : Even some of the members of AKP were aware of & supported the Gezi Park Protest in the beginning because of protests based on environmental concerns. Some of the members of our movement might’ve supported it too. But their support doesn’t mean that we are behind any conspiracy against government. In the beginning of the Gezi Resistance, after his big demonstration in Kazlicesme/ in Istanbul, PM came to the Turkish Olympiads and praised our movement and policies. Mr. Erdogan as PM can obtain any intelligence report he wishes because of his position. If he had such an opinion as our Movement was after Gezi Demonstrations, surely he wouldn’t make those prairies to us.’’
‘’On first day of demonstrations, not the police but the city constabulary officers burned down the tents of the demonstrators. The Police didn’t attack the demonstrators at first but they continued to follow the PM’s orders. The PM supported the police for their conduct during the demonstrations and then he rewarded them with extra benefits. ‘’
During the demonstrations police used teargas, plastic bullets & even real bullets against civilians. PM rewarded the Police for killing 7 civilians. 1 police officer lost his life too. (Officer died cause of falling down a bridge while he was walking he has lost his consciousness because of heavily tiredness), 8000 people wounded, 59 of them heavily, 11 civilians lost one of their eyes while police shooting to them by direct targeting. What police used during demonstrations was not only teargas but also orange gas. Both kinds of them are forbidden to use against unarmed civilians by international agreements. They are considered deadly chemical weapons. Police forces also used chemical contaminants in the water of armored vehicles that flushed to the people. All of them against unarmed youngsters.
Movements’ commentary goes on:
‘’The Public prosecutor doesn’t have the authority to arrest the PM:
Some people have claimed that our community was a setting up the PM to arrest him. Anyone who has a conscience couldn’t accept such a gross slander. The groups or people who claim that our movement might ever be involved in such a conspiracy couldn’t give any explanation why would we need to do so. Our membership worked for AKP. The Gulen Movement has lots of supporters from all over the world. Some of our members own media such as news channels and magazines. If any of them report news related to the KCK (City Settlement of PKK) or prosecutions concerning MIT, it doesn’t mean they are in a conspiracy against the government or the PM.
Bug in PM’s room:
Another dangerous accusation is -the bug that was found in the PM’s office and that it was put there by our movement. - Even claiming that requires an investigation. If that is genuine but no investigation is made then that behavior is suspicious. Instead of finding who is responsible for that, if the jumps to the conclusion it was placed there by the Movement, that means there are some other dark objectives behind those claims.
We’re above partisanship and parties:
Making any alliance with only one political party is against our existential philosophy. We have members from all political opinions and we are above all partisan political groups.
Closing down educational courses and bringing us into knuckles:
We can see the people who made the claims above and their words in the national media such as –AKP can end the movement with one prosecutor and with 3 cops. We can take them under suspicion of being members of a gang- Those are dangerous words and remind us of the planned postmodern coup days’’
After 1980 military coup all Turkish governments investigated religious fundamentalism. Coup leaders hanged even 17 years old boys to indoctrinate public opinion with fascism. Religious fundamentalism has kicked Turkish life all the way back to the medieval era.After 90’s The Gulen Movement made huge investments on education. They have placed their students in important government jobs. They made business in and out of the country. We have to accept that they are a major religious factor inside every political party, government, bureaucracy, justice system. Since they supported AKP government they walk on same path Whatever the AKP does that supported by Movement too.
There’s a game going on as Movement quarrels with AKP. Is that something we should believe?