Military coups in Turkey

Democracy in the Thought of Gülen and Erdoğan’s Politics

Democracy in the Thought of Gülen and Erdoğan’s Politics

Fethullah Gülen: In the past, I did support the idea of a presidential system if it is to be modeled after the U.S. or France or other countries where there are checks and balances against the president. But Erdoğan’s proposal was akin to a sultan regime. I could not support such a system with a clear conscience. Erdoğan put pressure on me and Hizmet sympathizers to publicly support his idea of a presidential system.…

The Gülen Community – Who to Believe, Politicians or Actions?

The Gülen Community – Who to Believe, Politicians or Actions?

For those who know Mr. Gülen personally or have had contact with the open-hearted and idealistic members of the Hizmet movement, claims of subversive “terrorism,” (in Erdoğan’s words) seem incongruous. I have known Mr. Gülen for over 20 years and find the retired, soft-spoken Qur’an-teacher to be preaching and living a particularly attractive interpretation of Islamic faith.…

The Turkey I no longer know

The Turkey I no longer know

The Turkish population already is strongly polarized on the AKP regime. A Turkey under a dictatorial regime, providing haven to violent radicals and pushing its Kurdish citizens into desperation, would be a nightmare for Middle East security. I probably will not live to see Turkey become an exemplary democracy, but I pray that the downward authoritarian drift can be stopped before it is too late.…

Why Is Turkey Targeting Hizmet? Questions about Erdoğan’s Post-Coup Crackdown

Why Is Turkey Targeting Hizmet? Questions about Erdoğan’s Post-Coup Crackdown

But if Hizmet was not involved, then who? The Turkish press has called out all the usual suspects: the United States, Israel, the Vatican, Kurdish nationalists, ISIS. Some have argued, as was noted in articles in Politico and Independent (“in the same way Hitler used the Reichstag Fire to suppress all opposition”), that the coup was stage-managed by Erdoğan himself to create a pretext for destroying Hizmet and suppressing his secular and leftist critics. Certainly, he had the most to gain and has, in fact, gained the most.…

A Case for Why Gulen Would Never Support a Coup

A Case for Why Gulen Would Never Support a Coup

In his interview with the prominent French newspaper Le Monde, Gulen has called the July 15 events in Turkey a “terror coup.” As a man who has always condemned terrorism and violence in any shape or form, to which his life’s work is evidence, it is hard to believe that Gulen could have had the slightest connection to the coup.…

Fethullah Gulen: I consider the coup attempt as a serious “terror coup”

Fethullah Gulen: I consider the coup attempt as a serious “terror coup”

The events of that night [the coup attempt] could be called as a serious terror coup. I categorically reject such accusations. The claim that I convinced the 8th biggest army in the world from 6000 miles away against its own government is an incredible slander. I would like those who are responsible for this coup attempt, regardless of their identities, to receive the punishment they deserve after a fair trial.…

Don’t Make A Mystic into a Martyr: Fethullah Gülen as Peacebuilder

Don’t Make A Mystic into a Martyr: Fethullah Gülen as Peacebuilder

My conclusion? He’s a mystic in the Sufi tradition of Islam. And like other famous mystics in history—notably Gandhi, or Rumi—from whom Gülen draws deeply, Fethullah Gülen is a peacebuilder. And history teaches us that peacebuilders are likely to be misunderstood, vilified, and targeted. It would be tragic if once again historical forces conspire to turn a mystic into a martyr.…

Fethullah Gulen: I Condemn All Threats to Turkey’s Democracy

Fethullah Gulen: I Condemn All Threats to Turkey’s Democracy

I have been advocating for democracy for decades. Having suffered through four military coups in four decades in Turkey — and having been subjected by those military regimes to harassment and wrongful imprisonment — I would never want my fellow citizens to endure such an ordeal again. If somebody who appears to be a Hizmet sympathizer has been involved in an attempted coup, he betrays my ideals.…

Fethullah Gülen: ‘I deplore and reject any coup, anti-democratic attempts’

Fethullah Gülen: ‘I deplore and reject any coup, anti-democratic attempts’

I condemn and reject any coup whatsoever. I deplore and reject any coup attempt as well. I would raise my arms and would stop them saying that "this is a dead-end", even against considerations of a coup. This has always has been my general attitude; and my attitude will never change. If even the people who would like to drink my blood would come to the power through democratic elections, I would never consider or approve them being taken down through anti-democratic ways and methods. …