January 29, 2015

Erdoğan’s African mission and dismantling Turkish schools

Anwar Alam*

How do Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's repeated calls for the closure of Turkish schools located on the African continent, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, serve Turkish national interests? It appears that in his fight against a “parallel structure,” which he equates with institutions and people inspired by the faith-based Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, the current Turkish president is losing a sense of direction. He is guided by a myopic vision and ego, which ultimately will compromise core Turkish national interests.

Reactions snowball against attempts to close down int’l Turkish schools

Efforts by the Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to close down Turkish schools opened by Turkish entrepreneurs affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement (also called the Hizmet movement) around the world have been met with a growing reaction from many segments of society that highlight the schools' quality education and contributions to the spread of Turkish culture.

Volunteer teachers saddened by efforts to close Turkish schools

Volunteers teachers, most of whom left behind a better life in Turkey with the hope of promoting universal values of peace, dialogue and peaceful coexistence with others through education at Turkish schools abroad, have voiced great disappointment over efforts by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to defame and eventually see these schools close.

Turkish schools and the race in philanthropy!

Erhan Başyurt

The government is in a strange effort to close down Turkish schools abroad.

Ministry imposing bans against Zaman, Cihan defends press freedom in Crimea

The Turkish Foreign Ministry, which has been criticized for the media accreditation bans it has imposed against reporters from the Zaman and Cihan news outlets, has defended press freedom in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, slamming a police raid conducted at a Tatar TV station.

Freedom House slams Erdoğan’s anti-free press stance

The heads of the US-based watchdog Freedom House have expressed concern over the state of freedom of the press in Turkey, criticizing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's role in wiping out dissident views.

January 28, 2015

Freedom House: Turkey drifting further from democratic reforms

US-based watchdog Freedom House has stated that Turkey has drifted further from democratic reforms, with former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rising to the presidency and overseeing government attempts to quash corruption cases against his allies and associates as well as with greater interference in the media and judiciary.

Turkey harshly criticized by panel in US over press freedom

The government's recent crackdown on the media was severely criticized during a panel discussion at the National Press Club (NPC) in Washington, D.C.

Gülen’s lawyers refute justice minister’s statement likening Gülen to Iran’s Khomeini

Lawyers for Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen have said via Twitter that Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ should have provided proof to back up his statement that Gülen planned to return from the US to Turkey in a similar way to Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

CHP deputy says gov’t polarizing public via media

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Bursa deputy Aykan Erdemir has said that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has been polarizing the public via the media, warning that bad incidents such as massacres and genocides took place at the end of such polarization processes in history.

Erdoğan’s attack on civil society

Mustafa Akyol

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan was on an “Africa tour” recently, a trip that included official visits to Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. There is much to support about Turkey's presence in these countries, especially Somalia, where Erdoğan really extended a charitable hand to an impoverished nation. However his trip has a less inspiring motive as well: To convince African leaders to close down the “Turkish schools” in their countries.

Understanding the Hizmet Movement – Is Hizmet Islamist?

Uğur Kömeçoğlu

The Hizmet movement originated in Turkey and is now active in education, civil society, business and other activities in over one hundred and fifty countries worldwide. Fethullah Gülen (b.1941) is the social and the spiritual leader of the movement. The movement, which is not sponsored by a government or by a political party, is a transnational civic initiative rooted in the spiritual and humanistic tradition of Islam. One of the main goals of the Hizmet organization has been the elevation of a Muslim consciousness that is compatible with modern civil democracy and opposed to Islamism. For Gülen, Islamists are usually motivated by personal and political agendas rooted in the pursuit of worldly ambitions and power as well as by anger and hostility toward others:

January 27, 2015

Indonesian authorities request 100 more Turkish schools

Schools operated by the Pacific Nations Social and Economic Development Association (PASİAD) is the crown jewel of the Indonesian education system.

War on Gulenists undermines Turkish diplomacy

Fehim Taştekin

Bent on dismantling the “parallel state,” Ankara has embarked on a reckless campaign that threatens to undermine Turkey’s foreign relations. After corruption probes targeted Cabinet members in December 2013, it came as no surprise when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government dismissed and reassigned thousands of police officers, prosecutors and judges in the course of fierce war on the movement of cleric Fethullah Gulen. No one would have imagined, however, that Ankara would go so far as to dismiss dozens of honorary consuls in Turkey and mount a diplomatic offensive to force the closure of Gulenist-founded schools abroad.

January 26, 2015

EU on 'parallel state' claims: ‘We don't use conspiracy theories'

What do the EU leaders think of the “parallel state” claims of the Turkish ruling party in regards to the Gülen movement (Hizmet movement)?

Will Erdoğan succeed in wresting away the reins of religion from civilian hands?

Mümtazer Türköne

I am going to talk about a situation similar to the process by which the tools of production become state possessions. These are concepts far removed not only from Western culture but from socialist ideologies as well. After all, what we are talking about here is not nationalization, but rather the transitioning of cultural arenas that are directly linked to the society -- and that the society has even created on its own -- into state property.

Erdoğan receives harsh criticism from civil society over bid to close Turkish schools

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's bid for the closure of Turkish schools affiliated with the Gülen movement in African countries has drawn harsh criticism from various segments of the society, including journalists, artists and politicians.

Gov’t ignoring court verdicts since Dec. 17 graft scandal

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, various state agencies and a number of municipalities ruled by the AK Party have ignored scores of court decisions regarding their actions since a huge corruption scandal erupted on Dec. 17, 2013.

Even a village cannot be ruled this way

Ekrem Dumanlı

A simple question: by what standards is Turkey being ruled now? Constitution? Laws? Unfortunately, neither. We have a rule based on arbitrariness and bullying. How about democratic criteria? They were long shelved. Legal criteria? They are preserved in the deep freezer. So by what standards is our country being ruled? By the wishes and desires of some privileged individuals…

January 25, 2015

‘Turkish schools are building the future’, expresses Somaliland leader

The leader of Somali’s autonomous Somaliland region, Ahmed Muhammed Silanyo, has hailed Turkish schools for their efforts to bring up a bright, new generation in the Somalia, calling on Turkish entrepreneurs to open more schools in the country.

Dr. Rainer Hermann: ’Erdoğan wants to build a regime according to his wishes!’

"Even if [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan wanted to transform Turkey into a dictatorship, he would not succeed.

Erdoğan’s stance on Turkish Schools turns to hatred after corruption probes

The discourse that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan displays towards internationally-located Turkish schools -- which are run by Turkish entrepreneurs inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen -- shifted completely towards a hateful stance after corruption investigations went public in December 2013 incriminated Erdoğan, his family members and close associates.