November 11, 2017

Report: Two Turkish nationals, abducted from plane in Kazakhstan, returned to Turkey

Enver Kılıç and Zabit Kişi, the two Turkish nationals who were abducted from a plane in Kazakhstan in mid-September turn out to have been forcedly returned to Turkey and taken into custody, according to media. Aktif Haber online news portal said on November 9 that the two are being held under custody in Turkey.

November 10, 2017

Mueller Probes Flynn’s Role in Alleged Plan to Deliver Gulen to Turkey

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged plan involving former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the U.S. and deliver him to Turkey in return for millions of dollars, according to people familiar with the investigation.

November 9, 2017

Turkish PM Yıldırım takes anti-Gülen witch-hunt to the US

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has called on Muslims in the US to distance themselves from people linked to the Gülen movement, inspired by US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday.

November 8, 2017

Minister: 2,274 Gülen-linked private educational institutions closed since coup attempt

Turkish Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz has announced that the government has closed 2,274 educational institutions since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, as part of a witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement, accused by the government of masterminding the failed coup, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

November 7, 2017

Erdoğan admits trapping Gülen movement people

Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan admitted on Tuesday that people sympathetic to the Gülen movement have been trapped in Turkey, saying intelligent people have left the country, BBC reported.

JWF: The habitus of silencing journalists in Turkey have no limits

The Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF) has stated that the habitus of silencing journalists in Turkey does not have any limits, in a statement at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) “Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting: The Role of the Free Media in the Comprehensive Approach to Security” in Vienna on November 2, 2017.

November 6, 2017

Report: FBI refused to review Gülen extradition case

The federal investigation into US President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, retired general Michael Flynn, and his son as part of the probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election has revealed that the FBI refused a demand to review Turkey’s 2016 request to extradite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, NBC News reported on Sunday.

November 5, 2017

Turkey, the Gulen Movement and Nigeria

Jideofor Adibe

Last month President Buhari made a four-day visit to Turkey - his first to the country since his election in 2015. Though Buhari’s trip was essentially to attend a meeting of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation ( made up of Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey), he was hosted by President Erdogan, one-on-one, in Ankrah, for a full day in the Turkish capital in what some called the ‘compressed state visit’. It was reported that during the visit, the two leaders discussed issues of security, anti-terrorism and agricultural and trade cooperation - among others. President Erdogan was said to have specifically mentioned the ‘menace’ of the Fetullah organization, which the government accused of terrorism. President Erdogan had in March this year paid a state visit to Buhari in Abuja.

November 4, 2017

Anonymous witnesses fail to identify suspects they earlier tipped off as Gulenist

An anonymous witness in Denizli failed to identify any of the 145 suspects, earlier accused of being followers of the Gulen movement, during a court hearing on Oct. 30.

November 3, 2017

Journalist Karaca sentenced to 31 years for slandering al-Qaeda-affiliated group

Samanyolu Broadcasting Group General Manager Hidayet Karaca has been sentenced to 31 years in prison by an Istanbul court on charges of membership in a terrorist organization and for allegedly slandering the al-Qaeda-affiliated group Tahşiyeciler, Habertürk reported on Friday.

November 2, 2017

Turkish Colonel: I was Threatened to Say Gulen Ordered Military Coup

A Turkish colonel has said he was threatened to say that U.S.-based cleric ordered the military coup attempt last year, dismissing his earlier confession and rejecting any role in the putsch.

November 1, 2017

Fethullah Gülen’s Statement of Condolences and Condemnation for Manhattan Terrorist Attack

Fethullah Gülen

I am deeply shocked and saddened by the atrocious terrorist attack in Manhattan which resulted in the deaths of eight innocent civilians and left 11 others injured. I strongly condemn this despicable and senseless act of violence.

October 31, 2017

3,158 detained in October over Gülen links

The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that 759 people have been detained in one week due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, accused by the government of masterminding a botched coup attempt last summer, bringing the number of people detained in October to 3,158.

October 30, 2017

The Fountain Essay Contest 2017

Hurricanes, tropical storms, earthquakes … More and more, humans are being affected by natural disasters. But life’s challenges do not come only in the form of natural disasters – individuals have to face all sorts of disasters in their personal lives. Sometimes it’s the loss of a loved one or a job, or even a loss of faith; it could be having to abandon one’s home due to war or persecution at the hands of a tyrant. Some disasters may seem smaller at first glance, but can feel just as consequential – a first gray hair, a failed class, getting passed over for a promotion … the list goes on and on.

October 29, 2017

Purge In Turkey Worries Kansas City Emigres

Bill Tammeus

The brutal, imperious reaction of Turkey’s dictatorial government to a failed coup attempt last year has turned life into a nightmare for most, if not all, Kansas City-area residents of Turkish nationality.

October 28, 2017

Kosovo arrests Gülen-linked man at Turkey's request

Kosovo authorities have arrested Turkish citizen Ugur Toksoy on Friday, at Turkey's request. Toksoy who is considered as opponent of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is wanted by Turkish authorities on charges for “organisation and participation in a terrorist group.”

October 27, 2017

The restructuring of Turkey: Filling the gap left by Gulen

Ulrich von Schwerin

With schools seized, residential homes nationalised, newspapers closed and tens of thousands of supporters behind bars, things do not look good for the movement led by the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, which is being held responsible for the failed military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over a year ago. This fraternity, which was once so powerful in Turkey that it was simply known as the cemaat (Islamic community or group), has now been branded a terrorist organisation and is banned. Its structures have been smashed, its assets seized and its leaders have either been imprisoned, fled the country, or have had warrants issued against them.

October 26, 2017

285 Turkish teachers and families risk forcible deportation and persecution in Pakistan

Pakistan must protect 285 Turkish nationals from forcible repatriation, arbitrary arrest, and other human rights abuses, FIDH (The Worldwide Human Rights Movement) and its member organization Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said today. This call follows the deportation of a Turkish family of four on 14 October 2017.

October 25, 2017

Turkish government to collect 518 textbooks over Gülen paranoia

Turkish Education Ministry has decided to collect and revise 518 different textbooks over the paranoia on the Gülen movement with the claim to clear alleged propaganda and controversial content, according to a report by Cumhuriyet daily on Tuesday.

October 24, 2017

Nigeria says asked by Turkey to extradite over 1000 people

Turkey seeks extradition of 1000 people in Nigeria as part of its post-coup crackdown against the Gulen movement, local media reported on Monday.

October 23, 2017

Terror investigation launched against Galatasaray’s Rocky choreography

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has ordered an anti-terror investigation into the Rocky Balboa choreography, displayed by Galatasaray fans during a Sunday derby with Fenerbahce, daily Hurriyet reported.

October 22, 2017

7 detained for putting money into Bank Asya after Dec 2013

At least 7 people were detained for having raised the amount of the money held at their Bank Asya accounts after late 2013, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Saturday.

October 21, 2017

In Erdogan’s Post-Coup Turkey, Anti-Semitism is on the Rise

Sophia Pandya*

On a visit to Turkey in 2011, I visited the Belek “Garden of Tolerance,” where a diminutive mosque, church, and synagogue are housed close together in an emerald-green park, apparently a testament of Turkey’s acceptance of other faiths.

October 20, 2017

Freedom of Press Is Under Threat in Turkey

“Too many things happened. The police called me to the station almost every day. My whole working day was spent defending myself. I had no time to write articles. Then came the attempted coup d’etat and my name was on a list kept by the national security service. I was forced to flee the country.”

October 19, 2017

Lahore High Court orders protection for Turkish teachers in Lahore

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday sought records from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regarding the arrival of a special Turkish plane late on October 13 to take a Turkish teacher back to his home country. The court had stayed the deportation of Mesut Kacmaz of Pak-Turk Schools and Colleges, who was among dozens of Turkish school staffers that had been granted temporary refugee status.

October 18, 2017

Peace Islands Institute donates platefuls of generosity

When volunteers at Toni’s Kitchen get together, it’s all about fostering friendships with one another while cooking for people who to get day-to-day meals.

October 17, 2017

Pakistan admits they secretly deported Turkish family wanted by Erdogan govt

The Pakistan government on Tuesday admitted before the Lahore High Court that it had secretly deported a Turkish family wanted by the Erdogan government, in violation of the court’s order. Expressing its anger over the government’s deportation of Mesut Kacmaz, his wife and two teenage daughters despite its ruling not to do so, the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued a contempt of court notice to the federal government for October 20.

October 15, 2017

Pakistani Govt deports abducted Turkish teacher and family despite UN protections

  • Kacmaz family was blindfolded and boarded on an unmarked flight from Islamabad to Istanbul
  • Lahore High Court had asked Interior Ministry to locate and release the family and not deport them until further notice
  • The Turkish family was scheduled to appear before Lahore High Court on Monday

October 14, 2017

Another woman faces detention just after giving birth: opposition deputy

Turkish police are waiting at Balıkesir Sevgi Hospital to detain M.A., who just gave birth by cesarean section, over alleged links to Turkey’s Gülen group, which is accused by the Turkish government of mounting a botched coup attempt last summer, an opposition deputy tweeted on Saturday.

October 13, 2017

HRW: People being tortured, abducted in post-coup Turkey

People detained after the last year’s failed putsch have been subject to torture in police custody while several others were abducted outside detention facilities, according to a recent report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

October 12, 2017

On Gülen vs Erdogan – “And not equal are the good deed and the bad”

Philip Clayton

“And not equal are the good deed and the bad”

On Violence, Power, and Peace in Turkey’s Most Disastrous Year

October 11, 2017

A Turkish family has disappeared in Pakistan, and suspicion turns to intelligence agencies

A commotion in the downstairs unit of a house shared by schoolteachers from Turkey woke the neighbors. A Turkish school official and his family were being taken away in the night.

October 10, 2017

Abduction of Kacmaz Family – The dark side

Xari Jalil

They travel in groups now, never alone; and each time the doorbell rings, they dread the worst. Their homes are beco­ming emptier; personal possessions are being sold off.

October 9, 2017

Turkish Teachers In Kazakhstan Fear Going Home

Tony Wesolowsky* and Asylkhan Mamashuly**

Yakub Doganai came to Kazakhstan from his native Turkey 18 years ago to work as a teacher at a private school in the capital, Almaty.

October 8, 2017

Abduction of Kacmaz family – An act of high-handedness

More than a dozen plain-clothes men and women in light blue wagons used by law enforcement agencies forcibly entered a house in Wapda Town Lahore at midnight of Sept 27, where a former director of PakTurk Schools Mesut Kacmaz was residing with his family. They blindfolded the Turkish schoolteacher, his wife and two teenage daughters and took them away.

October 7, 2017

Asma Jahangir, activists demand release of abducted Turkish family

Rights activists and colleagues have demanded the release of a four-member Turkish family allegedly abducted by ‘law-enforcement officials’ in Lahore last week.

October 6, 2017

Pakistan’s Senate body to summon officials over missing Turkish family

The Senate Committee on Human Rights (HRs) on Thursday took up the issue of the disappeared Turkish family working for Pak-Turk Schools from Lahore and decided to summon relevant officials of federal and provincial governments in its next meeting.

October 5, 2017

Erdoğan’s Fight against the Gülen Movement & The Demise of Turkish State Rationality

Sage Chen*

Since the corruption scandal of December 2013, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has waged an all-out war against the Gülen (or Hizmet) movement. The anti-Gülenist campaign started with the closing of private tutoring centers operated by members of the movement and was followed by the jailing and mistreatment of journalists, bureaucrats, and businessmen who were claimed to have connections with the movement. The operation has become Erdoğan’s main source of legitimacy in recent years. Erdoğan has not only utilized the brute force of the state apparatus, but also the soft power of manipulation and propaganda, to suppress and criminalize the movement and tarnish its reputation around the world.

October 4, 2017

Mesut Kacmaz – the abducted Turkish teacher

Rasul Bakhsh Rais

The name is a subject itself; he is a benefactor of Pakistan, a friend of our people, and one of the thousands of Turkish teachers who have lived in our country and taught tens of thousands of children over the past several decades. It is the missionary spirit of the Gülen movement that has motivated Turkish teachers to leave their home and live in Pakistan and tens of other countries to give world-class education to children, with disregard to faith and nationality. The central principle of the movement is service to humanity, as the name Hizmet Hareketi indicates.

Editorial Opinion: Mistreating Teachers

Editorial

In a recent development, a Turkish national was picked up along with his family from his Lahore home by a large contingent of what appeared to be part of a law-enforcement agency. The action — conducted in the dead of the night and without any legal formality or procedure — gave the impression that the target was some high-profile terrorist or most wanted person. A former principal with the Pak-Turk Schools system, Mesut Kacmaz, provided quality education to thousands of Pakistani boys and girls all over the country. The manner in which he and his family were dragged out of their house and abused is a shameful chapter in this on-going saga with the Pak-Turk schools. The school system ran afoul of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan soon after the failed July 2016 coup against him and the government then led by Nawaz Sharif was pressured into shutting down the entire schooling system — which left thousands of children with no place to study. The Turkish staff was ordered back to their home country.

October 3, 2017

Fethullah Gülen’s Statement on the Shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada

Fethullah Gülen

I am shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night, that resulted in the deaths of more than 50 people and the wounding of more than 500.

October 2, 2017

Turkish academics exiled to Germany remain in fear

Mehmet is a Turkish academic who rarely looks directly at you; instead, he turns away and smiles in a pained way. Unlike almost all of the other delegates at a conference for refugee academics being held in Leipzig, he is not wearing a name lanyard that would identify him.

October 1, 2017

Erdoğanist Turks Target Inter-Cultural Dialogue Activities Of Gülen Followers In Germany

A group of pro-Erdoğan Turkish Islamists came together in the city of Duisburg, Germany and protested the schools operated and inter-cultural dialogue activities which have been carried out by the Turkish people who are affiliated with the Gülen movement, according to reports in pro-government Turkish media on Sunday.

September 30, 2017

US State Department ‘Can’t Imagine’ Accepting Erdogan Offer to Trade Hostage Pastor for Gulen

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert rejected a proposal from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to trade wrongfully detained American pastor Andrew Brunson for Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen on Thursday, asserting the Trump administration was placing its efforts of bringing Brunson home.

September 29, 2017

Crackdown in Turkey felt in Capital Region

Paul Grondahl*

My heart broke Thursday night at the end of a lovely dinner of Turkish cuisine when our hosts told us they were shutting down the Turkish Cultural Center of Albany and putting the building up for sale.

September 28, 2017

Erdoğan calls on US to extradite Gülen in return for jailed US pastor in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the US to extradite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen in return for releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been jailed in Turkey since October 2016.

September 27, 2017

Pakistani rights group calls for immediate release of abducted Turkish principal, family

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called for the immediate release of Mesut Kaçmaz, the former principal of a Turkish school in Pakistan, and his family, who were reportedly abducted by Pakistani police in Lahore in the early hours of Wednesday.

Former director of Turkish schools in Pakistan and his family kidnapped

Former director of Pak-Turk Schools in Pakistan Mesut Kaçmaz and his family were reportedly kidnapped in Lahore on Wednesday, the Daily Pakistan reported.

September 26, 2017

Gülen resorts to UN to investigate Turkey’s coup

The U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen calls the United Nations to form an international commission to investigate Turkey’s controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, and to acquit himself after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused him of launching the coup d’état.

September 25, 2017

Request for an International Commission to Investigate Turkey’s Failed Coup of July 15th, 2016

The coup attempt of July 15 2016 was undoubtedly an attack on Turkey’s hard won democratic gains. Though it is regretfully noted that the subsequent government measures indicate a deliberate effort to abuse the atmosphere of fear in order to crackdown on all forms of opposition. In order to legitimate its oppressive measures, the Erdogan regime is insisting that Hizmet Movement and JWF’s Honorary President Mr. Fethullah Gulen was behind the coup attempt, an allegation that is yet to be proven and has received no support from the international community.

September 24, 2017

Jailed Zaman editor says we are journalists, not terrorists

Former Zaman daily Ankara Representative Mustafa Ünal, who is standing trial after 414 days in pretrial detention, said on Monday that he and other colleagues in the same case are journalists who expressed their views in Zaman, not terrorists.

September 23, 2017

Erdogan uses Rohingya crisis to try to be a global Muslim leader

Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi*

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to position himself as the “Islamic champion” of the global Muslims’ rights. After any calamity falling on Muslims anywhere in the world, Erdogan emerges as the “rescuer”. The Rohingya crisis is a fresh case in point.

September 22, 2017

NATO Needs to Admit Turkey Is Shredding Democratic Values

Gregg Roman*

At the Middle East Forum, we just finished hosting a conference for members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. A group of legislators who gather in Brussels to deliberate on the problems confronting the transatlantic partnership, this body seeks to uphold the same values that are supposed to underpin the transatlantic alliance: democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, independence of the judiciary and protection of minorities.

September 21, 2017

Turkish Cultural Center’s Meat Drive in New York

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer joined the Turkish Cultural Center and Peace Islands Institute New York, non-profit organizations based in Manhattan, and Embrace Relief, a global relief effort providing aid to the underserved and those struck by disaster, in donating 1,500 pounds of meat to Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Manhattan.