Fatma Dişli Zıbak
Fethullah Gülen, who has pioneered extensive educational activities around the world, as the mastermind behind video scandals involving several MHP members will prove costly for the party ahead of the June 12 general elections, columnists say.
Bugün’s Ahmet Taşgetiren interprets Bahçeli’s attack on Gülen as an effort to convince the MHP voter base that the party is under attack from outside forces, but he thinks this is the kind of effort which is doomed to fail because MHP supporters are careful and aware enough to see and appreciate the services Gülen has provided to serve the interests of the country.
“Turkey does not have its eyes closed so as not to be able to see that the activities of Gülen and his movement abroad, through Turkish schools and the Turkish Olympics, have generated a love for Turkey. Various segments of society, including the MHP supporters, assume a role in the services made by the movement both in Turkey and abroad in the fields of education and humanitarian aid,” he explains. In this regard, he finds Bahçeli’s effort to blame the Gülen movement for the video scandals at the MHP a very hard to understand approach, which he says will cost the party greatly in the elections.
Another Bugün columnist, Gültekin Avcı, finds it ironic that when the MHP should be the party that applauds Gülen’s services most because of their contribution to the nation, it is attacking Gülen. “As the Gülen movement flourishes, as its services spread from East to West, from south to north around the world, the MHP is exhibiting neurotic reactions. It should have been the MHP that applauded and appreciated the Turkish Olympics [an event which brings hundreds of children who learned to speak Turkish from different cultures together] the most. Such a diversion from the nationalist paradigm is not normal,” says Avcı.
Star daily’s Sedat Laçiner thinks Bahçeli attacking Gülen over the video scandals will yield some fatal consequences for his party. One of these consequences, he says, is the MHP being pulled out of Parliament for engaging in a fight with an important community. “This is what is happening. The MHP is being turned from a moderate party into a fighting party,” he says.
Published on Sunday's Zaman, 15 May 2011, Sunday