July 17, 2014

MHP's Yeniçeri: What is being done to Hizmet is genocide

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Ankara deputy Özcan Yeniçeri has lashed out at the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government for embarking on a battle against the faith-based Hizmet movement, saying the government's actions against Hizmet are tantamount to genocide.

Speaking at a news conference in Parliament on Wednesday, Yeniçeri said the AK Party government is trying to “eradicate” the Hizmet movement.

“Activity aimed to eradicate a certain group is an act of genocide. They [the government] will be held accountable for their actions in front of the judiciary. Turkey has ceased being a state of law. There is only the judiciary of [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan,” Yeniçeri said.

The Hizmet movement promotes interfaith dialogue and the resolution of problems through peaceful methods all over the world. However, Prime Minister Erdoğan's AK Party has been at odds with Hizmet, especially since Dec. 17, 2013, when a major government graft operation implicating senior government members became public. The prime minister claims the operation was orchestrated by the Hizmet movement with the motive of overthrowing his AK Party government. Erdoğan has not provided any evidence to prove his claim, and the movement denies the accusation.

The government is waging a war not only against individuals who are linked to Hizmet but also to Hizmet-affiliated institutions.

When asked about rumors claiming that land formerly belonging to Fatih College will be handed over to the Foundation of Youth and Education in Turkey (TÜRGEV), which was involved in a corruption scandal that became public on Dec. 17, Yeniçeri said it is as if Turkey has become the property of the prime minister and his family.

“Nobody should forget that violations of free enterprise and property rights make a country go backward,” he said.

In 2004 the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality's declared approximately 7,000 square meters of land in İstanbul's Gaziosmanpaşa district as suitable for the construction of an educational complex. A company named Fetih Educational Operations purchased the land through a tender in July 2009. The institution paid TL 5.2 million for the land and began constructing a school there in 2012 under the Fatih College umbrella organization. The school is near completion.

On April 21 of this year, municipal police assigned by the municipallity sealed the building without citing any reason. On June 6, the municipality took action to turn the land on which the education complex was being built into a “green area” and attempted to seize the land. There are claims that the area will be transferred to TÜRGEV.

Fatih College is affiliated with the Hizmet movement.

Published on Today's Zaman, 17 July 2014, Thursday