November 5, 2014

GYV says claims Hizmet formed political party one big lie

The Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), whose honorary chairman is Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, released a statement on its website on Wednesday strongly rejecting claims that the Hizmet movement formed a political party.

It said it is impossible for a civil society movement that is supported by millions of volunteers from various political views to form or make someone form a political party. “This claim, which is frequently and intentionally brought to the agenda, is just a big lie,” the GYV statement said.

Noting that volunteers of Hizmet respect all political movements that do not resort to violence or terror, which is against international laws, the GYV said the fact that the movement is respected in many countries of different religions and ethnicities is a result of it being a civil movement.

“The approach of this volunteer movement to politics is based on fundamental principles such as rule of law, democracy, plurality, universal human rights and freedoms, justice, equality, abiding by international laws and agreements, transparency of the state and accountability,” the statement said, adding that volunteers of Hizmet support any political party that follows policies compatible with these principles of their own free will and personal preference.

The Hizmet movement, whose members follow the principles of Gülen, is known for its cultural and educational activities in Turkey and around the world along with its efforts to promote intercultural and interfaith activities.

“It is very normal for an individual who was influenced by the community's [Hizmet] culture to become active in politics of his own will,” the statement continued, stressing that the principle of Hizmet not to form a political party should not interfere with an individual's choice to be active in politics.

Underlining that volunteers of Hizmet eagerly want Turkey to become a real democracy and have a transparent state of law, the statement said the movement will continue to stay within the framework of a civilian initiative and maintain its position in favor of democratic rights and freedoms.

Pro-government circles in Turkey frequently raise claims that Hizmet is forming a new party. These claims have been brought to the agenda again after an independent deputy who resigned from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) late last year formed a new political party.

Kütahya deputy İdris Bal established the Democratic Development Party (DGP) on Tuesday after filing a petition at the Interior Ministry. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday while promoting his party, Bal denied claims that he decided to form the party after having talks with Gülen. He said he would be honored if either Gülen or other opinion leaders in the country lend their support to his party.

Published on Today's Zaman, 05 November 2014, Wednesday