November 13, 2014

Turkish-Australian businessmen blocked from G-20 summit

Australian businessmen of Turkish descent who are affiliated with the faith-based Hizmet movement have been removed from the guest list of the upcoming G-20 summit, according to undisclosed sources.

Turkey's ambassador to Australia, Reha Keskintepe, obtained a list of the G-20 attendees who come from the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, and sent it to Ankara, according to the sources. Afterward, a number of Hizmet-affiliated businessmen were removed from the guest list.

The move mirrors recent measures taken by the government to exclude Hizmet-affiliated media outlets from attending official events. The Hizmet-affiliated dailies Zaman and Today's Zaman as well as the Cihan news agency have been barred from such events, in addition to various other media outlets known for their critical stance against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). The Hizmet movement is inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

The G-20 summit, which will be attended by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, is scheduled to take place on Nov. 15-16 in the Australian city of Brisbane.

Published on Today's Zaman, 13 November 2014, Thursday