The Dec. 14 operation is a blow inflicted on media freedom, law and our democracy. At the same time, it is an operation that is meant to ruin Turkey’s international credibility and reliability.
Those trying to produce a “terrorist organization” out of a purely imaginary script of a TV series and three columns are the ones who get disturbed by freedom of thought and expression in Turkey.
Sadly, statements by President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Davutoğlu strengthen the impression that the political will is behind these unlawful acts and interferes with ongoing judicial processes.
Defending the police raids on two big media groups of Turkey on the ground of a previous operation against al-Qaeda linked Tahşiye group, Mr. Erdoğan and Mr. Davutoğlu have revealed their predilection.
Moreover, yesterday both figures once again described Tahşiyeciler as “innocent”; those people who have been charged with having ties to al-Qaeda, in whose buildings guns and bombs have been found, who have been sentenced in the first trial and whose proceedings continue after the Supreme Court of Appeals stage.
I hope they really are innocent. Anyway, no one defends unlawful and unjust detention and arrest of these people.
If there is a mistake, it should be corrected of course. But it’s equally unacceptable to “plot against” and describe as “terrorist” those people, whose contributions to peace and dialogue are appreciated all cross the world, for the sake of an al-Qaeda linked group whose trial continues.
Doğan: I like bin Laden
To make a more accurate comparison, please read these striking lines and decide it yourself. After all, don’t the judges themselves deliver judgment “on behalf of the nation”? Mehmet Doğan, the leader of the Tahşiye group which is charged with having ties to al-Qaeda, says in videotapes that were included among the evidence in the case:
“There is that call (for jihad) by Osama. It is a religious duty on all Muslims. The head of your government works not for your interests but for those of others. The religious scholar you venerate serves others. There would be no jihad without wielding the sword. How to do this? I advise you to produce a weapon and strike. One may ask, ‘How can we do this, venerable scholar?’ I tell ‘Go make a weapon and strike.’ Ferşat’s father and religious leader relentlessly work inside a house and produce a missile. What really matters is making a weapon. You are totally free to make whatever weapon you want. There would be no Islam without wielding the sword.”
In other words, Mr. Doğan supports the call for jihad made by Osama bin Laden while he was alive. He advises his followers to “take up arms and strike.” What’s more, he recommends them to “produce a missile at home and wage war” where possible.
The previous day, Mehmet Doğan attended a program at CNN Türk hosted by Akif Beki, who was former spokesman of Erdoğan.
Mr. Doğan said, “I like Osama bin Laden because he was a believer. I like him because he was a Muslim. I like bin Laden for the sake of Allah.” showing his opinions have not changed.
Those who like bin Laden and support his call for jihad should know that, the same al-Qaeda that was led by bin Laden conducted the twin attacks in Istanbul on November 15 and 20, 2003 that left 57 people dead and nearly 700 people wounded.
Gülen: Bin Laden blemished Islam
In an interview he gave to journalist Nuriye Akman in 2004, Venerable Fethullah Gülen, who was accused in the aftermath of the politically-motivated Dec. 14 operation of “setting up and running a terrorist organization”, said of bin Laden:
“One of the people in the world I hate the most is Osama Bin Laden, because he spoiled the bright appearance of Islam. He created a dirty image. Even if we try to fix that terrible damage with all our best, it would take years. Bin Laden replaced Islamic logic with his feelings and desires. He is a monster, as are the men around him. If there is any one similar to them in Turkey, they too are nothing more than monsters. We condemn such a consideration.”
It is known by everyone that Mr. Gülen is opposed to violence and that advises those who hold him in esteem to be “vanguards of dialogue”, to avoid going against existing laws and to sow seeds of peace and love all over the world.
And the world knows that he has not deviated from this line at all. Again, Mr. Gülen’s famous saying “A Muslim cannot be a terrorist and a terrorist cannot be a Muslim” represents the clearest ever stance and opinion on terror.
Those who issued a “Red Notice” for venerable Fethullah Gülen and surprised the whole world could not bring up any “gun” or “action” as evidence and have involved the police officers detained without reason into their plot.
MİT informed about assassination preparation
During the operations against the al-Qaeda linked Tahşiye group led by Mehmet Doğan, whom Erdoğan and Davutoğlu try to vindicate claiming “innocence”, those munitions have been seized:
3 hand grenades, pistols, shotguns, magazines, air gun, 1,382 cartridges of various brands and calibers, 380 shotgun shells, and electronic equipment used in bomb making…
And it was the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), currently the most respected institution of the state, which detected links to al-Qaeda and named the group as “Tahşiye.”
Having monitored the group since 2004, MİT informed security forces in Febr. 2009 that the group was receiving terror training in camps in Afghanistan and preparing for assassinations.
That being the case, it is interesting that the government openly backs up an al-Qaeda linked armed terrorist group and declares it innocent when their trial continues, shortly after claims that Turkey lends arms and support to such al-Qaeda affiliated groups asthe Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusra.
Vanguards of dialogue against ignorance
Venerable Fethullah Gülen, on the other hand, has sent volunteers to the same country – Afghanistan – to eradicate ignorance and poverty. These volunteers have not left the country even during the worst episodes of war and continued teaching. Mr. Gülen has placed special emphasis on educating girls who are discriminated against in Afghanistan and his efforts were officially recognized by the United Nations as well.
Attempting to portray the “vanguards of dialogue”, who show utmost care to not hurt anyone while working with full force to create islands of peace and serving mankind, today as a “terrorist group” is an irrational claim.
Western intellectuals and analysts also seem to have difficulty explaining this blatant contradiction. Indeed, The New York Times, one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world, wrote the following lines about the body of allegations that turned into a heap of discrepancies:
“Mr. Erdogan’s efforts to stifle criticism and dissent show an authoritarian leader living in a parallel universe, one where being a democracy, a NATO ally and a candidate for membership in the European Union are somehow compatible with upending the rule of law and stifling freedom of expression.”
Published on BGNNews, 22 December 2014, Monday