October 30, 2015

So you say Fethullah Gülen is a terrorist?

Bülent Korucu

The Interior Ministry has prepared a list of “terrorists,” showing well-respected Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen among the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) members.

Posters reminiscent of those that were affixed to walls of bus stations during the coup d'état of Sept. 12, 1980, are now decorating the pages of pro-government papers. Their headlines remind one of those of the Feb. 28 post-modern coup era. They are apparently enjoying the moment. Until very recently, they were praising the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leaders including Abdullah Öcalan, and now, in the same pages, they refer to Mr. Gülen as a terrorist.

They equate a person who inspired people to open up schools in Hakkari, Şemdinli and Cizre to those who establish terror camps. Is it Gülen's fault for encouraging people to work as teachers in Yüksekova when the Ministry of Education cannot send teachers there? Have you, the government, grown so unscrupulous as not to see the difference between the PKK, which has killed so many teachers to create a no-education zone in the region and those teachers who chose to work there risking their lives? Can't you differentiate between those who give children bombs and those who give them pens?

Your anger has dulled not only your conscience, but also your mind. And you have placed Gülen atop the red list -- showing the most dangerous criminals -- but put the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's (ISIL) suicide bombers who killed around 150 citizens into the "less dangerous" blue list. You tried hard not to call ISIL a terrorist organization although it has killed our soldiers and police officers and raided our consulate in Mosul. After ISIL militants started to launch attacks inside our borders, you finally whispered in a low voice: "ISIL is a terrorist organization." What has Gülen done to attract the grudge that you withhold from ISIL? We don't know any crime of his other than encouraging the establishment of the schools to which you rush to send your kids. You failed to find any criminal content in the nurseries which were raided and searched by anti-terror police.

"Those sacrificial souls who shouldered everything that would make up a school and took it to Mongolia," former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç once, with tears in his eyes, referred to those teachers of the school now linked to terrorism. Do you know that they are trying to market it as a crime as well? They are seeking ways to call support to world-class Turkish schools, which are run by Turkish entrepreneurs inspired by Mr. Gülen, as "terrorism." In such a case, Arınç would be sentenced to at least 10 years in prison on charges of praising the crime and the criminal! Recently, Arınç said: "Now, some people try to associate Gülen with a terrorist organization -- called pro-Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). There is no such reference in the National Security Policy Document or in the decisions of the National Security Council (MGK). There is no court decision. Rather, there is a Court of Cassation decision." He noted that he suspects there is an organization that tries to make this happen. Is that organization something like what Bediüzzaman Said Nursi would refer to as “secret subversion committee”?

By the way, there is a TL 4 million reward on offer for anyone who notifies the police of Gülen's whereabouts! I would imagine that interim Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who, along with his family, happened to visit Gülen not so long ago, may rush to become the first informer. That huge reward would be a good bonus for his nearing retirement. If Davutoğlu fails to remember Gülen's address, a long and comprehensive list of informers may be obtained from Google. The spin doctors who would heartily act as an informer abound. They may even present a photo as taken at the organization's cell after cutting the section showing them apart. If that doesn't work, you can ask the Doğan media for help.

If you believe you can toss this slander on Mr. Gülen, who was quick to strongly condemn all forms of terrorism disguised as promoting religious purposes, then go on. If you treat a person who swears that he hasn't killed even an insect knowingly in his life as equal to a person who killed hundreds of people, then it is up to you. But stop arguing that his opening of schools abroad is proof of his terrorist activities. Otherwise, you will continue to make Turkey feel ashamed on international platforms.

Published on Today's Zaman, 30 October 2015, Friday