March 25, 2016

Is there a “Parallel Structure” entrenched within the government? Has the Hizmet Movement infiltrated the government? What is the inside story to the unsound claims such as “terrorist organization” and “gang”?

The values Fethullah Gülen represents have spread their roots into our culture and civilization throughout history. If further emphasis is necessary, “Hizmet is the offspring of Anatolia”; it has not been imported to these lands from abroad. Consequently, it is a legitimate right of every citizen in the society to embrace these values and principals.

The Hizmet (aka Gülen) Movement has been forming education facilities for over 40 years. Many people have been brought up amidst this cultural and educational atmosphere and have followed their ways into innumerable fields of society. Just as individuals have found their personal ways into all these fields, naturally, some have merited various positions in the public sector as well. Some Hizmet volunteers may choose to work in the private sector, while others may prefer to work in the public sector. This is an innate right that comes with being a citizen and does not mean that a “parallel hierarchy” is being formed within the state. With such an unsound reasoning, any individual with a specific world view or affiliation can be questioned about whether they are establishing a “parallel structure” within the government, whereas what must be looked for is the rule of law. If individuals commit to illegal ways, they must be questioned in the light of concrete evidence.

In this respect, it is quite natural that the public bureaucracy may include people who are inspired by the universal values of the Hizmet Movement. In a bureaucracy, people cannot be classified according to their faith, culture, lifestyle or preferences and thus become marginalized. These people should not be judged by their identification, but should be evaluated according to how well their work aligns with the law. Moreover, it would be ruthless to treat performing one’s duties under the laws and regulations as an effort to “take control of” or “infiltrate” the state.

As a civil movement, Hizmet has never aimed to control society through the government. Furthermore, it will not need to settle into certain platforms of the state and form a “parallel structure,” “terrorist organization” or “gang,” contrary to some unfounded allegations. As the PKK terror organization is gradually being presented as innocent of such accusations, the “gang” and “terrorist organization” slogans that were previously associated with them are being emptied onto the Hizmet Movement. Thus, the attention of the people is being manipulated away from the societal division and the concernedly increasing presence of the terror organization in Southeastern Turkey towards the Hizmet Movement. (This was clearly visible in the National Security Council meetings. In the past, the first element of the meetings was always “the struggle with the PKK,” but it has now been replaced by “the struggle with ‘parallel structures’” instead.)

The experience and disposition of the Hizmet Movement that dates back half a century are straightforward. Hizmet has always stayed within the civil/social field, and any request that has been made from the government was on the basis of its dynamics as a civil society. If the claims in question are in regards to these requests, they have come about due to societal rapprochement and have been raised at various meetings, including the meetings of the Abant Platform, in hopes of collective wisdom.

The furthest point that democracy has reached is “participatory and negotiatory democracy.” In this context, the Hizmet Movement has every right to make requests from public authorities just like any other civil actors. It must not be forgotten that the legitimate demands of civil society movements are the insurance of democracy. As a civil society movement, Hizmet expects that the state carries out their duties of freedom, justice and security in a democratic manner. Other than that, there is no claim for privileging, or anything of the sort whatsoever.

Published on, 22 March 2016, Tuesday