August 12, 2017

‘Targeting of the Hizmet movement is extremely unfortunate; I see no reason other than jealousy’

Dr. Daniel Skubik*

“It's so extremely unfortunate, and from the best I can tell, so unnecessary, targeting those involved in civil society projects, particularly those involved -like Hizmet- in education, providing primary, secondary, even university schooling.

I had the chance to spend a sabbatical semester in Turkey at Zirve University, a few years ago, and that was a fabulous opportunity, again, to meet many students coming from overseas to be able to experience Turkey, life in Turkey, get a good education and then go back to their home countries from Turkey -like Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and many other countries…

And it's so very sad to see that not just disappear as though it lost energy on its own but to see it attacked from the back and on the sides, to see it dismantled by those who can't provide a reason, it seems to me.

I know that reasons are being given of being connected to terrorism and so on but there's nothing like that, that I can see, that I know of, that I have experienced or encountered in all of my time with those involved in Hizmet. And that's been for 10 years now.

Back in 2007 is when my wife and I first became acquainted with the movement in Southern California. I've had the experience of traveling to Turkey on a number of occasions. I've been involved in many of the civil service projects, civil society projects of the organization. I see absolutely no reason, outside of perhaps something like jealousy, to attack such a movement, to attack the people of the movement.

I see absolutely no reason for such a designation. I certainly see nothing like terrorist activity. There's no sort of teaching or material that is produced that would support any sort of accusation that there's terrorism. There's certainly nothing in the teaching, in the activity of the organization that is not peaceful.

It is not a political organization. It is just a civil society organization focused on interfaith dialogue and on education... and education that is not religiously oriented or ideologically oriented or politically oriented. I cannot understand the designation whatsoever.”

*Retired Professor of Law, Ethics and Humanities

Published on 30 Plus TV (on YouTube), 9 August 2017, Wednesday