Today’s Zaman columnist Huseyin Gulerce answer criticisms that gave up its apathetic approach by his inspirer’s call for a “yes” vote on Turkey’s constitutional change referendum. Gulerce argues that this move by does not mean a politicization of the movement.
The honorable ’s desire that a “yes” vote be cast during the Sept. 12 referendum is still being criticized by certain people. Can this movement, which is mentioned using Gülen’s name but Gülen himself insists on calling “the movement of volunteers,” become political?
There are certain people who even say, “This movement has expanded and in the end it’s bound to become political -- one day will either become the prime minster or the president.”
Those who read Gülen’s books, those who listen to his lectures or those who are in this movement, if they happen to have a conscience and a sense of justice, will be able to say that this movement will never become political. The problem lies in the lack of a prejudice-free understanding of the movement. There are even “academics” in this country who will refer to this movement as a “tarikat” (or Islamic order). Calling the a tarikat shows a total lack of comprehension, to say the least. While this movement is examined in a serious light by sociologists, social scientists and educators in many countries throughout the world, many domestic sources take on an accusatory tone using phrases such as “they have spilled into” or have “taken over and exist” in such and such places. During the Feb. 28 -- the 1997 post-modern coup -- period, similar claims and accusations were thrown at Mr. Gülen, resulting in case being opened up against him. That case lasted nine years. In the end, the General Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld an acquittal. However, despite a legal decision from the uppermost levels, there is no end to efforts to “try” Gülen without legal proceedings.
Let’s first say this. In democracies, anyone is free to go wherever they please. Aren’t we all equal citizens? Why is it that when people of a certain mindset come to power, they have not “taken over the state,” but when the Democrat Party (DP), the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN), the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) or the True Path Party (DYP) come to power, they state is under threat of being seized? This is what we should be saying: Some of those who see themselves as the true owners of the republic have taken over the administrative seats and resources of the state; they don’t wish for the order they have established to be ruined and thus try to rile up others by saying things such as, “They’ve taken over the state.” The unease felt by these tutelage system supporters is brought on by the fact that Turkey is slipping out of their grip and they are losing their influence and power in the country. This is why they feel as though they have lost as a result of the “yes” vote in the recent referendum. They don’t wish to wake up from the surreal world that they believe in. The era has changed, Turkey has changed and the world has changed; this is something which they refuse to accept.
Secondly, if Gülen wanted to establish a party and conduct politics, what is preventing him? If this movement is so large and “they” are everywhere and they put a great deal of work into the latest referendum, why don’t they consider engaging in politics or establishing a party?
This is the point that many politicians and adversaries of the movement don’t understand. Because Mr. Gülen has written and spoken on this matter hundreds of times, saying, “The greatest threat for this movement is for it to transform into a political one.” Because transforming this movement into a political one would be fooling the people. It would be hypocritical; it would be breaking peoples’ hopes, disappointing them. Mr. Gülen explained that he has written this in his will as well: “My friends should not be candidates for politics, not now or later. They should not enter politics, even if political posts were to be laid at their feet. Those who care for me and accept my advice should not hesitate to push these posts way with the back of their hands. Even if others don’t understand, they move forth for the sake of Allah. ...”
The “yes” in the referendum was certainly not a means of becoming political, because the referendum was not an election. Because the believes that democracy, and a sophisticated democracy at that, is the best foundation for service and that they are supporting the move towards democratization and not the AK Party. It was the Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) and the Nationalist People Party (MHP) that erred.
The services rendered are for our people and humanity. If one were to follow this movement for a lifetime, with the will of Allah, it will be observed that it will not become political.
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