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LOCAL > Don’t underestimate the ‘invasion of ants,’ says Islamic scholar Gülen over protests

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Fethullah Gülen criticized the government's handling of the Turkey-wide protests over the demolition attempt of Istanbul's Gezi Park.

Fethullah Gülen criticized the government's handling of the Turkey-wide protests over the demolition attempt of Istanbul's Gezi Park.

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen called June 6 on the government to not underestimate the Turkey-wide protests that were sparked 10 days ago over the demolition of Gezi Park in Istanbul, comparing the demonstrations to an “invasion of ants.”

“We need to act smart and see the smallest problems as very big, and we need to handle them in a smart way. If you are facing an invasion of ants, you can’t disregard it thinking that they are ‘ants,’” Gülen said in a video recorded speech published on his website. 

Gülen argued that if the government failed to admit that some of the protesters were seeking their rights, “the innocent demands of some innocent people” participating in the demonstrations would likely be ignored. “These are generations engendered by our negligence. [The demonstrators] have some reasonable demands. Indeed they can say ‘The trees of a park should not be cut down; the panorama allowing people to walk there should be preserved. They can say ecosystem, they can say you are killing the green,’” he added.

The scholar that has lived in a self-imposed exile in the United States since the late 1990s recommended soothing the protests before they escalate and spread further. 

“Fire and war… Even if you start it, you cannot stop it where you want. So you should extinguish the fire when it is small,” he said, while arguing that the events had been perceived as “doomsday” all over the world. 

Gülen also described the protesters as a “wrecked generation” that needs to be salvaged. He said “such depravity” would continue unless the youth were restored, urging at the same time restraint and patience from his followers. “Our duty is to work to rehabilitate hearts,” he said.

June/06/2013

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david coors

6/26/2013 4:19:06 PM

Please remember that F.Gulen is a follower of late Said Nursi, an extrem Islamist and a troub maker dureing early years of the Republic. Guken cannot think or say anything better than Nursi did.

B Dubs

6/7/2013 8:49:43 PM

Would Turkey mind taking this guy back from Pennsylvania? I lived in a building in Philadelphia and some of his followers were my neighbors. They're kind of creepy.

Tekion Particle

6/7/2013 5:32:58 PM

He is "NOT A SCHOLOR". Why has he made the news?. Who cares what this ignorant man thinks. Comparing people to ants is indicative of how his limited mind works.

mara mcglothin

6/7/2013 5:30:48 PM

No AMERICAN His tactic is to "sit like a spider on the web and let them come to him" No need for Jihad.

mara mcglothin

6/7/2013 5:22:23 PM

JOHN SMITH The last time I checked the "deep state" is in jail, and let me assure you that I begged my relatives not to participate. So as a foreigner I had no say in what they wanted to do. Always quick to blame the boogeyman for all the ills in the World when it would be so much easier to accept that this is a home grown disaster bred by the current government and nothing more.

mara mcglothin

6/7/2013 5:13:59 PM

Exactly IRISH ROVER When BLUE can't find any fault with the Turkish government he always as a scapegoat in the good ol' U S of A. But unlike Turkey, we in the USA are used to criticism and take it as a grain of salt.

american american

6/7/2013 1:09:06 PM

isn't that your tactic?

Ali Kanat

6/7/2013 11:17:28 AM

A "wrecked" generation - one that demands peace, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, human rights - the kind of things western Europe demanded for 500 years. If you don't listen to this "wrecked" generation a union with Saudi is more likely than the EU. Erdogan wants 3 children - not ants, but cattle for his farm.

Irish Rover

6/7/2013 11:13:54 AM

Gulen is a curse to Turkey. He may be well read in Mevlana but he's certainly not capable of guiding this nation. Let him stay in Pennsylvania and keep him out of Turkey. @Blue Dot - you are as fanatic in your hate of the US/West as Gulen is for Islamification of Turkey. Every post I read of yours sounds the same. Rather than seeking to blame all woes on others, seek solutions to your problems.

Rimon Tree

6/7/2013 10:45:41 AM

I especially do not like the comparison of human protesters with "invasion of ants", that reminds me very much of N azi language! Werern't the Jews called vermins in Europe?
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