Don't use the term 'marauders' for 'protesters', says Islamic scholar Gülen
Gülen has been living in a self-imposed exile in the United States since the late 1990s.Turkish Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gülen has publicly criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for using the expression "marauders" to describe protesters during the Gezi Park demonstrations.
"Actually, who knows, some of those who you call 'marauder' may one day come clean and do heroic things. Don't use that term," Gülen said in a recorded address published on his website today, without openly referring to the prime minister.
In the early days of the protests, Erdoğan had talked about "three or five marauders" ("çapulcu" in Turkish) to delegitimize the protesters in a televised interview. However, the protesters themselves happily adopted the term, Anglicizing it as "chapuller" to describe an individual fighting for his or her rights.
Despite this satirical response from the protesters, Erdoğan continued using the word during his party's rallies, declaring that the word defined people who "disrupted public order" and that his use had been accurate.