Group close to Islamic scholar Gülen denies Turkish PM's claims
‘We are disappointed to see how certain academics and Islamic scholars choose to remain silent to the slanders on Gülen,’ says a group close to Fethullah Gülen. AFP photoA journalist association affiliated with the movement of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has issued a press statement accusing the prime minister of targeting the Hizmet movement instead of fighting corruption.
“The prime minister marketed the historic graft investigation as a ‘coup against the government,’ and he targeted the Hizmet movement by voicing this claim first in pro-government media outlets and then in election rallies, along with [making] a host of unthinkable lies and slander,” said the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) in a press statement released on its website yesterday.
The GYV defined the recent rift between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Gülen movement as a “prestige assassination” against Gülen, the honorary president of the GYV.
“In a manner that can hardly be seen in any democratic country, the ruling party is targeting this nation’s civilian entities and organizations and trying to “demonize” them by mobilizing all resources available to the state,” said the statement.
“As we noted in our previous statements, it is impossible for the [Gülen] Community, consisting of millions of voluntary supporters from different political ideologies, to establish a political party directly or indirectly, or to be affiliated with any political party – which is another false, unfounded claim that is occasionally voiced. This claim is a big lie,” said the statement.
Erdoğan previously accused Gülen of interfering in politics and called on the movement to form a political party instead. Gülen, however, rejected the claims that he is planning to form any party.
The statement also rejected claims that “certain people who were affiliated with the community” have threatened the prime minister, and called on those who were claiming so to prove it.
“The slanderous claims about the Hizmet movement’s masterminding or resorting to blackmail, threats, conspiracies or plots – which are being unfairly parroted in election rallies – are unacceptable,” said the statement.
“We are disappointed to see how certain academics and Islamic scholars choose to remain silent and indifferent to the inconceivable instances of slander and defamatory remarks hurled at millions of volunteers of the Hizmet movement and our honorary president, Fethullah Gülen, and we believe our virtuous nation will rightly assess their silence disguised as impartiality,” it said.