Gülen does not trust the judiciary, the military or the AKP
Almost everybody has expressed an opinion on a recent speech by Fethullan Gülen “Hoca.” Columns were written; comments were made.
I have a different point of view on this incident.
1. There were two main reasons for Gülen to leave Turkey and settle in the United States. One of these reasons was the probability of the military creating an opportunity to arrest him and for the judiciary to sentence him to such a heavy penalty that he would not ever be able to recover. Gülen had to live under this threat all his life, and he did not want to be in the same situation again.
2. His health was increasingly deteriorating and as a result of pressure from his entourage he went to the United States in 1999.
Now, let’s review the relationship between the “Cemaat” (community) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (Ak Party).
In 2003, with full support of the “cemaat,” the Ak Party came to power.
With special support from the “cemaat” and after a 10-year struggle, the military lost its power; the cases we know of have been opened. For this, specially authorized offices of prosecutors and courts were set up. The general structure of the judiciary has undergone an adjustment to a great extent.
The community contributed extensively to this process with its media.
As we approached these years, the Ak Party had become self-confident. The prime minister, especially after the last elections, started saying he was in control of the country, that the deep state had been destroyed, the gang-like and force-based formations had been eradicated. He sent messages to the “Hoca” and suggested that he came back. The president personally called him and told him he could come back. Turkey was a safe country now. There was nothing to be afraid of. From now on, there would not be any coups nor would the judiciary act as if it were the guardian of the “secular system.”
However, it was not possible to convince the “Cemaat” about those matters.
Divergence started with specially authorized
Criticisms focused on the anxiety of the community, the discomfort the “specially authorized” has been creating in the society for a long time and the long periods of detentions, mainly because the same discomfort was also felt within the ruling party. In this process, a road accident happened. The specially authorized prosecutors regarded it was a crime that the government negotiated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). It was the last straw when they wanted to call the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) undersecretary to testify. When all of these came together, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan burst.
Those mutual criticisms that had accumulated for a long time were immediately up on the agenda. Debates focused on the powers of the specially authorized prosecutors and courts. More importantly, Erdoğan started expressing his annoyance very openly on the way the special authorizations were used.
The first difference of opinion intensified as such between the community and the Ak Party.
The prime minister now had increased self-confidence. He did not enjoy taking advice or suggestions from anybody. He presented his stance by saying, “The prosecutor might as well come and arrest me.”
The “community” on the other hand, was absolutely against the cancelation of the special authorizations. It stated that in the case of a cancelation, the cases would not be able to give any results; the freed coup plotters would regain their strength. It started a campaign in its own media.
The community and the government were for the first time in an open public conflict. Even though there had been an attempt to cover it at the beginning, the difference of opinion was too deep.
The prime minister’s call to Fethullah Gülen of “Come on, come back now. Turkey is a safe country,” coincided with this stage. The response, on the other hand, has been a disappointment for many.