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MEHMET ALİ BİRAND > Would Gülen Hodja want to return?

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Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has invited Fetullah Gülen “Hodja,” who has been living in the United States for years, back to the country. He said, “this longing should come to an end.” 

In particular, the timing of the speech at the closing of the “Turkish Olympics” was a nice, well-thought-through gesture. It would be nice indeed, however, if the decision to return were that easy. If it were, he would have returned long ago. The visibility of the (Gülen) “community,” the efforts to demonstrate both its language and its activities is ever increasing. In such a process, it is indeed a lot preferable that the captain of the ship is present here, instead of thousands of kilometers away. It makes a difference that one-to-one talks are carried out instead of through mediators. 

All this make sense. However, there are other assessments that need to be considered. When Gülen arrived in Turkey, how would be the effects of the mini tremor - caused by the millions who would gather to greet him - be perceived? Will his health problems be affected? Would Turkey prefer to be involved in the event or will it opt to stay out of it? While searching for answers to these questions, of course, he would also calculate the change that will take place after 2014. The prime minister’s ascension to the Çankaya Presidential Mansion, with somebody else occupying the party leadership position, will change many things in this country. The list of unknowns is quite long. 

I don’t assume that Gülen Hodja will pack his suitcase and head toward Istanbul immediately.

The moment of truth in Athens 

Greece will probably make the toughest choice of its history on Sunday. There are two options for the voter at the polling station, both of them are worse than the other. Depending on what result comes out of the elections, Greece will either part its way with the European Union and the Euro and enter turbulence that has no predictable end. Or it will continue with its extremely heavy austerity measures.
 
And this country has been living in a crisis for five years. The state is constantly laying off personnel. Unemployment has hit 20 percent. Salaries are being cut and investments are being stopped. 

Because of excessive spending in previous years, bitter facts need to be faced today. There is a high level of public indignation. The cause of this is that they have to pay for the price of the mistakes of past politicians. 

When you go around the country, you meet the same sullen faces everywhere. Those cheerful, joyous Greeks have gone, and have been replaced by those looking around with glassy eyes or those taking to the streets in anger. No matter what they say, Europe has failed in the “saving Greece” operation. The simple approach of Angela Merkel, the one in which she said, “Is it going to be that they spend and we pay for them?” has taken a country that could have been easily saved at the beginning to the brink of collapse. Looking from Turkey’s angle, Greece becoming poor or unstable is against us. In that case, we can neither trade with them nor keep the peace in the Aegean. The neighbors of unstable countries receive their own share of this instability. The ideal solution for us would be for Greece to remain in the eurozone and for it to slowly recover. It will not be easy, it may last a long time, but order would be maintained and there would be no instability. 

In the past, we used to welcome any evil Greece suffered. They would also act with similar feelings. 
Now, times have changed. We are all in the same boat. If one falls, the other is immediately affected…

June/16/2012

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Köksüz Kosmopolit

6/17/2012 4:13:14 PM

B Medic, It's true that Turkey's prosecutors care little these days about having legal grounds for their actions. But as they now apparently work for Gülen, they would be little threat to him if he chose to return. He probably stays away because he is not a stupid man, and he knows that the AKP will not govern Turkey forever.

Zouqul H. Chowdhury Zouk

6/17/2012 11:29:57 AM

Gulen does not want to relinquish his international status. He has been serving Turkey better from outside Turkey by advancing Turkish culture and education all over the world. He cannot avoid the stress of Turkish politics if he lives in Turkey. Such stress will jeopardize his current weak health.

Murat

6/17/2012 5:47:35 AM

Why is this any concern of a prime minister? Who cares where he lives?

B Medic

6/16/2012 10:57:01 PM

@Red Tail. He went to US to undergo medical treatment, Gülen reportedly has ill health. But was also going to be prosecuted for spreading anti-secular propaganda or attempting to overthrow the republic. Turkey has many over-zealous prosecutors who would love to bring him to trial and who care little about having any legal grounds for taking him there. He is probably very well aware of that.

Ryan James

6/16/2012 1:53:13 PM

Why don't you go to Pennsylvania instead!

Red Tail

6/16/2012 12:09:46 PM

I did nto understand 1) Why did he leave Tiurkey and 2) What prevents him from coming back, if that is what he wants?
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