Gülen, Fenerbahçe and police

Gülen, Fenerbahçe and police

The widespread debate claiming that the Gülen Community is behind the match-fixing operation against Fenerbahçe has climbed to the top of the agenda. Even nonpolitical segments are involved in this debate. The rage of the Fenerbahçe supporters has transformed into an organized reaction. 
I have been observing this debate for days and I refrained from commenting for fear of making an unjust judgment. 

Fethullah Gülen felt the need to reply to those reactions personally. I also feel the need to make some evaluations as a columnist, as a Fenerbahçe supporter and as a person who has been monitoring closely and who has known the community for 20 years.

Transformation and the community 

We are in a transformation process where Turkey is redefining itself politically, socially and economically; where mentalities are being restructured. The “Gülen Community” is an important actor and an active player in this transformation.

The real influential force in the transformation is indeed the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government. The transformation does not proceed “smoothly;” mistakes that deserve criticism are made. Also as a result of the lack of democratic practice and the lack of a liberal mentality build up in the background of both the AK Party and the “community,” this transformation process may have features contradictory to the “world’s development streak.” 

In parallel with Turkey’s economic growth, the “community” has also grown. It has especially organized the Anatolian entrepreneurs and was influential in sending them to all over the world. 

Another development occurred inside the state. Figures who are close to the community, as in several levels of the state, gained power in the judiciary and the police. 

The community is not an “executive board” or a structure that has an official administrative center. It is not easy, naturally, to make an evaluation on which police officer, which prosecutor, which judge or which bureaucrat is from the “community.” 

The growing spheres of influence of the AK Party and the “community” brought together a political and economic power fight on the side of the losers. Those segments unhappy about this growth (as much as planning coup attempts) resisted intensively. 

Did the ‘community’ conduct the operation? 

Fenerbahçe is a Kadıköy-centered team. An important portion of its supporters are ultra-nationalists and Kemalists. With the start of the police operation against Fenerbahçe, the reactive approach in these circles also peaked. 

The militant stance of some writers known to be close to the “community” during the operation aggravated the reaction psychology. 

With the “militant reporting” energy they accumulated from Ergenekon, Balyoz and Kafes cases, they thrust at Fenerbahçe. The same language used against the coup sympathizers was used. 

The “operation-favoring mentality” that is enthusiastic to expand the transformation process by way of the police and the judiciary conducted intensive “lynch” campaigns. 

The question of whether it is the “community” or the government who is responsible for the operations is still at the top of the agenda. Does the “community” support these operations as a whole? Is Fethullah Hoca really engaged in these processes? It is difficult to say something clear. Of course, it is good to remember this: The police who conduct the operations do not report to Fethullah Hoca, they report to Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin. If there should be a reaction, first and foremost, it should be directed at the government. This is what is correct and legitimate. 

For the “community,” there were and there are such publications that I think we have a right to question and say, “They are somewhat the cause of all this reaction.” 


Oral Çalışlar is a columnist for daily Radikal in which this piece was published on May 23. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.

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