Huge support from Gülen to reassigned staff

Huge support from Gülen to reassigned staff

One of the most striking aspects of the Fethullah Gülen interview published in daily Zaman last week was the strong support he gave to the police and prosecutors conducting the Dec. 17 and 25 corruption investigations of 2013. Gülen has harshly criticized the reorganizing of staff these officials were later subjected to. 

Gülen criticized the government sarcastically: “People in the judiciary and the police carried out investigations and launched this case, as their duties normally require. Apparently, they weren’t informed of the fact that corruption and bribery have ceased to be criminal acts in Turkey.”

Gülen was replying to the widespread view that the corruption operations were conducted by the community. Interestingly, he also said this: “If there are bribes, commissions, favoritism, bid rigging, I believe they are being covered up, God will question them. However, I don’t know what kind of an expectation there was. If there were some whose service was appreciated, the respectable people among those that conducted the investigations, should I have told those people to disregard the corruption claims … I don’t know, it is as if some people had this expectation, it seems to me … How could I have said such a thing that would have ruined my afterlife?”

“Those whose service was appreciated among those who took roles in the investigations,” probably referred to individuals close to the community.

In his BBC interview on Jan. 27, Gülen spoke of the relations between the removed staff and the Gülen community, “It is not possible to say that each person they have reassigned is a member of the community. I guess there are social democrats and nationalists among those people, as well.”

When Gülen says that it is not correct to say each person who was reassigned was a member of the community, he is also accepting that there are people among them who are close to the community.

Also, he is saying that there may be people who are sympathetic to the community.

Another important aspect is that Gülen is pointing out the corruption investigations were conducted by a non-homogenous group within the judiciary and the police.

When these words from Gülen are analyzed, we see he is describing a structure where members of the police and judiciary with various temperaments such as a) sympathizers of the community, b) social democrats, c) nationalists who have come together to crack down corruption.

Gülen also said, “It is not possible for these judges and prosecutors to receive orders from me. I have no relation with them. I don’t know even 0.1 percent of them.”

However, even though he does not know them, Gülen is seriously annoyed because of the oppression of these people.

In his Jan. 20 interview with the Wall Street Journal, he remarked that, “Purges based on ideology, sympathy or world views was a practice of the past that the present ruling party promised to stop.”

In my opinion, just as in the contradiction created by saying that he is not a political actor and at the same time taking a position in the political arena, there is also a situation that is open for discussion in his statements on the cadres of the community within the state.

 Gülen, on one hand, is saying that a) He is taking the corruption claims against the government seriously and openly supports the Dec. 17 and 25 corruption investigations, on the other hand b) He says that he has not given orders to anybody, that there is no connection with himself and the process in the police and the judiciary and at the same time c) He accepts that his sympathizers may have played roles in these processes.

And indeed there is another significant detail. How are we going to explain that the Gülen movement which is supporting the Dec. 17 and 25 investigations today to this extent has not shown the same sensitivity to, for example, the Deniz Feneri (Lighthouse) corruption case? Can this situation be seen as the Gülen movement is not acting on corruption matters based on principles, but rather selectively?