Re: [MESA] Turkey: Gulen Movement Taking PR Beating in Arrest Row
A well-known anchorman of CNNTurk went to the US and had a meeting with
Gulen last week. After this meeting, he said yesterday he met with someone
very influential from within Gulen movement. The source told him that the
Gulen movement is very upset about what happened to this police chief and
they think this is an operation ordered by personally by Erdogan and
interior minister in order to defame Gulen movement. The source also told
him that the fissures are growing between AKP and Gulen following Israeli
raid and Gulen's remarks and Avci case is the last step.
This could be true. Or this could be a way for Gulen to acquit himself
from Avci case because it has become extremely popular that he could not
even think. We don't know. But if the fissure between AKP - Gulen (first
time voiced by from someone within the Gulen movement) is growing, I
wonder how Bulent Kenes would feel about his saying to me that our
forecast about a possible split up between AKP and Gulen was a "fiction".
Reva Bhalla wrote:
this is the kind of backlash that is really going to weaken Gulen in the
end, i think.
On Oct 6, 2010, at 9:08 AM, Emre Dogru wrote:
Turkey: Gulen Movement Taking PR Beating in Arrest Row
October 5, 2010 - 5:11pm, by Nicholas Birch
Turkey Islamism in Turkey
Turkey's most powerful religious group, the Fethullah Gulen Movement,
has been feted at home and abroad as a model of moderate Islam. These
days, however, the group's reputation appears to be taking a hit in a
controversy involving the arrest of a popular senior police officer.
Prosecutors in Istanbul have charged the former police intelligence
officer, Hanefi Avci, with aiding and abetting a left-wing terror
group. Arrested in Ankara in late September, Avci denies the charges.
He also insists that his arrest is the result of a Gulen Movement plot
against him. "This is a [Fethullah Gulen] Movement operation," he told
the daily Radikal in a telephone interview as he was being taken to
Istanbul. His arrest was intended "to camouflage [the Movement's]
crimes," he added.
Avci believes the Gulen Movement's motive is a desire to gain revenge
for the publication of a book this August in which he alleged that the
movement's followers had infiltrated state bodies, including the
police and the judicial system. The book, titled Simons on the Golden
Horn, has been a publishing sensation, selling 600,000 copies in the
Gulen supporters, meanwhile, deny any involvement, and say it would me
stupid of them to engineer an arrest of a known opponent.
Allegations against the Gulen Movement, which denounces Turkey's
political Islam, are not particularly new. A decade ago, amid a
military-led clampdown on Islamic movements, secular media outlets in
Turkey carried out a comprehensive attack against the Movement, using
information that many suspect was provided by military intelligence.
For years, critics have also condemned the Movement's
conservative-leaning schools, of which there are hundreds, and its
methods of dealing with adversaries, including in movement-controlled
"Character assassination, sexual and racial innuendo aimed at
destroying people's reputation in the eyes of conservatives, invented
news stories, transcripts from illegal police wiretaps ...," said
Hakan Yavuz, a political scientist who has written extensively and,
until recently, sympathetically about the movement. "In its fight to
be the hegemonic power, the movement stops at nothing. It is
With secularists and Islamists locked recently in a heated struggle
for control of Turkey's political and social agenda, Avci's arrest has
proven to be particularly divisive, and, this being Turkey, time may
never reveal which side is right. In the short term, however, it is
the reputation of the Movement that has taken the biggest beating.
This is due, in large part, to Avci's reputation for integrity. In
1997, the self-confessed former torturer of left-wingers stood up in
front of a parliamentary commission and gave evidence of the state's
involvement with the mafia and murder. Almost everything he said was
A year later, around the time when the Gulen Movement was coming under
attack from media outlets, Avci publicly defended police
investigations into military operations against Islamic groups,
cementing his truth-teller status. He was then promptly demoted.
The Movement's recent response to Avci's arrest has added to its woes,
including among the party faithful. Writing in the pro-Gulen daily
Star on October 2, the columnist Elif Cakir described watching a news
story on the Movement-owned TV channel STV about how "Avci's forbidden
relationship [with a terrorist group] had disappointed colleagues. A
man who cheats on his wife cheats on everybody, they said."
Quite who "they" were was unclear, Cakir goes on to say: the news item
contained no hint of an interview with any of Avci's colleagues. The
news item "smelled of rage to me," Cakir asserted.
A columnist for the daily Haberturk, Soli Ozel thinks the Gulen
Movement may have gotten carried away with its recent success. "Those
in power have a shared weakness - they do not know where to draw the
line," he commented. "Sooner or later, they make a move which
undermines their power. Increasingly, the Hanefi Avci affair looks
like being [that sort of move]."