There have been recent developments in Turkey that appeared in almost every major newspaper in the North America and the world including Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, the Guardian, and more. The Hizmet Movement and the name of Mr. Fethullah Gulen have appeared over and over again in these articles some of which include inaccurate or misguiding information.
As Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI), founded by people who sympathize with the Hizmet Movement, we would like to clarify some of these issues. Below you will find a brief statement prepared by the Alliance of Shared Values, some recent news coverage, and a Q & A Document regarding Hizmet Movement’s stance/position.
Statement from Alliance for Shared Values (www.afsv.org)
The corruption investigations are legal proceedings handled by an independent judiciary and politicizing them threatens the integrity of the judicial process and undermines the credibility of the judiciary. The investigations must be evaluated on their legal merit.
In principle though, people who stand for democracy and social justice support rooting out corruption. This is not about any power struggle, but rather about government transparency and accountability; and this is about checks and balances against authoritarianism.
Rather than doing what any democratic government ought to, the present government has attributed these investigations to foreign powers or certain groups. These efforts are perceived by the collective conscience of the Turkish society as an attempt to detract attention from the essence of this case.
The government has also taken steps to remove accountability, such as:
1. The police chiefs investigating these charges have been removed and the prosecutor who started the case has been pacified.
2. Police officers are now required to inform political leadership of any future investigations, even if they may involve the political leaders themselves. (Turkish courts blocked this rule a few days ago.)
3. Media’s access to the police has been severely restricted.
These are anti-democratic actions by the political leadership that deserve condemnation.
Some recent news coverage: