Competing to Re-Islamize Turkey

The following Austrian article analyzes the competition between Fethullah Gülen and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to be the leader of a renewed Islamic Turkey. JLH, who translated the piece, includes this note:

Although this is a couple of months old, I have seen no other references to it and it does lift the curtain a little on what is going on in Turkey. At first blush, Gülen’s own declarations are reassuring. But then, what else could he say, living among us? Cf. CAIR.

At least it’s nice to know who is who when our enemies are fighting among themselves.

The translated article from Kurier:

The Secret Society Around Preacher Gülen

Premier Erdogan is Proceeding Seriously Against the Network of Fethullah Gülen

A Look Behind the Scenes at this Secret Organization

Walter Friedl, February 1, 2014

Both men have a vision and a mission: Establishing a deeply Islamic society in Turkey (and other states as well). This bond united Fethullah Gülen* — who has built up a very clandestine and very influential worldwide network, and Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

But a bitter battle over power in Turkey has flared up between these two alpha males. The Gülen movement, which has established positions in Turkey, especially in the areas of jurisprudence and police, is said to be behind the uncovering of a corruption scandal in which allegedly involving ministers who have since been discharged. The talk is of bribery in amounts of more than 60 million dollars.

But who is behind the ominous coalition now challenging the Turkish head of state? The KURIER questioned Haken Yavuz** about that, during his stay in Vienna. The political scientist teaches at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and has published the standard reference work on the Gülen movement.

“This is a strictly hierarchical, tightly controlled organization with Fethullah Gülen at the head, surrounded by 20 to 30 top people. Then, worldwide, 3,000 to 5,000 regional directors. Altogether, there are one to two million activists and a number of sympathizers,” says Yavuz.

“Islamic Elite”

The goal is to establish “Islam as normative in everyday life,” i.e., to Islamize society in all aspects, albeit without sharia. To do this, Gülen is relying on education. (The organization runs more than 100 schools worldwide.) “The intention is to raise an Islamic elite, who will fill responsible positions and become influential,” the expert explains.

In Turkey, the “Gülen disciples” are said to have infiltrated to the top in all important sectors. From education and medicine, to the banks, energy and construction, to tourism and the media. And to fill the war chest, all managers are expected to divert 10% to 20% of their earnings to the movement, which the professor — because of how sealed off it is — compares to the secret Catholic organization the Opus Dei.

At first, the relationship between Gülen and Erdogan and his AK Party, which came to power in 2002, was a symbiotic one. “Erdogan needed the personnel resources of Gülen’s people to occupy strategic positions, and Gülen needed the AK Party to be able to place his people in high positions.” The unifying goal: to break the dominance of the military and the secular bureaucrats.

That succeeded. “The common enemy,” as Yavuz puts it, “has been destroyed” — and with it, the previous bond. But why did the Gülen movement, which is rumored to have a close connection to the US government, see this as the moment to go on the offensive? Some observers believe that, because of Ankara’s Iran and Egypt policies (subversion of the sanctions and support for the now banned Muslim Brotherhood), Washington is so angry that it has dropped Erdogan. That motivated Gülen to risk a direct confrontation with the Turkish premier.

“Massive Purge”

But Erdogan is using all means at his disposal to fight back. He replaced 5,000 suspected Gülen adherents in the apparatus of the judiciary and police, which had driven the corruption affair. Ultimately, high officers in the supervision of banking and telecommunications as well as television got the axe — a “tidal wave of purging” intended to give Erdogan the upper hand again.

Erdogan is popular

Hakan Yavuk: “I believe the Gülen movement has overreached and will end up with the short straw. First of all, everyone in Turkey know that there is corruption. No big deal. Second, Erdogan is a charismatic leader. Fifty per cent of the population are still behind him. Third, the opposition is very weak. And fourth, despite setbacks, the economy is still in good shape. And that matters. At any rate, the nationwide local elections at the end of March will be a test of the mood.”

In Germany

Erdogan wants to convince Merkel of his conspiracy theory.

It is clear to Premier Erdogan. The present internal political crisis, after the exposure of a corruption scandal that is said to have reached into the highest levels of the government, can be traced to an (international) plot. Certain circles — especially in the USA — would like to impede Turkey’s ascent. Erdogan intends to convince Chancellor Angela Merkel of that during his visit to Berlin on Tuesday.

But not even all his parliamentary AK representatives agree wit this assessment. Again on Friday, an AK representative turned away from him. Many also criticize the government’s approach. Instead of clearing up the corruption affair, it is being hushed up by the forcible relocation of critical officials in the justice and police organizations.

Walter Friedl is the lead correspondent of the KURIER for international and foreign policy affairs. His special areas of responsibility are Turkey, the Near and Middle East, as well as Africa.

*   Wikipedia: Muhammed Fethullah Gülen (born 27 April 1941) is a Turkish preacher, former imam, writer and Islamic opinion leader. He is the founder of the Gülen movement (sometimes known as Hizmet). He currently lives in a self-imposed exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, United States.

Gülen teaches an Anatolian (Hanafi) version of Islam, deriving from Sunni Muslim scholar Said Nursis teachings. Gülen has stated that he believes in science, interfaith dialogue among the People of the Book, and multi-party democracy. He has initiated such dialogue with the Vatican and some Jewish organizations.

Gülen is actively involved in the societal debate concerning the future of the Turkish state, and Islam in the modern world. He has been described in the English-language media as “one of the world’s most important Muslim figures.” However, his Gülen movement has been described as “having the characteristics of a cult” and its secretiveness and influence in Turkish politics likened to “an Islamic Opus Dei. In the Turkish context, Gülen appears as a religious conservative.

**   Book tip: Hakan Yavuz. Toward an Islamic Enlightenment — The Gülen Movement. 2013 Oxford University Press. 300 Seiten.

4 thoughts on “Competing to Re-Islamize Turkey

  1. Interesting read, almost inspiring, the Gülen movement. As much of a threat the neo-ottomans are to the European people, there is something fascinating about the familial affiliations and modernised tribal relations wich make up the Turkish elite and exert their power deep into Western Europe. There is a conspiracy theory in the Netherlands tying the Albayrak family, a family noted for its connections to the Grey wolves, had supplied former secretary general of the Dutch ministry of Justice Demmink with ‘young meat’ and used this leverage to get Albayrak(Labour party/PVDA) her position as state secretary for justice, and possibly her sister as head of the quango COA, which provides services to asylum seekers in the name of the Dutch government. She was forced to resign after news came out of her salary exceeding the legal limit for Dutch civil servants, she was also known as a dictator around the office, bullying her employees. Both sisters have double passports, unfitting for both functions I would say. The same conspiracy theory, points out that the Albayrak family is able to perform wet operations when necessary. In general the powerful Turkish families tend to have extensive ties in the underworld. The Demmink Affair, is likely through on the account of him being a paedophile who has used his political clout to escape justice, whether the involvement of the Albayrak family is correct I can’t tell. This week, a Dutch documentary was aired on a state run network, finally exposed Turkish nepotism in Feyenoord, Rotterdam where the local Turkish community had successfully attempted to take over the local labour party by intimidation and ruses. The whistle blower, a leftist fool who still greets his former constituents with ”salaam” was continually told from the top leadership(mainly native Dutch) of the labour party to let it go or face the consequences. The Turks seem to have an influence in the labour party which exceeds their value as a voting bloc. Local councillor Karakus, who was involved in protecting a local madressa from inspections, and handing out permits not following procedures stepped down today after initially remaining defiant. This would not have happened without the severe losses the labour party suffered in the last elections across the country, as well as in Rotterdam, in which a party associated with the late Pim Fortuyn dominated and received 14 seats, the second place went to the Labour party, receiving only 8 seats.

    • Years ago I found the Dutch “Onderzoeksgroep Turks-extreem-rechts”, an organization run by self-declared “anti-fascists”. I read it not knowing how many bricks would be thrown my way by these leftist radicals years later.

      Usually these types tend to oppose everything which is just, but this report is definitely worth a read for anyone who is able to read Dutch. Its an in depth investigation of the Grey Wolves in Dutch politics. Without a doubt the best study of its kind in the Netherlands.

      Perhaps an interesting suggestion for the voluntary translators of GoV?

      ps: Excuse me for the wall of text in my previous comment, I was not on my computer.

  2. Who is the Turk?
    The Turk is the implacable enemy of the West.
    Nothing has changed since 1453 and even before.
    Why has the West chosen to delusion over historical truth?

  3. I have a friend whose two children work in the Harmony Schools movement in Houston. Neither has a clue about Islam and its control of the Harmony movement. The movement encourages their teachers to travel to Turkey for a 10 day “Learn to love Turkey and its culture” trip.

    The Harmony movement states that 100% of their High School graduates attend college. True, as the Movement has its on “College”, so the many students that could not possibly qualify for University or College by passing SAT’s or ACT’s can go to Harmony college. Very clever.

    What is not seen in the Harmony movement is the massive influx of Turkish people coming to America on H-1B visas because “there are not enough American teachers who are qualified to teach math and science.”

    Islam is infiltrating into America any number of ways and this is just one of them.

    The above article about Fethullah Gulen got me to thinking about his worldwide education network and how he is connected to the Harmony movement in America and how Islam does so very well at extracting monies from governments around the world. His Harmony movement is set up as a Charter School system and he gets $100’s of millions of money from our government. So, we are funding our own demise. The Muslim Brotherhood’s statement that we will be destroyed by our own hand rings true enough.

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