October 12, 2017

On Gülen vs Erdogan – “And not equal are the good deed and the bad”

Philip Clayton

“And not equal are the good deed and the bad”

On Violence, Power, and Peace in Turkey’s Most Disastrous Year

October 11, 2017

A Turkish family has disappeared in Pakistan, and suspicion turns to intelligence agencies

A commotion in the downstairs unit of a house shared by schoolteachers from Turkey woke the neighbors. A Turkish school official and his family were being taken away in the night.

October 10, 2017

Abduction of Kacmaz Family – The dark side

Xari Jalil

They travel in groups now, never alone; and each time the doorbell rings, they dread the worst. Their homes are beco­ming emptier; personal possessions are being sold off.

October 9, 2017

Turkish Teachers In Kazakhstan Fear Going Home

Tony Wesolowsky* and Asylkhan Mamashuly**

Yakub Doganai came to Kazakhstan from his native Turkey 18 years ago to work as a teacher at a private school in the capital, Almaty.

October 8, 2017

Abduction of Kacmaz family – An act of high-handedness

More than a dozen plain-clothes men and women in light blue wagons used by law enforcement agencies forcibly entered a house in Wapda Town Lahore at midnight of Sept 27, where a former director of PakTurk Schools Mesut Kacmaz was residing with his family. They blindfolded the Turkish schoolteacher, his wife and two teenage daughters and took them away.

October 7, 2017

Asma Jahangir, activists demand release of abducted Turkish family

Rights activists and colleagues have demanded the release of a four-member Turkish family allegedly abducted by ‘law-enforcement officials’ in Lahore last week.

October 6, 2017

Pakistan’s Senate body to summon officials over missing Turkish family

The Senate Committee on Human Rights (HRs) on Thursday took up the issue of the disappeared Turkish family working for Pak-Turk Schools from Lahore and decided to summon relevant officials of federal and provincial governments in its next meeting.

October 5, 2017

Erdoğan’s Fight against the Gülen Movement & The Demise of Turkish State Rationality

Sage Chen*

Since the corruption scandal of December 2013, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has waged an all-out war against the Gülen (or Hizmet) movement. The anti-Gülenist campaign started with the closing of private tutoring centers operated by members of the movement and was followed by the jailing and mistreatment of journalists, bureaucrats, and businessmen who were claimed to have connections with the movement. The operation has become Erdoğan’s main source of legitimacy in recent years. Erdoğan has not only utilized the brute force of the state apparatus, but also the soft power of manipulation and propaganda, to suppress and criminalize the movement and tarnish its reputation around the world.

October 4, 2017

Mesut Kacmaz – the abducted Turkish teacher

Rasul Bakhsh Rais

The name is a subject itself; he is a benefactor of Pakistan, a friend of our people, and one of the thousands of Turkish teachers who have lived in our country and taught tens of thousands of children over the past several decades. It is the missionary spirit of the Gülen movement that has motivated Turkish teachers to leave their home and live in Pakistan and tens of other countries to give world-class education to children, with disregard to faith and nationality. The central principle of the movement is service to humanity, as the name Hizmet Hareketi indicates.

Editorial Opinion: Mistreating Teachers

Editorial

In a recent development, a Turkish national was picked up along with his family from his Lahore home by a large contingent of what appeared to be part of a law-enforcement agency. The action — conducted in the dead of the night and without any legal formality or procedure — gave the impression that the target was some high-profile terrorist or most wanted person. A former principal with the Pak-Turk Schools system, Mesut Kacmaz, provided quality education to thousands of Pakistani boys and girls all over the country. The manner in which he and his family were dragged out of their house and abused is a shameful chapter in this on-going saga with the Pak-Turk schools. The school system ran afoul of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan soon after the failed July 2016 coup against him and the government then led by Nawaz Sharif was pressured into shutting down the entire schooling system — which left thousands of children with no place to study. The Turkish staff was ordered back to their home country.

October 3, 2017

Fethullah Gülen’s Statement on the Shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada

Fethullah Gülen

I am shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night, that resulted in the deaths of more than 50 people and the wounding of more than 500.

October 2, 2017

Turkish academics exiled to Germany remain in fear

Mehmet is a Turkish academic who rarely looks directly at you; instead, he turns away and smiles in a pained way. Unlike almost all of the other delegates at a conference for refugee academics being held in Leipzig, he is not wearing a name lanyard that would identify him.

October 1, 2017

Erdoğanist Turks Target Inter-Cultural Dialogue Activities Of Gülen Followers In Germany

A group of pro-Erdoğan Turkish Islamists came together in the city of Duisburg, Germany and protested the schools operated and inter-cultural dialogue activities which have been carried out by the Turkish people who are affiliated with the Gülen movement, according to reports in pro-government Turkish media on Sunday.

September 30, 2017

US State Department ‘Can’t Imagine’ Accepting Erdogan Offer to Trade Hostage Pastor for Gulen

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert rejected a proposal from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to trade wrongfully detained American pastor Andrew Brunson for Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen on Thursday, asserting the Trump administration was placing its efforts of bringing Brunson home.

September 29, 2017

Crackdown in Turkey felt in Capital Region

Paul Grondahl*

My heart broke Thursday night at the end of a lovely dinner of Turkish cuisine when our hosts told us they were shutting down the Turkish Cultural Center of Albany and putting the building up for sale.

September 28, 2017

Erdoğan calls on US to extradite Gülen in return for jailed US pastor in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the US to extradite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen in return for releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been jailed in Turkey since October 2016.

September 27, 2017

Pakistani rights group calls for immediate release of abducted Turkish principal, family

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called for the immediate release of Mesut Kaçmaz, the former principal of a Turkish school in Pakistan, and his family, who were reportedly abducted by Pakistani police in Lahore in the early hours of Wednesday.

Former director of Turkish schools in Pakistan and his family kidnapped

Former director of Pak-Turk Schools in Pakistan Mesut Kaçmaz and his family were reportedly kidnapped in Lahore on Wednesday, the Daily Pakistan reported.

September 26, 2017

Gülen resorts to UN to investigate Turkey’s coup

The U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen calls the United Nations to form an international commission to investigate Turkey’s controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, and to acquit himself after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused him of launching the coup d’état.

September 25, 2017

Request for an International Commission to Investigate Turkey’s Failed Coup of July 15th, 2016

The coup attempt of July 15 2016 was undoubtedly an attack on Turkey’s hard won democratic gains. Though it is regretfully noted that the subsequent government measures indicate a deliberate effort to abuse the atmosphere of fear in order to crackdown on all forms of opposition. In order to legitimate its oppressive measures, the Erdogan regime is insisting that Hizmet Movement and JWF’s Honorary President Mr. Fethullah Gulen was behind the coup attempt, an allegation that is yet to be proven and has received no support from the international community.

September 24, 2017

Jailed Zaman editor says we are journalists, not terrorists

Former Zaman daily Ankara Representative Mustafa Ünal, who is standing trial after 414 days in pretrial detention, said on Monday that he and other colleagues in the same case are journalists who expressed their views in Zaman, not terrorists.

September 23, 2017

Erdogan uses Rohingya crisis to try to be a global Muslim leader

Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi*

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to position himself as the “Islamic champion” of the global Muslims’ rights. After any calamity falling on Muslims anywhere in the world, Erdogan emerges as the “rescuer”. The Rohingya crisis is a fresh case in point.

September 22, 2017

NATO Needs to Admit Turkey Is Shredding Democratic Values

Gregg Roman*

At the Middle East Forum, we just finished hosting a conference for members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. A group of legislators who gather in Brussels to deliberate on the problems confronting the transatlantic partnership, this body seeks to uphold the same values that are supposed to underpin the transatlantic alliance: democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, independence of the judiciary and protection of minorities.

September 21, 2017

Turkish Cultural Center’s Meat Drive in New York

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer joined the Turkish Cultural Center and Peace Islands Institute New York, non-profit organizations based in Manhattan, and Embrace Relief, a global relief effort providing aid to the underserved and those struck by disaster, in donating 1,500 pounds of meat to Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Manhattan.

September 20, 2017

Dutch IT firm debunks MİT report on ByLock that put 75K Turks behind bars

Dutch cyber security firm Fox-IT, known for providing cyber security solutions to governments, said on Wednesday that it had debunked a report by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) on the ByLock smartphone application, which Turkish authorities believe is widely used by followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, as it discovered inconsistencies and manipulations.

September 19, 2017

Gov't Brushes Of Claims Of Terrorism At Afghan-Turk Schools

Sharif Amiri

The Ministry of Education (MoD) on Monday said there was no truth in recently claims that Afghan-Turk schools in the country were promoting terrorism.

September 18, 2017

Turkey’s largest trial of journalists opens on Monday

The first trial hearing is set to start on Monday against 30 leading journalists and newspaper executives in the case where the prosecutor demands three aggravated lifetime sentences over critical articles published in the now-closed Zaman, Turkey’s one time largest circulated daily.

September 17, 2017

Australian Relief Organisation reach out to thousands in Philippines and Sri Lanka in Qurban

Australian Relief Organisation (ARO) recently completed its fifth Qurban Appeal. Thanks to generous donations, ARO was able to feed thousands of locals in Sri Lanka and Philippines.

September 16, 2017

Turks in South Africa tell a different narrative about Erdogan

Yaseen Kippie

The Hizmet Movement, founded by exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, hosted a panel discussion by its South African branch last weekend. The purpose of the event was to clarify misconceptions about the movement and its involvement in the current political situation in Turkey.

Turkey selling licenses, properties of media outlets closed during emergency rule

Broadcasting licenses and properties belonging to two media outlets and a published that Turkish government closed under post-coup emergency rule have been put up for sale by the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF).

September 15, 2017

Nazarbayev says Kazakh-Turk schools belong to Kazakhstan, no extradition of teachers

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Thursday that Kazakh-Turk high schools that are allegedly linked to the faith-based Gülen movement belong to Kazakhstan and that Turkish teachers working at those schools will not be extradited to Turkey unless they are proven guilty of a crime.

A Turkish businessman killed in Amsterdam over his alleged links to Gülen movement

The tension in Turkish politics led to a killing in the Netherlands. According to a report by Het Patrool, the Dutch police has confirmed that Turkish-Dutch citizen Ali Ekrem Kaynak, who has reportedly links to the Gülen movement, was shot and killed on Burgemeester De Vlugtlaan in Amsterdam Nieuw-West on Monday night.

September 14, 2017

US calls Bozdağ’s remark on Gülen-US judiciary links ‘absurd’

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Tuesday dismissed a question about remarks made by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, who on Monday claimed the US judiciary has become the tool of a Gülen movement plan, and called them “absurd.”

September 13, 2017

UK legal opinion says Turks detained for using ByLock ‘had human rights breached’

A legal opinion published in London has found that tens of thousands of Turkish citizens detained or dismissed from their jobs on the basis of downloading ByLock, an encrypted messaging app that Turkish authorities believe was widely used as a communication device among followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, have had their human rights breached.

September 12, 2017

Turkish Deputy PM says US judiciary has become tool of Gülen movement plan

Referring to an arrest warrant from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York for former Turkish Economy Minister Mehmet Zafer Çağlayan, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said the US judiciary has become the tool of a plan by “FETÖ,” a derogatory term used by government circles to refer to the faith-based Gülen movement.

September 11, 2017

Ultranationalist columnist says Turkey must get rid of Gülen followers, hints at mass burning

Sabahattin Önkibar, a columnist for the Aydınlık daily, which is affiliated with the ultranationalist Homeland Party (VP) of Doğu Perinçek, said on Sunday that Turkey must immediately get rid of sympathizers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of masterminding a failed coup last year, and hinted at their mass burning, giving an example from history.

September 10, 2017

Erdogan goes after Morocco’s Gulenists

Morocco has joined the list of countries where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pursuing the followers and sympathizers of the Hizmet (Service) movement. Like many countries, Morocco has succumbed to Ankara’s pressure and arrested individuals affiliated with the movement that Fethullah Gulen established in 1970.

September 9, 2017

Sudan arrests Gülen-linked businessman at Turkey’s request

Sudanese law enforcement detained Turkish businessman Memduh Çıkmaz at Ankara’s request as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

September 8, 2017

Torture [and abductions] return to Turkey

The masked special-ops officers barged into their apartment in Diyarbakir, in Turkey’s south-east, in the dead of a December night, says Tulay Yer-Celik. For the next two hours Mrs Yer-Celik, her month-old son and her mother-in-law listened as the agents beat her husband, Omer, in the next room. The violence ended only when the police arrived. Mr Celik, a journalist for the pro-Kurdish Dicle Haber Agency, one of over 150 news outlets shut down since last year’s bloody, abortive coup, was detained in Diyarbakir for two weeks. He was then transferred to a maximum-security prison near Istanbul, where he remains. His crime, according to an indictment that appeared only in late June, was to have published news stories based on the hacked e-mails of Turkey’s energy minister. He faces a sentence of 16 years.

September 7, 2017

Turkish-Armenian intellectual says failed coup staged to purge Gülen followers

Turkish-Armenian linguist and writer Sevan Nişanyan, who escaped from a prison in İzmir in July, shared his take on a failed coup in Turkey last year, saying it was staged in order to cleanse the Turkish military of followers of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by the government of being the mastermind of the coup attempt.

September 6, 2017

50 more prisons under construction for Gülen movement people

Turkish Justice Ministry Undersecretary Kenan İpek on Tuesday said more than 50 prisons are under construction for the incarceration of people linked to the Gülen movement, Habertürk reported.

September 5, 2017

50 Shades of Erdogan's Propaganda

Arzu Geybullayeva

Joseph Stalin described the work of writers as being akin to the “engineering of human souls.” He was referring not just to any type of writing, but to the writing of propaganda.

September 4, 2017

Dialogue Helps Us to Discover What We Have in Common

Tim Saka*

Interfaith dialogue is purposeful interaction among individuals who have different beliefs. Dialogue promotes understanding and respect, reveals common values, and teaches individuals to coexist. It also strengthens individuals' own faith identity.

September 3, 2017

September 2, 2017

Germany declines Turkey’s request to freeze assets of Gülen followers - Spiegel

Germany has rejected a formal request from Turkey to freeze assets of members of the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of orchestrating last year’s failed coup, Germany’s Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday.

September 1, 2017

Fethullah Gulen’s Statement on Unjust Treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Burma

Fethullah Gülen

As we observe Eid Al-Adha, I am deeply saddened by the unjust treatment faced by Muslims in Burma, who have been displaced from their homeland.

Fethullah Gulen’s Message to Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Fethullah Gülen

I am deeply saddened by the damage and loss of life caused by Hurricane Harvey in recent days. As the people of Houston and its surrounding areas seek shelter, I encourage all Americans to keep the victims of this tragedy in their thoughts and prayers.

Ruling AK Party deputy: Don’t greet Gülen followers even during Eid Al Adha, report them to police instead

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) parliamentary group deputy chairman and Kayseri deputy Mustafa Elitaş warned party members in Kayseri on Thursday not to greet followers of the Gülen movement during the Eid al-Adha festival on Friday and advised members to report them to the police instead.

August 31, 2017

Kanter gives $25K to Harvey relief

Like numerous athletes across sports, Enes Kanter saw the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and felt compelled to contribute.

August 30, 2017

[VIDEO] 'Carrying out service, Hizmet seeks peaceful coexistence; accusations are manipulative and absurd'

Tom Gage*

I think it is absolutely a travesty, what has happened [in Turkey]. I have been to Turkey ever since the 1950s. I was there first in 1959 and I've been to Turkey over 24 times.

August 29, 2017

Germany’s Green Party: Turkey’s ‘red notice’ lists prepared by a police state

Cem Özdemir, co-leader of the German Green Party, has said the lists received from Turkey of people and companies allegedly affiliated with the Gülen group have been prepared by a police state, not by a state of law, Deutsche Welle reported on Monday.

August 28, 2017

Daniel Pipes: Accusation targeting Gülen on Turkish coup is usual Erdoğan puffery and deceit

Daniel Pipes, an American historian, writer, and commentator who is the president of the Middle East Forum and publisher of its Middle East Quarterly journal, has assessed the accusations of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his despotic regime which have been targeting Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the followers of the Gülen movement over their alleged role in a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 as “puffery” and “deceit”.

August 27, 2017

Erdoğan’s scheming to frame the innocent exposed

Abdullah Bozkurt

As the rule of law has ceased to exist in Turkey, a NATO ally and EU candidate country, it is no longer surprising to see farcical indictments and sham trials based solely on false, defamatory and malicious assertions that are in fact sourced from the narratives used by country’s authoritarian Islamist rulers.

August 25, 2017

Systematic Efforts by the Erdoğan Regime to Portray Hizmet as a Violent Organisation

There has been a systematic campaign in Turkey by the Erdoğan regime and its acolytes to provoke the followers of the Hizmet Movement into violence and portray the movement as a violent organisation.The Defamation and dehumanisation campaign against the movement that had already accelerated after the December 17 corruption probe have transformed into the religious persecution of the Hizmet movement and an indiscriminate crackdown on the Hizmet people and dissenting voices after the July 15 coup attempt. Despite all efforts of persecution, imprisonment, abductions, ill-treatment, and tortures, the movement has maintained its peaceful resistance and has not resorted to any violent response. While the Erdogan regime has been struggling to create an opposite perception, there appears to be a new concentrated effort by the regime that would lead to the portrayal of the movement as an (inter)national security threat.

August 24, 2017

Fethullah Gulen’s Message on New Defamation Efforts by Erdogan Regime

Fethullah Gulen

Having failed to convince the world of his baseless allegations against innocent Hizmet participants, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government launched a new, nefarious defamation campaign. Despite the ongoing crackdown on civil society, his government’s latest strategy, bolstered by a strictly controlled Turkish press, is to spread vicious, false rumors alleging violence to come by members of the peaceful Hizmet movement. This is not a new strategy, dictatorships throughout history have always used such tactics to smear the groups that they have targeted as scapegoats.