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Veiled Threat

In Turkey, Washington’s great example of Muslim democracy, the ruling party alleges conspiracy to attack the opposition and crush dissent

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Fethullah Gulen, at left, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Silivri district prison in Istanbul during the 2008 trial there of 86 suspects in the Ergenekon affair. (Photoillustration: Tablet Magazine; Gülen photo: Fethullah-gulen.org; Erdogan photo: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images; background photo: Sezayi Erken/AFP/Getty Images)
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Some U.S. policymakers believe that Turkey is the future of Islamic democracy and that no political institution better exemplifies the desired hybrid of Western practice and religious values than the country’s ruling Justice and Development Party. To be sure, the party, known by its Turkish initials AKP, is culturally more conservative than the secularists and military elite who have governed from Ankara since Mustafa Kemal, or Ataturk, dispensed with the caliphate and made Islam a personal affair in the country rather than a political one. And now the AKP says it’s under siege from its Kemalist rivals in the military and other Turkish institutions—including the judiciary, the press, and non-government organizations—who seek to regain power by overthrowing the democratically elected government of Turkey. Their instrument for doing so, says the AKP, is Ergenekon.

Ergenekon is the name given to a massive clandestine organization that the AKP says has plotted a host of conspiracies including plans to crash airplanes and bomb Istanbul mosques in the hopes of precipitating a military coup. The Turkish authorities have used these allegations to arrest hundreds of people who oppose Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government—arrests that have been greeted in the West with confused silence.

However, according to Dani Rodrik, a Turkish academic now based in the United States, Ergenekon is not a threat to Turkey’s increasingly Islamist form of democracy but rather an elaborate political fiction created by the AKP and its ally, the mysterious billionaire religious leader Fethullah Gulen, in order to discredit, imprison, and silence opponents. Rodrik believes that the AKP and the Gulenists are looking to consolidate their power not just with a view to short-term political victories, but as part of a vision to change the nature of the fiercely secular Turkish republic. “You get a different perspective on what they’re doing internationally once you understand what they’re doing at home,” Rodrik told me by phone this week. “The AKP and its Gulenist allies are authoritarian at heart, one by one capturing state institutions and undermining the rule of law. What you’re going to get is not a more democratic Turkey.”

Rodrik, the 52-year-old Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, is best known for his views on trade policy and the developing world. What does a Harvard economist who makes his home in the United States know about the pitched battle between the military and the Islamist political establishment in a proudly Muslim country? The fact that Rodrik is a member of Turkey’s dwindling Jewish community makes his charges against the AKP and Gulenists suspect to some. “There’s been a level of predictable anti-Semitism in some of the government-friendly media,” Rodrik said. “But it is important for the government to have the liberal intelligentsia with them on this, and persistent anti-Semitism rants wouldn’t go over very well with them.”

Still, this is not the same Turkey that once enjoyed a strategic alliance with Israel. The Turkish-sponsored Mavi Marmara dispatched to Gaza in May suggests that Ankara has instead joined the ranks of the resistance axis, a strange decision for one of Washington’s NATO allies. The writing was on the wall as early as March 2003, shortly after Erdogan took office, when the Turkish parliament rejected the George W. Bush Administration’s request to use Turkey as a launching ground for the invasion of Iraq.

If U.S. officials were slow to chart Turkey’s shift in the international arena, they have been oblivious to the mounting domestic crisis driving the Ergenekon affair. Rodrik himself wasn’t paying especially close attention to the spiral of weird conspiracy cases that have taken over the Turkish justice system until a relative was named in one of the many Ergenekon trials, this one related to allegations of a 2003 anti-government plot known as Sledgehammer. “When these cases came out three years ago,” Rodrik said, “I was where most Turkish liberals are today. I thought, maybe there were some improprieties in the way they were handled, but essentially the government was moving in the best way possible.”

In January a Turkish newspaper began publishing documents produced by an anonymous individual who claimed to be a retired military officer with knowledge of the Sledgehammer plan to bring down the government. Close to 200 active-duty and retired military officers have been charged as conspirators—for plotting terrorist operations like the mosque bombings intended to destabilize the state—all allegedly under the orders of retired four-star general Çetin Doğan, Rodrik’s father-in-law.

“I was skeptical from the beginning that he could be involved in such a thing,” Rodrik told me. “It’s horrifying stuff. Later, I became certain the documents were fabricated.”

What Rodrik and his wife found, he said, were obvious forgeries, clear to anyone “with a working command of Turkish.” The case is based on documents loaded onto three CDs, with no direct evidence tying them to computers where they are said to have been produced by Turkey’s First Army. As Rodrik has written: “Not a single one of the hundreds of officers questioned in the case has acknowledged ever hearing of the Sledgehammer plot or any of the other plans included in the incriminating CDs. The evidence that the three CDs in question are authentic comes solely from their metadata: the username and time information contained on the CDs and the Word documents therein. According to these metadata, the documents and the CDs were produced in 2003.”

It hardly takes a tech expert to alter such metadata, and according to Rodrik it is obvious that these documents could not have been made in 2003 but were produced sometime after, perhaps as late as 2008. Among other glaring anomalies is the fact that some of the organizations named did not exist when the plot was supposedly hatched. Journalists ostensibly blacklisted by the Sledgehammer conspirators were not writing about political issues at the time—one was a food critic, hardly an obvious target in a coup attempt.

“There are many reasons to be suspicious of the authenticity of the documents,” Rodrik told me. “But the zinger is that they are full of references to events that happened after 2003, literally dozens of these things. For instance, the documents mention a hospital by the name it uses after it merged with another hospital in 2008, they mention a company by the name that it took after it was sold to a foreign investor in 2008. Even without these anachronisms, there are enough inconsistencies that the case wouldn’t have gone forward in any legal system that takes the presumption of innocence seriously. But the anachronisms establish conclusively that the defendants have been framed.”

However, the legal system seems to be part of the problem. “Some crimes are based on evidence fabricated by the national police with the connivance of prosecutors,” said Rodrik. For instance, when an anonymous tip led the police to seize a DVD from a retired naval major’s house, the initial report, Rodrick wrote, “found nothing suspicious on the DVD, but a subsequent technical analysis uncovered a hidden file with details of a plan to intimidate non-Muslim minorities through bombings and assassinations. … Unaccountably, the prosecutors are on record questioning another defendant on this hidden file days before the technical analysis was conducted and the file was ‘discovered.’ ”

If the case against his father-in-law and the other alleged Sledgehammer conspirators is so patently flimsy, why, I asked him, isn’t anyone else doing the detective work he and his wife did? Those Turks most inclined to get in the weeds with him are the media and the liberal intelligentsia, are they are either too scared to say anything, said Rodrik, or they side with the AKP and the Gulenists.

Much of the Turkish media is owned by or affiliated with Fethullah Gulen, the supposedly charismatic but largely silent religious figure who has made his home in Pennsylvania since the late 1990s and is closely allied with the AKP. Gulen’s criticism of Ankara over the Mavi Marmara incident suggested to some that a breach had opened between his movement and the AKP, but Rodrik disagrees. “The criticism caught his domestic supporters off guard, because the local Gulenists are all on board with the IHH,” said Rodrik, referring to the Istanbul-based charity with ties to Islamic terrorist organizations, including Hamas. Gulen had good reason for seeing the incident from Washington’s point of view. “What’s important for Gulen is to be on the good side of the U.S. government.”

The AKP and the Gulenists, Rodrik explained, “are interlocking but independent. The Gulenists are an opaque movement. What they stand for is broadly in line with what the AKP wants: a culturally much more conservative Turkey, religious values, and practices. It’s an alliance based on perception of common interests. You can’t tell what’s happening in the Ergenekon affair without accounting for the role of the Gulen movement. The people who are responsible for fabricating evidence, intimidation, and wire-tapping, these are supporters of Gulen.”

The fact that the AKP is a broader umbrella than the Gulen movement, Rodrik argued, is yet another factor in keeping the Sledgehammer case rolling. “The AKP is supported by many liberals, who agree with them on issues of personal freedom, like the headscarf,” he explained. Sledgehammer and other cases that suggest a military plot to destroy Turkish democracy dovetail perfectly with the anti-military sentiment of secularists and liberals who might otherwise be worried by the AKP’s religious bent. “Liberals are anxious to see the military brought down to size,” said Rodrik. “And it’s true that they’ve been involved in some stuff in the past that’s not pretty. So with this narrative already in liberals’ heads, the case has been stage-managed extremely well.”

The storyline happens to fit the preconceptions of most U.S. officials as well. “Washington sees it something like this: The Turkish military and its allies have become too powerful, and now the AKP is trying to liberate the democratic system. This is a process of a deepening of democracy,” Rodrik said. “The narrative is very appealing on the surface. In Washington, I’ve been told it will change only with the arrest of U.S. citizens.”

In addition, Gulen’s public-relations apparatus reaches inside the Beltway. “Gulen encourages his devotees to contribute to members of Congress. When his supporters do an event in D.C., scores of congressmen show up. I have been told members of Congress go fishing on his compound in Pennsylvania,” Rodrik said. “You won’t see Gulen’s name on things, but he commands a vast network of schools, business associations, charities, and media outlets. It’s quite remarkable, how wide and influential this network is.”

To many U.S. officials then, Gulen is the model moderate Muslim, a Sufi who preaches coexistence and cooperation with the West—even as it is the Gulenists who are making war against the United States and Israel’s traditional allies in the Turkish military. But since Sept. 11, U.S. policymakers of both parties have been so giddy at the prospect of Islamic democracy that they have given a free pass to anyone clever enough to cloak their actions and intentions in the cloth of moderate Islam. The fact is that Erdogan and his allies are running roughshod over fundamental democratic principles—which is to say that the problem with Islamic democracy isn’t Islam as such, but rather the corruption and conspiracies of the governing party and its allies, who use Islam as cover for their own hunger for power. Washington, meanwhile, doesn’t dare criticize the domestic machinations of a Muslim democracy’s ruling Islamist party, for fear of crashing its own plans, and alienating Muslims.

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asherZ says:

If Turkey is the shining example of Muslim democracy (a dubious assertion as Lee Smith points out), I have a question for Mr. Smith. Muslims compose close to 25% of the worlds population. There are something under 50 nations that are Muslim. How many of those are truly democratic and have total tolerance for other religions among their citizens?

Unfortunately people found their opinions on theory, not practise. AKP has long term plans to transform Turkish society to something close to Iranian society. This is AKP’s fundamental ideology. They are clever enough to know that if they tried to impose their full program now, they would have a revolution on their hands, so they are proceeding furtively and by stealth. Anatolian villagers have recently told me that AKP people are paying young village girls to wear the headscarf. Once enough women do so, social and family pressure will do the rest and women will no longer be able to choose freely. The sale of alcoholic drinks will in due course be banned. Already hate-messages against Israel abound, and one has seen Erdogan’s disgraceful behaviour at Davos, plus the so-called humanitarian flotilla, fully AKP sponsored. The worrying thing is that Turkey has become Iran’s fifth column within NATO and we run the danger of the same problem in the unlikely event of Turkey joining the EU. Turkey’s army and judiciary (which used to be a vanguard against all forms of extremism)are being gradually replaced by AKP’s own people.

Barish says:

There are few issues with the author’s assessment of the issue here:

1. Islamic Democracy: No majority group in Turkey seeks an Islamic democracy in Turkey. However, there is a huge discussion of a democracy which is respectful towards religious beliefs and ethnic identities. If you call banning people from practicing one of their most natural rights a democratic action, then you do not need to read the rest of my comment. There is a second part related to this issue: “People usually claim that the main goal of those such as AKP, Gulenists, liberals, and Taraf and similar news agencies is an Islamic Democracy by simply reading intentions of people instead of being factual.”

2. Dani Rodrik: “We need to bring up the fact that he is the son-in-law of one of the people who is claimed to be one of the top people in Ergenekon. We also need to realize that his comments as a professor of economics deserves big interest if they are about economics or socio-economic reasons for the current situation in Turkey. Otherwise, it is like asking an engineer to heal a sick person. Yes, it is cool to hear that a Harvard professor thinks these. But it is irrelevant since he is one of the sides and he is not a professor of this subject.”

3. Moderate Islam: It is interesting to keep hearing this term all the time from different people. Nobody has a consensus on what it really means. For example, Salman Rushdie thinks a moderate Islam can be reached only if Muslims actually decide to see Quran as a historical text and abandon some of its tenants and, on the other extreme, Salafee’s think that a moderate Islam is only the way that they live it. To be truthful, majority of Muslims will not take any of these roads. So, you need a definition of moderate Islam before you write about it. Are you asking Muslims to abandon some the tenants of Islam like Rushdie? or, are you asking them to be exactly like “some group” that you like/belong?

Barish says:

4. On another note, it is very natural for anyone who is not radical to ask the others to be like them. So, it is natural to ask muslims to be “peaceful” and “respectful toward the others” and “seek dialogue” etc etc. Of course, they say that the strength of the words are measured with the actions of the person who says them.

5.Gulen Movement: Gulen is either an evil or good genius. He is a very charismatic person. So, we need to study him more carefully and as objectively as we can by leaving our own baggages aside. One thing we can do is to study him and his work (all the books, recordings of any sort etc) with the best intention without aiming to promote or demote his ideas. Another is to study people who are inspired by him again without claiming to read their good/bad intentions. In short, we need to study the body of work of the Gulen movement. Studying Gulen should not be hard after all he is always recorded. As far as we know, he is a Muslim scholar/inspirational leader/etc who speaks about universal values, is very much aware of the modernity, is supportive of democracy, asks muslims/people to be involved in social issues surrounding them even if they are not effected negatively, supports education, interfaith/intercultural dialogue and so on. So, he seems like a very good person. There are some things that he wants to see and it is a little disturbing for some people. For example, he is seen as a person who tries (1) to convert everyone to Islam, (2) to take over the leadership in Turkey and (3) to bring shariah(Islamic law) to Turkey (and in retrospect to the world). For (1), he is not (in his words) a person who tries to convert people but a person who aims to raise the name of God high (Ila-yi Kalimatullah). This differs hugely from many other Muslim movements who use the term “Da’wa”. This is very important because this approach of his is reflected in the actions of the people who follow him through education and dialogue without asking conversion.

Barish says:

As for (2) and (3), they can be treated together since they are political issues. We know that Gulen comes from the same tradition with Nursi and their common words is “I seek refuge in God from the cursed Satan and politics(siyasah)”. His life shows that he is not into politics. He responded to these claims many times stressing the fact that neither himself nor people who are inspired from him has any political goals. On the other hand, he always kept saying the importance of always supporting the democracy. In fact, he said that he does not want an islamic democracy but a democracy that is fully supportive of human rights (both physical and metaphysical). If we look at his approach in the latest referendum, he kept saying the same thing “I support YES since it will enable us for a better democracy. I would support it no matter which political party brought it up”. His supporters, however, seem like they are pro-AKP. As a person who would vote for AKP in an upcoming election, I believe that they have a similar approach to the support of a political party. It is not that they vote for AKP because of it’s their fixed choice, but that they do it because, unfortunately, there is no political party in Turkey which has a chance to be elected and committed to democracy without reservations as much as AKP does. In reality, CHP and MHP are very fascist parties from the (pre) cold war era. That is why, oddly, today a socialist liberal newspaper like Taraf and Gulen movement look like they are supporting AKP. If Turkish politics give birth to another left or right wing party like that, I am sure this will change.

Barish says:

6. Humans and Prehumans: The social Darwinism claimed that white people and especially european people are the more evolved kind and this opened the way to slavery during the age of colonialism. Today, there are similar approaches. For example, “bringing democracy to another country”, “trying to make Muslims more western”, “asking people to be like a certain prototype” etc. While people are still discussion biological evolution, a social evolution is inevitable and unlike social darwinism, I do not claim superiority of one kind here. People evolve but evolution is not necessarily always in a good direction. At the same time, a people can experience positive and negative evolution on two different areas. While it is important to help people to be successful in the “good” kind of evolution, it is more important to make sure that it is a “universal good” instead of a “personal one” and to make sure to use methods that do not treat people like dirtbags that needs to be cleaned. We need to accept that everyone is equal and every being has a mind to help them decide what to do next. If you claim that some people are more human than others, you have to accept it if some other people claim to be more human than you are. Let’s start by accepting everyone is human and they all have similar natural aspirations. They all would like to love, to have children, get happy in life, succeed in education, succeed in business etc etc. So, please quit treating some people (muslim or not muslim, american or not american, citizen or not citizen, ethnically same or not, rich or poor,educated or not) as pre-humans or bugs. You will see that your change of perception will lead to a healthier approach.

Turan Pamuk says:

As a Turkish American I can tell you that Rodrik is a brave and intelligent man. This is very accurate about Gulen’s grand ambition and it poses a threat not just to Turkey but to the USA. As Gulen is now living in exile – in seculsion in Poconos, PA where he and his Islamic Mafia Thugs control his $25 billion empire.
In the USA the Gulen Movement (Hizmet) has managed to control and manipulate politics and interfaith dialog. Gulen’s Rumi Forums, and NETWORK of Turkish-Friendship foundations/Institutes throughout the USA have sent many members of Congress to Turkey over 654 trips since 2001 totaling over $3 million. (Legistorm.com)
The other area where Gulen in his own words “you must work into the arteries of the system slowly” has managed to inflitrate America is managing over 130 American Charter Schools. At these schools the teachers largely from my country of Turkey are uncredentialed and are NOT SCHOLARS as Gulen professes to be (his education level is 5th grade, Rodrik can confirm this) They are teaching American children the Turkish national anthem, language, Turkish character, dancing – these are all showcased in Turkish Olympiads held throughout the USA and then the winners are flown to Turkey to perfrom for Gul, Erdogan etal along with American politicans. Gulen USES American Education tax dollars to FEED his lobbying for Gulen’s Turkey.
http://www.charterschoolscandals.blogspot
http://www.charterschoolwatchdog.com
http://www.harmonyparenttruth.blogspot.com

We hope Rodrik’s family in Turkey is safe and that his father in law is no longer being harassed.

Barish, thank you for your dissertation. You are correct, we must study Gulen to understand the direction of the movement. While his influence is international his main efforts are for Turkey, his homeland the roots for his movement. And while he speaks in this universalism if you read into him deeply you will discover his main thesis. His attraction is precisely because he speaks in universalism, very lofty ideals and goals, and New Agey, attracting many intellectuals, idealists, and the somewhat naive. Common to them is a hidden elitism, and with Gulen this is expressed in his interpretation of Islam. Underlying all the lofty ideals with him is moderated, modern Islam and devout, pious Muslims being the only system and peoples that can make these work, practically and pragmatically. Understanding of Allah through Gulen’s deeper interpretations of Islam borders on esotericism, and provides for us the elitist leaders and cadre we are beginning to get a good look at. Time will tell, but this appears to be just another way to prove there is nothing new under the sun with man and his aspirations.

David

carolyn says:

Gulen’s charter schools in the USA are suspect in many ways! Turks primarily are the teachers, coming in on HB-1 visas and disappearing after a few weeks to be replaced by another Turk on HB-1, Why should I want my children taught by a foreigner anyhow? A foreigner who is not really knowledgeable about American History, and, since he is a Muslim, denigrates Democracy, despises freedom, and expects to exterminate all infidels, including Christians and Jews. Oh, and did I mention that money laundering and fraud have been discovered in a number of the Gulen charter schools? No amount of arguing can change what the Qur’an says! And my copy and the hadith say plenty, – spelled taquiyya!

MoreHotShush says:

This for HP.
Are you a shepherd in Anatolia?
How come this happens?
“Anatolian villagers have recently told me that AKP people are paying young village girls to wear the headscarf.”

It looks like you are just an impostor or a paid pen writing for…
These three dots are what you need to uncover first. You are extremely, furiously subjective.
Please behave yourself.

Albatross says:

Fethullah Gulen is fully backed by CIA, where his so called schools are frontshops for CIA agents to move freely on major future energy & natural resources’ pathways in Central Asia, and Africa. Of course, him and his followers are not stupid. They brilliantly started to hijack terms like ‘sufism’ to describe him as sufism refers to peaceful, solitary, spiritual meaning in western world. It’s all part of a major scheme crafted by many heads from Virginia, Maryland to corridors of Turkish Embassies.

Commenters like Barish need to prove wrong Mr. Rodrik’s analysis of what a major charade the whole Ergenekon, Sledgehammer cases. People are being wiretapped, Gulen followists are everywhere in the coutry as prosecutors, judges, head of police department, governors, and last but not least, journalists. The western governments are shamelessly support so called ‘mild muslim movement’ of AKP, and so called ‘sufi’ Gulen the cult leader just to prove they support a muslim country with democratic values. Alas, the west directly converts a staunchly secular country into a semi religiously run circus.

Turan Cetin says:

If any of your are interested there are videos and transcripts available of Ex-FBI Turkish Translator turn whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. Sibel had the information about Gulen and the CIA, there is colusion among them and even talk of Gulen being involved in Turkish Heroin smuggling.
The odd thing is Gulen was turned down for his initial green card in 1999 under the premise Gulen was some great teacher or foresight to offer the USA. In Gulen vs. US Homeland Security, Gulen was denied his initial attempts. Then mysteriously 2 CIA people emerged to write letters of endorsement for “Fetosh” one of them was Graham Fuller.
The Gulen Insitute is currently promoting Graham Fuller’s new book “A Day without Islam” at Gulen “turkish friendship” dinners and such.
There are many examples thorough out the USA where Gulen has padded the wallets of US Congress people through the network of Gulen Foundations and Institutes in the USA. Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, has had over $49,000 in trips to Turkey for herself and aides, and has been flown to Texas – to give talks for the Gulen Institue (they can be viewed on UTUBE) Ironically, in turn…………..Ohio is the home to some of the largest Gulen Charter Schools Horizon Science Academy-coincidence?

There is much conversation about the past. This is not the issue, my friends. First, we must ask who is the CIA. They are an arm of US foreign policy, one of many. And possibly there are elements beyond control. Do you know ? If not and you speak so, you are a friend to fear, and subject to conspiracy. But this one is so secret we may not know what they are up to, as far as details go. Yet it seems there is an agenda which the CIA may be a part of. Perhaps they are the planners, perhaps they are victims of their own plan. I suspect both at this point. Nothing is out of control at this point. We are dealing with a theory, one of conspiracy. And there are so many, how are we to keep track of them ? We have to face some certain realities about this. It is about the agenda for the world. And for the Middle East, Israel in particular. Can you not see the world is desperate for the US and the EU, western powers, and the friends of this money and power, to relent to a moderate Islamic democracy as Turkey is presenting themselves to be ? Can you not see there is no nation today but Turkey to confront both the West and Israel that will be accepted as a remedy to radical Iran and the rest of that brand of Islam, that Muslim nations will accept also ? There is no conspiracy here friends. It is out in the open for anyone to see. The problem is most are not looking beyond conspiracy to see the truth. Islam can no longer be confronted in a forceful manner, the world will not accept it. It’s the economy, stupid. Our lifestyles demand cooperation, and Turkey brings this to us, as arbiter, as mediator, as friend to all.
I have no problem with a man who is sincere in his belief. This man, Fethullah, can be be talked to, and perhaps he will deny what is happening to the movement, which is now in the hands of others as it seems to me. He is out of touch, he is not in control. Enough of looking at him, the problem is elsewhere, in others who bring ruin.

David

Moderate Jersey Jew says:

And as you know, in Israel the “Right” openly called for PM Rabin’s head, assassinated/murdered him, have ruled since without regard to Israel’s long term survival as a Democratic Jewish State, and many still openly celebrate his death …

Please visit the following site to get accurate information about Fethullah Gulen
http://www.fethullah-gulen.net

Dani Levi says:

What do Saddam Hussein, Amedinajad and Erdogan have in common? They all made the Palestinian question their very own mission. Linking it with Islam…….and they all love to murder Kurds.

Two great articles:

Rachel Sharon Krespin does an admirable job of exposing Gulen:

http://www.meforum.org/2045/fethullah-gulens-grand-ambition

Dr. Andrew Bostom does the same for Prime Minister Erdogan:

http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2010/06/erdogan-has-judeophobic-nazi-like.html

I fear that Americans, Jews, Israel and the entire world are being fooled by Turkey out of their misguided and self-defeating sense of “political correctness.”

The leaders of Turkey are not just anti-Semitic but anti a lot more.

Turan Cetin says:

Here is Ex FBI Turkish Translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds current article about Gulen’s operation in the USA.
http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2010/10/20/did-you-know-the-king-of-madrasas-now-operates-over-100-charter-schools-in-the-us/

To the Gulen poster above, I prefer to not just read the biased information put out by Fetosh and his controlling media empire for a fair and balanced point of view.

Gulen is a zealot imam! He has videos in which he is clearly ordering genocide against Alevis, Armenians, Assyrians, Christians! Gulen’s organisation is related with several terror acts against Christians, Alevis and Jews! Gulen’s militants are using masks but they are anti-Alevist anti-Christian, anti-Semitist! They are killing people in Turkey and blaming others for their crimes. If you check their propaganda sites you will see that they are talking about peace but if you just search about them you can find plenty of videos with hate speech against Armenians, Christians, Jews and Alevis! Gulen is trying to be the new Khomeini and convert Turkey into a sunni sharia state like Iran! Most of their speech are always full of lies and they are making taqiyya! In Turkish sites former militants are telling their fascist goal clearly. I am Turkish and Gulen is as democrat as Hitler as anti-Semitic as Hitler that is it, in Turkeyeven dummies or 5 year old children know that! They are hiring people to make propaganda academics, journalists, politicians. If someone is supporting them that person is working fro them for some benefit! The Gulen militants are using illegal money and have relations with taliban and el-kadide!

Here is a video of Gulen, He is
giving orders to his militants to make genocide to Alevis, Christians Assyrians, Armenians! How can USA allow this terrorist stay in the country instead of jailing this terrorist!

http://bit.ly/460NUH

http://bit.ly/baySyX

Barish says:

1. Please, do not use nonsense propaganda such as what “Eastanbul Times” claimed in his writing. That is why I said “Let’s try to be as objective as possible.”. It is totally unbiased, unsubstantiated approach and has no proof.

2. I did not say anything negative about Professor Rodrik. I too believe that he is a fine gentleman and a fine scholar of economics. What I did is simple observation. In the eyes of the court, if someone supports his father-in-law’s ideals and the organization that he leads, then the court will not see this person as a prime witness, even if this person is a professor of Turkish politics(that he is not). Yet, his Harvard name is being brought up all the time without saying “he is the son-in-law of one of the top people sued in the ergenekon case”. It is a responsibility of the person who relates his opinion to share this important fact with the author.

3. I read Sharon-Krespin and came to see that his approach to Turkey resembles the approach of certain group of people in Turkey. These people are very anti-democratic, racist and in many ways fascists of some kind. They usually have this idea of “democracy can be interrupted for the sake of democracy” suggesting that quo-data type approaches are fine. I do not think (and do not want to believe) that Sharon-Krespin is a a person thinking along the same lines with them. However, I believe that his sources are not as diverse as they should be. If we have objective approach to the subject, we have to read different approaches at the same time.

4. It so easy for anybody (including myself especially) to get carried away. So, I will stop my comments here. I do believe that all resources pro or anti- Gulen/Erdogan/Ergenekon are available for all of us. We do see/read what we want to see/hear. So, I will be frank here and share my “current” position on each subject and will not write anymore:

Barish says:

Gulen: I am not afraid of Gulen. I was once against his ideals. I would tell people around me that they (people who follow his ideals) are brainwashing. now I think he has good intentions. I know that he is what he speaks. I am not afraid of the schools that he opens worldwide. I believe that his approach is a unifying approach. I think that he is a person who will not hesitate to stand against a muslim, especially to his admirers, when he does injustice to a Jew or Christian or Atheist or whatever. He did this in Turkey for the rights of the Christians, in September 11 when he said that those are terrorists cannot be muslims, and in the Mavi Marmara incident, he did not support the organizers’ behavior while he and all of us would wish that the incident did not give birth to death of many and to an international crisis.

Erdogan: He is a charismatic leader of the only political party that tries to get the votes of everyone and has electability(that is, there are other parties but they are too weak to have any effect on Turkish politics). I have never voted for him(well, anybody else for that matter since I live out of Turkey) and I usually do not vote based on charisma. However, I would vote for him right now. Why? Because his party is currently the only party whom I believe might speak to Turks, Kurds, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, Believers, Gays, Transsexuals etc in the language of democracy.

Ergenekon: Evidences on this issue have been piling up more than any other case I have seen on TV. But for me, the change of heart fully happened when some recordings about events that have not yet occurred
were published in youtube type websites. The things that were claimed in the tapes later happened exactly as the person spoke of them and that person was either a prime suspect or a very well-known Ergenekon supporter.

This is my position today. I do not know what my take will be tomorrow. But I have to admit. I am quite happy and satisfied with my position,

Another very important issue about Turkey which mostly foreigners don’t know about is:
Turkey is modern and secular because of Alevis! There is no such thing as moderate islam there can not be! There are 25 Million Alevis in Turkey so Turkey is modern and powerful. Ataturk was also an Alevi!

Alevis are different from sunnis and shias! Alevism is very tolerated and respects other religions and all nations are equal for Alevism. There are no zealot Alevis there can not be our religion is very different! But you can not find info about us because we are not bombing like taliban or we are not buying journalists to make propaganda!

Alevis are the most oppressed people of Turkey! Gulen terrorist organisation is killing Alevis, their goal is to genocide Alevis!

Gulenist terorists are using the name of Alevi leaders such as RUMI to hide their real face in the west!

The towns which AKP&gulen are controlling are full of crimes such as Siirt, Konya, Mardin! At Siirt hundreds of men raped 7 years old children and all of the city know that but didn’t stopped them! These perverts are also protected by AKP and Gulen because they don’t want the world learn about sunni life style! The cases are all censored. Siirt is the city where imam Erdogan is elected! These people are not normal!

There is also an Alevi Town called Hacıbektas but the prison is closed because there are no crimes in the town for more than 20 years! Every year millions of Alevis are visiting this town but no crimes! This Alevi town is visited by Christians, Jews too! Half million people are sleeping on the street for 1 week still no crimes!

AKP and gulen is targeting this town and shutdown the electricity and water of the town because Alevis are secularist! Alevi religion is secularist so they hate us. And we know Turkish we know their real face! Why Alevis are not reacting against Jews or Christians or atheists but to gulenists and AKP!

Gulen is the new ossama bin ladin!

Gays, Transsexuals, Homosexuals are being attacked everyday some are killed on the street violently the islamists are butchering them in public! Homosexuals are threatened with police violence and sometimes in day a homosexual can be asked for money punishment for wearing a skirt! So they can not even go out otherwise they have to pay hundreds of dollars! gulenist police is following them and homosexual gay or transsexual is punished with money penalty sometimes 1 person can 5 or six penalty in the same day!

Atheists lols even a Public Prosecutor was beaten for not fasting in ramadan by gulenist militants in a bus stop!

Freedom just yesterday Mersin University students threatened with guns by gulenist police and in Istanbul Yildiz Teknik University police and gulenist militants attacked to students together with knives, bats, metal ropes!

Yesterday also in Alanya a 15 year old student beaten by gulenist militants because he had kissed his girlfriends cheek to say bye in the bus stop.

Christians? Just a few left and gulenists cut the head of 3 of them because they were publishing bibles!

25 Million Alevi is forced to go to mosques and AKP is building mosques in Alevi villages and sending imams! Alevis are not allowed to build Cemevis (Alevi Worship Houses) Alevi chidren are forced to attend to sunni religion lessons although European Court of Human Rights judgment is this lessons are illegal and can not be accepted!

Between 2002 and 2007 AKP built 3555 mosques and the official mosque number is over 80,000 but for 25 million Alevi there was only 179 Cemevis in Turkey!

So where is this moderate thing! Gulenists and AKP are just making taqiyya here is the truth from a Turk!

2 months ago Erdogan told that he is proud of Ebu Suud (a hitler like zealot imam who made genocide to Alevis) in Corum rally!

A commentator says:

Barish is a typical paid pen working for the Fetullah organization. Anytime an article exposing this sect is published on the internet, these mercenaries blanket websites with pro-Fetullah comments. The way they attack is very predictable: refrain from attacking the critic personally but discredit his position as a valid critic and refute his thesis by using facts and logical arguments. This is something which they must have learned during their indoctrination but it does not change the fact that they are supporters of islamic dominance in the world.

Fetullah and his gang are a very serious threat, not only for Turkey but also for the US and other Western states. They must be stopped, before it is too late.

Othello says:

Wow so many name calling and mudslinging going on here.

Reading the intentions is becoming the norm in this webpage and most of the commentators.

If we had judges like yourselves here, we would all be in jail right now.

Thanks God we have real judges in the United States.

And how feasible it is to name Gulen being called a terrorist for jihad and an agent for CIA on the same page.

ohohmrbill says:

We have real Judges here in the USA? Tom Horne had taken a payoff from the Sonoran Science Academy for there protection against his own law of banning ethnic studies as well as the other law of No Child LEft Behind. Tom HOrne can audit teachers for there thick accents when many of these Turks cannot or barely speak English. Second the PKK Party so it is reported is now targeting and bombing Gulen schools.

From Gulens own news papaer the Zaman. http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/news-222532-terrorist-pkk-targets-gulen-movements-schools-in-hakkari.html

Which means now that all gulen schools are a political/religious target. From 9/11 to Ft. Hood we know anything is possible and deep down cannot trust our own government to keep us safe from anything. The best thing to do is to pull children out of the crossfire. The Gulen’s enemies are not my enemy. It can come from any direction. A Christain right wing nut job, A Gulenist on command of Gulen, The Kurds(PKK) or any other other terrorist organasation.

Big money, pay offs and political agendas.

ohohmrbill says:

What is meant by this in this article? What citizen’s are they talking about and for what??

The storyline happens to fit the preconceptions of most U.S. officials as well. “Washington sees it something like this: The Turkish military and its allies have become too powerful, and now the AKP is trying to liberate the democratic system. This is a process of a deepening of democracy,” Rodrik said. “The narrative is very appealing on the surface. In Washington, I’ve been told it will change only with the arrest of U.S. citizens.”

Fethullah Gulen is the honorary president of the Rumi Forum.

http://www.rumiforum.org/about/fethullah-gulen.html

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