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Open letter to Muslims and Scholars::مسلم وعلماء کے نام کھلا خط :

Presently the society is in a state of ideological confusion and degradation. Materialism, terrorism, ignorance a...

25 July 2016

Erdoğan's war against Gulen and Hizmet: Step by step


 
After the failed "coup" in July 2016 in Turkey, president Erdoğan has unleashed reign of terror of Hizmet inspired people and affiliated organizations. This started immediately as if they were ready with the lists. The eniminy and vengeance is not new against his former ally  till 2013. Here follow step by step history:

Turkish prosecutors carried out a number of arrests and raids on the morning of 17th December 2013 as part of a series of on-going corruption investigations implicating a number of people (e.g. sons of three cabinet members) with very close ties to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AK Party government. PM Erdoğan’s response has been to call this a coup attempt against his government orchestrated by a coalition of foreign and domestic enemies and to call for Turkey’s second struggle of independence against these forces. Erdoğan claims that the ‘domestic pawn’ of this plot is the Gülen-inspired Hizmet movement which he claims to have infiltrated the state. His number one election campaign promise: to crush and annihilate the treacherous Hizmet movement. For further background information on the corruption investigations please click here. 
Why Erdoğan chose Hizmet as his phantom enemy
  1. To justify the draconian measures he needed to take to disrupt and prevent the corruption investigations of 17th and 25th December 2013, implicating him and his government 
  2. To curtail Hizmet which was both independent of his government and able to speak to the observant Turkish Muslims 
Erdoğan’s action plan against the Gülen-inspired Hizmet movement
  1. Subdue and control the media which has been an ongoing process and is not restricted to Erdoğan’s agenda against the movement nonetheless is extremely useful to him in this process as it ensures the government’s narrative is continually repeated and public perception and consciousness is shaped accordingly. Hence the Twitter and YouTube ban because they could not be controlled.
  2. Profile all public employees, bureaucrats, academics and journalists by empowering Turkey’s National Intelligence services which we now know dates back to the National Security Meeting of 2004 where Erdoğan and the generals agreed a nationwide strategy against the movement including its profiling.
  3. Dehumanize Hizmet participants thereby making it easier for the public to accept the persecution and eventual prosecution to follow.
  4. Purge those profiled deemed to hold the constitution and law above unflinching loyalty to PM Erdoğan. Replacing the head of İstanbul police force, the largest in the country, with the former mayor of Aksaray who has no policing background whatsoever is one such example. To date, over 20,000 people have been purged, demoted and relocated. The PM accepted that this was a ‘witch-hunt’ of those he deemed to be ‘traitors’.
  5. .Disrupt Hizmet organizations by for example shutting down university preparation courses, attempting to nationalize Bank Asya, putting pressure on businesses advertising in Zaman, revoking planning permissions to build new schools etc.
  6. Disrupt Hizmet supporting businesses by for example revoking relevant licenses as in the case of İpek Holding mining company, putting pressure on other business partners from trading with businesses with close links to Hizmet.
  7. Prepare the legal and evidential groundwork for criminalization of Hizmet through a range of measures listed below. 
Why Erdoğan Must Prosecute Hizmet
  1. To justify the narrative he has been offering since the Gezi park protests, that is that there are foreign powers working with domestic traitors bent on undermining Turkey’s success
  2. ‘Prove’ that the corruption investigations implicating him and his government were in fact a coup attempt
  3. Justify the draconian measures he has taken against prosecutors and police to disrupt the corruption investigations on the pretext that they were linked to Hizmet, the domestic partners of this ‘coup attempt’
  4. Provide him with greater justification to undermine Turkey’s separation of powers and thereby ensure his future immunity from prosecution 
  5. Deliver on his number one promise to prosecute the movement and thereby remove a credible oppositional and alternative voice 
Tangible steps taken by Erdoğan to successfully criminalize Hizmet
  1. What follows is a list of tangible steps taken by the AKP government post-17th December to ensure that the Hizmet movement is successfully prosecuted and criminalized. These do not include all steps taken against the movement, only those most relevant to this particular process: 
  2. Changing HSYK by giving the government critical power over the appointment of prosecutors and judges and their assignment to investigations and court cases shifting the power balance in the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) by passing a law1 in February.
  3. Creation of super peace judges with far reaching powers by the passing of a new judicial package2 in mid-June. A single peace judge will have the unilateral power to start and end investigations and to issue all types of orders such as detentions, searches, arrests, the freezing of assets etc. Previously, these decisions could only be made by a peace court comprising a panel of judges as opposed to a single judge. The new peace judges will be appointed by the now compromised HSYK.
  4. Restructuring of the Supreme Court of Appeals, subordinating the judiciary to the government by the passing of the same judicial package mentioned above. 
  5. Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Serdar Çoşkun’s orders dated 11 June to the Ankara Police Department and its Organized Crime Bureau to carry out a secret investigation into the Hizmet movement to gather intelligence about Hizmet participants and Hizmet affiliated media group, civil society organizations, private schools, student dormitories, exam preparation centers, companies, foundations and associations.
  6. Turgut Aslan, Head of Counterterrorism Unit of National Police Department (TEM)’s written 23 point order3 dated 25th June sent to police departments in 30 provinces requesting that they contribute to the ongoing investigation into Hizmet by the Anti-Constitutional Crimes Investigation Bureau asking them if Hizmet has an armed division; if they have power to overthrow the government or abolish the Constitution; if they were involved in some of Turkey’s most infamous murders in recent years such as Hrant Dink in 2007, Catholic priest Father Santoro in 2006, a member judge of the Council of State in 2006, three Christian missionaries in Malatya in 2007 and Üzeyir Garih in 2001; what individuals or foreign powers and groups they work for and how often Hizmet’s prominent participants travel abroad from Turkey. TEM’s written order also asks the police departments in 30 provinces to find secret witnesses who will testify against the movement and that these can include those that have been prosecuted on criminal charges and found guilty since 2003 onwards. 
The steps above state the legal and evidential groundwork undertaken by PM Erdoğan’s government to prosecute and successfully criminalize the Hizmet movement in Turkey. The steps to control the HSYK, the Supreme Court of Appeals and the creation of new super ‘peace’ judges with extraordinary powers is an attempt to ensure that a government appointed judge and prosecutor can try and judge the Hizmet movement and ensure that the verdict is upheld on appeal. The orders issued by Chief Prosecutor Serdar Coşkun and the head of TEM, Turgut Aslan, are proof that the plan is well underway. 
These steps are part of a wider plan against the Hizmet movement as revealed in the parliamentary question posed by İdris Naim Şahin, former Interior Minister and AKP member of parliament, to the current Interior Minister Efkan Ala in which Mr Şahin states that he has been handed an action-plan document detailing how the government will crack down on the Hizmet movement and criminalize it within its courts. Mr Şahin states that document is signed and asks whether or not it is genuine. 
Former Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin’s Parliamentary Question to the current Interior Minister: Has your department prepared an action plan to eradicate the Hizmet movement?
İdris Naim Şahin was a close friend and confidante of PM Erdoğan. He was Interior Minister and Cabinet Member from July 2011 to January 2013; an AKP deputy from November 2002 to December 2013. Following 17th December he resigned in protest at the government’s response by saying: “The government is run by a small oligarchy of elites in a way that excludes broad segments of the party constituency and the Turkish people.”
Salient points of İdris Naim Şahin’s parliamentary question:
  1. It is known that the government is using state resources to take a confrontational approach toward those who feel sympathy or affiliated with the Hizmet movement, which is famed for its efforts to preserve the nation`s faith, scientific and cultural values and promote these values abroad that would only enhance the prestige of Turkey. Is it accurate that an Action Plan against the Hizmet movement has been prepared and put into action? 
  2. Does the first article of the alleged Action Plan deals with a plot to detect those who are members of the Hizmet movement and try to destroy the constitutional order of the country and gather necessary evidence against them in a secret way?  
  3. Does the Action Plan orders authorities to investigate if the Hizmet movement possesses armed power and if the movement has the necessary power to take over the government?
  4. Does the Action Plan ask for an investigation into the possible role of the Hizmet movement in such infamous criminal acts as the St. Santoro murder, Hrant Dink murder, Zirve publishing house massacre, Necip Hablemitoğlu and Üzeyir Garih murders?
  5. Does the Action Plan ask if those who have become victims during criminal investigations in the past ten years would testify against the Hizmet movement and demands that former members of the Hizmet movement be urged to testify against the movement and then protected through state witness protection system?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Turmoil in Turkey and its implications for Muslim world:


Till 2013 Gulen & his movement was noble allies of Erdgon, after corruption allegations on Erdgon, it was revealed to Erdgon that Gulen's movement is terrorist. How many terrorist attacks or suicide, bomb attacks have been conducted by Gulen movement and where? No one knows. It is normal to call political opponents as terrorists, while real terrorists get away.

In Turkey, it’s basically a struggle among Islamic moderates. Neither Erdogan nor Gulen call for any kind of Islamic State, Sharia law or Caliphate. They both operate fairly comfortably within a primarily secular state structure established a century ago by the country’s modernizing secularist founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The struggle is not really about Islam or theology but about power and influence.
There are important differences between the two groups:
1. Erdogan runs a political party while Gulen operates a civil movement called Hizmet (“Service”).
2. Erdogan comes out of a more traditional Sunni Turkish Islamist movement; Gulen comes out of an apolitical, more Sufi, mystical and social tradition.
5. Hizmet (service) movement is remarkably moderate, tolerant, non-violent and open to dialogue. It is non political social service. Hizmet as a movement represents one of the most encouraging faces of contemporary Islam in the world.
6. Gulen’s movement has its faults. Gulen is a 75 years old, reclusive and often not in touch with daily aspects of the organization. Hizmet has not been a transparent organization — at times it’s viewed as “shadowy.” But in past decades, when membership in Hizmet (or any Islamic movement in Turkey) constituted grounds for possible prosecution, its members kept a low profile, often hiding their affiliation.
6. Gulen’s movement has its faults. Gulen is a 75 years old, reclusive and often not in touch with daily aspects of the organization. Hizmet has not been a transparent organization — at times it’s viewed as “shadowy.” But in past decades, when membership in Hizmet (or any Islamic movement in Turkey) constituted grounds for possible prosecution, its members kept a low profile, often hiding their affiliation.

7. When Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, many members of Hizmet then became free to seek positions in government (if qualified). In particular, they sought jobs in the police and judiciary, to a large measure to ensure that police powers would never be wielded against them (or the AKP) again, as in the past. The tide has now turned, and the full powers of the Erdogan-controlled police are being used against Hizmet members. Sadly, the police have regularly been a political football in Turkish politics over the years.
Erdogan had already largely crushed Hizmet before the coup. He was enraged in 2013 at the publication — by Gulen followers — of police wiretap evidence of widespread corruption within Erdogan’s own circles. He undertook a massive and ongoing purge against Hizmet’s members, activists, supporters, officials, financial institutions, television stations, newspapers, educational and social institutions, especially within the police and judiciary.
Turkey should handle domestic politics according to law and norms of democratic freedom, otherwise what's difference between Military or civilian dictators. Turkey should conduct thorough international investigations via UN and expose any thing wrong by Gulen who has international chain of schools and network. They should stop propaganda against Fateh Ullah Gulen, his organization and supporters reported to be in millions in Turkey.
The ideology of Islam preached by Gulen is modern, moderate and progressive, he condemns extremism and violence, advocates service to humanity, struggles for modern education and democracy. Such noble cause need to supported in the present environments of religious terrorism. instead of countering such a peaceful ideology, there should be endeavour to improved it with batter ideological narrative of peace not guns and oppression. Gulen was opressed by previous military rulers, now Erdogan has taken their job.

Apart from politics and power game, there is a critical issue: What kind of movements will represent Islam’s future? ISIS? Al Qaeda? The Muslim Brotherhood?



OR.... HIZMET !!!

As Islamic movements go, one would rank Hizmet high on the list of rational, moderate, socially constructive and open-minded organizations. It is not a cult; it sits squarely in mainstream modernizing Islam.
As its common with so many leaders, after a decade in power, corruption sets in, leaders lose their touch and grow isolated and power-hungry. Erdogan is now in the process of destroying virtually everything his party created in the first decade of governance. His sweeping purges and the pall of fear and uncertainty is destroying Turkey itself.
As its common with so many leaders, after a decade in power, corruption sets in, leaders lose their touch and grow isolated and power-hungry. Erdogan is now in the process of destroying virtually everything his party created in the first decade of governance. His sweeping purges and the pall of fear and uncertainty is destroying Turkey itself.
Extremism breeds extremism, oppression of his millions of peaceful supporters/ followers may turn some to violence which will, create anarchy not peace. Answer to all this is dialogue, dialogue not guns.

Related:
References, Sources & more information:
More- Turkey Today:The Magazine, updated periofically: http://flip.it/X0JbQ
Closer look at empire of cleric accused in Turkey coup attempt:
ASTONISHING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FAILED COUP ATTEMPT IN TURKEY
A reality check on the Middle East from America’s spy chief;


22 July 2016

The Gulen Movement Is Not a Cult -- It's One of the Most Encouraging Faces of Islam Todayby Graham E. Fuller

Last week witnessed what may be the last act of an unfolding struggle between two major Islamic movements in Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused exiled Islamic leader Fethullah Gulen of plotting last week's failed coup against the government. Immediately thereafter, Erdogan unleashed massive Stalin-style purges and arrests across the country of anyone suspected of any connection with Gulen or indeed of anyone of any ideology who opposes Erdogan.

First of all, when we talk about Islamic leaders in Turkey, we're talking about a very different scene than in most of the rest of the Muslim world. 
In Turkey, it's basically a struggle among Islamic moderates. Neither Erdogan nor Gulen call for any kind of Islamic State, Sharia law or Caliphate. They both operate fairly comfortably within a primarily secular state structure established a century ago by the country's modernizing secularist founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. We're not really talking about Islam or theology but about power and influence. Politics in Turkey has always been a rough game, even within a basically democratic order.
But there are important differences between the two groups:
  1. Erdogan runs a political party while Gulen operates a civil movement called Hizmet ("Service"). 
  2. Erdogan comes out of a more traditional Sunni Turkish Islamist movement; Gulen comes out of an apolitical, more Sufi, mystical and social tradition. 
  3. Gulen is interested in slow and deep social change, including secular higher education;.
  4. Erdogan as a party leader is first and foremost interested in preserving his party's power, operating in a populist manner, trying to raise the general welfare.
I believe it is unlikely that Gulen was the mastermind behind the dramatic failed coup attempt against Erdogan last week. Of course, in the absence of evidence, so far no one can speak with certainty. Gulen's social movement probably has well over a million followers or sympathizers who are not under centralized control. With the arrests of tens of thousands this week and the use of torture already suspected, there is no telling what kind of "confessions" will be generated. Erdogan demands that the U.S. extradite Gulen (he lives in Pennsylvania) to Turkey, but Washington does not usually extradite political figures unless the evidence is highly persuasive in a U.S. court.
More importantly, Erdogan's sensational and sweeping charges against Gulen seem to fly in the face of most logic. Consider the following:
Erdogan had already largely crushed Hizmet before the coup. He was enraged in 2013 at the publication -- by Gulen followers -- of police wiretap evidence of widespread corruption within Erdogan's own circles. He undertook a massive and ongoing purge against Hizmet's members, activists, supporters, officials, financial institutions, television stations, newspapers, educational and social institutions, especially within the police and judiciary. Hizmet institutions were devastated. Its members knew their base had been crippled and understood the need to regroup as a movement, perhaps working more closely with liberal and even secular forces to maintain democracy, to protect against a return of military power and to prevent Erdogan's widening abuses of authority.
People carry the coffin of a victim of the coup attempt at the Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara on July 18. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Gulen has always embraced the importance and dignity of the state, in the best Ottoman tradition. He has supported the state against earlier Islamist movements that raised Islam over the state. He even felt compelled to support the military takeover of the state in 1980 in order to preserve the state in the face of raging guerrilla warfare raging in the streets. Basically, however, he supports democracy over military rule as the surest guarantee for the freedom of Hizmet to exist and conduct its social mission.
Gulen immediately denounced last week's coup as well. Was he merely dissembling? Unlikely, since it is consistent with Gulen's discomfort with military rule over years. Furthermore, Hizmet does not engage in terrorist activities, so support for political violence in this case is extremely unlikely. Erdogan's charge that Hizmet is a "terrorist organization" is absurd to anyone with the least knowledge of the movement, given its strong emphasis on peace and dialogue.
Gulen arguably lacked even the capability to organize a serious coup in an army that, over decades, has rigorously weeded Hizmet followers out -- indeed, any officers showing any religious beliefs. Turkish intelligence has also been all over the movement for years, amassing massive dossiers. Why would Gulen choose to attempt a coup that's contrary to all his views and at a time of maximum weakness vis-a-vis Erdogan?
The coup leaders called themselves the Peace at Home Committee. "Peace at home" (yurtta sulh) is part of a famous slogan of Ataturk's and not associated with Gulen.
It beggars the imagination to believe that the now tens of thousands of people purged and arrested -- police, army, judges, lawyers, teachers, bankers, journalists -- are all terrorist enemies of the state. Clearly Erdogan is seizing the occasion to eliminate any and all opposition to his plans to create a new super-powerful presidency for himself. Erdogan will find many, even within his own party, who are dismayed at his reach for total power -- but are cowed into silence. Once objective journalists now watch their words.
In the interest of full disclosure -- it is on public record that I wrote a letter as a private citizen in connection with Gulen's U.S. green card application in 2006, stating that I did not believe that Gulen constituted a security threat to the U.S. This came shortly after I had finished a book, The Future of Political Islam, that involved extensive travel and interviews with Islamists around the world. In that context, I found Hizmet to be remarkably moderate, tolerant, non-violent, open to dialogue, a social rather than political movement, and a strong proponent of education as the means to empower Muslims in a globalizing future.
But in the years of Bush's global war on terrorism, many neoconservatives in Washington were agitating to deport Gulen -- among many hundreds of other Muslim clerics -- as a security risk to the U.S. I found the charge baseless. Indeed, I still believe that Hizmet as a movement represents one of the most encouraging faces of contemporary Islam in the world.
I wanted the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to at least be aware of my considered personal opinion as they considered his case. Since then, enemies of Gulen and many conspiratorial-minded Turks decided to connect the dots: the fact that I was a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency official (I had retired from the agency 18 years before) and that I had spoken out in defense of Gulen constituted clear "proof" that Gulen is a CIA agent.
Gulen's movement is hardly without its faults. He is an old-school figure, 75 years old, reclusive and often not in touch with daily aspects of the organization. Hizmet has not been a transparent organization -- hence it's viewed as "shadowy." But in past decades, when membership in Hizmet (or any Islamic movement in Turkey) constituted grounds for possible prosecution, its members kept a low profile, often hiding their affiliation.
That changed after Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (known as the AKP) came to power in 2002. Many members of Hizmet then became free to seek positions in government (if qualified). In particular, they sought jobs in the police and judiciary, to a large measure to ensure that police powers would never be wielded against them (or the AKP) again, as in the past. The tide has now turned, and the full powers of the Erdogan-controlled police are being used against Hizmet members. Sadly, the police have regularly been a political football in Turkish politics over the years.
Turkish military leaders under custody following the failed military coup attempt, in Izmir, Turkey on July 17. (Evren Atalay/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
But in the end, this is not just politics. We are talking about a critical issue: what kind of movements will represent Islam's future? ISIS? Al Qaeda? The Muslim Brotherhood? As Islamic movements go, I would rank Hizmet high on the list of rational, moderate, socially constructive and open-minded organizations. It is not a cult; it sits squarely in mainstream modernizing Islam.
Erdogan's own AKP had once been a remarkable model. Indeed, if Erdogan had retired from politics in 2011 with all the party's accomplishments, he would certainly go down in history as the greatest prime minister in the history of democratic Turkey. But, as with so many leaders, after a decade in power, corruption sets in, leaders lose their touch and grow isolated and power-hungry. Erdogan is now in the process of destroying virtually everything his party created in the first decade of governance. His sweeping purges and the pall of fear and uncertainty is destroying Turkey itself.
How will it end? Erdogan has beaten Hizmet decisively. But he is planting the seeds for his own destruction. How and when he will fall remains unclear. Meanwhile, on the international scene, Turkey is rapidly becoming a pariah. The country itself is now his primary victim.
The Gulen Movement Is Not a Cult -- It's One of the Most Encouraging Faces of Islam Today,  by Graham E. Fuller, huffingtonpost.com
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/graham-e-fuller/gulen-movement-not-cult_b_11116858.html

Read More:



  • Turkey Today: The Magazine, updated periofically: http://flip.it/CSZ4B
  • فتح اللہ گولن کون ہیں؟ 
  • Who is Fethullah Gülen?
  • http://fgulen.com/ur/life-pk/fethullah-gulen-life/31382-who-is-fethullah-gulen
  • http://freebookpark.blogspot.com/2014/03/fethullah-gulen-books-and-articles.html
  • Genesis of Terror & Road to Peace

  • 18 July 2016

     Turkey's coup may have failed – but history shows it won’t be long before another one succeeds


    Turkish soldiers, pictured during the failed coup in Turkey last night Murad Sezer/Reuters
    Recep Tayyip Erdogan had it coming. The Turkish army was never going to remain compliant while the man who would recreate the Ottoman Empire turned his neighbours into enemies and his country into a mockery of itself. But it would be a grave mistake to assume two things: that the putting down of a military coup is a momentary matter after which the Turkish army will remain obedient to its sultan; and to regard at least 161 deaths and more than 2,839 detained in isolation from the collapse of the nation-states of the Middle East.

    For the weekend’s events in Istanbul and Ankara are intimately related to the breakdown of frontiers and state-belief – the assumption that Middle East nations have permanent institutions and borders – that has inflicted such wounds across Iraq, Syria, Egypt and other countries in the Arab world. Instability is now as contagious as corruption in the region, especially among its potentates and dictators, a class of autocrat of which Erdogan has been a member ever since he changed the constitution for his own benefit and restarted his wicked conflict with the Kurds.

    Needless to say, Washington’s first reaction was instructive. Turks must support their “democratically elected government”. The “democracy” bit was rather hard to swallow; even more painful to recall, however, was the very same government’s reaction to the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi’s “democratically elected” government in Egypt in 2013 – when Washington very definitely did not ask Egypt’s people to support Morsi and quickly gave its support to a military coup far more bloody than the attempted putsch in Turkey. Had the Turkish army been successful, be sure Erdogan would have been treated as dismissively as the unfortunate Morsi.

    But what do you expect when Western nations prefer stability to freedom and dignity? That’s why they are prepared to accept Iran’s troops and loyal Iraqi militiaman joining in the battle against Isis – as well as the poor 700 missing Sunnis who “disappeared” after the recapture of Fallujah – and that’s why the “Assad must go” routine has been quietly dropped. Now that Bashar al-Assad has outlived David Cameron’s premiership – and will almost certainly outlast Obama’s presidency – the regime in Damascus will look with wondering eyes at the events in Turkey this weekend.

    The victorious powers in the First World War destroyed the Ottoman Empire – which was one of the purposes of the 1914-18 conflict after the Sublime Porte made the fatal mistake of siding with Germany – and the ruins of that empire were then chopped into bits by the Allies and handed over to brutal kings, vicious colonels and dictators galore. Erdogan and the bulk of the army which has decided to maintain him in power – for now – fit into this same matrix of broken states.

    The warning signs were there for Erdogan – and the West – to see, if only they had recalled the experience of Pakistan. Shamelessly used by the Americans to funnel missiles, guns and cash to the “mujahedin” who were fighting the Russians, Pakistan – another “bit” chopped off an empire (the Indian one) turned into a failed state, its cities torn apart with massive bombs, its own corrupt army and intelligence service cooperating with Russia’s enemies – including the Taliban – and then infiltrated by Islamists who would eventually threaten the state itself.

    When Turkey began playing the same role for the US in Syria – sending weapons to the insurgents, its corrupt intelligence service cooperating with the Islamists, fighting the state power in Syria – it, too, took the path of a failed state, its cities torn apart by massive bombs, its countryside infiltrated by the Islamists. The only difference is that Turkey also relaunched a war on its Kurds in the south-east of the country where parts of Diyabakir are now as devastated as large areas of Homs or Aleppo. Too late did Erdogan realise the cost of the role he had chosen for his country. It’s one thing to say sorry to Putin and patch up relations with Benjamin Netanyahu; but when you can no longer trust your army, there are more serious matters to concentrate on.

    Two thousand or so arrests are quite a coup for Erdogan – rather larger, in fact, than the coup the army planned for him. But they must be just a few of the thousands of men in the Turkish officer corps who believe the Sultan of Istanbul is destroying his country. It’s not just a case of reckoning the degree of horror which Nato and the EU will have felt at these events. The real question will be the degree to which his (momentary) success will embolden Erdogan to undertake more trials, imprison more journalists, close down more newspapers, kill more Kurds and, for that matter, go on denying the 1915 Armenian genocide.

    For outsiders, it’s sometimes difficult to understand the degree of fear and almost racist disgust with which Turkey regards any form of Kurdish militancy; America, Russia, Europe – the West in general – has so desomaticised the word “terrorist” that we fail to comprehend the extent to which Turks call the Kurds “terrorists” and see them as a danger to the very existence of the Turkish state; which is just how they saw the Armenians in the First World War. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk may have been a good old secular autocrat admired even by Adolf Hitler, but his struggle to unify Turkey was caused by the very factions which have always haunted the Turkish heartland – along with dark (and rational) suspicions about the plotting of Western powers against the state.

    All in all, then, a far more dramatic series of events have taken place in Turkey this weekend than may at first appear. From the frontier of the EU, through Turkey and Syria and Iraq and large parts of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and on to Libya and – dare one mention this after Nice? – Tunisia, there is now a trail of anarchy and failed states. Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot began the Ottoman Empire’s dismemberment – with help from Arthur Balfour -- but it continues to this day.

    In this grim historical framework must we view the coup-that-wasn’t in Ankara. Stand by for another one in the months or years to come.
    by Robert Fisk, independent.co.uk
    Comments:
    Erdogan must not be revengful, slowly take all on board for common agenda of unity, Peace and progress ... Gulen, Military & opponents... freedom of press ... don't try to be Sultan. Restore honour of military... which hashould to fight terrorism. A demoralised military will not be able to sustain democracy..

    Who Is Fethullah Gulen? A Modernizer or a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?


    Believers say he preaches a new, modern form of Islam. Critics charge he is a power-hungry wolf in sheep's clothing preparing to convert secular Turkey into an Islamic republic -- a conspirator who has created a state within the state and attempted this weekend to topple democratically elected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a failed military coup.


    That was not how past Turkish governments or, for that matter, Erdogan in his first eight years as prime minister saw Fethullah Gulen, the leader of one of the world's largest and wealthiest Islamic movements.
    Back in the 1990s, secular Prime Ministers Tansu Ciller and Mesut Yilmaz and other prominent political leaders viewed Gulen as their weapon against the pro-Islamic Refah (Welfare) Party (the predecessor of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party), which advocated Turkey's divorce from the West and a return to its Islamic and Ottoman roots.
    Erdogan too initially saw Gulen as a cherished ally. The two men worked together to force the staunchly secular military in line with one of the European Union's demands for future Turkish membership to accept civilian control. It fit both men's goal of lifting French-style laicist restrictions on freedom of religious expression that had long been resisted by the military. Erdogan had at the time no problem with Gulen's followers establishing a power base in the police force and the military.
    This weekend's failed coup suggests that elements of the military still believe in a non-constitutional role of the military. Yet, at the same time, it is to the credit of Erdogan and Gulen that significant parts of the military, the opposition and the public backed Turkey's democratically-elected president and helped foil the coup, irrespective of what they thought of his politics and leadership.
    Gulen's moves into branches of government, a version of German student leader Rudi Dutschke's march through the institutions, reflected his long-term strategy. Gulen preaches obedience to the state and recognition of the rule of law while at the same time inserting his followers into key institutions of the state and educating a next generation in his ideological mold.
    Indeed, more than half a century after he first became a government-employed imam, Gulen adopted the role. He often dresses in a crumpled sports jacket and slacks, looking the part of a modern religious leader rather than a fervent Turkish nationalist or a militant Islamist. A doleful 75-year-old, he moreover talks the talk, evading language often employed by Turkey's right-wing nationalists and Islamists.
    As a result, Gulen's modernist approach appealed to urban conservatives and some more liberal segments of the middle class. His approach contrasted starkly with that of Erdogan, who targeted the more rural conservatives and the nationalists.
    It was indeed Gulen's advocacy of tolerance, dialogue and worldly education as well as his endorsement of Turkey's close ties to Europe that endeared him to the country's secular leaders of the 1990s and subsequently to Erdogan.
    "We can build confidence and peace in this country if we treat each other with tolerance," Gulen said in a first and since then rare interview at the time with a foreign correspondent. "There's no place for quarreling in this world. ... By emphasizing our support for education and the media, we can prove that Islam is open to contemporary things," he added sprinkling his slow and deliberate speech with old Ottoman Turkish words regarded as quaint by modern Turks.
    A diabetic with a heart ailment, Gulen has devoted himself since officially retiring in the early 1990s to writing tracts on Islam. Yet there is little in his writing or the administration of institutions linked to him that points in the direction of theological renewal.
    Gulen, among other things, takes a conservative view on the role of women and has said that the presence of women makes him uncomfortable. It was something he had felt since he was a young man, he said. Not surprisingly, Gulen's movement operates separate schools for boys and girls.
    Yet, even Gulen has evolved. In the mid-1990s, when a woman visitor asked directions to a toilet at the Istanbul headquarters of his Zaman newspaper, officials said the multi-story building wasn't equipped for women visitors. A member of the staff was sent to check whether a men's room was free. That has since changed. Women's toilets were installed long before Erdogan sent his police in March of this year to take over the paper.
    Critics charge that moderation may not be what Gulen really hopes to achieve. "Fethullah's main project is the takeover of the state. That is why he was investing in education. They believe the state will just fall into their lap because they will be ready for it. They will have the people in place. That is their long-term plan," said a prominent liberal Turkish intellectual.
    Indeed, Gulen's movement, despite the imam's long-term vision, effectively sought to undermine Erdogan's government in late 2013 with charges of corruption against members of the then prime minister's cabinet and family. The charges and alleged evidence to back them up were never tested in a court of law.
    Erdogan made sure of that. For him, the charges were the straw that broke the camel's back. What had been an increasingly public parting of the ways that started with a soccer match fixing scandal in 2011 turned, in late 2013, into open warfare. Erdogan fired or moved thousands of judiciary personnel and police officers to other jobs, shutting down the investigation and seeking to destroy Gulen's religious, educational and commercial empire.
    The fact that the police played a key role in foiling this weekend's coup attempt bears testimony to the degree to which Erdogan has succeeded in erasing Gulen's influence in the police. This weekend's dismissal of almost 3,000 judges and the issuance of arrest warrants for 140 of them on allegations of involvement with Gulen suggests that Erdogan believes that his efforts to destroy the imam's infrastructure were more successful in the police than they were in the judiciary.
    None of this amounts to evidence of Erdogan's assertion that Gulen engineered this weekend's coup attempt. In recent years, Erdogan has used the alleged threat of a state within a state to remove his critics from the media and academia and has attempted to cow the parliamentary opposition to turn Turkey into a more authoritarian state.
    Erdogan's increasingly illiberal version of Turkish democracy, in which the public is invited to protest on his behalf but not against him, makes uttering unsubstantiated allegations relatively easy. Erdogan will however have to produce hard evidence if he formally goes ahead with a request that the U.S. extradite Gulen, who is a green card holder resident in Pennsylvania.
    Even if those that staged the failed coup turn out to be followers of Gulen, Erdogan would still have to prove that Gulen was aware and involved in their plans. That may be easier said than done.
    Back in 2011, during the soccer match fixing scandal, the first public indication of the growing rift between the two Islamists, Gulen apologized to one of the involved club executives. The preacher said if his followers were involved in prosecuting soccer executives and players, he was not aware of that. It was a rare suggestion that Gulen, by now a frail old man, may no longer be in control of the empire he built.
    Dr. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg's Institute for Fan Culture and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog and a just-published book with the same title.
    Who Is Fethullah Gulen? A Modernizer or a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?
    By James M. Dorsey
    Follow James Dorsey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mideastsoccer