The purge of the Hizmet Movement is what the Kurdish question was to Kemalism, a necessary tool with which to construct a new national identity, a tool to silence those who question it, and to design a social and political system that will foster it. Unfortunately, Turkey has no chance of going back, even to its fragile and dysfunctional democracy, without this narrative being completely rejected.
Turkey is where it is today, not because of Gulen and the Hizmet Movement but rather as the product of a change of heart in the current government leadership, flushing good governance and tolerance components from the country’s management affairs running systems. Solution to the Ankara crisis can only be found through establishing its root cause rather than finding a scapegoat.
A post-coup purge in Turkey is continuing to take a huge toll on human life, making no exceptions for children. The Stockholm Center for Freedom has compiled data regarding seven children struggling with a mortal disease in the absence of their fathers.
South Africa is a good example of a country that has not been pressured into adopting the narrative touted by the Turkish government. Local politicians, students and academics regularly acknowledge the Hizmet Movement’s altruistic activities in the country.
“Nate Schenkkan is with Freedom House and an expert on Turkey. He says Gülenists have been left jobless, with no chance of restarting their careers. “For the vast majority of the people in the Gülen movement, it’s quite clear. They had nothing to do with any of this, whether it’s the coup attempt or any other kind of violence,” he said.
The findings of IRB indicated that detainees in Turkey have faced different forms of torture and ill-treatment. They include severe beatings, threats of sexual assault and actual sexual assault, electric shocks, waterboarding, punches/kicking, blows with objects, falaqa [foot beating], threats and verbal abuse, being forced to strip naked, rape with objects and other sexual violence or threats thereof, sleep deprivation, stress positions, and extended blindfolding and/or handcuffing for several days.
A professor of communications, Muttalip Kutluk Özgüven, has said followers of the Gülen movement should be sent to rehabilitation camps and subjected to psychological treatment. “Their bodies do not belong to them. They have to serve Turkey’s interests,” he said.
A court in Bosnia and Herzegovina has terminated restrictions on the movement of Turkish citizen Fatih Keskin, previously imposed by the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs following his arrest and subsequent release in December last year, the court told.
The Bucharest Court of Appeal has denied the extradition of educator Fatih Gürsoy on dubious terrorism charges brought by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and underlined the fact that the Lumina Educational Institutions “operates according to the Romanian law.”
Fatma Aşkın, a breast cancer patient who was arrested on Feb.14 in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep due to her alleged links to the Gülen movement, has experienced a spread of the disease during her one-month stay in prison and has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
Gökhan Türkmen, who was allegedly abducted by Turkish intelligence officers and kept in a non-official detention center for 271 days, has said he was tortured, subjected to severe threats and sexually harassed and abused during his enforced disappearance.