Weekly magazine Knack published an interview today with the EU Vice-President and Commissioner Frans Timmermans about the alleged involvement of the Gülen movement in the coup attempt of July 15th in Turkey.
Mr. Timmermans suggests that more empathy needs to be shown towards the Turkish government, which was targeted by a coup attempt on July 15. The commissioner also suggests that it is not entirely false that the Gülen movement is behind the coup.
Mr. Timmermans makes his statements not based on facts, but on supposition. “Based on American research there are growing indications that the Gülen movement certainly played a role in the failed coup this summer in Turkey,” said the commissioner.
However, the article does not explain what evidence and which American research. It is remarkable that this statement of Timmermans comes after Erdoğan’s threat to end the refugee deal with Europe.
Thus far, although demanding Gülen’s extradition from the United States, there is no indication that the Turkish government can provide any substantive evidence at all that Gülen was involved in the coup. In addition, since the coup, the government has dismissed and arrested thousands of police officers, judges, prosecutors and lawyers who are not compliant with the wishes of the ruling party. Currently, in Turkey there is no hope of a fair trial for anyone. In this environment, Erdoğan also intends to reintroduce the death penalty. Furthermore, there are reports of torture, sexual assaults, denial of medical care, and deaths in custody.
Immediately after the failed coup attempt Fethullah Gülen condemned the coup and denied any involvement, and he has asked for an international commission to investigate who was really behind the coup. He said that if 10% of the allegations could be proven, he would return on his own initiative to Turkey. To date his offer stands since no one has started such an inquiry.
About possible participation in the coup by individuals from the Hizmet Movement, Gülen has said that if any of his supporters were involved with the coup plotters, they would have betrayed his teachings and he will not forgive them for it. Finally, Gülen noted that an accusation is not a trial in itself, and it is wrong to blame a movement for a coup attempt before the investigatory process is completed.
About Dialogue Platform
Dialogue Platform is a non-profit organization located in Brussels. The association acts as a mouthpiece for the European dialogue institutions associated with the Hizmet/Gülen movement. The platform also serves as the main information channel of Hizmet and Fethullah Gülen, who is the honorary president of the association. Visit www.dialogueplatform.eu for more information.
8th November 2016, Brussels
Last week, the Turkish police raided the headquarters of Cumhuriyet newspaper, and editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu along with eight other journalists have later formally arrested.
Furthermore, nine members of Turkish Parliament from Turkey’s second largest opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (HDP), including the party’s co-chairs Mr. Selahattin Demirtas and Ms. Figen Yuksekdag have been arrested over the weekend.
Dialogue Platform condemns the crackdown on Cumhuriyet newspaper and HDP which are just the latest example of the president Erdogan and Turkish government’s efforts to suppress freedoms and consolidate their authoritarian power.
As a Hizmet organisation, we believe that restricting the freedom of expression and freedom of elected representatives of the people through arrests and other means only helps imbedding authoritarian practices. As a candidate country, Turkey must comply with the principals of the EU, restore the rule of law, freedom of expression and press and reinvigorate its democratic spirit and institutions.
Dialogue Platform is a Brussels-based non-profit association which serves as a platform for Hizmet-affiliated dialogue institutions in Europe. Mr. Fethullah Gülen, the Turkish-Muslim scholar whose teachings and works inspired the Hizmet Movement, holds the honorary presidency of the platform. For more information, please visit www.dialogueplatform.eu.
MESSAGE DE CONDAMNATION ET DE CONDOLEANCES CONCERNANT LES ATTAQUES TERRORISTES DE BRUXELLES
Je condamne fermement les attaques terroristes brutales ayant eu lieu ce mardi 22 mars à l’aéroport de Zaventem et à la station de métro Maelbeek, et qui ont causé la mort de plus de 30 innocents et la blessure de centaines d’autres.
Chaque attaque terroriste, quel qu’en soit l’auteur et le but, est un crime. Elle reflète une violation de la sainteté de la vie humaine et ne mérite rien d’autre que d’être condamnée. Aucune religion et aucun être humain muni de conscience ne peut tolérer de tels actes de cruauté.
Les auteurs de ces attaques ignobles et ceux qui les soutiennent ignorent la nature de la religion qu’ils revendiquent et infligent la plus grande dégradation de son image dans le monde. Ceux qui commettent ces actes ont perdu tout sentiment d’humanité et ne représentent aucune identité religieuse.
Outre les mesures de sécurité et de renseignement mises en place pour empêcher la réitération de telles attaques, il y a un besoin urgent de coopération entre les États et les organisations de la société civile, afin d’éliminer les environnements et les circonstances facilitant le recrutement aux groupes terroristes.
Je suis convaincu que les dirigeants des pays aux valeurs démocratiques fortes et aux normes juridiques universelles, tels que la Belgique, agiront avec prudence afin de générer des solutions durables qui incluent leurs citoyens musulmans et qui évitent d’alimenter les discours de haine des groupes terroristes.
Ces attaques terroristes ne portent pas seulement atteinte au peuple belge, mais aussi à la solidarité de toute l’humanité et aux valeurs humaines universelles. Je présente mes sincères condoléances aux familles et proches des victimes, ainsi qu’à l’ensemble du peuple belge. Je souhaite un prompt rétablissement à tous les blessés.
À cette occasion, je présente également toutes mes condoléances et prières aux citoyens du monde entier, y compris à ceux de mon pays, la Turquie, qui ont perdu leurs êtres aimés lors des attaques terroristes récentes.
Je prie Dieu pour qu’Il sauve l’humanité de ce fléau qu’est le terrorisme, et qu’Il répande une atmosphère où les êtres humains s’accueillent les bras ouverts, avec empathie, dans le monde entier.
Fethullah Gulen est un savant musulman, prédicateur et défendeur des droits sociaux, dont le long engagement pour l’altruisme et la tolérance interreligieuse a inspiré des millions en Turquie et à travers le monde. Gulen est le président honoraire de la plateforme de dialogue interculturel.
Boodschap van Fethullah Gülen naar aanleiding van de terreuracties in de luchthaven van Zaventem en het Brusselse metrostation Maalbeek
Met klem en overtuiging veroordeel ik de moorddadige terreuraanvallen die op dinsdag 22 maart jl. in Zaventem en Brussel aan meer dan dertig mensen het leven kostten en er honderden verwondden.
Ongeacht de aard van de daders of hun motieven moet elke terroristische daad zonder enige terughoudendheid worden veroordeeld als een aanval op de heiligheid van het leven, als een moord op de mens en de menselijkheid. Geen enkele godsdienst, geen enkel gewetensvol mens kan en mag dergelijke wreedheid vergoelijken.
Diegenen die deze aanvallen planden, uitvoerden en ondersteun(d)en verguizen de ethiek van de religie die zij claimen uit te dragen. Integendeel, zij beschadig(d)en hun geloof in zijn essentie… bij uitbreiding elke religie. Zij die dit soort van daden bewust bedrijven verliezen elke voeling met hun eigen menszijn, ze kunnen onmogelijk een religieuze identiteit vertegenwoordigen.
Naast en aanvullend aan de vele veiligheidsmaatregelen noodzakelijk om individuele terreuraanvallen te voorkomen, lijkt nu – meer dan ooit – een hechte samenwerking tussen overheden en burgerorganisaties broodnodig. Mede hierdoor kunnen we een einde maken aan de rekrutering en gewelddadige radicalisering door terroristische groeperingen.
Ik heb een groot vertrouwen in de leiders van democratische landen, zoals België. Als rechtsstaat zal jullie land, met actieve participatie van zijn moslimburgers, krachtige en doeltreffende oplossingen vinden om de haatboodschappen van terroristen slagkrachtig te counteren.
Tegelijkertijd bied ik mijn diepste medeleven aan de slachtoffers, hun familie, naasten en vrienden… en de gehele Belgische bevolking. Mijn bijzondere aandacht gaat uit naar hen die overblijven na verlies van een geliefde of naaste bij de vele terreuraanvallen in alsmaar meer landen, mijn vaderland Turkije inbegrepen. Al deze gruweldaden die jullie land zo diep kwetsten, raken de hele mensheid en bedreigen de universele waarden van de mens.
Ik bid God dat hij de mensheid zo snel mogelijk verlost van de gesel van het terrorisme. Ik hoop – blijf hopen – op een wereld waar broederlijkheid heerst.
Islamitische geleerde en prediker
Brussels , 07 March 2016
The Turkish government’s seizure of Zaman, the most circulating newspaper in Turkey, is an attack on the country’s human rights, freedom of expression and the media. Alongside with Zaman daily, Today’s Zaman (the English language daily of the group), Cihan News Agency and Aksiyon weekly have also been confiscated. This is another evidence that president Erdoğan seeks to consolidate his power and silence the opposition which serves to his growing authoritarian tendencies.
“As expected, the biggest Turkish daily which has been critical of Erdogan and the government has now been turned into a government mouthpiece overnight. The seizure comes just before the Turkey-EU summit as if mocking the European values. This will surely be a test for defenders of these values.” said Ramazan Guveli, Executive Director of Dialogue Platform, a Brussels-based NGO dedicated to promoting intercultural dialogue, respect and mutual understanding. “We urge the proponents of freedom of expression and the friends of Turkey, and the EU leaders who believe in press freedom asa fundamental right to condemn Erdoğan’s actions and pressure him using all available means to return Zaman to its rightful owners”
This is not the first time that the dissent voices have been crushed. Last October, the government seized critical media outlets Bugun and Kanaltürk, with the purpose of turning them into sources of pro-government propaganda machines. Numerous journalists have been fired, prosecuted or jailed simply for criticizing the government and “insulting the president” or reporting the allegations of corruption. Similarly, Cumhuriyet newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, Can Dündar, and Ankara Bureau Chief, Erdem Gül, were jailed for three months and released only after an appeal to the Constitutional Court – whose ruling Erdoğan refused to acknowledge or respect. In addition, two judges who ordered the release of Hidayet Karaca, Director of Samanyolu Media Groups, were dismissed from their duties, arrested in April 2015 and remain in prison today.
Furthermore, the seizure of Zaman explicitly violates the Turkish constitution. Article 30 states that, “A printing house and its annexes…shall not be seized, confiscated or barred from operation on the grounds of having been used in a crime.” Sadly, the space for democracy and press freedom is unprecedentedly shrinking in Turkey.
About Dialogue Platform
Dialogue Platform is a non-profit organisation in Brussels which serves as a voice for dialogue organizations affiliated with Hizmet in Europe. (also known as Gulen movement). The Platform also serves as a central source of information on Hizmet and Fethullah Gulen who holds the honarary presidency of the platform. For more information, please visit www.dialogueplatform.eu
The latest step by AKP-Gov’t witch-hunt against Hizmet Movement
Brussels, 18 November 2015
This morning, Turkish government have forcibly taken over and appointed trustees (kayyım) to Kaynak Holding, a conglomerate of publishers and school material producers, closely affiliated with Hizmet movement (also known as Gulen Movement). The holding’s company buildings in Istanbul’s Üsküdar, Bağcılar and Bayrampaşa districts have been stormed by hundreds of police officers and water cannon trucks and its financial assets have been seized and the group has been handed over to the externally appointed trustees. Trustees have been appointed based on a decision by a prosecutor in Istanbul due to its ties with Hizmet movement.
What does this mean?
In Turkey, the increasing pressure over the freedom of press, property rights and authoritarianism have reached an alarming level. A recent report on the rule of law and respect for human rights in Turkey declared that Turkish government had been perpetrating systematic human rights violations since December 2013. Great number of these has targeted companies which has direct or indirect affiliation with Hizmet movement. Recently, very similar to today’s take-over, Ipek Koza Holding conglomerate was appointed trustees by Turkish government with its large mining industry and significant media arm, including Bugun TV and Kanalturk TV as well as Bugun newspaper. 13 TV channels including STV have been removed from Turksat satellite broadcasting since they are linked to the Hizmet movement. They were also removed from Digiturk platform.
Kaynak holding consists of 23 different companies and 100 brands in 16 different sectors. The holding includes 12 publishing houses that print books and journals. Without any trial, over suspicion, the government unlawfully takes control of 23 companies with over 9000 workers.
Ramazan Guveli, Director of Dialogue Platform, said:
This is purely a political decision which is the latest step of ‘witch-hunt’ against the Hizmet Movement. It was confessed by AKP deputies earlier this year that anyone supports the Hizmet would be counted as “financing terrorism” and their property could be confiscated. And today what we witness is that it is being implemented by the Turkish authorities. It is deeply worrying and horrifying to see how the fundamental human rights and the right to have property are diminished by the AKP-government in Turkey.
#humanrights #ruleoflaw #turkey #kaynakholding
Notes to editors
Dialogue Platform is a non-profit association serving as a platform for dialogue organisations affiliated with the Hizmet Movement in Europe. Inspired by the teachings and example of the Muslim/Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen, these organisations aim to advance and promote intercultural understanding, dialogical interaction and social cohesion in their respective societies.
For press enquiries please contact us 02 513 8116 or firstname.lastname@example.org
14 November, Brussels
I strongly condemn the brutal terrorist attacks across Paris, France in the evening of Friday, November 13th, that resulted in the deaths and dismemberment of hundreds of innocent people.
Every terrorist activity, no matter where they occur, is a blow to the peace and tranquility of humanity everywhere. These revolting acts of terrorism are attacks not only against people of France but against universal human values that we all share and against human solidarity.
On this occasion I reiterate my categorical condemnation of all forms of terror regardless of its perpetrators or their stated purposes. No terrorist activity can ever be condoned on any grounds.
I send my deep condolences to the victims’ families, loved ones and the people of France.
I pray that God leads all humanity to a world of peace and tranquility. I invite everyone to join me in this prayer and act in solidarity against all forms of terrorism and in the effort to establish peace around the world.
About Fethullah Gulen
Fethullah Gulen is an Islamic scholar, preacher and social advocate, whose decades-long commitment to interfaith tolerance and altruism has inspired millions in Turkey and around the world. Gulen is the honorary president of Intercultural Dialogue Platform.
About Intercultural Dialogue Platform
Intercultural Dialogue Platform is a non-profit organisation based in Brussels with the aim of advancing and promoting inter-cultural dialogue in Europe.
Legal Report Reveals Systematic Human Rights Violations by Turkish Government
* Abuses taken against the media curtailing freedom of speech
* Call for legal action at international level from European Court of Human Rights
Brussels, 28 September, 2015: Since December 2013, the Turkish government has perpetrated systematic human rights violations that justify legal action at international level, most likely before the European Court of Human Rights, a report published today has found.
Written by former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales the Rt Hon The Lord Woolf CH, University College London Emeritus Professor of Public Law and the Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCMG QC, former Solicitor-General for England and Wales the Rt Hon Sir Edward Garnier QC MP, and human rights and media law barrister Sarah Palin, the report identifies supporters of the Gülen movement and the media, as the principal targets of the AKP government’s abuses.
The report’s findings come as the Erdoğan administration faces heightened international scrutiny over its crackdown on freedom of the press in Turkey. The recent arrest of two Vice News journalists and dawn raid on the Koza Izek group, which together in the past month have elicited renewed public outcry against the AKP-led government’s treatment of the media, are reminiscent of a number of events detailed in the report. The clearest parallel can be drawn with the December 2014 arrests of 15 purportedly Gülen-affiliated journalists, including Samanyolu Media Group chief executive Hidayet Karaça, whose court-ordered release the Istanbul chief public prosecutor’s office still refuses to carry out.
Commenting on the findings of the report, the authors said: “We have analysed the actions taken by the Turkish government and its agents since December 2013 and have unanimously concluded that there has been a distinct reversal in the reform process that had been taking place since Turkey began accession talks with the European Union in 2005. We regard this as a serious setback for Turkish democracy and its respect for human rights, in particular for the freedom of speech and the rule of law.”
The report identifies three main ways in which the government’s subsequent actions against supporters of the Gülen movement have violated the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as well as other human rights treaties to which the Turkish Republic is party:
– By taking unprecedented steps to exert executive authority over Turkey’s judiciary, police and prosecuting authorities are subsequently detaining outspoken media figures and police officers involved in the anticorruption operation in contravention of their rights to liberty, security, and a fair trial
– By suppressing freedom of expression, particularly in the media through the filing of criminal prosecutions against and exertion of economic and political pressure on journalists and publications, but also through interference with social media
– By purging from public office, directing hate speech against, and interfering with the property rights of individuals and companies claimed to be associated with the Gülen movement
The authors added: “From the perspective of international human rights law, we consider that the Turkish government has perpetrated significant human rights violations against supporters of the Gülen movement that would justify legal action before the European Court of Human Rights, in the absence of suitable remedies in Turkey.”
For the full report or its executive summary, visit One Brick Court Chambers website.
For all enquiries, please contact Mr. Guveli at Dialogue Platform, Brussels by email email@example.com or by phone +32 (0)2 513 8116.
Notes to Editors
About the Gülen-inspired Hizmet movement:
The Hizmet movement is a civil society network of individuals and religious, humanitarian, and educational institutions that subscribe to Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s advocacy of interfaith dialogue, community service, and universal education.
About the report:
The report, titled “A Report on the Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights in Turkey since December 2013”, was written by an independent, self-governing group of authors following a request by solicitors to the Journalists and Writers’ Foundation to conduct an independent inquiry into the actions of the Turkish government, its institutions and officials, against supporters of the Gülen movement. The subject material of this review included written statements provided by witnesses and victims, as well as Turkish legislation, court judgements, and summaries of witness testimonies.