July 29, 2016

Turkey Faces International Trouble for Persecuting Gulen’s Schools

The Turkish authorities’ pursuit of Fethullah Gulen’s schools is damaging Turkey’s relations with some countries that host schools of “Hizmet Movement” (Service Movement of Gulen), classified by Ankara as a terrorist organization.

Disregard call to close Turkish schools – Proprietors tell Nigerian govt

Owners of the Nigeria Turkish International College have urged Nigeria to disregard the call by the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Hakan Cakil, to close its schools in the country.

'Zaman International Schools operates in line with Cambodian laws and regulations'

In response to statements made by the Turkish ambassador to Cambodia on Monday, officials from the Zaman International School (ZIS) yesterday denied any links with terrorist organizations, saying the ambassador’s claims were unfounded and lacked evidence.

Freedom of expression: UN and OSCE experts deplore crackdown on journalists and media outlets in Turkey

Two top media freedom experts of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) today condemned the ongoing crackdown on journalists and the media launched by Turkish Government in the wake of the attempted coup.

Turkey’s President Is Using the Coup Attempt to Crack Down on the Media

Turkish journalists and rights groups say the new restrictions signal a major acceleration of a clampdown on the press that was already underway well before a faction of the Turkish military attempted to overthrow the government. Under Erdogan’s government, the space for freedom of expression had already narrowed prior to the coup attempt, According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 14 journalists were in Turkey’s prisons as of December 2015, a figure that places Turkey in a comparable category with like Egypt (with 23 journalists in prison) and Iran (19). The Turkish government had been moving to seize control or shut down critical media, and also restricted the use of social media.

Turkish President using the Hizmet Participants (Gulen Movement) as Scapegoats – Ufuk Dialogue Spokesperson, Yigit

As more and more speculations are ongoing as a fall out of the attempted military coup in Turkey on Friday July 15, the Ufuk Dialogue has reiterated that there is no place for military interventions in democracy.

Why Erdogan should take a lesson from India

Alok Mukherjee*

On a recent trip, our young taxi driver hailed from Turkey. Inevitably, our conversation turned to recent events there. My wife and I love that beautiful country, which we have visited twice. With our own origins in India, we find the cultural and linguistic connections fascinating.

July 28, 2016

Turkey's purge becoming witch-hunt, activists warn

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim warned on Wednesday that the country’s post-coup crackdown is not over. Thousands of military personnel, journalists and academics have been detained and many more workers suspended from their jobs in what is supposed to be a purge of followers of US-based imam Fehtullah Gülen, who is accused of being behind the 15 July putsch attempt. But unions and rights groups fear other opponents of the powers-that-be are being caught up in the repression.

When will we learn from history?

Shannon Ebrahim

Is what Hitler did in his first few months in power not being 
replicated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan?

Gulen Schools Fight Provokes New Tensions in Bosnia

A feud between Bosnian schools connected to Fethullah Gulen, alleged leader of the recent Turkish coup, and Turkish authorities in Ankara could exacerbate rifts within Bosnia, an international relations expert told BIRN.

Dutch MP’s furious about pressure from Turkish ambassador

Parties in the Tweede Kamer – the lower house of Dutch parliament – are furious about statements the Turkish ambassador to the Netherlands made pressuring the Dutch government to help hunt down supporters of the Gulen-movement. Numerous parliamentarians expressed their annoyance to NU.nl.

EU says issuing arrest warrants for large number of journalists ‘worrying’

A European Union (EU) spokesperson has responded to a question by the Turkish Minute on the latest arrest warrants issued for nearly 100 journalists in Turkey, as part of a widening crackdown on media, saying that it is worrying.

IFJ calls on EU to hold Erdoğan accountable for escalating press freedom violations in Turkey

The International and the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) has called on the European Union (EU) to take additional steps to hold Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accountable for press freedom breaches in Turkey, as government crackdown against free media escalates.

Turkey shuts down 45 newspapers, 16 TV channels with latest emergency decree

Turkish government has shut down 45 newspapers and 16 TV channels, among other media outlets, with the second emergency decree having the force of law as part of widening crackdown on media in Turkey.

How Kyrgyzstan and Turkey quarreled about Gülen

Kyrgyzstan once again got into an international scandal. This time - with a strategic partner - Turkey, where the military attempted to overthrow the head of the country Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 16. The coup failed. The Turkish authorities accused the former imam and preacher Fethullah Gülen of organization of the coup. He is hiding in the United States now.

July 27, 2016

Turkey Expansion of Journalist Arrests Reflects Post-Coup ‘Witch Hunt’

Turkey is jailing people for simply criticizing the government or for expressing support for ideas of exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, according to the report of the advocacy group Reporters without Borders (RSF).

The Dutch Turkish community must speak out about the anti-Gülen violence

Labour MP Ahmed Marcouch calls on Turkish-Dutch organisations to speak out about violence and intimidation and to build bridges instead.

There’s a silence and it’s hurting my ears. It’s the silence that surrounds the violence against the Gülen supporters. What happened to the organisations normally so quick to ask for protection against intolerance? Where are the political parties who recently demanded protection for all mosques when one was attacked in Deventer? Now that Gülen supporter buildings are being targeted in Deventer and other cities, the silence is deafening. It is these representatives of the Turkish community who should speak out against this hatred. They hold the key to reconciliation.

Expert: Gulen movement painted as being something beyond what they ever were.

Tony Jones speaks with Greg Barton and asks him what is the likely scenario for security in Turkey following President Erdogan's announcement of a three month state of emergency.

The Gulen Movement is not a Cult or Terrorist Group

Nathan Glover

On July 15, Turkey had a failed coup against the government which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed on an exiled Islamic leader living in rural Pennsylvania.

Is this Erdogan’s play for autocratic power in Turkey?

Oreoluwa Runsewe

Turkey’s failed coup on the 15th of July continues to throw up questions as more people get arrested and detained in its aftermath. Soldiers, policemen, teachers, government officials amongst others, have all been arrested as part of an attempt to clamp down on its organisers. Many schools, charity organisations, hospitals and universities have also been closed down for their alleged links to the coup plotters.

Antagonism Grows with Turkey Over Gulen Links

The privately run Chingiz Aitmatov Kyrgyz-Turkish Boys High School stands out in its dusty setting in a northern suburb of Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek. Its record of academic achievement, drawing on the philosophy of US-based Islamic educator Fethullah Gulen, easily upstages anything most local public educational establishments can offer.

July 26, 2016

Gülen: Erdoğan is turning failed putsch into slow-motion coup against constitutional gov’t

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is turning a recent failed putsch attempt in Turkey into a slow-motion coup of his own against constitutional government.

Turkey’s president is using the failed coup as an excuse to snuff out secular democracy

Kerim Balci

In the immediate aftermath of the Turkish military’s attempted coup on July 15, the international community responded with relief. While many people within Turkey and outside of it are no fans of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian regime, the bloodshed and chaos that would have resulted from a government overthrow seemed like the worse of two options.

Under Erdogan Turkey is modeled on the Third Reich

Robert Ellis

At New Year, Turkey’s President Erdogan famously mentioned Hitler’s Germany as an example of an executive presidency, and the reference seems to be apt.

July 25, 2016

Fethullah Gulen: I Condemn All Threats to Turkey’s Democracy

Fethullah Gulen*

During the attempted military coup in Turkey this month, I condemned it in the strongest terms. “Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force,” I said. “I pray to God for Turkey, for Turkish citizens, and for all those currently in Turkey that this situation is resolved peacefully and quickly.”

A Different Kind of Coup? Why You Should Care About A “Reclusive” Turkish Imam in Pennsylvania

John Barton*

Fethullah Gülen may be the most influential Muslim leader in the world that you’ve never heard of. Or, at least, that may have been true until last week.

Who is Fethullah Gulen?

Ra'fat Aldajani, Drew Christiansen

Who is Fethullah Gulen, and what is the Gulen movement? Readers of headlines and consumers of news broadcasts are likely to identify him as the alleged mastermind behind last week's failed coup in Turkey, the archenemy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

No evidence Gulen movement is guilty of subversive activities

Mohamed Nawab Osman*

I refer to the letter “Mastermind of failed Turkey coup should not be portrayed as naive” (July 23), from Mr Omer Celikkol of the Turkish Embassy, in response to my commentary “Democracy on the rocks in Turkey” (July 21).

The battle for Turkey's soul

Anwar Alam*

The recent attempt of a military coup has raised more questions than it has answered about the emerging complexities of Turkish politics. This development has sent a shock wave among all the international stakeholders in the region as it generated fear of further destabilisation of an already destabilised region.

Who is Fethullah Gulen, and was he the mastermind behind the failed Turkish coup?

Who is Fethullah Gulen, and why is the leader of Turkey on a rampage to arrest him and tens of thousands of his followers?

Is Erdogan seeing Gulenists or ghosts?

Simon A. Waldman*

The attempted military coup in Turkey ended in total failure. Within 24 hours, the AKP government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regained control. Within hours it initiated a purge against the organizers.

Erdogan’s coup


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vengefully disproportionate response to the failed coup of July 15 is hardly surprising.

Turkey: A climate of fear

Azza Sedky*

A dear friend, hours into the Turkey coup d’état, wrote, “How many articles are being written right now on Turkey entitled ‘the Egyptian Model’?”

Turkish-American community grapples with Turkey coup’s aftermath

Dr. Mustafa Gokcek usually plans a summer trip to Turkey for his students at Niagara University. In October, following increasing tension in the country, Gokcek decided to cancel it this year.

Should education in Pakistan be held hostage to politics?

Rabia Ahmed

An often heard phrase when visiting Turkey is: ‘’Turkey, Pakistan, ‘brother brother’.’’ But Turkey, Pakistan’s brotherly neighbour is somewhat troubled these days. Following a failed coup attempt against his government, President Erdogan has clamped down on those segments of society he perceives as being involved in the coup. As a result the Turkish ambassador in Pakistan has requested that all schools set up under the aegis of the Pak Turk Education Foundation in Pakistan should be closed. The reason Erdogan’s government wants these schools closed is that they are suspected of having ties to Fethullah Gülen the exiled Turkish cleric, and of being run by the Hizmet movement set up by Gülen .

Turkey’s anti-Gulen campaign: Strengthening militants and jihadists

James M. Dorsey*

A Turkish demand that Pakistan close 28 primary and secondary schools associated with controversial, self-exiled Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen has put the government in Islamabad in a quandary as it attempts to get a grip on an education sector in which militant Islamists and jihadists figure prominently.

July 24, 2016

Imran Khan says closure of Gulen Schools could be disastrous

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan Sunday said that closure of Gulen Schools in Pakistan could be disastrous for the country.

Turkey deserves a civilian constitution

Cemal Yigit is the spokesman of Ufuk Dialogue Foundation, a Nigeria-based foundation that advocates the philosophy of the Hizmet Movement initiated by the Turkish opposition leader, Fathullah Gulen. In this interview he denounced the recent coup attempt in Turkey and denied the allegation that the Hizmet Movement was involved, saying Gulen himself had been a victim of several military coups in the country.

July 23, 2016

A coup was launched from here? Intrigue in rural Pennsylvania

It is high summer in this rural corner of northeastern Pennsylvania – a time of blue skies, boating on the Delaware River, and, if Turkey’s president is to be believed, plots to overthrow his government.

July 22, 2016

The Gulen Movement Is Not a Cult — It’s One of the Most Encouraging Faces of Islam Today

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.

Turkey’s almost coup and the need for perspective

David Tittensor*

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quick to quell the attempted military coup on July 15 and to accuse the Gülen movement of being responsible. This accusation has since dominated the news on the coup.

Turkey and Erdogan: Here comes the (real) caliphate

Ralph Peters*

...The immense and destructive crackdown underway in Turkey now, with at least 10,000 Turks taken into custody and as many as 100,000 others dismissed from their positions — not only soldiers, but judges, civil servants, police and academics — isn’t an end-game. It’s a beginning.

July 21, 2016

Turkey crisis: Cleric Gulen condemns post-coup 'witch-hunt'

Rural Pennsylvania is not the sort of place you would think to look for someone accused of throwing the Middle East into further turmoil.

Canada rebuffed Turkish request for information on Gulen movement: Dion

Canada has expressed sharp concerns over Turkey's imposition of a three-month state of emergency and reports that it may reintroduce the death penalty in response to last week's botched coup attempt.

Chicago organization welcomes new scrutiny amid fallout of failed Turkish military coup

Renewed attention to an exiled Turkish Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating a failed coup last week could mean a brighter light on a Chicago group that promotes his brand of social activism.

Democracy on the rocks in Turkey

Mohamed Nawab Osman*

Last week’s military coup attempt in Turkey is likely to have a debilitating impact on Turkish democracy. Already, several thousand military officials and bureaucrats have been arrested. Even more perturbing, more than 2,000 judges were removed from their jobs. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has squarely blamed the coup on the popular Hizmet movement, led by Turkish imam and philosopher Fethullah Gulen.

Somaliland rules out closure of Gulen-linked school

Somaliland administration in northwestern Somalia has refused to follow in the footsteps of the federal government that suspended a school with links to reclusive Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen following a failed coup attempt in Turkey, Garowe Online reports.

A Turkish witch hunt

Jeff vonKaenel

Last week, there was an attempted coup in Turkey that left hundreds dead, thousands jailed and a troubled world even more troubled. In the aftermath of this failed coup, Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan is going on a witch hunt. He’s dismissed 2,500 judges and is threatening life sentences for those soldiers who participated in the coup attempt.

Of judges and coupists

Steve Nwosu

If I were to be in Turkey, I’d probably be in jail by now. For I doubt if any judge, tribunal or, much less, a political power monger – in the mould of ‘The Boss’ in Ankara, would believe I was not preparing the ground for Friday’s coup attempt in Turkey, with my article of penultimate Wednesday.

Police raid Meydan daily, arrest editor-in-chief following coup attempt

The office of the Meydan daily was raided by İstanbul Police on Wednesday evening, Editor-in-Chief Levent Kenez and Managing Editor Gülizar Baki were detained, while searches were conducted in the building, in what is considered to be part of the major government crackdown in the aftermath of last Friday’s coup attempt.

July 20, 2016

Fethullah Gülen issued the following statement on Turkey’s extradition request

Fethullah Gülen

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today once again demonstrated he will go to any length necessary to solidify his power and persecute his critics. It is ridiculous, irresponsible and false to suggest I had anything to do with the horrific failed coup. I urge the US government to reject any effort to abuse the extradition process to carry out political vendettas.

Turkey Coup Attempt Leaves America With Stark Choice

Blaise Misztal*

In the aftermath of Turkey’s attempted, and failed, coup, Washington is primarily concerned about the future of the U.S.-Turkish alliance and its central objective these days: the fight against Islamic State (ISIS). In particular, U.S. policymakers are concerned about the fate of U.S. access to the Turkish airbase at Incirlik, from which assets used in the campaign against ISIS currently operate. Even though U.S. operations at Incirlik have resumed after being briefly suspended this weekend, there are good reasons to believe that the bases’ final status still hangs in the balance. There are not, however, good reasons for U.S. policymakers to waste their energies and leverage continuing to fight to keep Incirlik. The price demanded by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s may prove too much.

President Erdogan’s Assault on the Human Rights of the Turkish People

Hon. Christopher H. Smith*

Mr. Speaker, I rise to remind our government that the human rights abuses committed by Turkish President Erdogan are grave and ongoing, and to distinguish between the Turkish president and the Turkish people–and to stand with the people.

July 19, 2016

[VIDEO] Fethullah Gülen: 'I deplore and reject any anti-democratic attempts.'

Q: What is your position on this coup attempt and the claims that you are involved in this?

US lawmaker says Gülen should not be extradited, calls his movement strongest element against radical Islamists

United States (US) Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, released a statement on Monday, saying that the US should turn down the Turkish president’s demand of the extradition of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen as he could not be part of a coup attempt, calling his movement “strongest element in his society opposing radical Islamist terrorism.”