May 25, 2016

Tanzania to host int'l language, culture festival

Tanzania is to host the International Festival of Language and Culture (IFLC), which is meant to promote Swahili, the widely spoken language in east and central African region.

Trustees appointed to 28 institutions including mostly schools in Şanlıurfa

A local court in the southeastern Şanlıurfa province has appointed trustees to take over the management of 28 institutions, including mostly primary schools and high schools, in yet another government-led move targeting the Gülen movement, a grassroots initiative comprising people inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s teachings.

May 24, 2016

Terrorist: The catch-all term for all who oppose Erdoğan

Ahmet Sarmis

Terrorism is one of the greatest threats of our time. There is no justification for murdering innocent people without discrimination. That is why harsh laws are made and the most severe measures are taken in order to stop terrorists. Although they limit our freedom, we have to put up with these legal and technical measures; however, the fight against terrorism also offers dictators and authoritarian governments a good excuse to suppress their legitimate opposition.

May 23, 2016

Nigerian students win at global contests

Students of the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges, who represented Nigeria at the International Young Inventors Olympiads (IYIPO), have won a silver award.

May 22, 2016

Rumi and Gülen’s Main Message and Acceptance of the Other

Ihsan Yilmaz

Social and political conjuncture was very turbulent when Rumi emerged. It was a period in which so many conflicts and disorders were being experienced one after the other. There was first a great deal of dissidence and anarchy as a result of the marginal Babai movement. People were also fed up with the continuous assaults, pillage and invasions of the Mongols and Crusaders. As to the administration, the Seljuks state was significantly weakened and getting deteriorated, fastened by the inability to cope with internal conflicts, divisions and mismanagements. The other powerful state, the Kharzamshahs, which once fought against the Genghis Khan’s armies and stopped them and defended the Muslims, then turned against and were fighting the Anatolian Seljuks and organizing territorial incursions and invasions. Benefiting from the chaotic atmosphere and lack of authority in the region neighbouring communities were exploiting the circumstances for their own material and political interests.

May 21, 2016

International festival of language and culture held in Ulaanbaatar

An international festival of language and culture is taking place today at the Chinggis Square in Ulaanbaatar, according to GoGo.

May 20, 2016

Who is Fethullah Gülen, why is the Gülen movement currently being targeted by the Turkish government? (*)

Q: Recently, Turkey’s most widely circulated newspaper Zaman was taken over by the government. This is primarily because it was sympathetic to the Gulen movement. For the uninitiated, can you explain who Fethullah Gülen is and why the Gülen movement is now considered a terrorist organization by the Turkish government?

NTIC student scores 100% in SAT exams

A student of the Nigerian Turkish International College (NTIC) has scored 100 per cent in the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT).

May 19, 2016

Fighting poverty, ignorance and disunity in Ghana; the TUDEC experience

The fight against poverty, ignorance and disunity is a shared responsibility among the government, the private sector, civil society and non-governmental organizations. The reason is that the government alone does not have the requisite human and capital resources to sustain this struggle.

Nigeria Turkish College to host language, culture festival

The Nigeria Turkish International Colleges (NTIC) will play host to Hizmet Movement for the 14th edition of the Festival of Language and Culture tagged “Colours of the World” to promote and showcase notable cultures in Nigeria.

May 18, 2016

NTIC: Showcasing Nigerians’ Academic Prowess

Considering the excellent performance of its students at various national and international competitions and examinations, which has placed Nigeria in global pedestal, the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges (NTIC) has demonstrated that institutions should not only be assessed based on their position in global rankings, but by students’ performance. Uchechukwu Nnaike reports

May 17, 2016

NTIC Student Bags Int'l Young Inventors Olympiads, Beats U.S., UK, Others

A student of the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges, Kaduna, has once again made Nigeria proud as he beat students from 35 other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom to clinch a silver award at the International Young Inventors Olympiads (IYIPO).

May 16, 2016

Is Fethullah Gülen a Threat to Democracy? ‎

Tineke Peppinck

It was astonishing then that in 1999 tapes came in at the Turkish television broadcaster ATV, in which this universally esteemed and respected teacher (‘Hoca Efendi’) seems to call his disciples to wait for the right moment to seize power in Turkey. The public prosecutor opened a lawsuit to investigate Fethullah Gülen on the basis of the charge of ‘founding an illegal organization aiming to change the structure of the secular state, in order to found a state based on religious laws’. (1)

May 15, 2016

Ellen Commends Turkish School for Commitment to Pursuing Quality Education

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has commended students of Cyber-Ed Christian School of Excellence and the Liberia—Turkish International School for being so courageous, disciplined and committed to pursuing quality education at their various schools of learning.

Analysis: Turkey’s Erdogan, Gulen Covert Contest; Where Finish Line? (*)

During the recent years, there rose in Turkey a new movement which owed its existence to the thoughts of Said Nursi, the famous Turkish theologian who lived during the rule of Ottoman Empire.However, the movement has presented a novel model of a social group from different aspects. Mostly branded with the name of its leader Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish movement is active under a couple of names like Hizmet- Turkish word for service- Nursi Movement and also Gulen Movement.

May 14, 2016

Developing Ghana; the role of Tudec and Galaxy Int’l School

More Turkish investors have expressed their interest to invest in education, the real estate, construction and manufacturing sectors in Ghana.

The President of the Ghana-Turkey Cooperation and Development Association (TUDEC), Mr Yusuf Temizkan, says prospective investors would be arriving in the country within the year to inject their capital into the country’s economy.

May 13, 2016

Could Turkey become the next Syria?

The Constitution is Suspended” was, presciently, the headline of the last edition of Turkey’s largest daily newspaper, Zaman, before the government took control of it on March 4. Editor-in-chief Abdulhamid Bilici was fired, the newspaper’s website went offline, and Zaman’s 27 years of digital archives - including all of its news stories, editorials and op-eds - were erased. An entire newspaper was destroyed.

May 12, 2016

Nigerians to showcase culture at Abuja festival May 21

Abuja will on May 21 host the Hizmet Movement and commence preparations for the 14th International Festival of Language and Culture aimed at promoting the rich cultural heritage of the Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Ibo, Efik and other Nigerian tribes.

May 11, 2016

Diversity of linguistic talents

The International Festival of Language and Culture is an annual celebration and showcase for the diversity of linguistic talents from across the world. The International Festival of Language and Culture first started in 2003 and proceeded with participation of only 17 countries. However, last year, 145 countries took part in this event with more than 2000 participants in 20 different countries.

May 10, 2016

A Mother and Son Flee Istanbul for San Antonio

Kathy Hamilton

My phone began ringing at 4 a.m. in San Antonio. Still half-asleep, I stumbled on to the internet and slowly began to grasp the events unfolding in my former home nearly 6,000 miles away in Istanbul, Turkey. It was March 4, a Friday, and the government had seized Zaman, the country’s largest newspaper and one of the country’s last remaining independent news outlets.

The First IFLC Event In India Received Both Love And Applause

At the 14th International Festival of Language & Culture (IFLC 2016), more than 400 students from 17 nations of different languages and cultures get assembled at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi on the premise Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – The world is one family to ascertain global peace and cultural harmony. The event was inaugurated by Dr. Najma Heptullah (Minister of Minority Affairs) in the august presence of Acharya Balkrishna (Managing Director Patanjali), Swami Agnivesh, Mr. Ersin Karaoglan president of Educational Endowment Trust and many other distinguished personalities.

May 9, 2016

'The World is one family': Students from around the world extend peace message at international culture festival

A fusion of cultures was seen at the fourteenth edition of the International Festival of Language and Culture (IFLC) that was held in India for the very first time.

Students from around the globe spread the idea of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’

More than 400 students from 17 nations assembled in New Delhi on May 7 for the 14th International Festival of Language & Culture (IFLC 2016) which had the premise ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world is one family)’ to spread the message of global peace and cultural harmony.

May 8, 2016

Confluence of cultures at 14th edition of IFLC

It was indeed a confluence of cultures when the warrior dancers from Georgia matched steps with mekhla clad Bihu performers from Assam twirling on the rhythms of the dhol, at the 14th edition of the International Festival of Language and Culture (IFLC) here last evening.

Istanbul Summit 2016 ends with recital of the Final Declaration

The Istanbul Summit, led by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), was held in Bangkok to discuss global problems facing women and possible solutions under the theme of women and gender equality for peace.

May 7, 2016

IFLC: Promoting Intercultural Dialogue

Luis Gonzalez

In Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, there are institutions linked to "Hizmet" or "volunteer movement" better known as "Gulen Movement", by the name of the person who inspired it, Fethullah Gulen, Turkey. It is an educational, intercultural and interfaith movement, transnational, with a presence in almost every country in the world.

May 6, 2016

A Comparative Approach to Islam and Democracy

Fethullah Gülen

Religion, particularly Islam, has become one of the most difficult subject areas to tackle in recent years. Contemporary culture, whether approached from the perspective of anthropology or theology, psychology or psychoanalysis, evaluates religion with empirical methods. On the one hand, religion is an inwardly experienced and felt phenomenon, one mostly related to life’s permanent aspects. On the other believers can see their religion as a philosophy, a set of rational principles, or mere mysticism. The difficulty increases in the case of Islam, for some Muslims and policy-makers consider and present it as a purely political, sociological, and economic ideology, rather than as a religion.

World is not enough

A vibrant confluence of cultures and languages is going to hit the Indian shores for the first time with the fourteenth edition of International Festival of Languages and Culture going to take place in the Capital.

May 5, 2016

Turkish govt shuts down Zaman newspaper following seizure

The Turkish government is shutting down Zaman newspaper, previously a strong critic of President Erdogan, which it seized control of in March. A number of other media outlets are also being closed by Ankara, according to CNN Turk.

Turkish Authorities to Close Cihan, Zaman Opposition Media on May 15

Turkish authorities have decided to cease operations of the country's Cihan news agency and the Zaman newspaper starting May 15, local media reported Thursday.

May 4, 2016

Students from 17 countries to showcase linguistic diversity

Students from 17 countries, including India, are coming together to promote the message of peace and brotherhood by showcasing diversity of languages through song and dance, at the 14th edition of International Festival of Language and Culture (IFLC) here on May 7.

Delhi to host mega language festival this month

India might be home to thousands of languages, but come May 7, it will be the first time that the country will host the International Festival of Language and Culture (IFLC).

May 3, 2016

While Erdogan Demonizes a Peaceful Movement, International Community Applauds Them

Aydogan Vatandas

It is no secret that the corruption scandal on December 17, 2013 that encircled the Turkish government was one of the biggest threats to Erdogan’s rule since he took the office in 2003.

Since then, Erdogan has been accusing Mr. Fethullah Gulen and his movement of conspiring against him through a corruption graft and vociferously claiming that the Gulen movement is a terrorist organization.

May 2, 2016

'Hizmet is a movement with principles, with spirituality that appeals to people'

Fikir Atlasi*, Episode 44 (Full text)

My name is Jim Harrington**. I am the director of the Texas Civil Rights Projects. I also teach at the University of Texas.

Well, I think I first got introduced to Hizmet Movement back in 2008, which is about 6 years ago. And I think my views over the period of that time have obviously changed and grown. I have come to see the Hizmet Movement really as a community service organization but service in a deeper sense, not just providing food or else but also trying to build a community working with people and the community, different faiths, different economic groups. So I see that, that kind of movement that has some depth to it and also motivated by folks and their faith.

May 1, 2016

Marked by Obama message, Int’l Festival of Language and Culture takes stage in Washington

Children from different countries took stage at Washington DC’s largest concert hall, DAR Constitution Hall, as part of the 14th International Festival of Language and Culture on Thursday.

Erdoğan threatens to bring ‘terror’ charges against those who ‘still’ support Gülen

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed to level terror charges at those who continue to support the Gülen movement, a global civil society group regarded as a “terrorist” organization by the Turkish president, saying they “would approve of what would happen to them.”

April 30, 2016

President Obama sends message to The International Festival of Language and Culture

US President Obama sends a message to Gulen-inspired “The International Festival of Language and Culture” that took place in Washington DC at the DAR Constitution Hall, Washington DC’s largest Concert Hall on April, 2018, 2016. The hall that has a seating capacity of 3700 witnessed a historic evening as 125 young people from some 25 countries represented their countries with music and dance performances.

Turkey: A masterpiece of culture and sciences

Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan*

Growing up in British India I loved Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Saudi Arabia because if houses the holy cities. Turkey because of its contributions to arts, culture and sciences and because of its welcome to people fleeing persecution, including, historically, Jews from Spain.

April 29, 2016

The world needs more song and dance than war

Speaker of the South African National Assembly Baleka Mbete says the world needs more song and dance than war.

Speaking during the 14th edition of the International Festival of Language and Culture at Nelson Mandela Theatre on Thursday evening, Mbete, who was guest of honor, said rather than seeing people fight, she would love to see them sing and dance.

Johannesburg hosts 14 countries for international festival

On 20 April, the City of Johannesburg hosted 50 talented school-going delegates in Melrose Arch at a dinner event ahead of the International Festival of Language and Culture (IFLC).

April 28, 2016

Galatasaray errs on side of political caution ending kit sponsorship with Dumankaya

Mark Baber

The board of one of Turkey’s biggest clubs – Galatasaray FC – have terminated their kit sponsorship deal with Dumankaya Construction for seemingly pro-Erdogan government reasons. The company’s owners have been listed as suspected of having provided charitable donations to the moderate Islamic, US-based, Gülen Movement.

AK Party set to shut down eight more critical TV channels, CHP deputy claims

A deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Barış Yarkadaş, has claimed that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government will take action soon for the termination of broadcasting contracts of eight more critical channels.

April 27, 2016

Book Review: A Hizmet Approach to Rooting out Violent Extremism

Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi*

The violent extremist ideology cannot be rooted out until an effective, coherent, comprehensive and well-reasoned counter-narrative is evolved. For that, all the theological, religious, political, historical, instrumental and socio-psychological underpinnings of the global jihadism have to be counter-argued and dismantled. “A Hizmet Approach to Rooting out Violent Extremism” by Ozcan Keles and Ismail Mesut Sezgin produces a case study in this context. It provides a critical and detailed analysis of the Hizmet’s refutations of the ideological, theological and text-based rhetoric of the violent extremism, which could be aptly termed ‘radical jihadism’.

April 26, 2016

Dr. Hassencahl on Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet (aka the Gulen Movement) | Fikir Atlasi - Episode 43

Fikir Atlasi*, Episode 43 (Full text)

I’m Fran Hassencahl** and I’m in the Department of Communication and Theater Arts. I’m a professor there and I teach courses in intercultural communication. I just finished teaching a course, still teaching a course, on the Arab Spring.

April 25, 2016

Turkey's coups

Nuray Mert

The Supreme Court of Appeals has overturned convictions in the Ergenekon coup plot trial as the alleged Ergenekon Terror Organization could not be found and identified. The Ergenekon probe dates back to 2007 after a cache of explosives found at the home of a former military officer was alleged to be part of a big conspiracy against the government. Then it was tied to the separate “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) coup plot, but that was ended, too, when it was proved that evidence against the plotters was fabricated.

April 24, 2016

Persecution of the Gülen Movement in Turkey

The Gülen (a.k.a Hizmet) movement, a faith-based community, has been subject to political persecution for more than two years by the Turkish government since they stood up against corruption and injustice under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan has publicly called for a “witch hunt,” and arrests, threats, and harassments have now become a routine for participants and sympathizers of the movement. According to security officials, as of April 2016, as many as 2,261 individuals have been detained, 501 of them have been sent to jail, and 623 have been released on probation.(1) The detainees are people from all walks of life including businessmen, doctors, teachers, academics, police officers, philanthropists and even housewives. Most recent incidents include:

April 23, 2016

Turkish government unlawfully cancels passports of critics, columnist says

The Turkish government, which has stepped up its crackdown on critics, especially members of the Gülen movement, has unlawfully cancelled the passports of a number of people who are told that their passports had been registered as “lost” by petitions they say they never filed, a columnist has claimed.

April 22, 2016

Aslandogan: ‘Journalism in coma, Erdogan controls everything’

Turkish people can’t access objective news, as journalism is oppressed and controlled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Dr. Y. Alp Aslandogan, who is President of the Alliance for Shared Values and a Board Member of the Gulen Institute, told RT.

April 21, 2016

Rumi Forum Hosts Religious Extremism Debate

As President Barack Obama pledges to step up the fight against the Islamic State group, people in Charlottesville hope to help however they can.

On Thursday the Rumi Forum gathered to take a look at what leads to religious extremism.

April 20, 2016

Everything you've ever wanted to know about Fethullah Gulen, Turkey's most controversial cleric*

Murat Bilgincan

As 2015 came to a close, the Grand Ballroom of the Conrad Hotel in Manhattan presented a diverse tableau: Around the meticulously set tables sat Muslim women wearing colorful headscarves with oriental motifs, African-American clergymen from Queens, Jewish students from a Turkish charter school and veteran New York state politicians.

Pro-gov’t daily ordered to pay compensation over ‘fabricated’ story on Erdoğan’s daughter

Staunchly pro-government Akşam daily has been ordered to pay compensation to an opposition deputy for printing “fabricated” Twitter conversations of him with a journalist which it claimed indicated a plan to “assassinate” the daughter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

April 19, 2016

"The Hizmet Movement represents a very positive view of Islam"

Fikir Atlasi*, Episode 42 (Full text)

My name is William Martin. I am Emeritus Professor Sociology at Rice University, and currently, the Senior Fellow for Religion and Public policy at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, also at Rice.

April 18, 2016

Philanthropist targeted in witch-hunt operation in Erzurum passes away

A 91-year-old man, Alaattin Öksüz, who came to public attention in February when police officers attempted to detain him as part of an operation targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, has died.

April 17, 2016

Tolerance and Hospitality as a virtue in Gulen’s Teachings

Tolerance is defined as allowing someone or something to exist without interference. In social and political settings, it means to let other opinions and practices that are different than ours to exist and thrive. Aristoteles defines virtues as being balanced and determining prudently in any given human condition. As a virtue, we can argue, tolerance is choosing wisely in how we decide to treat diversity. Tolerance as a virtue did not appear until the end of religious strife in the 16th century Europe. Europeans came to understand that peaceful coexistence can only happen if other ideas and views are treated with respect. Initially it did not expand to adherents of other religions but contemporary Europe has this very well established.

April 16, 2016

State Department Report Slams Turkey on Human Rights and Press Freedom

Aydogan Vatandas

The United States accused Turkey of restricting civil rights and violating basic human rights in a long annual human rights report released on Wednesday.