Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Gulen Schools Worldwide-Even the journalists in Qatar know about the reputation of Gulen Schools
Turkish police yesterday raided the homes of several scholars and seized documents, in the latest episode in an increasingly controversial coup probe. In a surprise development, the lead prosecutor of the sprawling probe received promotion but was effectively removed from the case, which is under mounting fire for having degenerated into a campaign to bully critics of the Islamist-rooted government.
He has argued that a secularist network called Ergenekon planned bombings and assassinations to throw Turkey into chaos and prompt a military coup to oust the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Shortly before the reshuffle was announced, Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said the police were searching locations in Istanbul and six other cities as part of the probe, under way since 2007.
Popular theologist Zekeriya Beyaz said police were confiscating documents he had collected for a yet-unfinished book critical of the influential movement of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, which is close to the AKP. The book was “to tell about their harmful activities,” Beyaz said on Sky Turk television as the search was under way. The Gulen movement has faced mounting accusations that its followers - believed to control key posts in the police - are fabricating and doctoring evidence in the coup investigations to implicate secularist opponents, in collusion with fellows in the judiciary.
Earlier this month, two journalists who investigated Gulenist police were arrested as part of the Ergenekon probe, sparking uproar over press freedom in EU-hopeful Turkey and casting further doubts on the motive of investigators. A court ordered the seizure of an as yet unpublished book on Gulenist police by one of them and warned that those who refused to hand over copies of the draft would also be prosecuted. A police chief who criticised Gulenist colleagues in a book published last August soon found himself behind bars on obscure charges.
Gulen, based in the US for more than a decade, preaches moderate Islam and promotes inter-faith dialogue. His wealthy movement, estimated to number up to 6mn, has won much praise for its high-quality schools, both at home and abroad. But Turkey’s secularists insist the community is a sly movement infiltrating the state in a bid to Islamise the country.
Beyaz stressed yesterday that police focused on material related to Gulen even though the search order was based on a suspicion that speeches he made to criticise Christian missionary activities in Turkey amounted to “incitement” of violence against missionaries. Prosecutors suspect Ergenekon may be behind the murder of a German missionary and two Turkish converts in eastern Turkey in 2007.
The Ergenekon probe, which has resulted in the discovery of several weapons caches, was initially hailed as a success in a country where the army has unseated four governments since 1960. But its credibility waned as police began arresting intellectuals known as AKP opponents and suspects accused police of fabricating evidence.
Gulen members, Qatar doesn't want your brand of Turkocentric schools or Islam.