Sirri Sureyya Onder, a Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) member of parliament from Istanbul who was among the delegation that visited jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan at Imrali island, has revealed to the press that Ocalan sends his greetings to Fetullah Gulen.
Gulen is a Turkish Islamic scholar well known for his teachings that promote mutual understanding and tolerance between different cultures and faiths. Now residing in the US, Gülen has pioneered educational activities in a number of countries, along with efforts to promote intercultural and interfaith activities around the world. The Turkish Olympiads are an initiative pioneered by schools associated with him. Gülen is in self-imposed exile in the US.
Onder told the press, “Mr. Ocalan send his greetings to Fethullah Gülen. Fethullah Gulen’s approach ‘there is goodness in peace’ is also [Ocalan’s] approach. ‘We can work together toward a democratic politics and peace throughout the Middle East, send my greetings to the revered Fethullah Gulen. I understand him best," he said.
When the new negotiation process undertaken with Ocalan for the disarmament of the PKK became known to the public, Gulen had immediately made a public assessment titled “there is goodness in peace” during the early days of January.
In the assessment in which he referred to the Treaty of Hudaybiyya, the treaty between Prophet Muhammad and the Meccans in March 628 AD, Gulen stated, “it is necessary to avoid the fragmentation of the country.”
Abdullah Ocalan’s statement regarding Gulen, which the former says were taken out of context, were revealed to the public as such: “The center of the Gulen movement is the United States. My being detained here was simultaneous with Gulen’s movement to the United States. Fethullah Gulen infiltrated into the Nur movement. Fethullah Gulen lives in the United States. Schools have been opened in 120 countries, where is the money coming from? Florida is the old center of counter-guerillas.”
After these statements’ disclosure to the public, Gulen's lawyer Nurullah Albayrak said, “Other than libel, these unfair and unfounded allegations are nothing but the fiction of a person or persons whose names take place in the leaked recordings,” referring to the leaked recordings of the meetings between Ocalan and the BDP delegation.