Other op-eds and articles on Hizmet and Fethullah Gulen here
We’re told they are “vampires” and “traitors”, “pawns of foreign powers” and “cancerous cells” and a “blood-sucking virus” to be “annihilated,” “cleansed,” “vaporized,” and “separated into its molecules.”
Hizmet’s approach to “de-radicalization by default” is a valuable asset in fighting and defeating violent extremist ideologies, reflected in the practices of ISIS and Al-Qaeda..
Is this the violent invective spewed at dissidents from the pages of Pravda at the height of the 1930s Soviet purges or from some official mouthpiece of the North Korean regime promising to crush the enemies of the people? No. These are phrases taken in 2014 and 2015 straight from the front pages of Turkish newspapers, like Sabah, Aksam, Takvim, and Star, that are known to be unconditional supporters of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The “virus to be annihilated” is Hizmet, an Islamically-inspired, Turkish transnational civic movement.Hizmet, also known as the Gülen movement (after its founder Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Muslim cleric), was until recently an ally of Erdogan in his fight against the Kemalist establishment that had ruled Turkey since 1923.