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Fethullah Gulen’s Article on LeMonde 

Fethullah Gulen’s Article on LeMonde :

‘I call for an international investigation into the failed putsch in Turkey’

Posted on 11/8/2016

Fethullah Gulen

DETAILS

English translation of the op-ed by Mr. Gulen originally published in Le Monde on August 10, 2016.

On the night of July 15, Turkey went through the most catastrophic tragedy in its recent history as a result of the attempted military coup. The events of that night could be called a serious terror coup.

Turkish people from all walks of life who thought the era of military coups was over showed solidarity against the coup and on the side of democracy. While the coup attempt was in progress, I condemned it in the strongest terms.

Twenty minutes after the military coup attempt surfaced, before the real actors were known, President Erdogan hastily blamed me. It is troubling that an accusation was issued without waiting for the event’s details and the perpetrators’ motives to emerge. As someone who has suffered through four coups in the last 50 years, it is especially insulting to be associated with a coup attempt. I categorically reject such accusations.

I have been living a reclusive life in self-exile in a small town in the United States for the last 17 years. The assertion that I convinced the eighth largest army in the world – from 6,000 miles away – to act against its own government is not only baseless, it is false, and has not resonated throughout the world.

If there are any officers among the coup plotters who consider themselves as a sympathizer of Hizmet movement, in my opinion those people committed treason against the unity of their country by taking part in an event where their own citizens lost their lives. They also violated the values that I have cherished throughout my life, and caused hundreds of thousands of innocent people to suffer under the government’s oppressive treatment.

If there are those who acted under the influence of an interventionist culture that persists among some of the military officers and have put these interventionist reflexes before Hizmet values, which I believe is unlikely, then an entire movement cannot be blamed for the wrongdoings of those individuals. I leave them to God’s judgment.

No one is above the rule of law, myself included. I would like for those who are responsible for this coup attempt, regardless of their identities, to receive the punishment they deserve if found guilty in a fair trial.  The Turkish judiciary has been politicized and controlled by the government since 2014 and, consequently, the possibility of a fair trial is very small. For this reason, I have advocated several times for the establishment of an international commission to investigate the coup attempt and I have expressed my commitment to abide by the findings of such a commission.

Hizmet movement participants have not been involved in one single violent incident throughout its 50-year history. They haven’t even taken to the streets to confront Turkish security forces while they have been suffering under the government’s “witch hunt,” to use Mr. Erdoğan’s own words, for the last three years.

Despite being subjected to a smear campaign and suffering under state oppression for the last three years in the hands of a politically controlled law enforcement and the judiciary, Hizmet movement participants have complied with the law, opposed injustices through legitimate means and only defended their rights within the legal framework.

Turkey’s legal and law enforcement agencies have been mobilized for the last three years to investigate and reveal an alleged “parallel state” that they claim that I run.

The administration called the 2013 public corruption probe an organized attempt by Hizmet sympathizers within the bureaucracy to bring down the government. Despite detaining 4,000 people, purging tens of thousands of government employees and unlawfully seizing hundreds of NGOs and private businesses, authorities were unable to find a single piece of credible evidence to prove their claims.

Turkey’s prime minister called an opportunity to meet with me “heaven-sent” in May 2013; however, after the public corruption probe emerged in December 2013, he began using hate language such as “assassins” and “blood sucking vampires” when referring to Hizmet movement participants.

After the treasonous coup attempt of July 15, the attacks have become unbearable. Turkish government officials also began referring to me and people sympathetic to my views as a “virus” and “cancer cells that need to be wiped out.” Hundreds of thousands of people that have supported institutions and organizations affiliated with the Hizmet movement have been dehumanized in one way or another.

Their private properties have been confiscated, bank accounts taken over and their passports cancelled, restricting their freedom of travel. Hundreds of thousands of families are living through a humanitarian tragedy due to this ongoing witch hunt. News reports show that nearly 90,000 individuals have been purged from their jobs and 21,000 teachers’ teaching licenses have been revoked.

Is the Turkish government forcing these families to starve to death by preventing them from working and prohibiting them from leaving the country? What is the difference between this treatment and the pre-genocide practices throughout European history?

I’ve witnessed every single military coup in Turkey and, like many other Turkish citizens, have suffered during and after each one. I was imprisoned by the order of the junta administration after the March 12, 1971 coup. After the coup of September 12, 1980, a detention warrant was issued against me and I lived as a fugitive for six years.

Right after the February 28, 1997, post-modern military coup, a lawsuit asking for capital punishment was filed against me with the charge of “an unarmed terrorist organization consisting of one person.”

During all of these oppressive, military-dominated administrations, three cases accusing me of “leading a terror organization” were opened and, in each case, I was cleared of the charges. I was targeted by the authoritarian military administrations back then, and now, I face the very same accusations projected in an even more unlawful manner by a civilian autocratic regime.

I had friendly relations with leaders from various political parties, such as Mr. Turgut Ozal, Mr. Suleyman Demirel and Mr. Bulent Ecevit, and genuinely supported their policies that I found to be beneficial to the larger community. They treated me with respect, especially when recognizing Hizmet activities that contribute to social peace and education.

Even though I distanced myself from the idea of political Islam, I praised the democratic reforms undertaken by Mr. Erdogan and AKP leaders during their first term in power.

But throughout my life, I have stood against military coups and intervention in domestic politics. When I declared 20 years ago that “there is no turning back from democracy and secularism of the state,” I was accused and insulted by the same political Islamists who are close to the current administration. I still stand behind my words. More than 70 books based on my articles and sermons spanning40 years are publicly available. Not only is there not a single expression that legitimizes the idea of a coup in these works, but, on the contrary, they discuss universal human values that are the foundation of democracy.

Emancipating Turkey from the vicious cycle of authoritarianism is possible only through the adoption of a democratic culture and a merit-based administration. Neither a military coup nor a civilian autocracy is a solution.

Unfortunately, in a country where independent media outlets are shut down or taken under government custody, a significant portion of Turkish citizens were made to believe – through relentless pro-government propaganda – that I am the actor behind the July 15 coup. However, world opinion, which is shaped by objective information, clearly sees that what is going on is a power grab by the administration under the guise of a witch-hunt.

Of course, what matters is not majority opinion but the truths that will emerge through the process of a fair trial. Tens of thousands of people, including myself, who have been the target of such gross accusations, would like to clear our names through a fair judicial process. We do not want to live with this suspicion that was cast on us. Unfortunately, the government has exerted political control over the judiciary since 2014, thereby destroying the opportunity for Hizmet sympathizers to clear their names of these accusations.

I openly call on the Turkish government to allow for an international commission to investigate the coup attempt, and promise my full cooperation in this matter. If the commission finds one-tenth of the accusations against me to be justified, I am ready to return to Turkey and receive the harshest punishment.

Participants in the Hizmet movement have been overseen by hundreds of governments, intelligence agencies, researchers or independent civil society organizations for 25 years and have never been found to be involved in illegal activity. For this reason, many countries do not take seriously the accusations of the Turkish government.

The most important characteristic of the Hizmet movement is to not to seek political power, but instead to seek long-term solutions for the problems threatening the future of their societies. At a time when Muslim-majority societies are featured in the news for terror, bloodshed and underdevelopment, Hizmet participants have been focusing on raising educated generations who are open to dialogue and actively contributing to their societies.

Since I have always believed that the biggest problems facing these societies are ignorance, intolerance-driven conflicts and poverty, I have always encouraged those who would listen to build schools instead of mosques or Quran tutoring centers.

Hizmet participants are active in education, health care and humanitarian aid not only in Turkey, but also in more than 160 countries around the world. The most significant characteristic of these activities is that they serve people of all religions and ethnic backgrounds – not just Muslims.

Hizmet movement participants opened schools for girls in the most difficult areas of Pakistan and continued to provide education in the Central African Republic during the country’s civil war. While Boko Haram took young girls hostage in Nigeria, Hizmet participants opened schools that educated girls and women. In France and the French-speaking world, I have encouraged people who share my ideas and values to fight against groups that embrace radical Islamic ideologies and to support the authorities in this struggle. In these countries, I strived for Muslims to be recognized as free and contributing members of society, and have urged them to become part of the solution rather than be associated with the problems.

Despite receiving threats, I categorically condemned numerous times terrorist groups such as Al Qaida and ISIS who taint the bright face of Islam. However, the Turkish government is trying to convince governments around the world to act against schools that have been opened by individuals who did not take part in the July 15 coup attempt, and who have always categorically rejected violence. My appeal to governments around the world is that they ignore the Turkish government’s claims and reject its irrational demands.

Indeed, the Turkish government’s political decision to designate the Hizmet movement as a terrorist organization resulted in the closure of institutions such as schools, hospitals and relief organizations. Those who have been jailed are teachers, entrepreneurs, doctors, academics and journalists. The government did not produce any evidence to show that the hundreds of thousands targeted in the government’s witch hunt supported the coup or that they were associated with any violence.

It is impossible to justify actions such as burning down a cultural center in Paris, detaining or holding hostage family members of wanted individuals, denying detained journalists access to medical care, shutting down 35 hospitals and the humanitarian relief organization Kimse Yok Mu, or forcing 1,500 university deans to resign as part of a post-coup investigation.

It appears that, by presenting the recent purges as efforts that target only Hizmet participants, the Turkish government is in fact removing anyone from the bureaucracy who is not loyal to the ruling party, while also intimidating civil society organizations. It is dreadful to see human rights violations occurring in Turkey, including the torture detailed in recent reports by Amnesty International. This is truly a human tragedy.

The fact that the July 15 coup attempt – which was an anti-democratic intervention against an elected government – was foiled with Turkish citizens’ support is historically significant. However, the coup’s failure does not mean a victory for democracy. Neither the domination by a minority nor the domination of a majority that results in the oppression of a minority nor the rule of an elected autocrat is a true democracy.

One cannot speak of democracy in the absence of the rule of law, separation of powers and essential human rights and freedoms, especially the freedom of expression. True victory for democracy in Turkey is only possible by reviving these core values.

法图拉·葛兰:我呼吁对土耳其未遂政变做国际调查

7月15的晚上,土耳其经历了其近代史上最具灾难性的悲剧——一场政变企图。其间发生的一幕幕堪称一场严重的恐怖政变。

社会各行各业的土耳其人都认为军事政变的时代已经过去了,所以他们站在民主的一方,团结一致反对军事政变。早在政变被挫败之前,我就做了最为严厉的谴责。

政变企图发生后的二十分钟,真正的幕后黑手尚不得而知,埃尔多安总统就草率地指责我(发动了此次政变)。不等事件的来龙去脉调查明了,未将凶手的真实意图盘问清楚,就横加指责定罪,令人感到匪夷所思、莫名其妙。近五十年来(土耳其)发生的四次政变中,我都无一幸免、深受其害,此次居然被扣上发动政变的罪名,我认为这是奇耻大辱。我绝不接受、坚决抵制这样的罪名。

近17年来,我在美国的一个小镇上过着自我放逐的隐居生活。可是居然有人声称我在距离6000英里之遥的异国他乡指使世界上第八大军队起而反叛自己的政府——这种指责不仅毫无根据可言,而且错误荒谬至极,遍观世人而无所应和。

假如此次政变的参与者当中有一些官员自认为是服务运动同情者,那么我认为这些人已经背叛了自己祖国的统一,因为他们所参与的这件事致使自己的同胞们手足相残。他们也违背了我毕生所倡导的价值观,致使成千上万无辜的人受到牵连,遭到政府的压迫。

军官当中是不是有一些人依然抱持一些干涉主义观念并顺此而行事?是不是有人将干涉主义思想凌驾于服务运动的思想之上了?我认为这是不可能的,但是就算是有,那也不能因为这些个人的为非作歹而怪罪于整个服务运动。对此,我交由真主裁决。

包括我自己在内,没有任何人可以凌驾于法治之上。此次军事政变的肇事者们,无论其身份如何,经由公正的审判之后如果裁定有罪,我希望看到他们受到应有的惩罚。自从2014年以来,土耳其的司法系统已经被政治化、被政府控制了,可想而知,进行公正审判的可能性几乎没有。正是因为这个原因,我已经数次呼吁成立一个国际委员会来调查此次政变企图,而且我也承诺遵守该委员会的调查结果。

在服务运动50年的历史上,其参与者从未卷入任何一桩暴力事件。近三年来,他们饱受政府的“清洗”(埃尔多安先生的原话)之苦,但是他们甚至从未走上街头与土耳其安全部队对抗,(更遑论发动政变)。

三年来,服务运动的参与者们在已经被政府控制的执法和司法系统的手中,忍辱负重,又是被泼脏水又是遭受政府的迫害,但是他们依然遵纪守法,坚持通过合法的手段反抗不公,在法律的框架之内维护自己的权利。

三年来,土耳其的法律机构已经被动员起来调查一项他们强加给我的罪名:他们声称我在运行着一个“平行的政府”。

现政府将2013年的公共腐败调查案称作是官僚系统中服务运动同情者们发起一场有组织行动,旨在推翻政府。尽管已经拘押了4000人,清洗了几万名政府公务员,非法关闭了几百个非政府组织和私营企业,但是当政者们依然无法找出一丁点儿可靠的证据来证明他们所宣称的罪名。

2013年5月,土耳其的总理将与我的会面称为“天赐良机”;然而,2013年12月,公共腐败案调查开始后,他们就开始用诸如“暗杀者”和“吸血鬼”之类的仇恨语言指称服务运动的参与者。

7月15日的叛国政变发生之后,他们的进攻变本加厉,让人无法承受。土耳其的政府官员们将我和同情我的观点的人说成是“病毒”和“必须清除的癌细胞”。成千上万曾经支持过与服务运动相关的机构和组织的人们都受到了这样或那样的非人待遇。

私人财产被没收,银行账户被接管,护照被注销,出门旅行受到限制。当前正惨烈进行的清洗行动致使成千上万个家庭遭受人道主义悲剧。新闻报道上说,在清洗行动中,已经有将近九万人被解职,两万一千名教师的教师资格证被注销。

土耳其政府禁止这些人工作,也禁止这些人离开自己的国家,是打算要将这些人和他们的家人都活活饿死吗?这种行径和欧洲历史上种族灭绝行动的前奏有什么区别?

我曾亲眼目睹了土耳其的每一次政变,也和其他土耳其公民一样,每次政变之后都深受其害。1971年3月12号军事政变之后,军政府一声令下,我就锒铛入狱。1980年9月12日军事政变之后,对我下了拘捕令,于是我过了六年的逃难生活。

1997年2月28日的后现代军事政变之后,针对我提起诉讼,要求判我死刑,罪名是“由一个人组成的非武装恐怖主义组织”。

在这些严苛的军政府当政时期,曾针对我发起三次诉讼,罪名都是“领导了一个恐怖组织”,但是每次开审之后我都被判无罪。我曾经是专制军政府的进攻目标,而今我又面临一模一样的指控,但是这次是一个文官专制政权以更为非法的手段发起的指控。

我与各个政党的领导人都有过友好的关系,如图尔古特·奥扎尔先生,苏莱曼·德米雷尔先生和布莱恩特·埃杰维特先生。我曾经真诚地支持他们那些我认为对更大的社会群体有益的政策。他们尊重我,尤其认可服务运动对社会和平与教育做出的贡献。

虽然我个人与政治伊斯兰的思想理念保持距离,但是对于埃尔多安先生和正发党的领导人们在首届任期中做出的民主改革措施,我还是给予了赞扬。

但是我这一生都反对军事政变、反对军事干预内政。20年前我曾宣称“民主和国家的世俗主义都没有回头路可以走”,当时为此而侮辱我、给我扣帽子加罪名的就是和现政府关系密切的政治伊斯兰主义者。我今天依然秉持我的观点主张。在为期四十年的光阴里,根据我的文章和演讲而编著出版了七十多本著作,这些著作都是公开出版、可以查阅的。在这些作品中非但没有一句话意在将军事政变思想合法化,反而在讨论那些可以作为民主基础的人类普适价值观。

唯有接受了民主文化、建立了有评审监管机制的政府模式,才能够将土耳其从威权独裁主义的恶性循环中解放出来。无论是军事政变还是文官独裁都无法解决问题。

很不幸的是,在这样一个独立媒体要么被关停、要么被政府接管的国度,很大一部分土耳其人通过大量的亲政府宣传言论,都被灌输了这样的观点:我是715政变的幕后指使。然而,世界舆论的观点都能够以客观的信息为评判基础,都能够清除地看到当前正在上演的是政治清洗的外衣掩饰之下对权力的巧取豪夺。

当然,最为关键的并非大多数人的观点,而是通过公平的审判程序揭示出来的真相。包括我自己在内,有成千上万的人成为了众矢之的,我们都希望能够通过公正的司法程序来洗清我们的罪名。我们不想生活在强加给我们的怀疑之中。很不幸的是,自从2014年以来政府已经控制了司法系统,从而也毁灭了服务运动的同情者们洗清自己罪名的机会。

我公开呼吁土耳其政府接受一个国际委员会来调查此次政变企图,而我则承诺将会在此事上给予充分的配合。如果这个委员会发现我背负的罪名有十分之一是确证无疑的,那么我会立即返回土耳其接受最严厉的刑罚。

近25年来,服务运动的参与者们受到数百家政府、情报机构、研究人员或独立的公民社团机构的监视和跟踪调查,但是从未发现有任何人参与非法活动。正是因为这个原因,很多国家并不将土耳其政府的指责当回事儿。

服务运动最重要的特征就是不寻求政治权力,而是寻求解决威胁人类社会问题的长远解决方案。在一个穆斯林社会成为新闻中恐怖、流血和贫穷主体的时代,服务运动的成员们致力于提升数代人的教育水平,将他们培养成思想开明、愿意对话、能够积极贡献于社会的人。

我一贯主张穆斯林社会当前最大的问题是无知、思想狭隘导致的冲突和贫穷,我也一直鼓励那些愿意听我说话的人多多建造学校,而不是清真寺和古兰经学习中心。

服务运动的参与者们活跃于教育、医疗和人道主义救援领域,不仅在土耳其如此,在世界上一百六十多个国家中也是如此。这些活动最为重要的特征就是:他们服务于来自各个信仰和民族背景的人群,而不仅仅是穆斯林。

服务运动的成员们在巴基斯坦最为艰苦卓绝的地区为女童们开设了学校;在中非共和国的内战时期,他们坚持为该地区提供教育。当博科圣地组织在尼日利亚将年轻女孩抓去做人质的时候,服务运动的参与者们在那里开设了学校教育女孩子和妇女们。在法国和法语世界,我鼓励那些与我持有相同思想和价值观的人们与那些有极端伊斯兰意识形态的团体作斗争,并在这场斗争中支持政府当局。在这些国家,我力争让穆斯林被视为自由且有贡献的社会成员,并督促他们为解决问题而贡献力量,而不要将自己与问题麻烦联系在一起。

尽管受到了种种威胁,但是我依然无数次坚决地谴责诸如基地和ISIS之类给伊斯兰的脸上抹黑的恐怖组织。然而,土耳其政府正在努力说服全世界各国政府起来和这些学校做对。这些学校都是一些个人开设的,他们并没有参与715政变企图,而且他们向来都坚决反对暴力。我请求世界各国政府不要理会土耳其政府的说辞并法对其无理要求。

的确,土耳其政府将服务运动定性为恐怖组织的政治决定已经致使诸如学校、医院和救援组织都纷纷关闭。那些被关在监狱中的都是教师、企业家、医生、学者和新闻记者们。政府没有拿出任何证据来证明这成千上万的政府清洗目标曾经支持过政变或与任何的暴力行为有联系。

烧毁巴黎的文化中心,拘捕或扣押被通缉者的家人作为人质,不让被扣押的记者求医问药,关闭35家医院和人道主义救援中心“这里没有人吗?”(Kimse Yok Mu),强迫1500名大学院长和系主任辞职(说是政变后调查的需要)。他们有什么正当的理由这样做?他们不可能拿出正当的理由。

表面上看起来,最近的清洗行动针对的目标只是服务运动的参与者们,但是实际上土耳其政府正在借机清除官僚系统中所有不忠于执政党的异己分子,同时也在恫吓那些公民社会组织。在土耳其发生的侵犯人权事件真是太可怕了!大赦国际最近的报告中对其酷刑都有详细的描述。

715政变企图是反民主的,是对民选政府的干涉,结果在土耳其民众的支持之下被挫败了,这一事实具有重要的历史意义。然而,政变的失败并不意味着民主的胜利。无论是少数派主政还是多数派主政,都不会导致对少数派的压迫,也不会造成民选独裁者的出现,这才是真正的民主。

在没有法制、分权和基本的人权与自由——尤其是言论表达自由——的境况下,民主无从谈起。唯有复兴了这些核心价值观,土耳其才有可能出现真正的民主胜利。

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2017-06-06T11:37:18+00:00