Turkey's religious communities break silence on state row

"Anyone who paves the way for our country and our people to lose all that they have gained and extinguish the Islamic ummah’s hopes of revival will pay a great price," said Ahmet Hamdi Topbas from the Aziz Mahmud Hudayi Foundation.

Turkey's religious communities break silence on state row

World Bulletin / News Desk

Amid the ongoing corruption scandal that has led to a state crisis in Turkey, with religious community leader Fethullah Gulen being accused of setting up a ‘parallel state’ rivaling that of the official government, leaders and representatives from other religious communities in Turkey have finally broken their silence.

Speaking to Turkey's YeniAkit newspaper, Yusuf Tulun, who is the head of the Knowledge Publication Association preferred not to pick sides in the dispute between the ruling AK Party and the followers of Fethullah Gulen, who have been accused of manipulating the judiciary into launching the operation against government affiliates ahead of local elections in March to alter voter perspective after it was announced that prep schools, from which they gain a bulk of their income, would be closed.

"In Turkey our association has 124 branches and 93 dormitories. We’re an association that has never got involved in politics, nor have we focused on anything else. The rules of this state are open and the democratic application of these rules is universal…to put forward a political opinion outside of the framework of the parties and government is preposterous. May God guide these people," Tulun said.

Ibrahim Kaya, a representative of the followers of late Muslim scholar Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan said, "Mr. Gulen had attempted to win us over to his side…some religious communities might be subject to manipulation on certain issues. The AK Party is the party of the ummah (Muslim community). We completely support them on this road and will not be manipulated. After seeing the followers of Gulen working together with the Cumhuriyet and Hurriyet newspapers (opposition newspapers), even the other followers of Said Nursi (who Gulen claims to follow) expressed their opposition to Gulen."

Speaking on the fact that Gulen mentioned ‘other religious communities’ in a letter allegedly sent to President Abdullah Gul regarding the community’s spat with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kaya continued "After other NGO’s spoke out against Gulen, his movement became isolated. In mentioning other religious communities, he tried to find a way out. However, the other religious communities don’t have a problem with the AK Party and the state, and I don’t think they ever will have one."

The head of the Aziz Mahmud Hudayi Foundation, Ahmet Hamdi Topbas, added "Anyone who paves the way for our country and our people to lose all that they have gained and extinguish the Islamic ummah’s hopes of revival will pay a great price."

Topbas went on to say, "We should not allow any opportunity for any word, situation or behavior to open the way for hatred and enmity."

Last Mod: 07 Ocak 2014, 15:59
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