Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Şengê û Pengê ew jî bawer dikin ku we diya wan e.
Derî vedikin, oyyy çi bibînin! Gur e!
Gur hema vekser wan dixwe û dice. ~ from a Kurdish fairy tale.

In my last post, I mentioned a man named Fethullah Gulen, saying that Erdogan was his boy, as well as Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Turkish Secretary-General of the OIC. If anyone cares to understand anything that is going on in Turkey, one needs to know about Fethullah Gulen and his gang because they are extensive and very influential. If you are a Kurd, or are concerned about Kurds under Turkish occupation, knowledge of Fethullah Gulen is necessary for survival. Everything you need to know about Fethullah Gulen has already been said, and by better minds than mine. I'm just going to put it all together for you, because you probably missed it.

Do I need to add that all this is from a Kurdish frame of reference?

To set the stage, we need a little backgrounder. Here's what Amed Demirhan had to say about Fethullah Gulen, by way of introduction. This article appeared in KurdistanObserver a year ago:

Mr. Fethullah Gulen is a very interesting and powerful personality in Turkey. He has about five-six million followers and commands billions of dollars in Turkey and abroad. His followers’ control major news media, as well as schools and universities in many countries, including in the USA. However, in last few years the Turkish military has become uncomfortable with his growing power especially with his influence in the police force and police intelligence organizations, therefore he had to move to the USA in unofficial exile. Mr. Gulen has been presented as a tolerant, moderate, enlightened religious leader and involved in interfaith dialog, and a peaceful person.

Notice that Gulen has millions of followers, which are called Fethullahci and they have a particular ideology, formulated, of course, by Gulen. They are part of what is known as the Nurcu movement, a religious community, whose ideology was originally proposed by one Said Nursi. The funny thing is that Said Nursi was a Kurd. His contribution to Islamic thought consists in presenting Islam in a way that didn't clash with the modern world or science. Fethullah Gulen, on the other hand, twists the teaching of Said Nursi to his own purposes, political purposes and they can be expressed as follows:

Basically, Fethullah Gülen's ideas serve to accomplish three intellectual goals: the islamization of the Turkish nationalist ideology; the turkification of Islam; and the Islamization of modernity. And therefore, he wishes to revive the link between the state, religion and society.

How does Gulen's ideology apply to Kurds? Check out this article, originally carried by and written by Aland Mizell, but now found archived at [Note: the paragraph breaks are mine, to make for easier reading]:

Muhammad said, “An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety.” Writing in an article entitled “A Comparative Approach Islam and Democracy, Gülen pronounces, “The Prophet says that all people are as equal as the teeth of a comb. Islam does not discriminate based on race, color, age, nationality, or physical traits. The Prophet declared: ‘You are all from Adam, and Adam is from earth. O servants of God, be brothers [and sisters].’ Those who are born earlier, have more wealth and power than others, or belong to certain families or ethnic groups have no inherent right to rule others” (Gülen 2001).

However, Fethullah goes further to claim that Islam can be best represented only by the Turks, thus claiming the superiority of the Turks. When a Kurd says, “I am a Kurd and a Muslim,” then it seems he is insulting his hearer. The Kurd will be chastised for establishing his identity in terms of his ethnicity and be challenged to think of himself as a Muslim only, united with his Islamic brotherhood as the Qur’an requires. If he claims a shared allegiance to his ethnic heritage, he will be asked, “Why are you prejudiced?” and be told, “We are all brothers,” a tranquilizer numbing his followers into submission. Yet, this same examiner will never stand for the rights of this “brother.” Instead, as always, Kurds will be oppressed while the religious demagogies keep silent with the same tactics.

When it comes to the Kurdish question, when it comes to many questions about the Kurds, the examiner will note that they are caught in the fire and continue to burn — illiteracy is high, the mortality rate is high, and unemployment is high. Many Kurds are living with their cattle in the winter because they cannot afford to buy enough coal or wood to provide heat for their children during the freezing winter. When the military served as the major police force in that impoverished region, they raped many Kurdish women and killed children and older people as well. These advocates of homogeneity and opponents of racism tried to turn attention to their Muslim brotherhood, pointing to the injustice in Chechnya, Bosnia, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Algeria.

Mizell's article is excellent because it traces the background information, the latest events, and connects everything to the political players in Turkey. Mizell mentions all of Gulen's emotional distress for Azerbaijanis and Bosnians and all his other Muslim brothers (and his followers, Erdogan and Ihsanoglu, cry for Palestinians or condemn Israel as a "terrorist" state), yet he remains an agnostic even now, one year after Mizell's article, when it comes to the Turkish state allowing Kurdish children to die of bird flu, or of Kurdish parents taking their sick children to the hospital on sleds because the Turkish state does not clear the roads of the heavy snow. Fethullah Gulen and all his followers have no comment to make on the 4,000 Kurdish villages destroyed by TSK, or the 4 million Kurds forcibly displaced from their homes. They are at a loss for words in discussing the 70%+ unemployment in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan or the poverty suffered by those Kurds who live in shanty towns in and around Turkey's largest cities.

But knowledge of Fethullah Gulen puts a completely new spin on the bombing at Şemzîn. Consider this, from Demirhan's article:

In November 18, 2004 Mr. Gulen warned Turkey that "some foreign Intelligence organizations are preparing to turn Turkey in to a bloodbath. 'From now on mystery killings could occur.'"[1] This so called "mystery killing in Turkey", in 1990s about 20,000 citizens of Turkey, predominantly Kurds and some high ranking Turks and well known intellectuals, lost their lives and the murderer went free. Mr. Gulen went on claiming, “In last 300 years some secret organizations have been controlling this nation." This is clearly a reference to "Shabbetai sect." The followers of Shabbetai Zevi (1625 - 1676) who were converted to Islam, by force of Sultan, from Judaism in late 1600s. However, some anti-Semitic groups claim this sect still practices Judaism in secret and never became Turk and Muslim and they are controlling the Turkish state and they have been the source of Turkish problem in last 300 years. In last two years Shabbetains become the target of many political groups in Turkey from old school Marxist to variety of Islamist, because of their Jewish ancestry.

Mr. Gulen not only warned the nation against foreign conspiracy and their fifth column in Turkey; he claimed: "If Turkish Intelligent Service (MIT), Police Force, and JITEM (Turkish Gendarmeries Intelligence Service) collaborates together they will over come these plots against Turkey." (HaberX 11/18/2004). It is very interesting that he names Gendarmeries Intelligence Service (JITEM) because this organization had been premier responsible for not so mysterious "mystery killing" in Turkey and protector and trainer of the Turkish Hizbullah which had been responsible for major terrorist attacks against Kurds, bombing Jewish and British targets in Istanbul, and many more.

It was JITEM and TSK who did Şemzîn, but who got the blame? The Kurds, especially, PKK. And I am willing to bet that the guys who actually carried out the operation were Fethullahci, since Gulen has managed to gain some influence even over those state organizations. That's why he had to exile himself to the US, right? I wonder if Brent Scowcroft ever stops by for a glass of tea?

Another person to read, in order to follow how far the Fethullahci are going, is Michael Rubin. Now I don't like Michael Rubin, mainly because the guy has a lot to say against PKK but, like the Fethullahci--or the Kemalists--he is absolutely speechless when it comes to any mention of Turkish atrocities against Kurds. The guy has never written one word about any atrocity committed against Kurds under Turkish occupation. Not one. He is not a Fethullahci, though; he is a Kemalist. Through and through. So when he writes about Turkey, and complains about AKP (Okay, you should get it now: AKP = Fethullahci), we get to see what the hard-core Kemalists, i.e. the Turkish military, are thinking. Mizell cites Rubin's Green Money, but you should also read Rubin's more recent Turkish Turn Back? and Turkey's No Casual Dining and The Same War.

You also might want to notice the slogan of The Middle East Forum, where those Rubin articles are located. It is, "Promoting American Interests." Keep that in mind.

By the way, Fethullah Gulen has a website. You might want to start with this article, from Milliyet: Identity, Kurd Issue and Central Asia. Keep in mind everything I've told you here when you read that and notice Gulen's remarks about Leyla Zana and Co. Notice his claim of how many Kurds in "The Southeast" are supporting PKK, and ask yourself these questions:

1. How out of touch with reality is this guy?

2. Is this guy a great propagandist, or what?

3. How much hash does he have stashed in his nargîle?

When you read the news from Turkey now, you can keep all of this information in mind. Besides, there may be a test later. Class is over for today.


Anonymous said...

Mizgin, I noticed the right Honorable Gulen made this comment in that little Milliyet interview from Jan 2005:
"The demands listed in that announcement were disrespectful, in my opinion. In the past, another disrespectful act was committed (by Zana and others) in the Parliament, which should never have happened."

Could you enlighten us as to the "disrespectful" demands and acts committed by Layla Zana, and others? They must have been pretty awful, to insult the respect of such a patient, tolerant, and saintly man?

Mizgîn said...

There is a pretty good description of Leyla Zana's "crime" here:

There is also a good interview with her from 1993, here:

And this:

Basically, she spoke Kurdish in the Parliament and wanted equal rights for Kurds. . . just like Turkey was demanding for Turks in Cyprus.

Oh, the HORROR!

Anonymous said...

Piling !
It is a sheer justure of disonesty
to be sympathatic towards Leyla Zana and at the same time to be so rude and cruel against Ocalan.

Wladimir van Wilgenburg said...

Şemzîn.. or Shemnîzan.. what the hell happened with that trial?

Kurdishinfo isn't all to clear?

Mizgîn said...

Funny you should ask about Şemzîn, Vladimir, I have been thinking about that myself and have already begun to research it.

Nothing is too clear on it because it is undergoing Turkish obfuscation. They don't want anything to be clear because it will look very, very bad. Besides, it's so much easier to merely blame PKK.

I'm going to try to do something on that in the next day or so.

Anonymous said...

i bet
you didn't read any of the books of fethullah gulen