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Die-Hard Enemies of Fethullah Gülen

by Lynn E. Webb on . Posted in Fethullah Gülen: Is There More to Him Than Meets the Eye?

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In order to be able to make a correct analysis of what has been taking place in Turkey in recent years and the reasons of enmity toward Fethullah Gülen and the like, it is necessary to know more closely the vanguards of the campaign against Fethullah Gülen the so-called religious reactionary movements.

Hikmet Cetinkaya, one of Fethullah Gülen's most relentless enemies, was turned away because of his young age when he applied for membership to the Communist Party during the years preceding the coup of March 12. Also, some who were influential in student activities before the March 12 period, are among the leading enemies of Fethullah Gülen today. After giving some brief information regarding them, we'll point out some amazing similarities between the activities and news written in the media then and today:

Faik Bulut

Bulut is from the generation of V68. He was involved in student movements. For whatever the reason, in 1972 he went to the Middle East and stayed in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel. In the book he wrote about Fethullah Gülen, makes himself known through his own words.

According to his own account in Kim Bu Fethullah Gülen? ("Who is that Fethullah Gülen"), Bulut is a Kurdish citizen. He claims that there is organization along Sharia/tarika (Sufi order) lines in Turkey and that the solution to this is solving the Kurdish problem and the government's making peace with Kurdish citizens. Putting aside the real reasons of the Kurdish problem in Turkey, it is very difficult to understand the connection between the claimed Sharia/tarika organization and the Kurdish issue. According to Bulut, "Kurds who can't express themselves ethnically embrace a religious identity." Premier Yilmaz said, "There are some in Turkey who want to make reactionary activities a vehicle to gain power." Bulut wants to do the same and use the Kurdish identity-whatever he means by that-as a vehicle for Kurdish separatism. If Kurds who don't come out with their ethnic identity are clinging tightly to religion, then this question comes to mind:

According to Bulut's claim, "Fethullah Gülen's community of followers is closed to the Risale-i Nur students (Those following Said Nursi's line) with Kurdish origin." Then this community must be prevalent among Turks. Is the reason for this that Turks can't express themselves ethnically? If ideas are built on evil intention and a deliberate perspective, a person can contradict himself in the same pages.

Let's get to know Bulut with his own words in his book about Mr. Gülen:

- According to his own words, Bulut is a socialist but not a Kemalist.

- He is full of malice for Muslim Turks and Turkish history.

- While one of Turkish expert historians, Professor Dr. Mustafa Akdag, who is not very sympathetic towards Islam and Sufism, describes the avant-garde of those who enabled Anatolia to become Turkified as "alperenler (heroes) and colonizing dervishes," Bulut calls them "soldiers of raiding and exploitation."

- In Bulut's eyes, the vizier of the Seljuki State, Nizamulmulk, who was martyred by a Batinite addicted to heroin, is guilty of "killing the Batinites and Alawis." To him, Yavuz Sultan Selim is a ruthless tyrant with the blood of 40,000 murdered Alawi-Kizilbas on his hands. Similarly Sulaiman the Magnificent is a bloody-handed sultan. Abdulhamid II is famous for his tyranny and censorship and deserves the "red sultan-Sultan de rouge". The famous Ebus-Suud Efendi, the shaykh al-Islam of Sulaiman the Magnificent and one of the most leading jurisprudents of the Turkish history, is the Ottoman's most fanatical and bigoted religious scholar. Against these men Bulut sets Sheik Bedreddin, Batinite Sheik Hasan Sabbah, Turkish materialists, positivists and socialists, Darwin, Marxist leaders and Ataturk.

Sheik Bedreddin and Hasan Sabbah were members of Sufi orders. As a necessity of their ideology, materialists and socialists in Turkey support fighting, revolution and murder, and eventually through anarchy they opened the way to death for thousands of people between 1960-1980. All of the Marxist leaders-Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao-are history's biggest, most ruthless and cruelest murderers, who have affected the lives of millions.

It is observed that, supposedly against reactionary activities, there is a ruthless campaign against every appearance of Islam among the masses and even the Premier said that these activities have been used as a means to come to power. The campaigners had nothing to do with Kemalism in the past nor do their actions and ideas today. Most of their lives have passed in communist activities with protests that are destructive to the public order. Those making this campaign don't represent even 1 in a thousand in public opinion.

Organization of Illegal NGO's

The small black book entitled Hocanin Okullari ("Khodja's Schools") was claimed by an organization named STKB (Union of Civil Social Organizations). Whereas, according to a statement made by the Security Division of the Istanbul Police Headquarters, there is no such union in police records. As this book was being put on the market, an application for such an organization was made to the legal authorities, but it has not yet been established. Thus, if the claim is being made that there is such an organization, then according to the Police it would be an illegal one.

Although the illegal STKB, which claims responsibility for this booklet, purports that it acted on behalf of 206 civil organizations, many organizations like the Helsinki Yurttaslar Birligi ("Helsinki Citizens Union") headed by Murat Belge, the Emekliler Saglik ve Sosyal Hizmet Vakfi ("Foundation of Health and Social Service for Retirees") headed by Ahmet Bildirik, the Kalite Dernegi ("Quality Association"), DISK ("Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions"), SODER ("Movie Stars Associtaion"), headed by Tanju Gursu, Tiyatro Oyunculari Dernegi ("Theater Artists Association"), Tuketiciyi Koruma Dernegi ("Consumer Protection Association"), Inonu Vakfi (Inonu's Foundation"), Anadolu Kalkinma Vakfi ("Anatolia Development Foundation"), Turkiye Kalkinma Vakfi ("Turkey Development Foundation"), Uzaktan Egitim Vakfi ("Distant Education Foundation") and the Izmir branch of the Cagdas Hukukcular Dernegi ("Contemporary Lawyers Association") made statements to the effect that they had no connection to the STKB.

Hasmet Atahan and the Generation of 68 Foundation

Secondly, Hasmet Atahan who is a member and spokesman of this association is also the president of the Generation of 68 Foundation, whose members and founding members are mostly people who have been tried for anarchist, communist and destructive activities.

For example, Hasmet Atahan, president of the Generation of 68 Union Foundation, is spokesman for the Union of Civil Society Organizations. He was a suspect in the incident in which a bomb was placed under the car of Professor Orhan Aldikacti, the President of the Istanbul University Law Faculty in 1969. He was elected to the board of directors of the Federation of the Revolutionary Youth of Turkey (TDGF), the former Fikir Kulupleri Federasyonu (Idea Clubs Federation). He had a role in the events that took place in the Istanbul University square in March, 1970.

He prepared a 32 page statement entitled University Law together with his Dev-Genc ("Revolutionary Youth") friends Kasif Ongunyurt, Feridun Sakar, Kazmir Pamir and Hasan Yazici. He was among the organizers of the workers' events that took place on June 15-16, 1970. For this reason, a judgement given in default was made by the Martial Law Headquarters to arrest him.

Years later, on September 25, 1979 he was caught and arrested the next day for making a demonstration and using the Istanbul University Gumussuyu building as headquarters.

Hasmet Atahan's wife Nuran Atahan gave the following answer in the January 16, 1997 Aktuel magazine in response to the question, "Are you from the generation of 68?": "Of course I was a revolutionary; I'm still a revolutionary-democrat. During those years we lived with Deniz Gezmis and Cihan Alptekin. While I was waiting for the results of my initial exam in my first year at the university, the first boycott took place. After that the occupations of university buildings came. I met my husband during 1968-69. He was a very rash person. His was one of the important names in the events of 68. He was constantly being put in jail. Because my deceased fatherinlaw was a lawyer, he would come to Istanbul from Antalya every 3-5 months to rescue him."

The past and even present accounts of most of the founders and members of the Generation of 68 Union Foundation are not different from Hasmet Atahan's:

1. Ahmet Tuncer Sumer, former secretary of the foundation's board of directors, said in his statement to the Ankara Martial Law Court in 1971 that he had participated in the Turkiye Halk Kurtulus Ordusu (Turkish People's Salvation Army) field guerilla activities.

2. Gokalp Eren, one of the founding members, was arrested in the 1971 DEVGENC case and sentenced to 12 years, but benefiting from the 1974 general amnesty, he was released from prison. He was tried for being a founding member of TDKP ("Turkish Revolutionary Communist Party") and a member of its Central Committee.

3. Founding member Aydin Cubukcu was tried for being a member of the Turkiye Halk Kurtulus Ordusu and TDKP.

4. Founding member Saban Iba was tried for being a member of THKP/C.

5. Founding member Bozkurt Nuhoglu was arrested on charges of swindling in Istanbul in 1992.

6. Founding member Ahmet Naci Akgun was arrested in 1972 for illegal organization activities.

7. Member Mustafa Zulkadiroglu was tried in 1970 for illegal organization membership.

8. Member Ismail Yesilyurt was tried for membership in THKP/C.

9. Member Recep Sakin was tried for THKO membership.

10. Member Haci Tonak was tried for THKO membership.

11. Member Ihsan Caralan was tried as an upper level administrator of TDKP.

The 68 Unity Foundation is shown as an illegal extension of the TDKP (Turkish Revolutionary Communist Party) on the Police General Headquarters' list of "groups showing activities under the direction of illegal organizations". From time to time the foundation organizes activities to commemorate communist militants who died in conflicts with the security forces before 1980. Within the framework of these activities the Mersin foundation branch held a commemorative service for Deniz Gezmis, Huseyin Inan and Yusuf Aslan on May 6, 1997, who were hanged in 1971 for terrorist activities. The notice that was distributed praised their activities. In a search made that day many documents carrying the emblem of the illegal organization Dev-Genc were found at the branch with the secretary Sultan Cagdas. It was learned from Sultan Cagdas' statement that these documents were duplicated by the 68 Unity Foundation.

Again, names of members of the council established by the Foundation related to the occupations that took place in 1996 at the universities, who prepared proclamations and presented them to the press are very interesting. In an investigation that was made after the proclamation was published, which was signed on behalf of the foundation by Necla Kuglin and on behalf of the council by Kemal Bingöllu, Ali Riza Dizdar and Gökalp Eren, very interesting information was found. It was learned that Gökalp Eren is a founding member of the illegal TDKP's central committee and central administrative board.

Professor Dr. Bulent Berkarda

Publicly known as the (former) Rector of Istanbul University, Professor Bulent Berkarda was one of those who claimed responsibility for the notorious black booklet and helped in the printing of it. His name was mentioned along with the gun dealer Ertac Tinar in the "Susurluk Report" prepared by Kutlu Savas, chairman of the Ministerial Inspection Commission.

It is documented with notary public records that Professor Berkarda is Ertac Tinar's partner. This sentence is included in the transfer agreement made in the office of the Besiktas 7th notary public: "I, Ferhan Bulent Berkarda, a shareholder of the Avrupa Ilac Sanayii Limited Sirketi ("Europe Medicine Industry Ltd.") that has a capital of 1 million and president of the afore-mentioned company, transferred, with all legal responsibility, a total of 25 shares of stock with a nominal value of 1,000 TL to Ertac Tinar, a company partner, for the price of 25,000 TL. I received the transfer payment from him in advance in cash." According to records the company's capital was shown as 1 million TL. Showing this level of capital in the trillion-lira medicine industry has been interpreted as being directed towards "escaping from taxes."

Many claims of abuse of position have been reflected in the press regarding Istanbul University President Professor Berkarda da, who was responsible for a 7 trillion-lira budget in Istanbul University at the beginning in 1996. Some of these are listed below:

- The scandal of purchasing 537 billion TL of medical equipment from the French Sophia firm. (September 27, 1995, Hurriyet)

- Abuse of power in the university's social facilities: As a result of an investigation made by auditors on the 1995 accounts of 16 university social facilities like a guest house, vacation camp and canteen, it was documented that Professor Bulent Berkarda and then Chairman of the Board of Directors of the University Social Facilities, Professor Kemal Alemdaroglu, who was the Chief of the Surgical Division of the Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty and at present is the rector of Istanbul University, managed these facilities in an illegal framework and hid the 21,291,000,391 TL profit from these activities from the government auditors' investigation. (May 12, 1997, Yeni Safak)

The Therapeutic Pool at Cerrahpasa: Professor Fikret Tuzun, Head of the Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty Physical Therapy Department, awarded the building contract for the Hydrotherapy Center's pool to contractor Fuat Ensari. While the construction was in process, the government inspectors determined that the contract award had been made illegally. However, Bulent Berkarda looked the other way while the construction continued and it cost the Istanbul University 38 billion TL. (June 28, 1996, Yeni Yuzyil)

- The bidding for meat that turned into an armed fight: In the bid for a meat contract that took place in June, 1996 for the Cerrahpasa Medical School cafeteria, guns went off in front of professors overseeing the bids. According to claims, in order to make up for contractor Fuat Ensar's not being paid for the therapy pool, the meat contract was to be given to Ensar's men. When the commission didn't give the contract to Ensar's men, the guns began to talk. (June 18, June 28, 1996,Ven/ YuzyIl)

- His wife's nephew hosted the congress participants: The Turk Chemotherapy Association, of which Bulent Berkarda is president, acted as host to the 15th Chemotherapy Congress in 1987. 5000 foreign and 1,000 national delegates attended the congress. The job of hosting the participants was given to the Kong-Resist company belonging to Özkan Derbent, nephew of Bulent Berkarda's wife Nevin Berkarda.

Foundation money used for speculation purposes and secret foreign bank accounts: Salih Gungör, the former head of the Fiscal Division of the Istanbul Police Department, asked the following regarding the Istanbul University Foundation's administrators using foundation money for speculative purposes: "1) Who is personally using foundation money for personal speculative gains? 2) Who have secret bank accounts in which countries and how is money taken out of the country? 3) How is property taken in the name of the foundation used for personal interests? 4) How are these abuses related to the foundation covered up?" (July 2, 1996, Yeni Yuzyil')

Suphi Gursoytrak, President of the ADD (Ataturkist Thought Association)

Unknown to the public so far, there have been heavy charges made against ADD president Suphi Gursoytrak in a behind-the-scenes fight. Resigning, the association's 2nd assistant to the general director accused Gursoytrak of "closing his eyes to the filtering in of militant youth and abuse of position that does not conform to the memory of Ataturk."

Suphi Gursoytrak was one of the 38 officers who made the May 27, 1960 coup d'etat and was a member of the National Unity Committee. The close connection between the ADD and Dogu Perincek is based on Gursoytrak's past May 27 involvement.

In Professor Unsal Yavuz's letter of resignation dated October 24, 1997 addressed to the Chairman of the Association's Board of Directors, he informed that President Suphi Gursoytrak preferred to work with some militant youths who wanted to infiltrate the Association. He previously wanted to form militant units and, as if there was no other sports branch, Gursoytrak sent notices, with his own personal decision, to organizations to encourage the sport of marksmanship.

Accusing Gursoytrak of neglecting to make Association organs work, Yavuz stated further in his letter:

The president's latest implementations that boggle the mind are:

1. It's been heard that, without approval from the Board of Directors and General Committee, a group of politicians who separated from their party have taken steps toward a political party.

1. Taking the authority for signing checks without the accountant's knowledge, he put many of the donations to the Association in the bank, and only when this became widely known did he try and take a step backwards.

It's obvious that this honorable institution can not be directed with arbitrary actions aimed at personal interests, behavior that encourages cliques in the Board of Directors and outdated committee mentality. The ugly smell of base backstage activities aimed at the Association's General Center, myself and some members of the board is spreading.

No aspect of such actions suits an association that takes its name from Ataturk and his system nor the aim of the founding of this association.

Ataturkism requires essentially freedom, democracy, openness, honesty, respect for others, love, trust, unity, peace and solidarity.

Today it is difficult to say that these exist in the General Center's Board of Directors. Carrying the responsibility of being assistant to the President, whom I see as the sole person responsible for the reasons I explained above, does not suit my personality or qualifications. For these reasons I am continuing my duty as only a member of the board and I resign from my duty as Vice-President.

In his five-page letter that he sent to the Association President, Professor Unsal Yavuz made these startling points:

The notice of recommendation to arm the association branches was written on personal initiative outside the knowledge of the General Center's Board of Directors and recorded in the reports of the Presidents Council. He tried to realize his youthful dreams of setting up teams with armbands and irresponsibly used three youths. These were Aydinlikd (Followers of Dogu Perincek) youths who appeared as Kemalists; their names were Bahadir Ozdemir, Murat Salam and irfan Altuntas. These youths who are creating terror at the general center will soon be in trouble with the government. The defense statements made by these youths upon complaint by Huseyin Altinisik, a member of the General Center Board of Directors, were shelved and were not processed even though there was insistence to do so. The majority decision to transfer the matter of disrespect to members of the General Center Board of Directors to the complaint and discipline commission was left to be forgotten.

The ADD was made into a backyard for the Workers Party under the presidency of Dogu Perincek.

Like Unsal Yavuz, the 2nd General Vice-President Tevfik Kizginkaya resigned from his position, and in his letter of resignation dated November 3, 1997 he explained events taking place in the ADD as follows:

1. The president lost the trust and broke off communications with the 2 vice-presidents, general secretary, asst. general secretary and general treasurer who composed the presidential council and were responsible for execution of decisions.

2. In addition to uneasiness created among the members, the intentional gossip and negative words, which were aimed at breaking down personally members of the board, were as immoral as they were unbecoming to persons acting on behalf of the ADD. It is sad that, leaving aside the prevention of this insulting and baseless gossip-to the effect of making political and business gains, working for oneself, staying in the board for the sake of the chair, and being this or that man's man-these rumors were encouraged and talks made with our members and branch presidents became a matter for complaint. We should know that a follower of Ataturk is not base enough to be someone else's man or simple enough to make someone else his man.

3. We are at the point where our basic trust has been destroyed and our firm ties of communication have been broken and our respect is about to dissolve. It's impossible for another person or organization to show respect for a board whose members don't feel trust and respect for each other. Speaking on behalf of the law and regulations but acting without rules, not thinking about the respectability of the board and its members, allowing all association members except oneself to fall from favor, always saying "me," always "me" does not become to the association, organization, democracy or Ataturkism that requires being honest, and possessing virtue and morality. As a result of these events that took place, our board of directors and members have lost their trustworthiness and respectability in the association community.

There are those who want to use the ADD as a ladder. Little and mean games like creating unrest among the members by saying that it is desired that the association becomes the backyard of a political party or be put under the power of a political party or trying to blacken others' names except one's own or leave them under suspicion, cannot hide the real game that is being played, the false target that has been set and the actual desire to use the association as a stepping stone to other things.

Due to the reasons and necessities that I have partially put forward and carrying the responsibility and duty of a member of the board of directors, I renounce my duty as Assistant Vice-president.

These and people like these are the ones creating hostility against Fethullah Gülen and his ideas.

Immoral Struggle

In order to get to know the way, which recognizes no moral laws, that this segment follows in their hostility towards Fethullah Gülen, it's sufficient to see the backstage plan behind the black booklet that they distributed under the Hocanin Okullari ("Schools of the Khodja"):

The book in question which is full of imputations against Fethullah Gülen and the institutions of education ascribed to him was published without the name of any writer and distributed widely. The publishers of the book claimed that it was written by two young students who had once studied in one of the schools attributed to Mr. Gülen. However, on Hulki Cevizoglu's "Walnut Shell" TV program on Channel 6, a telephone conversation took place on February 27, 1998 between Ismail Ozdemir, one of the two youths to whom the book was attributed and Gulseven Yaser, president of the Cagdas Egitim Vakfi (Contemporary Education Foundation) which took up the defense of the book, and Hulki Cevizoglu. The recording of the program reads as follows:

Ismail: There's an ugly game going on. A role was appointed for us in this game. Due to some promises and much insistence, we had to play that role. The year that I was admitted to the Bogazici University I had stayed in one of the houses run by Gülen's community of followers. I left there due to a number of personal problems (I want to underline this). Because my family's financial situation was not good and because it's expensive to attend the Bogazici University, a friend gave me the name of the Cagdas Egitim Vakfi. He said, "If you want to get scholarship from the foundation, you should at least say, 'I left Gülen's community; I'm in a difficult situation; I need your help.'" I said that. I wanted to keep this situation secret; I didn't want it to be known. Later I went to the foundation and explained my situation. They showed extreme interest. Later they gave me scholarship. I explained to them a number of problems I faced-some related to my family, some personal problems I had when I was with the community, and some health problems. We talked together. How could I have known that some persons would take what I said and use it as a skeleton for a book and fill in the spaces with what they wanted and thought and then say that the writers of this book are those two heroes-me and my friend? Look, sir, it should be known without any doubts that the writer of this book is neither my friend nor myself. Some private things that were related in a friendly atmosphere were made into a skeleton. Passages concerning Ataturk or similar things, a number of matters that have nothing to do with us and that we didn't say were filled in. The writer of this book is definitely not us.

Some persons have taken what was said in a friendly dialogue, turned it into a skeleton and filled in a lot of things in between. My friend was in Osmaniye (a district in the Province of Adana in southern Turkey), and I was also in Osmaniye for vacation. Later we were called to Istanbul. A book entitled Hocanin Okullari was put on the table in front of us. We were told: "There's a meeting. You have to attend; what is done is done; there's no going back. You're going to do this." On the one hand threats, on the other hand a fantastic future. Studying in America, for example. Look there's a meeting now. We don't know anything about this book. We don't know what's written in it. What did we do? We each took a copy of the book, sat down and for hours we studied the book like students. We laughed while we read, but we had to learn what was in it. Coming to the next day, we attended the meeting; we had to. There was no other alternative. That's what they told us.

Now let's come to the press conference they held and in which we were also present: The questions and answers were prepared ahead of time. Unfortunately we were used there... We weren't the authors of this book, but we had to pretend. We had to play that game. I don't want to continue this ugly game any more regardless of how many threats there are or what big opportunities they can give us. Even if someone among them comes to me again and repeats the promise, "if you're in a difficult situation, you can marry my daughter in America. I'll take you to the USA; you can settle there and go to school there."

Cevizoglu: Why did you play this role?

Ismail: They used psychological pressure.

Cevizoglu: How did you break through the circle?

Ismail: Finally I did this. I said: May damnation take it!. Let whatever is going to happen, happen. I don't want to be anyone's toy or puppet anymore. I don't want to be anyone's pawn.

Cevizoglu: Where did you get the mobile phone you're using? Is it yours?

Ismail: It was given to me by the supporters of the book.

I'm not the author of the book. There are a number of things in it regarding me. It's true that I'm from the East, that I attended the Imam Hatip (Divinity) High School and that I was a part of the community for a while. But some evaluations were made there, and I'm saying that they're not mine. A number of things regarding Ataturk, the republic and women these are not from me.

I told those people before the meeting, "Look, I don't want to appear in this meeting." I insisted and protested. Then what happened? The night before the meeting I was going to talk with Serhat my friend and the second supposed writer of the book. Although they had previously kept us together, that night they took us to separate places. We didn't see each other until the meeting.

Gulseven Yaser: Now Ismail, there may have been some mistakes in the book; there could be publishing errors. What do you want to say about the book as a whole, about its philosophy? What do you say about Fethullah Gülen's aim?

Ismail: I stayed with these people two and a half years. I never witnessed anything of the kind attributed to them in the book. Sociological analyses were made in the book, and some information was added. These are wholly the author's ideas. I cannot say these are true, because they're not. They're someone's baseless, unsupported personal ideas. My friend thinks the same way.

Gulseven Yaser: Your signature is at the notary public's office attesting to the fact that you wrote the book.

Ismail: We went to the notary public, but with what purpose? We were told, "A financial enterprise is going to be set up within Cagdas Egitim Vakfý, and you two are the ones who will work there. A letter authorizing your signature is going to be gotten in the presence of the notary public." We gave our signatures for this reason. Later the book came out. The signatures were intentionally taken at a different time.

Gulseven Yaser: I never wanted to live what I'm living now...

Ismail: Now look, Gulseven Hanim, didn't we sit together and become good friends? Didn't you take me to dinner where I'd never been before? Didn't you take care of me in Istanbul?

Cevizoglu: You were at the press conference without any pressure...

Ismail: No, absolutely not. You can't say "without pressure". When the book came out, it was distributed everywhere. Then we were called on the telephone and informed that "the arrow has left the bow." Why was this being said? Who and where had this book reached? What kind of pressure was there going to be, and what kind of danger were we facing?

Gulseven Yaser: What kind of mechanism worked that you changed your mind?

Ismail: There's no mechanism. I was alone with my conscience. I sat down and took account. A number of people tried to use us. They forced us into a difficult position and we appeared at the press conference and talked. The things we said were things they made us memorize. The questions had been prepared beforehand. That kind of situation had been prepared beforehand. Before the press conference we read the book underlining as we read.

Cevizoglu: Why didn't you explain these before the press?

Ismail: Cevizoglu, if you knew the conditions I was in and the experiences I had, you wouldn't ask this question.

Cevizoglu: What were the important things for you?

Ismail: I'm going to explain everything. At that time to whom could I have said these things? Could the press guarantee me safety? There's one thing I want from life: I don't want to be used in anyone's games. If I'm going to be a pawn, death is more honorable. The only thing I want now is to return to my former peaceful and simple life. I don't want anything else. Right now I'm tired and tense; I've had a lot of trouble. I'm comfortable because this game has ended here. I came on this program so the public conscience can put a stop to this business.

Always the Same Kinds of News, the Same Kinds of Provocation, and Series of the Same Sort

It is amazing enough that there is no difference in the news written previously in the press before the coups of May 27 and March 12 and the news being given in the February 28 period. Today's generation living in the February 28 period may not know the period prior to May 27th and March 12, and those who knew it may have forgotten. During those periods, just as today, so-called reactionary activities were in the news every day. While there was anarchy in the universities and dormitories and while bank robberies, strikes and murder continued to rise, still the danger of the Shari'a dominated the news.

Said Nursi was an important Islamic figure in Turkey in the first half of the 20th century. He wrote many books on the essentials of Islamic faith and necessity of worship and defended them against atheism and materialism. Since he called his books The Treatises of Nur (Light), in order to present his way as heterodoxy and discredit him and his followers with the public, his opponents called him and his followers Nurcu, regarding them as the chief threat to the regime, although they never had anything to do with politics. Before the coup of May 27, the travels of that 85-years-old, sick, and weak man, weighing only 40 kilos, to some neighboring towns, made the headlines and were presented as a preparation for an Islamic uprising.

In order to better understand the reasons lying behind hostility against Fethullah Gülen and what has been happening in Turkey during the last two years, let's follow the news on the first page of the Cumhuriyet newspaper preceding the coup of 27, and see whether there is any difference between the two periods.

1/1/60: Yesterday Said Nursi met with two Democrat Party representatives.

In some districts in Ankara, women were seen distributing reactionary propaganda pamphlets, but they weren't caught.

1/2/60 headline: The Nurcus' field of activity is broadening. Said Nursi suddenly came to Istanbul by private car. There was a woman with him. It was hard to believe that there was a woman beside Said Nursi, who makes an ablution when he sees a woman from a distance of 50 meters as required by his sect. (These are totally lies. There is no rule in any of the Islamic schools that a man who sees a woman from any distance must make an ablution.) 1/3/60 headline: Yesterday in Konya action was taken against the Nurcus.

One of the three people making propaganda at a mosque was arrested. Said Nursi returned to Ankara.

1/4/60 2nd news: Legal proceedings against Said Nursi are progressing.

1/5/60 3rd news: Said Nursi rented an apartment in Ankara.

1/6/60 2nd news: Said Nursi's travels inside the country are continuing.

1/7/60 headline: Five Nurcus were arrested yesterday morning in Konya.

1/8/60 headline: Five thousand kilometer mysterious trip. (This is also a lie, for the distance between Emirdag, Eskisehir and Kutahya is not more than 500 kms.) After leaving Emirdag, Said Nursi went to Eskisehir and from there to Kutahya. Zubeyir and his driver were with him. He was wrapped in a quilt and was very tired.

1/14/60: Is Said Nursi going to make a trip to the East?

1/15/60: Eight Nurcus were given to the Court in Diyarbakir.

1/23/60: Three Nurcus were arrested in Konya. In a confiscated letter it was written that the Nurcus would take action on January 25.

1/31/60: Four Nurcus were arrested in Bingol.

3/22/60: The head of the Nurcus began travelling again. Yesterday Said Nursi went to Urfa. Nurcus in the provinces where Nursi will go after the religious festive day announced that they had made preparations.

3/24/60: Said Kurdi died yesterday in Urfa. Things he left behind: an umbrella, his books that were gathered by the police from time to time, his famous car, a thermos that his followers carried, an ewer, a jug and a basket.

As can be seen, every action of the sick, weak and elderly Said Nursi, whom his opponents preferred to call Said Kurdi in order to discredit him with the Turks, is shown as a reactionary activity on the 1st page or in the headlines or as the 2nd news in the Cumhuriyet newspaper. How strange it is that, while the newspapers behaved like this towards him, he made the following statement on January 2, 1960 to the journalists who had gathered in front of the hotel he was staying at in Istanbul, by means of Zubeyir Gunduzalp, his pupil:

I give my greetings to the journalists. I'm 93 years of age (this may have been mistakenly understood). I'm ill. My voice is weak. I can't speak and meet with others. Since they are giving the nation a kind of lesson, their work is important. If they write things that are in the interest of the nation and make the nation happy, they will have done that important work justly.

Again, how strange it is that in one of his letters to his pupils that was forcefully taken and read while it was being mailed, the following is written:

Just as I don't interfere with politicians, they don't have the right to trouble me. Even though a party gave me a thousand troubles and kept me in jails and under pressure for 30 years, I forewent my rights on them and thus, since those who did me such evil constitute only 5% of that party, I became a means of salvation for the rest 95% from being the scorn of the people. (Cumhuriyet, 1/23/60)

At that time a sharp duel of words was taking place between the premier and the leader of the opposition regarding the subject of so-called Muslim reactionary activities. The leader of the opposition said that the government intended to hold early elections and that Said Nursi might have been given a duty because of the elections (Cumhuriyet, 1/7/60). The premier wanted the opposition leader to retract these words but, repeating this claim, the opposition leader said, "Let the premier explain why Said Nursi's travel coincides with election rumors." Whereas, it was the opposition leader himself who spread the rumor of elections and wanted to push the country towards an atmosphere of vagueness. The government, suffocated by attacks regarding reactionary activities, didn't allow Said Nursi to enter Ankara and forced him to reside in Emirdag. The Istanbul governor Ethem Yetkiner stated:

This gentleman of 93 years is a man of religion who is publishing his own ideas in various books and treatises today just as he did in the past. He is an individual who is sent to the courts today as before if his ideas and works are seen to be passing the limits of legality. What difference do they see between the attitude we have towards him today and our past attitude? When he just recovered from his heavy illness a little began traveling, is it right to make the public feel that the Nurcu movement is broadening? The police follow this gentleman so closely that even some journalists have complained and described the police surveillance as an obstacle.

At the same time the Premier was addressing the opposition on the radio:

For the last ten years without interruption since the day that you fell from power, haven't you shaken the country with the roughest of election struggles and campaign storms? When the results of the 1957 elections were clear, didn't you immediately begin a new election campaign? Didn't you change the Parliament into a battlefield and a stage for the ugliest claims and slander? They didn't even give this nation 10 days of peace in which they had the chance to take a breath easily in the last 10 years. Against whom was this rage and fury? Wasn't this oppression to this nation? Muslim reactionary activities and secularism are their last trump cards. They say, "what is left [of the Turkish independence struggle] except Trikopis' sword?" The name of the new war they've begun is the war between secularism and reactionary activities. In the approaching elections we supposedly are going to exploit religion. Secularism is a principle of removing all discord and oppression and keeping the voice of our consciences safe from every kind of interference. The Democrat Party has been on the side of freedom of conscience from the outset. Citizens are free to worship the God they believe in. Does this mean exploiting religion?

Again, in this period when the clamor of secularism and reactionary activities was held at a peak, Muslims and Muslim

Writers were the ones arrested and put in jail. For example, this news was published in newspapers dated 1/10/60:

The 18 month prison sentence of Necip Fazil, publisher of the Buyuk Dogu magazine, has become definite. He was also punished by a fine of 3,000 TL and the magazine was closed for 1 month.

The shouts of the opposition and the attitude of the press was so frightening that even Cevat Fehmi couldn't refrain himself from complaining about this in one of his articles in the Cumhuriyet newspaper:

Are you aware of it? For months and months issues that are vital to the nation have been neglected. As a result of some regressive currents that have spread in the country, we have become divided as a nation and begun to argue with each other. Things like the activities, words and ridiculous sermons of a man named Said with the nickname Kurd or Nursi and the arrest of Nurcus have covered the first page of the newspapers. (1/7/60)

Around the same time, the Kargi Public Prosecutor, who gave the decision not to follow-up regarding Said Nursi's works, sent a correction to the Cumhuriyet newspaper and said:

A scholarly authoritative body composed of university professors decided that the aforementioned works are not legally or administratively dangerous and no aspect was found that could constitute a legal violation. Also, this authoritative body found that there was no sign in these works of the encouragement of dervish orders, supporting the interests of a religious sect, the establishment of a religious community, using religion for political or personal purposes or a violation of basic government principles and order. The works consist of explanations of the Qur'an and hadiths, religious and moral advise, writings that will lead the people to good morality as desired by the government. The decision is 950 words, not 2500 words as you claim.

Then, as today, articles full of totally untrue information about Said Nursi appeared in the newspapers. For example, in one called Hasip Koylen de-the Cumhuriyet dated 1/29/60, scribed Said Nursi as follows:

He gave himself the name Kurd. He gave himself the name Bediuzzaman. He was one of the founders of the Kurdistan Teal! Cemiyeti ("Kurdistan Development Association"). He founded the Nurcu order in connection with his master Nur Mehmed. He began propaganda activities in surrounding villages. Taking into consideration that most of his students were Turkish, he changed his pseudonym Kurdî to Nursî.

The information above is completely erroneous. Kurdî is not a pseudonym. Because there were no last names at that time, almost everyone was given a name pertaining to his homeland or tribe. This was such a name. Because Said Nursi was from the Southeast, he was called Said-i Kurdî. Moreover, he was born in the village Nurs. He began to be called Said Nursî carrying the meaning "Said of Nurs." The name Bediuzzaman was given to him by religious scholars in Istanbul who were amazed by his intelligence and knowledge. Just as he had no organic tie with the Kurdistan Teal! Cemiyeti, neither was there a sheikh named Nur Mehmed in connection with whom he founded a Nurcu order. He never made a trip to the surrounding villages for propaganda purposes.

Again, like today, the Cumhuriyet newspaper was breaking records in the corrections it received. For example, it was adorned with corrections on the dates of 1/12/60, 2/10/60, 2/12/60, 2/20/60, 3/2/60, 3/5/60, 3/19/60, 3/25/60, and 3/27/60.

Even if laws and realities always said something else, some of the press persisted in their views. The Nurcus did not take action on January 25th as was claimed by Cumhuriyet two days before. There were no Muslim reactionary activities in the country. No one tried to establish a religious state. Then, what was all that which happened? These were all used as excuses to topple a government that for the first time had come to power with the free vote of the people and that had won the elections three times one after the other. A man that had been Premier for ten years and had gained legendary fame was sent to the gallows with two state ministers, and another wound was opened in this country that would be difficult to heal.

Before March 12

The period prior to March 12 was not different from that prior to May 27, just as it's not different today. While news of anarchy, bank robberies and murder are in the newspapers everyday, certain columnists are insisting that the country is about to be taken over by reactionary groups. Series regarding "irtica" (religious reactionary movements) are published in the newspapers and "irtica" schools are talked about.

For example, the Supreme Court was preventing the functioning of the government. In France the number of Supreme Court cases does not exceed 3,000 in a year, while in Turkey between the years 1965-71 there was an average of 50,000 cases.

Secondly, there was news in the papers about anarchy everyday. Actually these events began in 1968. On June 12, 1968 Deniz Gezmis and his friends sang marches like Servants of America / Love money / We came to ask you / We came to make a revolution, and they marched to the Istanbul University president's office. Deniz Gezmis extended his hand toward President Ekrem Serif Egeli shouting, "We want revolution; we want reform. We want a say in the university." Deniz Gezmis was an unknown, hardworking student until that moment. Whoever's net he had fallen into, he suddenly became a student leader. That day, the Law, Economics and Pharmacy faculties of the Istanbul University were occupied. An occupation council was formed. Some of the members supported Russian communism, some Castro and some Che Guavera. The occupation continued one week.

The events that began in 1968 had picked up speed by 1971. On December 31, 1970 one million workers went on strike. On January 3, 1971 a fire was set in the government customs storage facilities in Zeytinburnu and in that time's market value there was a loss of 125 million TL. At the same time 15 technical personnel began a sit-in strike. On January 11 there was a bank robbery in Ankara. On January 17, 1971 Deniz Gezmis called the President of ODTU (Middle East Technical University), Erdal Inonu, and said he wanted to hide out on the ODTU campus. When he was refused, dynamite was thrown into the President's home. On the same day the masjid (mosque) at the Yuksek Ogretmen Okulu (Teachers' Training School) was bombed, and there were three explosions in Konya. On January 18, 1971 Turkey's biggest strike began in the textile sector. On January 21 ODTU was closed indefinitely. Police raid the SBF (Faculty of Political Sciences) on January 25. The students used Molotov cocktails, guns, rifles and dynamite against the police's smoke bombs. Three hundred and fifty students were taken under surveillance. Street fights took place between the police and students.

On January 26 SBF youths occupied the Law Faculty dormitory. A police raid was made on a hotel in Samsun where Deniz Gezmis was staying, but he escaped. On February 17 the Science Faculty, where dynamite, bombs and guns went off, was closed for an indefinite period. The Istanbul and Hacettepe universities are closed on February 19. The Hacettepe dormitory turned into a battlefield on February 20. There were 15 wounded and 191 students were taken into custody. In a search the el-Fetih organization's masks and pink veils were found. On February 21 students closed the Ankara-Eskisehir highway to traffic for two hours. Members of the DEVGENC raided the Faculty of Agriculture on February 23. Four American soldiers were kidnapped in Ankara on March 5. ODTU was searched by 2,500 gendarme and 1,000 police on March 6.

While these things were happening in the country, let's see what some of the authorities, university lecturers and the press were busy with:

Professor Tarik Zafer Tunaya blamed the government saying, "The government wants to encircle the universities like before 1960." Professor Cahit Talas said, "There's no anarchy at the universities, only unrest. Students are excusable for arming because there are many other groups that did so." See how the actions of the anarchist youths, whom even Ismet Inonu called "hooligans, tramps and red reactionaries," (Tercuman, 1/11/71) were praised in the Cumhuriyet's editorial and as always a message was given to the military for a certain purpose:

There were precautions at the ITU (Istanbul Technical University) for the excuses: a handful of extreme leftists couldn't have prevented the students from entering their exams. The doors couldn't have been closed. The teachers couldn't have been threatened. But what happened? Declaring Martial Law was a plan of the authorities to bring youth and the soldiers face-to-face. Nevertheless, Politicians are going crazy as the youth shout "The army and youth hand in hand" at the meetings. The consciousness of the young shows itself brilliantly in all the problems of the university and the country. (7/18/70)

As we stated above, the Ant magazine wrote regarding police searches at schools and dormitories, "The Gestapo rabid dogs lustfully attacked young girls at the SBF dormitory." (February 2, 1971) The Devrim newspaper gave the view, "The brutality at Hacettepe of the fascists in power." (2/23/71) Ugur Mumcu, who was famous for praising those who made coup d'etats after they were over (see, Zeki Saral, Kalemlerin ihaneti, Ankara , 1991), introduced the students as, "Heroic youths fighting to establish an order in which the Turkish people can live humanly" (Devrim, January 12, 1971 issue). In the Cumhuriyet dated 1/1/70 Professor Bahri Savci stated, "Youth today feel the necessity of continuing the fight for national salvation in perhaps more unsuitable conditions. They're giving a fight to protect their lives against those who are after their lives to prevent them."

While introducing all the anarchist activities as not only unobjectable for the extreme leftist youths but as if they were necessary, "irtica" was given precedence as a danger. Look at what dangerous work the reactionaries were involved in at that time! Again let's follow the Cumhuriyet newspaper:

7/14/70: Eight Nurcus were caught, 4 of whom were children. In the search 11 green skullcaps and many Risale-i Nur books and brochures related to Nurcuism were found. Those who were caught were reading books.

7/25/70: Some experts working for DPT (State Planning Organization) published a statement. "The Treasury is being poured to Sharia circles. Administrators are using all their resources to enrich the private sector and Shari'a followers." 9/22/70: Teachers' meetings begin on Sunday. The reason: "In our country there are 52,000 Qur'an courses that violate the principles of our constitution and secularism. We are opposed to sending children to the Qur'an courses for the purpose of destroying their inclinations for progressive thought."

1/16/71: A Nurcu school in Kuleönu, which was secretly opened in violation of the principles of the Tevhid-i Tedrisat (Unification of Education) law, was raided 3 days earlier. Eightyfive people between the ages 8-20 were being educated. They gather orphans and teach them. A case was opened against those who were caught for insulting Ataturk, propaganda against the reforms and propaganda for founding a Nurcu and Shari'a state. There was no incident in Kuleönu.

(Later the following factual news about that event together with pictures was printed in a few newspapers: A group of children and young people had come together in a house to duplicate the Risale-i Nur by hand; they were copying the Risale-i Nur. The other details of the news were the press' fabrications.)

1/20/71: Two religious schools were raided in Fethiye and Gördes. Fifteen people were arrested in Fethiye in connection with a Nurcu school. (The contents of this news are the same as the one above.)

1/22/71: An installment of the Kuleönu event: Inkpots, small tables, ink and paper were found in the search. They were writing the Risales. (The tools of crime used to topple the Republic and replace it with a Shari'a state: ink-pots, tables, paper and ink.)

We see again in the Cumhuriyet newspaper how those same circles that oppose even the slightest indication of religion and Islamic activities suddenly become independent and democratic when it comes to extreme leftists. News and commentary from the Cumhuriyet paper dated September 6, 1970:

President of the European Student Federation, Hakki Keskin, who was studying in Western Berlin, has been stripped of his citizenship with a decision of the Council of Ministers. Just as there is no such concept as thought crime in the Western democracies that we try hard to imitate, don't the 15th and 19th articles of the Universal Human Rights Declaration describe freedom of thought and expression as equal for all people?

1/28/71: On that day a series of articles began by Hikmet Cetinkaya, a reporter for the Cumhuriyet. The following is a summary of the three day series entitled The Real Face of the Suleymancis (the epithet used by the press for the followers of Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan, who encouraged people to establish Qur'anic courses to learn how to read the Qur'an) and the Nur-cus:

A youth from Fethiye (whoever he is!) is speaking: "Isn't it interesting? A Nurcu school in Kuleönu near Demirel's village... A Nurcu school in Fethiye, which is Haldun Menteseoglu's election district... Previously in Fethiye funerals were held with a band. [That means they weren't Muslim!) But we didn't compromise with the Nurcus. Tobacco producers and villagers [apparently the tobacco producers weren't villagers!] joined forces and took the longhaired, black-bearded Nurcus [as is known, Nurcus don't have long hair and usually don't have beards] to the barber and shaved them. [Do you see the heroism Cetinkaya expresses or makes in his imagination?] One of them jumped into the sea from fear. Later they had to move to Adapazari and Istanbul."

Nurcus and Suleymancis are active in Menteseoglu's [Haldun Menteseoglu was the Minister of the Interior at that time.] election district. Their goal is a Shari'a state. Their numbers are increasing in the region everyday. [Didn't they migrate to Adapazari and Istanbul from fear?] But because advocates of the reforms didn't give in to them, their numbers are small in the Mugla area. The head official of Fethiye said, "After this pressure they won't be able to open their mouths to speak for five years."

The Suleymancis use mercenary killers to shoot others. [Is there a single example?] The Nurcu imam of the Gul Mosque in Fethiye cut up his wife based on, "whoever cuts his wife on the wedding night will go to Heaven." He lost his mind. They're enemies to teachers. [Classical fabrications. A similar fabrication printed in the Cumhuriyet on 3/25/60 read, "A woman sacrificed her two children for Said Nursi." The next day it was subjected to the Prosecutor's correction.]

A teacher in Bursa [Who is that teacher?] kept a Nurcu in his house for 15 years [without being afraid!]. Later the teacher had to go to a psychiatrist. He was cured and now he's a committed revolutionary. [Who is this teacher?] There are many Nurcus in mental hospitals. [If only we could learn who they were and if they were any.] Most of them do not recover.

This is the summary of Cetinkaya's article series that calls to mind a horror film.

Selections from Writings of Incitement and Admonition:

Oktay Akbal: It is a crime to possess or publish Said Nursi's books that have been prohibited because of insult to Ataturk, propaganda against the reforms, teaching opposed to the constitution and propaganda to establish a Shari'a state. Has the government implemented this to date? Was the Tevhid-i Tedrisat Law implemented? (1/17/71)

Bulent Nuri Esen: The Premier appears to know when there will be interference from armed forces. He says, "The armed forces are devoted to the regime." These words show that the political crisis has grown more serious in the country. The Premier sees sovereignty with God. At the end of every official announcement he asks for help from God. God gives sovereignty to the Premier after every election. Actually, as he also explained, TSK (Turkish Armed Forces) is going to prevent sovereignty from passing to anyone except the nation. The head of the government is blaming secularists of being irreligious. Because the administrators don't have belief in the reforms, they're stepping on the reform laws. No one respects the hat law. Skullcaps, Sufi lodges and orders are flowing in like a flood. A woman is property. Marriage through the imams is an excuse to legitimatize the children that will be born. Turkish letters are declared as non-Islamic. Religious teaching is being made with Arabic letters. Turkey's illness derives from the political power's betrayal of the constitution. Backward, dishonorable newspapers, those who want to destroy the democratic-secular republic...

The irrational importance given to religion, making religion a source of exploitation and self-interest in the government, has made the supposed democracy a vehicle for oppression by the majority. Children whose moustaches haven't even come out yet, instead of saying the beautiful "gunaydin," are using the Arabic greeting "Selamun Aleykum" as if it were the watchword of the enemies of the reforms. Political power has become a propaganda tool and a means of encouragement for a religious Turkey in place of a secular Turkey as the constitution commands. A Turkish army that is not tied to Kemalism is unthinkable. If this attitude continues, the Turkish people will be dragged outside the limits of democracy that were adhered to before 1950. (7/19-20/70)

Baha Arikan: In order to prevent religion from being abused, the Ministry of Religious Affairs was given the status of an institution within the government so that religion could be supervised by the state.

In an environment where a bank employee wearing a mini skirt was attacked by artificial feelings of religion, where reactionaries are praised, where it is shouted that a Shari'a state is going to be formed, where thousands of Qur'an courses are more popular than primary schools and where Ataturk busts are continually broken, a judge, however progressive, will have difficulty in determining the limit of freedom of conscience.

Result: A struggle with those who want to turn away from the West our country's face, which has been turned to the West since the migration from Central Asia. (9/23/70)

Result: March 9, March 12 and

Cuneyt Arcayurek explains: [1]

1969 was the year that the juntas established relations with one another. When the AP (Justice Party) under the presidency of Demirel came to power in the 1969 elections, it was rumored that May 27 revolutionaries Ekrem Acuner, Mucip Atakli, Orhan Kabibay and Cemal Madanoglu [whose father was put on the famous list of 150 and exiled from the country for helping Greece during the years of the Salvation War] were seeking a means of interfering. Their connections were different, but the goal was the same. It was said that on May 25, 1970 a plan to take over Ankara was found. Ekrem Acuner was the originator of this plan that led to the arrest of two gendarme officers. Junta movement had become more than just a rumor about high-level officials. A meeting was held on January 25, 1970 at Cankaya, (the residential place of the president) that had the character of a "half-official MGK." Here together with the Turkish President, the Premier, the ministers and high commanders, and MIT spoke a lot about the "Balloon Movement."

MIT had given the code name of "balloon" to the movements of Cemal Madanoglu directed toward toppling the government. A MIT agent named Mahir Kaynak attended the Madanoglu group's important meetings. With a sound receiver he carried with him or with a more advanced technique, he transmitted the talk to a system set up outside the meeting. There were 61 of these talks. According to what emerged from later information, certain people made the "plans of action" for the Ground, Air and Sea Armed Forces. Ground Forces Commander Faruk Gurler and Air Force Commander Muhsin Batur knew the "plan of action." It's understood that in the meantime relations with civil junta organizations continued.

It was said that during this period of preparation, a new constitution was made. A "Revolution Council" was going to be formed with the new constitution. Under it there was going to be a founding parliament with 250 members. Faruk Gurler was going to be made President of the Revolution Parliament and Muhsin Batur the Premier. In addition to the classical premiership and ministries, the establishment of a "Revolution Ministry" was under consideration. The following names were on the list of ministers:

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Osman Olcay; Minister of the Interior: Ihsan Tekin; Minister of Justice: Fakih Ozfakih; Minister of Education: Fakir Baykurt; Minister of Industry: Ozer Derbil; Minister of Finance: Ziya Muezzinoglu; Minister of Customs: Orhan Kabibay; Youth Minister: Numan Esin; Planning: Memduh Aytur.

In talks among the juntas Muhsin Batur's code name was

"Yavuz Bey". Faruk Bey was referred to as "Selim Bey" and Corp General Atif Ercikan was called "Ercil Bey". However, the Commander of the 1st Army Faik Turun, who followed junta developments, but opposed them said, "The source of anarchy and unrest had divided into two. Those planning to take over the government from the top and democratic revolutionaries. Both were essentially leftist. Their direction was a one-party regime. Whoever with a little power in his hands asked, "why don't I rule?" These were those in favor of juntas. In fact, there were such groups even in the army. A schism occurred among those planning to come from the top. The military group had decided not to make the coup before June 30 and they had informed Istanbul. The civil wing and military junta supporters decided to act immediately."

Let's follow the result from the Cumhuriyet which must have been informed of what was happening because of writers such as like Ilhan Selcuk who had been a part of the Madanoglu junta:

On March 13, one day after the March 12 Declaration made by the Military and the resignation of the government, the Cumhuriyet announced the Declaration as the "Voice of the Revolutionary Army." Nadir Nadi again criticizes democracy based on the free votes of people and supports the Declaration as follows:

Demirel, a product of showpiece democracy, has ignored Ataturk's reforms since the day he came to office. He gave no value to the secular Turkish Republic's basic principles and interpreted the constitution as he pleased.

On March 14 the Cumhuriyet reported that the "Revolutionary organizations" supported the Declaration. They included:

TOS (Turkish Teachers' Trade Union), Devrimci Avukatlar Dernegi (Revolutionary Lawyers' Association), Turkiye Milli Genclik Teskilati (Turkish National Youth Organization), ODTU Mezunlari Cemiyeti (Association of Graduates from ODTU-Middle East Technical University) and DEVGENC (Revolutionary Youth). Ilhan Selcuk made the commentary, "The Declaration is opposed to the powers that don't make the reforms that the constitution gives priority to and don't implement reform laws of Kemalism. It is a positive step in the direction of revolution."

On March 16 Oktay Akbal wrote, "A pitch black page has been closed in our history." But on March 18 the Cumhuriyet had to reveal the truth bitter for itself:

It is understood that the army has softened a radical opposition movement by making retirements. These officers (retired officers: on March 16, 5 generals and 10 colonels were retired and 46 officers were sent to detachment service) were going to take action on Tuesday night (March 9), but the Commander of the General Staff and commanders of forces postponed this in order to prevent brothers' blood being spilled. It's said that they chose the road of the Friday Declaration. Initiative of the movement was passed from some generals to high commanders. The meetings of a lower level general who thought of himself as the leader and who wanted to act immediately were taped and forwarded to the President and the Minister of National Defense. The decision for action that was taken around noon on March 9 was stopped around 8 p.m. by a command. Some unit commanders didn't support the action. The reason for retirement was disobedience to the chain of command. The Commander of the General Staff was informed of a communist uprising.

Commander of the General Staff Memduh Tagmac, who prevented a communist coup on March 9, actually did not support even the March 12 Declaration. With tears in his eyes, he was forced to sign the Declaration and he explained later why he cried:

We were going beyond the law. I had never been a part of any junta in my life. My only consolation was that the March 12 operation was done within the chain of command. [2]

On March 19 Ilhan Selcuk, a member of the Madanoglu Junta, accused the extreme leftist militants whom the Cumhuriyet had continually supported, as follows:

The revolutionary youth staked their lives on their ideals. They were ready to die for their causes. Perhaps they harmed a lot of things, not only themselves. They made themselves pitiable by following the ways that were certain to lead to failure. Deniz and his friends are guilty. They must have run the risk of being punished. But the real crime isn't theirs; it belongs to the dishonorable coalition that pushed them to this road.

Maybe Ilhan Selcuk is speaking the truth. But if only he had written this before!... Not after it became obvious that the action of the junta, of which he was a member, had failed...

The Period of February 28 and an Exemplary Document

Of course one day today's history will be written and the truth will be revealed by the pens of those who are personally involved in the events. After looking at the events prior to May 27 and March 12, we can understand that the period Turkey is in now is no different from those periods. In order to see clearly that Turkey is undergoing almost the same course of events as it underwent two or even three times before, let's look at what was written by a journalist who wrote for the Cumhuriyet during that period and for another newspaper now. This elderly writer's articles from both periods resemble each other exactly. Let's examine these articles because they put forth the whole truth. One full week before March 9 on 3/2/71 this writer enthusiastically wrote the following as if he were giving the news of March 9.

The elections will result in a parliament similar to today's. The game called 'Ballot box democracy", but which actually has nothing to do with democracy, couldn't give any other result! The voter doesn't choose. A voter mass that is immediately deceived. These games are comic. What's the solution? We haven't taken a single step that's beneficial to the nation with ballot box democracy. A poem:

Have you lived great days again / The hungry are hungrier, the full are more satiated / The sound of footsteps / It took a step / I had almost lost hope / It took a step...

What is being expected is walking step by step. What is it? It's consciousness-the aroused consciousness of the nation. It is Ataturk's revival and coming out of the Anitkabir. It is the uprising of youth and all the aroused powers of this nation. One step, one more step... Poets give news of the future, like holy people who see, sense and feel a country's tomorrow.

On March 19, a full week after March 12, this writer was to write, "Hopeful no more!"

In the notorious period of February 28, many writers, including the one above, wrote again in anticipation of a coup resembling what could not be achieved on March 9. The columnist who wrote The Sound of Footsteps, in which there was a poem, one week before March 9, 1971, this time, together with a poem again, wrote the following under the title, A Nation Is Awakening:

Even in the worst moment when everything was exhausted and hopeless, this nation formed new armies and Parliaments and wiped out the imperialist powers and their local and foreign servants. If once this nation wakes up, reactionaries, ugly things and enemies of the country will seek a place to hide. Exactly like that great awakening of the people in Nazim Hikmet's poem:

When the time comes / and they say, "that's enough" / Once they say it / Israfil will blow his trumpet / All creatures will stand still / The earth will begin to pulsate / In its pulsations / Neither will it protect itself / Nor will it care for the enemy / It will tear mountains asunder / It will break the rocks for roads / To enable the water of eternal life to flow."

A Nation Is Awakening. At last, it's awakening!

Another wrote very openly, "This is the revenge of March 9 against March 12. There's no longer a General Tagmac."

The Advice of "Takiyye" (Pretence) To Those Who Made the Coup

Those who pretend to be Kemalists brag about not making pretence, and they accuse Fethullah Gülen and Muslims, who don't even have this concept, of pretence. We're not going to give a judgment on this subject, but in order to understand whether or not this is really the case, it's enough to see whether or not those involved in the May 27 events, which they praise profusely, make pretence or not.

Just as March 9th was prepared to a large degree in the circle of the Ant magazine and the Devrim newspaper, the symbolic name of May 27 became Akis (Reflection). Look how the Akis magazine (no. 347, 2/19/61 approximately 10 months after the coup) relates the coming of the holy month of Ramadan:

Ramadan has arrived; it's welcome. In the latter days of last week the Turkish people once again welcomed Ramadan. Due to it being Friday, the welcoming of Ramadan, the sultan of all the months, gained an added reverence. That day the mosques were again filled, and those who couldn't find a place in the mosques for the Friday prayer, performed their worship in our mosques' courtyards. The mosques were nearly overflowing; millions of Muslims listened to sermons, the recitation of the Qur'an and mevlids (commemorative praise of Prophet Muhammad). Turkish radio stations made additional broadcasting due to Ramadan. They changed the hours of broadcasting so as not to interfere with the citizens' worship. The time of Yassiada, the most listened to program [in which the trials in Yassiada of the members of the overthrown government and those of the Parliament belonging to the Democratic Party], was changed from 10 to 11 p.m. A number of mevlids will be broadcast. This year the Turkish people are living a sincere Ramadan celebration based on belief and not for political purposes or show.

You see, don't you? When the believers, politicians or administrators who do not belong to the Republican People's Party, which instigated the army to overthrow the government and approve of the coup, show respect to religion, this means they're using religion as a political tool, making politics and making a show! But when those who have no interest in religion, or even oppose it, do the same thing, it does not mean making politics or a show. When Fethullah Gülen and those who think like him live and speak according to what they believe, they're making pretence. But those who, when necessary, hide their identities for the sake of reaching their goals, they don't make pretence.

God quickly reveals both the truth and a lie. Look how Akis, which wrote the above lines on February 19, 1961, one week later put forward its real identity. While recommending "pretence" to the government set up after the coup, they claim that Ataturk had made pretence:

Let's think clearly. The days are coming when every injustice will be corrected and every case will be dealt with. For the love of God and in respect for the blood of millions of martyrs that has flowed for us for hundreds of years, let's not forget our essential goal while using our pens and our tongues. Let's be merciful. Today that is the greatest duty and debt for every Turk that loves his country.

The magazine gives this advice in opposition to the suggestion of some for the call to prayer to be made in Turkish. After pointing out the untimeliness of this recommendation, it gives an example from Ataturk:

Think! If when Ataturk landed at Samsun he had begun with an announcement of the reforms instead of the task of winning the war, could he have advanced even one league? There is a world of difference between politicians pushing all principles aside and behaving insincerely for the purpose of fooling the people and waiting for the right time and conditions to accomplish something. There are some initiatives made without taking this into account that have caused everything to come to naught.

It's understood, isn't it, who is making pretence and who is not?

Is Fethullah Gülen a Man of America and Israel?

Some who are supposedly champions of "national" independence accuse Fethullah Gülen of being the implementer of "moderate Islam" in accordance with the wishes and plans of America. They try to show him connected to Israel on the pretext of his statement, "The Jews were created as a spring for the progress of mankind... Because the Jews show great respect to what remains of the works of the Prophets belonging to the Children of Israel, they may not be beaten quickly. Said Nursi explained Jerusalem being in the hands of the Jews from this angle."

Here, without making any judgment, we're going to relate just as an observation of an incident that took place in front of everyone's eyes and we're going to ask a question:

One of the most distinctive characteristics of the February 28 period was the extraordinary closeness to Israel, so much so that claims to the effect that permission was given for them to establish a base in Eastern Turkey were related in the press. Did those remaining from March 9, who applauded this period as a revenge for March 12, write a single sentence against this rapprochement? Forget about writing this, didn't a full-page interview with the Israel Ambassador Uri Bar Ner, who said, "We're people of the Holy Book, not power," appear in the Cumhuriyet newspaper, which was a nest for supporters of this period and for Fethullah Gülen's most incorrigible enemies? (July 7, 1998) Was the Commander of General Staff during this period given a medal by America because of his anti-Americanism?

Those who think they can cover up such obvious truths, are so blind as to be able to make such a distortion as calling Marovitch "Abromowitz" in Fethullah Gülen's statement that his meeting with the Pope "took place with the help of respectable Marovitch."

After quoting Mr. Gülen's answer to this last allegation, I will pass on to quote the answers given by Mr. Gülen himself to all the imputations against him and proceed with the translations of two separate articles written in reply to some similar allegations that appeared in the Turkish press. Finally, you will find examples of the verdicts that the Turkish courts have passed on such imputations or allegations.

I do not know what is meant by "moderate Islam." But one thing I do know is that Islam is innately "moderate" and opposed to roughness. Islam is at the point of balance between this world and the next, the material and the spiritual, the spirit and the body and the real and the ideal. For this reason, Islam has nothing to do with polarities. Islam is a middle road between two extremes, a road of equilibrium. Thus, matters that we've tried to emphasize like love, respect, mercy, tolerance and dialogue comprise Islam's essence.

After mentioning this point, we can move on to the inconsistencies in the claim under discussion. To begin with, isn't there a contradiction between, on the one hand, accusing someone of having a political aim to establish a religious state and, on the other hand, accusing him of putting into action the "moderate Islam" project in accordance with the plans of America or Israel? This means that theirs is not a matter of finding or expressing the truth, but rather, keeping under suspicion a person they do not like and the movement which they see to be represented by that person.

Secondly, is there even the slightest piece of evidence that America has such a project and that I'm implementing it? In addition, is there any evidence that America, Israel or any other country is financing or even donated a cent to activities made by this nation's self-sacrificing citizens for the sake of being beneficial to mankind? Can American teachers working in some schools run by Turkish entrepreneurs-I don't know whether they do or not-be a proof of that? Don't American, German, English, and French teachers or other kinds of employees from many nations work all over the world, in various schools in Turkey and even in some Turkish official departments of vital importance? For example, isn't it a fact that our intelligence agency MIT has relations with the CIA and MOSSAD and that they cooperate with them on some issues? Similarly, isn't the Turkish army in close cooperation with the American army in NATO?

Thirdly, the extreme leftist elements, who supported the military admonition of February 28 hoping for some benefits for themselves and who are now making unbelievable accusations against me, certainly see that the closest relations with Israel have taken place during that time. They also see that the army is behind these relations. In fact, the newspaper attacking me the most printed a full-page interview with the Israeli ambassador. In addition, America gave a medal of honor to our Commander of the General Staff (now retired). If as claimed, America is putting into force a "moderate Islam" project through me to destroy Kemalism, then shouldn't the army be opposed to America as well? If I'm a supporter of Israel, then either the army and Israel should be enemies towards each other or, as claimed, the maker of the February 28 period, the army, shouldn't be hostile towards me. When someone throws forward a claim, shouldn't he at least refrain from openly contradicting himself? And then, I wonder if those who give voice to these claims spoke or wrote a single word against closer Turkey-Israel relations or America giving a medal of honor to our Commander of the General Staff?

Finally, I must add that they would be able to show very few people as sensitive about this country's independence as me. I can give every kind of guarantee on this subject.


[1] Demirel Donemi, 12 Mart Darbesi ("The Period of Demirel, March 12 Coup")1965-1971, pp. 349-351).
[2] Huseyin Demirel, 12 Mart'in icyuzu ("The Real Face of March 12"), p. 141.