Question: There have been claims that the Hizmet Movement has infiltrated and attempted to seize the state in Turkey. Although Hizmet volunteers and those closely acquainted with them know these claims are nothing but slander, it is a reality that these allegations have caused confusion in the minds of some people.
Answer: Firstly, if you ask people: “Would you prefer teachers, managers, doctors, engineers, judges, prosecutors, ministers and prime ministers who are eligible to do their jobs; who do not steal, are not corrupt, who behave with respect towards citizens, who fulfill their duty correctly and reach their positions through fair and honest means? Or, would you prefer civil servants who neglect their duty, do not recognize rights, who are not eligible to perform their jobs and who have no respect for citizens? I imagine everyone would prefer the first option. As thousands of academics, thinkers, sociologists, journalists and educators from different circles have stated, the Hizmet movement is raising individuals with the aforementioned attributes. Therefore, if these schools, which are supported and cherished by the Anatolian people, produce educated individuals who display these honorable qualities, and if these individuals go on to prove themselves in the establishments where they are employed through their own merits, how does this deserve to be viewed? Is it an attempt to infiltrate and seize the state, or are they serving the people, the state and the nation?
Secondly, no one has the right of monopoly on calling people to knowledge, morality, spirituality and genuine religiosity and to serve others in this respect. For people who consider themselves “Muslim,” this duty is a requirement of the values that they believe in. If education volunteers, who have a great love for their country and nation, try to address every section of society and people from these areas respond positively to the call, can it be called infiltration and an attempt to seize the state? Or, is it serving the people, the state, the nation and humanity?
Thirdly, unfortunately it is necessary to point out that in the state establishments there is a tendency towards certain illegal and corrupt behavior, such as misappropriation, bribery and favoritism. This counts against honest civil servants who try to fulfill their duties and give their salary its due, who are law-abiding and refrain from embezzlement, corruption and bribery, and as such are disliked and unwanted in their office. When some upright civil servants fulfill their duties within the framework of laws and rules, certain people, who view their superior position as a means for illegal gains, are damaged by this. So what are those people who wish to do their job decently supposed to do? Should they not carry on fulfilling their duty honestly out of fear that some who are lawless may harm them? In other words, how can it be called infiltration to fulfill one’s duty in accordance with sublime human values and within the frame of law?
Psychology of guilt and projection
We, including myself and the Hizmet volunteers, are citizens of our country. I am a native of the Anatolian land. Let it not be misunderstood, this has nothing to do with racism, I am absolutely against such a mentality. On the other hand, I love my people so much. In this respect, if a person enters the establishments of his home country and also encourages others to do so, how can it be labeled infiltration? Infiltration is an act by those who are involved in illegal affairs or who abuse their positions of state service for their own interests. These accusations actually serve as a disguise for the corruption of the accusers themselves.
As long as they are properly qualified, every member of the nation has the right to be employed at a state office and to be engaged in public service. But, if certain people have come to critical positions that concern the fate of the country, if they have sat on the pituitary gland and have been pressuring the vision of the country thus preventing the people from seeing correctly, they will interpret your behavior and actions from a paranoid perspective, make a fuss about infiltration and try to make others perceive it in the same way. With this mood of paranoia that they have created, they are so obsessed with the issue of infiltration that if someone touches a doorknob, or if a doorbell rings, they start talking about infiltration and having a paranoid fit.
A right and a responsibility both
The people of a nation do not infiltrate establishments that exist in their country and for their country; it is their lawful right to be employed in them. This can be at all levels of bureaucracy such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Law or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Why should the children of the country not be employed in these positions? Do you wish to restrain the people of Anatolia only with schools of religion? Should we only encourage them in this respect and say, “Only go to vocational high schools for training imams?” No! As I said yesterday and the day before that, I will say here again today, and if God lets me live longer, I will say it tomorrow and the day after that: the people of Anatolia, the citizens of Turkey, have the right to be employed in every office in Turkey and they use this right. Preventing people from using this right is evident wrongdoing. However, let me state clearly that oppressing the people of Anatolia by closing the doors of their own establishments in their own country resonates in the conscience of the people in such a way that will one day come home to roost.
As a poet expressed: “If oppressors rely on might, the oppressed rely on God; They may torment the people today; but tomorrow will come the Day of Judgment.”
And in relation to this, if I could, I would shout out so even those in the remotest corner of Anatolia could hear: Let your children study religion, political science, medicine, engineering... let them go to the police academy, the school of law and the military school! This is your country and therefore, upholding the establishments that keep the country standing is both your right and responsibility.
Everybody else other than themselves is the “other”
It is a fact that some people do not seek to serve the nation but rather to maintain their position, and they benefit from the currently chaotic and lawless state of the country. They want this condition to continue; they wish to pull the wool over people’s eyes and to prevent the realities of the country from being known. As they do not wish to give up their advantageous position in the bureaucracy, they seek to pass it on to their children, and even to their grandchildren. They seriously fear that some steps towards having a state of democracy and law can be taken. To prevent this they make baseless claims about others. Some circles that made different alliances in the past see the rising of the nation as their collapse and see those who are dutiful as an imminent danger for their own future. They produce false claims due to their anxiety over losing their benefits and their fear of being called to account for the misappropriation, theft and bribery they were immersed in while occupying their positions. They wish to continue their excessive lifestyles with the financial means of the state and the people, and they feel disturbed by those who are not like them, seeing them as obstacles in the way of their own comfortable life. Then, with their devilish feelings disguised as ideas, they make a fuss and shout out: “There is a coup; they are everywhere! They have infiltrated everywhere!” As they keep repeating these words, over time they become more paranoid and are affected by a disorder whereby they see everybody else as the “enemy” and “other.”
On the other hand, it should be noted that such claims are components of a psychological war. Some people are using libels of being ‘something-ist’ or ‘someone-ist’ against statesmen as weapons to threaten, blackmail and deter them. They accuse those who can do good works for the country and nation; they intimidate and thus hinder them. With such a pretext, they seek to make a total obstruction against the children of this country.
How do you view others to be? Like yourself!
There are certain people who have trampled on democratic practices and rules; they have infiltrated the veins of the country and established their dominance over the people. To this end they have used every legitimate or illegitimate means available to them; secretly infiltrated certain positions and begun to exploit the riches of the country. Such people always view their surroundings from the perspective of their own inner worlds: They evaluate different movements and formations by comparing these to their own affairs. As a result, they project their own dirty dealings on to others and determine their own treatment of people according to this understanding. As they really do commit “infiltration,” they make this accusation of members of the nation who have deservedly attained positions in the bureaucracy.
Note that if a professional thief passes by a shop, he cannot help but imagine how to unlock the shutters, how to make his way in, and how to steal away the valuable goods swiftly without being caught. That is to say, even while passing by, he busies his mind with planning how to commit a possible burglary. In the meantime, after the shop owner locks up his shop, he may return and look back in order to consider whether he took the necessary precautions against a possible burglary, whether the lock is safe enough and the like. Without knowing who this man is however, the thief sees him eyeing the shop, compares the shop owner to himself, and thinks: “Here is another thief!”
With this analogy we can say that if certain people have taken over the reins of the nation like a gang, infiltrated the bureaucracy and divided the positions between them, they will naturally compare to themselves the people who strive to uphold human values. Yet those devoted souls act with innocent thoughts. So much so that they did not even dream about worldly desires such as being promoted to a certain position, having a certain title, or coming to power. It is possible for a person to see in his dream something he dislikes and wants to keep away from. Still, these noble souls are so distant from such worldly desires and fancies that, although some dreams reflect the subconscious, since they do not have such considerations even in their subconscious, these kinds of thoughts cannot even find a place in their dreams. On the other hand, as certain people always live with such dreams, they evaluate and interpret those innocent people’s actions in terms of their own frame of reference, and consequently try to block their way by using different libels and defamations.
This article has originally been published in Turkish on 18/01/2016.