September 18, 2017

Turkey’s largest trial of journalists opens on Monday

The first trial hearing is set to start on Monday against 30 leading journalists and newspaper executives in the case where the prosecutor demands three aggravated lifetime sentences over critical articles published in the now-closed Zaman, Turkey’s one time largest circulated daily.

September 17, 2017

Australian Relief Organisation reach out to thousands in Philippines and Sri Lanka in Qurban

Australian Relief Organisation (ARO) recently completed its fifth Qurban Appeal. Thanks to generous donations, ARO was able to feed thousands of locals in Sri Lanka and Philippines.

September 16, 2017

Turks in South Africa tell a different narrative about Erdogan

Yaseen Kippie

The Hizmet Movement, founded by exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, hosted a panel discussion by its South African branch last weekend. The purpose of the event was to clarify misconceptions about the movement and its involvement in the current political situation in Turkey.

Turkey selling licenses, properties of media outlets closed during emergency rule

Broadcasting licenses and properties belonging to two media outlets and a published that Turkish government closed under post-coup emergency rule have been put up for sale by the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF).

September 15, 2017

Nazarbayev says Kazakh-Turk schools belong to Kazakhstan, no extradition of teachers

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Thursday that Kazakh-Turk high schools that are allegedly linked to the faith-based Gülen movement belong to Kazakhstan and that Turkish teachers working at those schools will not be extradited to Turkey unless they are proven guilty of a crime.

A Turkish businessman killed in Amsterdam over his alleged links to Gülen movement

The tension in Turkish politics led to a killing in the Netherlands. According to a report by Het Patrool, the Dutch police has confirmed that Turkish-Dutch citizen Ali Ekrem Kaynak, who has reportedly links to the Gülen movement, was shot and killed on Burgemeester De Vlugtlaan in Amsterdam Nieuw-West on Monday night.

September 14, 2017

US calls Bozdağ’s remark on Gülen-US judiciary links ‘absurd’

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Tuesday dismissed a question about remarks made by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, who on Monday claimed the US judiciary has become the tool of a Gülen movement plan, and called them “absurd.”

September 13, 2017

UK legal opinion says Turks detained for using ByLock ‘had human rights breached’

A legal opinion published in London has found that tens of thousands of Turkish citizens detained or dismissed from their jobs on the basis of downloading ByLock, an encrypted messaging app that Turkish authorities believe was widely used as a communication device among followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, have had their human rights breached.

September 12, 2017

Turkish Deputy PM says US judiciary has become tool of Gülen movement plan

Referring to an arrest warrant from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York for former Turkish Economy Minister Mehmet Zafer Çağlayan, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said the US judiciary has become the tool of a plan by “FETÖ,” a derogatory term used by government circles to refer to the faith-based Gülen movement.

September 11, 2017

Ultranationalist columnist says Turkey must get rid of Gülen followers, hints at mass burning

Sabahattin Önkibar, a columnist for the Aydınlık daily, which is affiliated with the ultranationalist Homeland Party (VP) of Doğu Perinçek, said on Sunday that Turkey must immediately get rid of sympathizers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of masterminding a failed coup last year, and hinted at their mass burning, giving an example from history.

September 10, 2017

Erdogan goes after Morocco’s Gulenists

Morocco has joined the list of countries where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pursuing the followers and sympathizers of the Hizmet (Service) movement. Like many countries, Morocco has succumbed to Ankara’s pressure and arrested individuals affiliated with the movement that Fethullah Gulen established in 1970.

September 9, 2017

Sudan arrests Gülen-linked businessman at Turkey’s request

Sudanese law enforcement detained Turkish businessman Memduh Çıkmaz at Ankara’s request as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

September 8, 2017

Torture [and abductions] return to Turkey

The masked special-ops officers barged into their apartment in Diyarbakir, in Turkey’s south-east, in the dead of a December night, says Tulay Yer-Celik. For the next two hours Mrs Yer-Celik, her month-old son and her mother-in-law listened as the agents beat her husband, Omer, in the next room. The violence ended only when the police arrived. Mr Celik, a journalist for the pro-Kurdish Dicle Haber Agency, one of over 150 news outlets shut down since last year’s bloody, abortive coup, was detained in Diyarbakir for two weeks. He was then transferred to a maximum-security prison near Istanbul, where he remains. His crime, according to an indictment that appeared only in late June, was to have published news stories based on the hacked e-mails of Turkey’s energy minister. He faces a sentence of 16 years.

September 7, 2017

Turkish-Armenian intellectual says failed coup staged to purge Gülen followers

Turkish-Armenian linguist and writer Sevan Nişanyan, who escaped from a prison in İzmir in July, shared his take on a failed coup in Turkey last year, saying it was staged in order to cleanse the Turkish military of followers of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by the government of being the mastermind of the coup attempt.

September 6, 2017

50 more prisons under construction for Gülen movement people

Turkish Justice Ministry Undersecretary Kenan İpek on Tuesday said more than 50 prisons are under construction for the incarceration of people linked to the Gülen movement, Habertürk reported.

September 5, 2017

50 Shades of Erdogan's Propaganda

Arzu Geybullayeva

Joseph Stalin described the work of writers as being akin to the “engineering of human souls.” He was referring not just to any type of writing, but to the writing of propaganda.

September 4, 2017

Dialogue Helps Us to Discover What We Have in Common

Tim Saka*

Interfaith dialogue is purposeful interaction among individuals who have different beliefs. Dialogue promotes understanding and respect, reveals common values, and teaches individuals to coexist. It also strengthens individuals' own faith identity.

September 3, 2017

September 2, 2017

Germany declines Turkey’s request to freeze assets of Gülen followers - Spiegel

Germany has rejected a formal request from Turkey to freeze assets of members of the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of orchestrating last year’s failed coup, Germany’s Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday.

September 1, 2017

Ruling AK Party deputy: Don’t greet Gülen followers even during Eid Al Adha, report them to police instead

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) parliamentary group deputy chairman and Kayseri deputy Mustafa Elitaş warned party members in Kayseri on Thursday not to greet followers of the Gülen movement during the Eid al-Adha festival on Friday and advised members to report them to the police instead.

August 31, 2017

Kanter gives $25K to Harvey relief

Like numerous athletes across sports, Enes Kanter saw the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and felt compelled to contribute.

August 30, 2017

[VIDEO] 'Carrying out service, Hizmet seeks peaceful coexistence; accusations are manipulative and absurd'

Tom Gage*

I think it is absolutely a travesty, what has happened [in Turkey]. I have been to Turkey ever since the 1950s. I was there first in 1959 and I've been to Turkey over 24 times.

August 29, 2017

Germany’s Green Party: Turkey’s ‘red notice’ lists prepared by a police state

Cem Özdemir, co-leader of the German Green Party, has said the lists received from Turkey of people and companies allegedly affiliated with the Gülen group have been prepared by a police state, not by a state of law, Deutsche Welle reported on Monday.

August 28, 2017

Daniel Pipes: Accusation targeting Gülen on Turkish coup is usual Erdoğan puffery and deceit

Daniel Pipes, an American historian, writer, and commentator who is the president of the Middle East Forum and publisher of its Middle East Quarterly journal, has assessed the accusations of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his despotic regime which have been targeting Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the followers of the Gülen movement over their alleged role in a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 as “puffery” and “deceit”.

August 27, 2017

Erdoğan’s scheming to frame the innocent exposed

Abdullah Bozkurt

As the rule of law has ceased to exist in Turkey, a NATO ally and EU candidate country, it is no longer surprising to see farcical indictments and sham trials based solely on false, defamatory and malicious assertions that are in fact sourced from the narratives used by country’s authoritarian Islamist rulers.

August 25, 2017

Systematic Efforts by the Erdoğan Regime to Portray Hizmet as a Violent Organisation

There has been a systematic campaign in Turkey by the Erdoğan regime and its acolytes to provoke the followers of the Hizmet Movement into violence and portray the movement as a violent organisation.The Defamation and dehumanisation campaign against the movement that had already accelerated after the December 17 corruption probe have transformed into the religious persecution of the Hizmet movement and an indiscriminate crackdown on the Hizmet people and dissenting voices after the July 15 coup attempt. Despite all efforts of persecution, imprisonment, abductions, ill-treatment, and tortures, the movement has maintained its peaceful resistance and has not resorted to any violent response. While the Erdogan regime has been struggling to create an opposite perception, there appears to be a new concentrated effort by the regime that would lead to the portrayal of the movement as an (inter)national security threat.

August 24, 2017

Fethullah Gulen’s Message on New Defamation Efforts by Erdogan Regime

Fethullah Gulen

Having failed to convince the world of his baseless allegations against innocent Hizmet participants, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government launched a new, nefarious defamation campaign. Despite the ongoing crackdown on civil society, his government’s latest strategy, bolstered by a strictly controlled Turkish press, is to spread vicious, false rumors alleging violence to come by members of the peaceful Hizmet movement. This is not a new strategy, dictatorships throughout history have always used such tactics to smear the groups that they have targeted as scapegoats.

August 23, 2017

August 22, 2017

Donate your qurban, bring joy to families in need

USA-based Embrace Relief Organization is organizing an Eid Al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) campaign to distribute your “livestock donations” to the needy across the globe. Embrace has been organizing this campaign every year for many year.

August 21, 2017

Long arm of Turkey’s anti-Gülenist purge

Hundreds of miles away from the turmoil of his native country, Mustafa Emre Çabuk did not expect to become ensnared in Turkey’s ever-expanding purge.

August 20, 2017

Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk says so many innocent people in Turkish prisons

Nobel laureate novelist Orhan Pamuk said Turkey has imprisoned so many innocent people in arbitrary ways very recently, leading him to feel guilty even when working.

August 19, 2017

2017 model bigotry: Turkey not Charlottesville

Cansu Camlibel

Since last week’s horrific scenes of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in deadly violence, American friends familiar with polarization in Turkish society in recent years keep telling me now they understand our despair. I agree with them to a certain extent in terms of drawing similarities between worrying political tendencies of the masses in Turkey and the U.S., but only to a certain extent. History unfolded differently in Turkey. Modern Turkey does not have a memory of a civil war, which enforced the state to equally treat different groups of citizens. Yet the Republic carried all societal complexities of the Ottoman Empire to this day, without accomplishing the truly equal treatment of different ethnic and religious groups.

August 18, 2017

Turkish minister: I would strangle Gülen supporters wherever I see them

Addressing students being sent abroad on scholarships, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak has said he would strangle supporters of the Gülen movement wherever he sees them, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Friday.

August 17, 2017

Turkey’s Drift from the West: From Transactionalism to Hostility

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu*

Turkey’s relations with its Western allies, in a downward spiral since 2013, are at a breaking point. Ankara not only accuses Washington of plotting last year’s abortive coup, but also blames it for arming and supporting Kurdish rebels that it sees as an existential threat. Bitter diplomatic spats unfold with one European country after another. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has already demoted Turkey’s strategic relations with Western partners to transactional ones, appears to be taking a new stance of outright hostility. His aggression is ideological, and here to stay.

August 16, 2017

U.S. slams foes, allies alike in religious freedom report

The United States issued its annual religious freedom report on Tuesday, slamming allies and foes alike for their shortcomings at a time when its own record has come under fire.

August 15, 2017

Turkey Sees Foes at Work in Gold Mines, Cafes and ‘Smurf Village’

Akin Ipek, one of Turkey’s richest men, was staying in the Park Tower Hotel in London when the police raided his television network in Istanbul. The raid was national news, so Mr. Ipek opened his laptop and watched an unnerving spectacle: an attack on his multibillion-dollar empire, in real time.

August 14, 2017

[VIDEO] Gülen says planned assassinations of prominent figures in Turkey could be blamed on him

US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by the Turkish government and president of masterminding a failed coup in Turkey last year, on Sunday said government circles that have scapegoated him and his movement for all the crimes in Turkey are planning to assassinate prominent people in Turkey and put the blame on him and his followers.

August 12, 2017

‘Targeting of the Hizmet movement is extremely unfortunate; I see no reason other than jealousy’

Dr. Daniel Skubik*

“It's so extremely unfortunate, and from the best I can tell, so unnecessary, targeting those involved in civil society projects, particularly those involved -like Hizmet- in education, providing primary, secondary, even university schooling.

August 11, 2017

Turkey denying visas to Kyrgyz students at Gülen schools, families: deputy minister

Kyrgyz nationals who study at the schools affiliated with the Gülen movement as well as their families are being denied visas to Turkey, according to deputy Education Minister Orhan Erdem.

August 10, 2017

‘Hizmet is the best manifestation of Islam… Gov't suppression in Turkey is tantamount to terrorism’

Zaman Stanizai, Ph.D.*

“I think Hizmet is the best manifestation of what Islam ought to be and the way people ought to live it. Claiming a faith and a religion is one thing; giving slogans and bragging about religious identity, that’s something else. But, acting upon commitment to humanity, acting upon serving humanity, that’s what Hizmet means literally, and that’s what Hizmet Movement do. And I think that’s the best manifestation and ever since I have found out about the organization I have fallen in love with them.

August 9, 2017

ACU Gulen Chair Launch

Australian Intercultural Society (AIS), in partnership with the Australian Catholic University (ACU) celebrated the appointment of Associate Professor Salih Yucel to the Fethullah Gülen Chair in the study of Islam and Muslim – Catholic Relations on Monday, 31 July, 2017.

August 8, 2017

Properties of 4 media outlets seized from gov’t critic up for sale

Properties belonging to four of the media outlets that the Turkish government seized under post-coup emergency rule have been put up for sale by the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF).

August 5, 2017

Indialogue Internship Program 2017 has been a great success

The Indialogue Internship Program which has been conceived to engage with young minds and inculcate the understanding of interfaith and intercultural dialogue in them has been completed successfully. The four months long internship started on February 01, 2017 with four bright PhD and Mphil scholars – two from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and two from Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) – and ended on May 31, 2017. The interns Akanksha Verma (MPhil), JNU; Khairunnisa Aga (PhD), JNU; Mohammed Shabeer (PhD), JMI; and Prince Peter (MPhil), JMI were selected from among over a dozen applicants from several universities across India.

August 4, 2017

Turkish nationals in Bangladesh living in fear

Turkish nationals who are long-term residents in Bangladesh are living in fear of persecution by their home country’s government.

August 3, 2017

A theology of dialogue

Al Strong

Hizmet (service, in Turkish) is a faith-inspired social movements with schools and cultural centers around the world. Hizmet’s ideological framework is based on humanism and Islamic sources, and manifests in the form of selfless individuals dedicated to serving humanity. The group’s humanistic qualities stem from universal values such as love, respect, freedom, democracy, and human rights; its Islamic sources are based on Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen’s reinterpretation of the Qur’an and hadith (ijtihad).

August 2, 2017

Turkey’s Erdogan and July 15 coup

Just few days ago, a chilling footage in one of the international television stations brought to the fore the ugly memories of the July 15, 2016, aborted coup in Turkey. It was during the one year’s commemoration of the coup, which saw to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowing to “rip the heads off” of terror groups and plotters who tried to put an end to his more than a decade-long dictatorial rule.

August 1, 2017

ARO completes its first ‘Female Homeless Shelter Project’

Australian Relief Organisation (ARO) has announced that its first ‘Female Homeless Shelter Project’ has been funded and required works for the shelter is now completed.

July 31, 2017

Legislator, mayor junk terrorist link claim vs Fil-Turkish NGO

Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito has joined religious organizations and the San Juan City government in expressing support for a non-governmental organization (NGO) operating schools in the country that the Turkish Ambassador had accused of having links to terrorism.

July 30, 2017

Book review: Peace and Dialogue in a Plural Society

Justin Pahl

It is a difficult global moment for the Hizmet movement, the civil service group inspired by the ideas of Fethullah Gülen. Targeted in a far reaching witch hunt by the Turkish government, Hizmet has been forced to defend its noble goals of peacebuilding, dialogue, and religious tolerance. Thomas Michel’s book Peace and Dialogue in a Plural Society is a great source to discover these goals.

July 29, 2017

NGO accused of terror links gets more expressions of support

Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito and the San Juan City government have expressed support for a nongovernment organization (NGO) operating schools in the country that Turkish Ambassador Esra Cankorur had accused of links to terrorism.

July 28, 2017

Kyrgyz president: Those calling Turkish teachers terrorists should see a doctor

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev has said those who view as terrorists teachers working at the Gülen-linked SAPAT educational institutions in the country need treatment and should see a doctor.

July 27, 2017

Globe editorial: Under Erdogan, Turkey descends into dictatorship

Turkey’s presidency is a ceremonial role, or it was until Recep Tayyip Erdogan became the country’s first directly-elected head of state in August of 2014.

July 26, 2017

Fethullah Gulen: Erdogan is not Fit to be President

Whenever the failed military coup which took place in Turkey on July 15, 2016, is talked about, his name will also be mentioned. But Muhammad Fethullah Gulen, 79, accused as being the brain behind the coupbelieves that event was in fact engineered to benefit Prime Minister (now President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

July 25, 2017

A warning from and for a troubled land – how easily a democracy can be dismantled

Recently a messenger came to Colorado with dark warnings from a troubled land: Abdulhamit Bilici, the former editor-in-chief of Zaman, Turkey’s go-to newspaper before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s brutal crackdown.

July 24, 2017

Kyrgyz President Atambayev: Sebat Turkish schools won’t be shut down

We won’t be closing down the Sebat schools,” President Almazbek Atambayev reiterated on July 24 during his annual press conference.