Why Gülen’s followers never criticize Gülen and his view of the Kurdish problem

By Dr Aland Mizell:


Fetullah Gülen

Denial is a common tactic for Gulenists and their leader who substitute deliberate ignorance for thoughtful planning. The definition of denial is simply refusing to acknowledge that an event has occurred. The person or group affected simply act as if nothing has happened. It is no longer a secret that Gülen is a government inside the government in Turkey, and soon he and his followers will probably form their own party too; that is why I believe they have the power to be the one biggest obstacle to the Kurdish peace process, and that they are the ones who have blocked the Prime Minister’s efforts to start dialogues with the PKK. Gülen and his followers deny there is a Kurdish problem, while so many innocent people get killed as a result of the problem in Turkey.

Gulenists are in Turkey and outside of Turkey working hard to disseminate misinformation about Kurds and the BDP party. Gülen’s followers believe Gülen never is at fault and that he knows the ultimate truth; therefore, what Gülen says is true and no one can criticize him. Granted, I do not have any doubt about Gulen’s intellectuality or intelligence, his love for his country, or his hard work to disseminate information about the Turkish way of life. But what I struggle with is very simple. If we are human beings, and if human beings are not perfect, then Gülen must make mistakes. It follows that, if he makes mistakes, then his followers should also be free to criticize those mistakes. Further, I believe Gülen is mistaken in his denial that there is a Kurdish problem and his affirmation that only a few Kurdish people create problems and thus they must be killed or destroyed.

The problem with the group’s thinking is that, especially in the Gülen movement, even if the leader makes a mistake, the follower must obey and be loyal, and not criticize him, because if the individual does, then he or she would be automatically considered a traitor. For example, Gülen gave an interview on January 13, 2005, to Mehmet Gundem, who asked Gülen about the Kurdish problem and Leyla Zana. This former imprisoned Parliamentarian and her friends published an announcement in the French Press saying that Turkey should become a truly democratic country respecting cultural variety and political pluralism, and that Turkey must guarantee the same rights for her citizens of Kurdish origin that are demanded for the Turks in Cyprus.

Mr. Gülen answered Zana’s remarks , “The demand listed in that announcement was disrespectful, in my opinion. In the past, Zana and others committed another disrespectful act in the Parliament, which should never have happened. I have heard and met many people, and as far as I know, 90-95 % of the citizens in the South East [Turkey] do not support such demands.” Gülen continued, “I estimate that the number of all those people who instigate the mischief in the South East has never been more than 500; but they attack in a ‘hit and run’ manner, so that it is not easy for an organized force to fight them. “ Instead of Gulen’s recognizing what the state has done to the Kurdish people, he was asking Kurds to apologize to the people for asking to be treated as equal or speaking their God-given language, but no one dares say that it is actually the state that should apologize to the Kurds, not that the Kurds should apologize. Why has no one asked Gülen to apologize for being silent and denying the facts and truth about the oppression of millions of Kurds?

Denial is a form of repression; repression and denial are two primary defense mechanisms that Gulenists are using as of now regarding the Kurdish problem. Mr. Gülen fails to understand that the BDP is the fourth largest party in the Turkish Parliament and the only Kurdish party that is totally committed to the cause of the Kurdish people and willing to solve the Kurdish problem. He fails to realize that more than two million people voted for them, and more than 100 Kurdish mayors have been jailed. Actually Mr. Gülen might be mixing his numbers: the 500 Kurdish intellectuals, journalists, politicians, and other Kurds in jail because they refuse to accept the oppression and denial with the number he has assigned to the PKK or “those who hit and run” in the category of “those causing trouble.”

The question is why does no one dare to criticize or correct him? How can an organization like Gülen’s movement establish a government inside the government and become democratic if no one dares to object to the leader, even if he is wrong? If the leader denies the Kurdish problem and thus even denies the truth and the facts, how can the Kurdish problem can be solved? According to Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy in ‘War and Peace’, at the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal force in the heart of man; one very reasonably tells the man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of avoiding it; the other even more reasonably says that it is too painful and harassing to think of the danger;  since it is not in man’s power to provide for everything and to escape from the general march of events, it is therefore better to turn aside from the painful subjects until it has come, and not think of what is unpleasant. In solitude a man generally yields to the first voice; in society to the second. Tolstoy speaks of man’s tendency to ignore problems.

But Gulenists should know that truth would ruin their deception about the Kurdish reality. One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency. If today the Kurdish problem has become an emergency, it is because of the denial of the Kurdish problem; if Gulenists are criticizing the Prime Minister for covering up the death of 35 Kurds during an air strike conducted by the Turkish Air Forces on the Iraqi-Turkish border, then Gulenists should also criticize Mr. Gülen for not recognizing the Kurdish problem as well.

The author Dr. Aland Mizell is with the University of Mindanao School of Social Science, President of the MCI and a regular contributor to The Kurdistan Tribune, Kurdishaspect.com, Mindanao Times and Kurdish Media.You may email the author at:aland_mizell2@hotmail.com

4 Responses to Why Gülen’s followers never criticize Gülen and his view of the Kurdish problem
  1. Cozen
    September 22, 2012 | 14:27

    It sickens me to hear the Gulenists are on there deen. I’m sorry but what they are doin in Syria against fellow muslims is utterly hypocrisy in everything they believe in. Forget Shia and Sunni you believe in the same God. They are a spare wheel for the Zionists.

    • Kozen
      September 29, 2012 | 07:58

      I saw Assad’s soldiers on web. There is no difference between Israeli soldiers and them.

  2. kuvan
    September 23, 2012 | 23:42

    Imagine if every nation and political movement,would act and behave on the bases of justice and moral principle, imagine if every religion and cult would respect the other and imagine if every race and ethnicity would respect and recognize the right of others and imagine if every person would respect the right of other on the bases of fair and just concept,and you can imagine how this whole world would turn into a paradise where every nation ,race and ethnicity where every religion and sect would be happy and would have no problem living side by side together and peacefully without any problem,but alas,pride ,greed hate ,discrimination jealousy and ego of human being are the main obstacles on the way that would not let love ,peace ,security flourish among human beings and Iam pessimistic that if it will ever happen.

  3. David
    September 24, 2012 | 15:12

    Dr. Mizell : great job . many thanks for your great writings: press on.

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