Not only did the slander prove false, but it was also unable to have any noticeable effect on his reputation.
His message has always been the same: Whatever he said during the years Turkey was bathing in blood because of street skirmishes and armed clashes between rightist and leftist groups, he is saying today without any change. He inspired an international education movement. Thousands of people, whom he says he doesn’t know, have adopted the ideals he has exemplified and are now running many educational institutions in more than 100 countries around the world. Their efforts prove that those ideals and visions can actually be implemented. They are working hard to abolish ignorance and a lack of education in a vast area, stretching not only from Hakkari to Edirne at home, but also from Kenya to Mongolia abroad. Some people fail to understand that those who pursue such great visions and ideals do not and cannot entertain small political plans or expectations. It is not only wrong, but also impossible for those who carry the torch of education to the steppes of Asia or deserts of Africa to be part of petty political contentions. These volunteers are trying to extinguish the fire of ignorance that threatens humanity and, in this blessed quest, they use their sincerity and altruism in addition to the small physical capabilities they can offer. Their efforts deserve to be hailed and applauded, but some politicians seek to arrogantly use them for their own political motives. These ignorant and tactless efforts hurt people. I think this is the ordeal Gülen is supposed to go through.
The reason why I write the foregoing sentence is the latest statement by Gülen. In his speech, posted on the website Herkul.org, he explains in what way the accusations against him should be responded to. He notes that he will resort to available legal remedies for self-defense, such as repudiating statements about him and launching legal action for compensation, but he will not change his usual style or wording in responding to such claims. He advises that those who are inspired by him should not retaliate in kind.
With this said, I would like to draw attention to another aspect of the matter. Whoever is in trouble or not doing well rushes to bill the “Community” for his/her ill luck or bad business. Those with naughty children or wives whose husbands do not come home or husbands whose wives do not cook tend to voice accusations referring to “across the ocean,” a veiled reference to Gülen. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli recently made it part of his political discourse to bicker about “across the ocean.” Concerning the video recordings posted on the Internet about his party’s deputy chairmen, he made similar references. This attitude of his is not moral and it is politically unwise. Without having any evidence, it is wrong to incriminate a scholar who has led his life in utter compliance with the most fundamental principles of morality. It is not child’s play. The charges he voices are so scandalous that he should have thought about them for some time before targeting even about an ordinary person, let alone an Islamic scholar. It is simply immoral to utter a quick accusation against a person who is taking pains to observe all the principles of Islam, a religion that prohibits not only the posting of obscene images, but also being curious about the faults of other people. Bahçeli’s attitude in forcing said deputy chairmen to resign on charges of committing “immorality” is a graver violation of morality. This is because what he does is not an individual action. It is slander committed with society as a witness. If he does not produce the relevant evidence and launches legal action, he will suffer the consequences of his accusations. Bahçeli has walked into the trap that was avoided by Deniz Baykal, and this trap will put him in a predicament.
Why his move is politically wrong is that he could minimize the damage by removing said people from office, but he chose to needlessly carry the debates further. Furthermore, to hide behind the accusations, which he will hardly be able prove, in order to convince society and making indirect jabs at someone “across the ocean” will not save him. Bahçeli fails to recognize the operation being conducted by political and social engineers who took the Republican People’s Party (CHP) from the hands of Baykal, and is now trying to make it a robust stronghold of the opposition. He cannot perceive that those who have transformed the CHP into a bed of roses for Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu are also designing the general political arena. He does not listen to those who complain about the ineffectiveness of a fragmented opposition against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). He does not understand that he has been marked for his harmonious image during the presidential election. If he is aware of these developments and if he still behaves in this way out of sheer desperation, then he does not deserve to be in politics. Instead of fighting back those who stabbed him in the back, he is trying to save himself by firing at whoever is tagged as enemy by those orchestrating the situation. It is true that such social engineers are the enemy of Gülen and that they have drafted many plans to destroy him. But they have failed to discredit Gülen. And every day they are waking up to a new day that will bring them closer to defeat.