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Fethullah Gülen and Respect for Erdogan

Reader comment on item: Erdoğan to Me: Stay Out of Turkey

Submitted by Robert (United States), Oct 8, 2022 at 18:07

What's unfortunate in this blog is that Dr. Daniel Pipes let the Turkish undiplomatic diplomats distract him from the issues.

Fethullah Gülen has been granted residency status in the United States. He did not immigrate to the USA for political asylum. Rather, he arrived as a scholar of Islam. This is an undisputed fact and is well documented. But in fact, he does not have a deep record of being a scholar of Islam. Rather, he resembles the sort of self-made theologian that is quite common in the USA. Here, because of Freedom of Religion, anyone can declare herself or himself a preacher, or an elder, and open a church, or mosque, for example, and start a congregation of believers.

We do have, however, the notion of a Cult. But that only springs into being an issue if criminality is invoked. Fethullah Gülen has been described as a leader of a cult. However, he has not been convicted of any crime which would warrant his conviction or deportation.

Turkey, under its PM, accuses him effectively of Treason and wants him arrested and deported. However, Turkey has not been able to show that meets any legal terms for him to be deported under the laws and Constitution of the United States. And even if it was possible to show that Fethullah Gülen committed some crime that would subject him to deportation under American laws, he would not be deported since Turkey would not be able to prove to an American federal judge that Fethullah Gülen would receive a fair trial back home in Turkey.

All this, nevertheless, leaves open the historical question of the extent to which Fethullah Gülen or his organization was responsible for the attempted coup against Erdogan. Do you, Dr. Daniel Pipes, believe that there is substantial evidence to show that Fethullah Gülen was in fact actually responsible for the attempted coup? Ironically, as you know, Turkish coups are part of Turkish (post-Ataturk) republican practice and history. It is therefore only a crime - because it failed. Turkey is not Iran - or do you suspect that Fethullah Gülen cooperated with the CIA? If so, he must be protected by us - if he carried out US foreign policy. However, I vaguely recall that it has become illegal for us to take out a foreign head of state, is that not so? I am not clear on our legal restraints regarding regime change in foreign countries. Did President Clinton change the law on that?

On a final note, I want to remind your leaders that Erdogan early made fun of diplomats, and has shown little respect for this profession. The Turkish diplomat "diplomat" his used as a pejorative (unfortunately, I do note recall the source to quote).

On the other hand, it is common knowledge that it is a crime in Turkey to insult (President) Erdogan. I think that rooted heavily in Turkish culture (I know that personally, but I'll leave that out here). As you know, President Erdogan has a huge list of individuals whom se sued for insulting him. So it seems that your criticism of President Erdogan bordered on insulting him, but you never actually crossed that line. Or is it simply that he could only sue you for it in Turkey? So the Turkish diplomats gave you good advice - I don't know how much it would cost you if you would be convicted in Turkey? So what exactly was the insulting remark you made that would result in a conviction in Turkey for allegedly insulting Erdogan? Or do you think it's better if you write me in private on that (I'm half joking)?

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

"Do you, Dr. Daniel Pipes, believe that there is substantial evidence to show that Fethullah Gülen was in fact actually responsible for the attempted coup?"

I do not. I call it an alleged coup.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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