By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
The leader of the Islamic order of Hizmet, Fethullah Gulen, stated that Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic government is exercising more pressure on the order than the governments of the military “junta”, which had governed the country on four occasions in the past.
In his interview in the newspaper Zaman, of which he is the owner, Gulen pointed out that “what we are seeing today is ten times worse than what we saw during military coups. We face similar treatment (as seen during the military coups), but at the hands of civilians who we think follow the same faith as us”.
The Turkish prime minister accuses Gulen of conspiring against him and attemots to overthrow his government. Last Friday, he went so far as to describe the order of Hizmet as a “new parastate organisation, similar to Ergenekon”. The government argues that the revelation of the corruption scandals and the telephone conversations between Erdogan and his ministers is the work of Gulen.
“All these unfounded accusations bring me great sorrow, but despite everything, I don’t complain. … All we can do is say ‘this, too, shall pass,’ and remain patient… What makes me hurt the most is that I had believed that together with these people we were praying looking at the same direction, but I guess I was wrong”, Gulen states.