Review Hari Stefanatos
The leader of the order of Hizmet, the hodja Fethullah Gülen, denied suggestions of him returning to Turkey in a manner similar to Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran ahead of the Islamic revolution in 1979.
“I am not Iranian, how can I be like Khomeini? Nor have I ever had the pretensions that Khomeini had. I’m the child of my own country. If one day I return to Turkey, I will be the same as I’ve always been”, Gülen said on a video recorded message on March 5.
The comparison was made by the Turkish Prime Minister, Erdoğan in the daily newspaper Yeni Şafak on March 5. “Gülen was making calculations to return just like Khomeini. He is considered the ‘Imam of the universe’ in the [Gülen’ s movement] diagram”, he was quoted saying.
In an indirect mention to Erdoğan Gülen said those who compare him to Khomeini “would end up ashamed”, to add that “I have never returned to Turkey with fanfare and brouhaha. I never expected a future. I never had anything to do with Khomeini due to my character, my confession or my nationality”.
Gülen continued saying that despite the fact that he has been living abroad for a long time, his allegiance to Turkey remains unchanged. “I am not a leech imported from abroad, pestering the Turkish people. I would never change a handful of the land of my country, even if they gave me the world in exchange,” he said.