The Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), whose honorary chairman is Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, released a statement on its website on Wednesday in which it strongly rejected claims that the Hizmet movement formed a political party.
It said it is impossible for a civil society movement that is supported by millions of volunteers from various political views to form or make someone form a political party. “This claim, which is frequently and intentionally brought to the agenda, is just a big lie,” the GYV statement said.
Noting that volunteers of Hizmet respect all political movements that do not resort to violence or terror, which are against international laws, the GYV said the fact that the movement is respected in many countries of different religions and ethnicities is a result of it being a civil movement.
“The approach of this volunteer movement to politics is based on fundamental principles such as rule of law, democracy, plurality, universal human rights and freedoms, justice, equality, abiding by international laws and agreements, transparency of the state and accountability,” the statement said, adding that volunteers of Hizmet support any political party that follows policies compatible with these principles of their own free will and personal preference.
The Hizmet movement, whose members follow the principles of Gülen, is known for its cultural and educational activities in Turkey and around the world along with its efforts to promote intercultural and interfaith activities.
“It is very normal for an individual who was influenced by the community’s [Hizmet] basin of culture to make active politics of his own will,” the statement continued, stressing that the principle of Hizmet not to form a political party should not interfere with an individual’s choice to be active in politics.
Underlining that volunteers of Hizmet eagerly want Turkey to become a real democracy and have a transparent state of law, the statement said the movement will continue to stay within the framework of being a civilian initiative and maintain its position in favor of democratic rights and freedoms.
Pro-government circles in Turkey frequently raise claims that Hizmet is forming a new party. These claims have been again brought to the agenda after an independent deputy who resigned from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) late last year formed a new political party. Kütahya deputy İdris Bal recently filed a petition at the Interior Ministry to establish a new political party.