ASIA/TURKEY - Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs: Gulen took advantage of interfaith dialogue to build his "sinister plots"

Thursday, 6 October 2016 international politics   sectaniarism   dialogue  


Ankara (Agenzia Fides) - In the persisting campaign carried out by the Turkish apparatus against the network headed by Fetullah Gulen (Islamic Turkish preacher expatriated in the United States, who was once an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but today accused by Turkey of being the mind behind the so-called "parallel state" and the instigator of the failed coup of July 15) even the Second Vatican Council and openness to dialogue with the communities and religious traditions that the Catholic Church sanctioned in that Council, are dragged in.
The Presidency of Religious Affairs of Turkey, the institution linked to the office of the Prime Minister, has prepared a dossier on Gulen’s activities and his movement Hizmet, which argues that the so called FETO (Turkish acronym for "tethillahnista terrorist organization" definition with which pro-government Turkish authorities indicate Gulen’s network) exploited interfaith dialogue with Churches and Christian communities, to implement those that are described as sinister plots of power. "With the interfaith dialogue project based on steps taken by the Vatican II" says the dossier among other things "Gulen, by organizing national and international events, on the one hand wove his ties with Christian culture, and on the other allowed the organization to be accredited in the West. So he was able to establish his base in Pennsylvania, and many Western countries opened their doors to the Organization".
The dossier, which was relaunched recently by Turkish sources consulted by Agenzia Fides, continues along the false lines of long campaigns unleashed by pro-government Turkish press against Fethullah Gulen, building flimsy allegations of conspiracy.
At the beginning of August (see Fides 10/08/2016), journalist Mine Kirikkanat, of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, in an article inspired by the most imaginative conspiracy, recalled the meeting of Fethullah Gulen and John Paul II in February 1998, and insinuated that Fethullah Gulen could be Cardinal created "in pectore" by the Polish Pope who died on April 2, 2005. The novelty of the dossier prepared by the Presidency of Religious Affairs is that the connection between the subversive plots attributed to Gulen and interfaith dialogue initiatives are confirmed by an institutional body. The Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet Isleri Başkanlığı) is an institution that is part of the Office of the Prime Minister established by article 136 of the Constitution of the Turkish Republic in 1924.
The Diyanet - as it is commonly called - only deals with Sunni Islam and not religious minorities in Turkey: it assigns imams to mosques and draws up the Friday sermons. Over the last fifteen years, the Diyanet has reach impressive sizes, from 2003 to 2013 budgets and staff have doubled and its scope has widened, providing their collaboration to the programming activities of various ministries. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 06/10/2016)

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