Some Fact-Checking about Fethullah Gulen: 1) Did Gulen Curse the Kurds?

As an expert on Gulen Movement, I have been receiving many questions (in the form of accusations at times) about Fethullah Gulen and the Movement, but so far I have not allocated enough time to those questions due to the existence of weird claims mostly coming from Donna Garner and other bloggers. Now that Donna Garner is busy with changing her favorite GOP candidate every week, I will try to answer some of the questions about Fethullah Gulen and Gulen Movement. Of course one at a time...

DISCLAIMER: These answers are just my personal opinion and they do not reflect the opinion of Fethullah Gulen or Gulen Movement. I am not the spokesperson of anyone, but a scholar studying Gulen Movement for several years.

I sometimes read the claims of some famous or media outlets who believe that Fethullah Gulen has recently cursed and lamented the Kurds. This is sheer manipulation and distortion if not the ignorance on the side of the accusers or the sources. Out of a full paragraph, some people just pick the last sentence and present to the public as if Fethullah Gulen cursed the Kurds. Let me correct this crooked approach:

To begin, Gulen did not lament or curse the Kurds in his speech dated October 24. He just left any punishment (or any accountable things) to God. It was something intended for those groups:

1) Those who show enmity towards the fraternity between Kurds and Turks, 
2) Those who, as terrorists, kill innocent civilians including many innocent Kurds and Turks,
3) The "monsters" who display merciless and fierce attitude towards the peacemakers and do not have the potential and the intention to be peaceful ever. If some of those monsters feel sorry, regret and/or repent what they have done to Kurds and Turks, they are not included within the scope of leaving their accounts to God.

Here is what Gulen said: "Oh God, unite and reconcile us and keep us strong in our fraternity and brotherhood. There are a group of people showing enmity to this unity (between Kurds and Turks). If You guide those people to the truth and reconciliation, then please do so. Bestow Your peace in their heart forever. If there are those whose guidance and betterment You do not wish, then disunite them, burn their houses, make them miserable and wipe them out."

As can be seen, these expressions are nothing but supplication to God. It is not a threat on someone else. When we consider the fact that more than 50,000 Kurds and Turks died as a result of this clash, it makes perfect sense to pray for the unity and reconciliation of the two peoples. 

Gulen, in that speech, also stated that using brute force is not an answer to the problems: "Everyone must be very careful and cautious in the face of such events. Nobody should let themselves to be overwhelmed or provoked by the provocateurs and people should stay away from the feelings of revenge and hatred. Shouting slogans like 'Martyrs are immortal, land is indivisible' will not solve anything. If some people really want to prevent the instigation and mischief in that region, then they need to report their suggestions, recommendations and criticisms to the authorities in a nicely manner. Common sense, foresight and compassion must prevail rather than shouting, burning, and bombing."

Here we see that Gulen just reminds the believers that they need to report their solution offers to the authorities. If some monsters want to continue this conflict, then the believers should do nothing but pray to God. Praying for the guidance of the people is important. If some people do not want to be guided, then we need to leave them to God.

Besides, Gulen Movement is doing a lot of charity work in the Kurdish region of Turkey. For example, Kimse Yok Mu, a relief organization, is planning to build 200 prefabricated houses in Van, the province where the recent earthquake severely hit. The organization also constructs a new school for the children of Hakkari, another economically disadvantaged province. In another occasion, Kimse Yok Mu distributed books for exam preparation to more than 600 students in Elazig.  

Hundreds of reading halls also exist in the Kurdish region. Thanks to these reading halls, thousands of Kurdish students were able to pass University Entrance Exam, a mandatory SAT-type exam which eliminates almost 80% of the participants., and were ranked in top 100 and top 1000 nationally. 

Of course such activities drive PKK, the terrorist organization, crazy, because PKK feeds on blood, not charity or education. The terrorists can only deceive the Kurdish youth to join them in the mountains, but as anyone can guess, there is no future in the mountains. The future is in the schools, reading halls and colleges. That is what Gulen Movement has so far accomplished there. The Movement greatly contributed to the peace process by saving innocent kids from the hands of bloody terrorist organization. Ironically, so-called Kurdish terrorist organization (PKK) killed more Kurds than the Turks. After a terrorist attack, people hear the elegy of the Kurdish women who mourn after their beloved ones in Kurdish.

In short, when some people do not know the difference between cursing/lamenting and leaving everything to God (as long as God does not guide them), they can be misled or miss the mark. Most attackers know nothing about Turkey. Add some ill intentions to this ignorance, you will have the defamed, manipulated and distorted image of a person like Fethullah Gulen.