The faith-based network inspired by self-exiled Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, known as Hizmet (service) or more commonly the Gülen movement, issued a statement on Tuesday reiterating its principles while emphasizing transparency.
The statement was issued by the Alliance for Shared Values (AfSV), the official representative of the movement’s relations with the media in the United States.
The statement listed legality, morality, transparency, accountability, balance between local and general (global), representativeness and pluralist participation as the main aims of the movement, which was born in Turkey half a decade ago but is now active in almost all parts of the world, mainly through education and interfaith dialogue activities.
AfSV stated that the Hizmet movement is continuing its work to build peace and dialogue abroad despite one of the most brutal purges its followers face in today’s Turkey.
Turkey’s regime considers the movement to be a terrorist organization and holds it responsible for a failed coup on July 15, 2016. There has been massive persecution of its real and perceived sympathizers in Turkey.
Against such a backdrop and among calls for more transparency regarding the operation of the movement, especially from the intelligentsia in the Western world, AfSv stated on Tuesday that any Hizmet activities must be within legal and moral limits without compromise.
The statement also said decision makers and executives within Hizmet must be transparent and held accountable. However, AfSV did not specify who these decision makers are or provide their titles.
The statement called for specific and limited terms for all decision-making roles within the movement.
AfSV also reiterated that Hizmet followers are bound by the laws and rules of the countries in which they reside.
The Hizmet movement has often been criticized for not being transparent enough, especially within Turkey’s state bureaucracy. However, Turkey has been prosecuting people who are even not officially linked to the movement in addition to those who served within Hizmet-affiliated institutions inside and outside Turkey.