“One organ of a person cannot nourish feelings of hostility to another organ, it cannot adopt a hostile attitude against it. What some circles do not understand today is this: There cannot be a conflict or contention between members of the Gülen movement who love Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan from the heart and AK Party supporters who have love for Mr. [Fethullah] Gülen, these people cannot be separated from each other because they are the same people,” Akdoğan wrote in his column.
Akdoğan writes his columns for Yeni Şafak under the pen name of Yasin Doğan. Some media outlets in Turkey frequently put forward claims that relations between the AK Party and Gülen movement, which used to be positive in the past, are cooling and there is a growing tension between them. Akdoğan said these claims are part of a game to foment a fight between the AK Party and the Gülen movement, adding that his party is well aware of this game and is determined to foil it.
“There has never been a rift or contention between the AK Party and the Gülen movement and there will be none in the future. The relationship between the two is not just a unity of hearts but a unity of goals, to achieve a big ideal in Turkey. Those who wish a conflict between these two groups, which function in two different domains, will be disappointed again. Those who sow the seeds of evil do not only want to drag the AK Party and the movement into a lose-lose downward spiral, they also want to separate Turkey from its current goal of democratization,” he wrote.
The Gülen movement, inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s moderate views, has millions of followers in Turkey. It has also opened numerous schools around the world. Gülen promotes values such as dialogue and tolerance. He currently resides in the United States.
In a sign that there is no conflict between the Gülen movement and the AK Party, Gülen released a public “get-well soon” message to Erdoğan this week following a second operation on his digestive system at the weekend.
In the message, Gülen said whenever he prays to God he remembers Erdoğan, who he said has become a source of pride for Turkey thanks to his services. He also said he was very concerned about Erdoğan when he had the first operation.
When Gülen did not release a “get-well soon” message after Erdoğan’s first operation last year, the same media outlets interpreted this as a sign of conflict between the movement and the AK Party.