Altruistic service policy in Turkey

April 13, 2012, Friday/ 17:55:00

Previously I wrote some articles that argued that Hizmet (the altruistic service promoted by Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen) was a spiritually oriented socio-cultural movement with important functions.

Hizmet is a nongovernmental movement that is inspired by faith, advocates living peacefully together within the scope of values of universal humanity and is practiced by volunteers. The fact that such a movement of volunteers defines itself as “Hizmet” is a matter that should be pointed out. As can be recalled, since the day it was founded, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been defining its policy as “service” and emphasizing that it is a “service-oriented” party rather than an ideologically oriented one. It is an important point that two major movements, one political and the other social, define themselves through the mission of “service.” Sure, the AK Party’s “service-oriented” political approach was effective in making it the party of the masses. However, this isn’t a tactical situation but an existential fact. I don’t think it should be perceived as a problem that these two movements stand side by side, as they have common ideals and goals. Modern democracy doesn’t reject such developments.