A Corrective to Post-Coup Academic Writings on Hizmet

    • A Corrective to Post-Coup Academic Writings on Hizmet
    • Author(s)
      • Fatih Akay , (a pseudonym) - was a lecturer at an allegedly Hizmet-affiliated university in Istanbul for almost a decade before the university administration was taken over by a panel of government appointed trustees.
      Centre for Hizmet Studies
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“Non-Quoting Hizmet” was commissioned by the Centre for Hizmet Studies as a corrective to the post-coup academic and pseudo-academic writings on Hizmet. It has no claim of objectivity. In fact, it is written by an intellectual who feels like an insider and the author does not hide this, even though he still feels the need to use a pseudonym.

After the coup attempt of 2016, the Hizmet Movement lost its powerful and prestigious status among the intellectuals and academics of Turkey. The post-coup academic literature on Hizmet, which is quite critical of the movement, carries a series of fault lines in its content and style.

These critical writings lack the voice of Hizmet or anybody from Hizmet. By way of adding the self-perception of the Hizmet participants, this corrective is completing the picture.

As second deficit of these studies relates to the readiness of the authors to replicate and internalize the language of the oppressor. Both labels used, and attributes linked to the Movement echo the words of President Erdoğan of Turkey. When power relations guide knowledge production, some form of Orientalism is inevitable.

A third deficit emanates from a vicious cycle of uncritical quoting of claims against the Movement. Accusations like “lack of transparency” and “infiltration into the state apparatus” are repeated by academics without any fact-checking or logical integrity test. That the author is using a pseudonym is not proof of lack of transparency. It is proof that the power dynamics that created the post-coup anti-Hizmet academic writings are still a main determinant of who can write what and where.

The Centre for Hizmet Studies hopes that this corrective text will remind academics that the Hizmet Movement and its affiliates should not be unquoted in writings about them.

© 2017 Centre for Hizmet Studies