Over the weekend, we have received 5 reports from individuals who are involved in the delivery of social services here in the UK and who are of Turkish heritage. Law abiding citizens, they have been involved in voluntary service and interfaith activities and have started to receive texts, from within Turkey and beyond the country and which have been circulated far and wide.
The text messages ask for individuals who receive them to inform on members of the Gulen or Hizmet movement and the messages are laced with suggestions that action needs to be taken. The impact of these messages is to create fear within members of the Hizmet movement in the United Kingdom and who are active in social work within and beyond Muslim communities.
We are listing this issue and do not want to comment on Turkey’s internal affairs. They are an issue for Turkey and it is not our remit in Tell MAMA to do so. What we are concerned with, is that issues are spilling into the UK and with large communities of Turkish and Kurdish heritage. These texts are causing fear and are targeted at a group that is Muslim and which is as they say, are in the ‘eye of the storm’ in Turkey. The politics of Turkey is therefore bleeding into the targeting of a specific group of Muslims in the UK and who are part of the Gulen movement. This makes it relevant to us.
We would like to stress that what is needed are cool heads and calm at this period of time. No-one in the UK should be targeted for what is taking place in Turkey and we understand the depth and strength of feeling from members of the public in Turkey against the murderous coup that took place. We will continue to monitor impacts here in the UK and if anyone receives such texts, (listed below), please do get in touch with us and we will progress these through relevant law enforcement channels.