Turkish court acquits Sheikh Alparslan Kuytul

Developing Just Leadership

Crescent International

Rabi' al-Awwal 24, 1442 2020-11-10

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Sheikh Alparslan Kuytul was acquitted of trumped-up charges of terrorism by the Turkish court in Adana city on November 3.

Two years ago, he was arrested along with 21 members of his organization.

The AKP-controlled media immediately launched a campaign to smear Sheikh Kuytul, leader of Furkan Vaqfi, Turkey’s most organized and popular Islamic movement.

The pro-Erdogan media and the Turkish political establishment made a series of contradictory accusation against Sheikh Kuytul.

He was accused of being an agent of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as well as agent of the anti-Muslim Brotherhood regime in the United Arab Emirates.

Sheikh Kuytul spent one year in prison.

He was released on January 24, 2019, but re-arrested within 48 hours and kept in prison for several more months.

After graduating from the Faculty of Engineering & Architecture, he studied at the Faculty of Shari‘ah and Law at al-Azhar University in Cairo from 1993–1997.

Shaykh Kuytul founded the Furkan movement in 1994.

It has dramatically increased its educational and social work in Turkey over the past ten years.

The Furkan movement is a grassroots Islamic organization that has presented itself as a wise socio-political player, neither sliding towards the co-opted Salafi trend nor siding with the conservative, but secularly inclined AKP party.

This characteristic makes Sheikh Kuytul and his movement particularly “dangerous” for Turkey’s political establishment.

They both appeal essentially to the same constituency in Turkey.

One of the key disagreements between the AKP and the Furkan Movement has been over Ankara’s pro-US policy in Syria.

On numerous occasions Sheikh Kuytul warned the Turkish government against turning itself into Washington’s sledgehammer in Syria.

He accurately predicted numerous geopolitical problems Turkey would face in doing so.

The Turkish economy is currently experiencing difficulties and Erdogan’s primary constituency is slowly questioning the AKP’s Islamic credentials.

By acquitting Sheikh Kuytul, the AKP perhaps wants to appeal to the wider Islamic oriented constituency of Turkish society to regain its support.

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