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Friday, August 05, 2016

Update About Turkey: PLEASE READ


The coup attempt in Turkey and the subsequent crackdown (which has included the shuttering of newspaper and television operations, arrests of employees, and the blocking of some Western websites) has unleashed much misinformation. Given the nature of earlier warnings I received yesterday from European Masons, coupled with ongoing mainstream news coming out of Turkey, AND combined with the ongoing propaganda war between the Erdogan versus Gulen supporters and detractors both inside and outside of that country, it has been difficult to correctly ascertain what can be believed concerning the current situation with Freemasonry in Turkey. 

This morning, I have been in contact with a Mason in Turkey who is well placed and experienced (in a manner that we can accept as trustworthy), and communicates in English extremely well. There is no language barrier in our exchanges. 

A few lodges in Turkey have voluntarily cancelled their August meetings, but the Grand Lodge of Turkey is still operating openly (one clue from yesterday is that their website is still up and running). According to him, there is no current government persecution or official hounding of Masons going on in the country. The Deputy Prime Minister's statement yesterday calling the Gulen-aligned FETO "masonic" is part of a common attempt by some conservative supporters to brand Gulen and his organization with something widely perceived to be "complex and secret," and is not meant to  necessarily connect the fraternity itself with those who are suspected of fomenting the coup.

In the wake of any coup, the winners are always nervous about the losers, and they carry out their nervousness in varying degrees. But according to the Brother in Turkey, he sees no danger at this time for Turkish Freemasons from the government. However, the brethren there are keeping a low profile until the post-coup hysteria calms down. That is completely understandable. The military is still actively scouring the countryside for coup sympathizers, and no one wants to get caught in that crossfire.

Because the first warnings that were sent to me were so alarming, and due to the nature of them saying to not mention the Craft in any way to Masons in Turkey, I was in a difficult position yesterday of not being able to verify anything until I was contacted by Turkish Masons - which could only happen if I posted the story in the first place. I thought long and hard before hitting the "post" button. 

So, I extend my deepest apologies to everyone who read my story from yesterday for spreading false information. It is never my intention to do so at any time, and the fault lies entirely with me.  It has concerned Masons inside of Turkey and all over the world, and I urge everyone who reads this message to PLEASE circulate it as widely today as you may have done with the previous story so that the correct information is received by all.

This blog is read by between 10,000 and 20,000 Masons every day, and I take my responsibility to the entire fraternity very seriously. I do not violate trusts, but I also try not to spread false rumors, either. I don't engage in click-bait stories. I was not trying to "get a scoop" yesterday - or any day - but was attempting to give due and timely notice as we are all obligated to do. I beg everyone's forgiveness for erring.

1 comment:

  1. It is better to err on the side of caution, not so? Thank you for the update, I've been following the story for reasons that, while my own, are important to me. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete

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