Who are Gülen and why would Erdogan arrange this theatre?

fethullah gulen
[Fethullah Gulen]

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The movement

The movement has been characterized as a “moderate blend of Islam.”[11][12] Gülen and the Gülen movement are technology-friendly, work within current market and commerce structures, and are savvy users of modern communications public relations.”[13] Within Turkey the Gülen movement keeps its distance from established Islamic political parties.[14]

Sources state that the Gülen movement is vying to be recognized as the world’s leading Muslim network, one that is more reasonable than many of its rivals.[15] The movement builds on the activities of Fethullah Gülen, who has won praise from non-Muslim quarters for his advocacy of science, interfaith dialogue, and multi-party democracy. It has earned praise as “the world’s most global movement.”[16]

Within Turkey and with Erdogan

Within the recent political debate in Turkey, current president Erdogan and AKP (the ruling party of Turkey) has been targeting the movement since December 2013. Right after the corruption allegations involving the President’s son and sons of four ministers, government subjugated the judiciary, media and civil society which were critical of the government’s authoritarian trend in recent years.[34][35][36] After the corruption allegations surfaced, Erdogan labelled it as a civilian coup against his government. Since then, Erdogan has shuffled, dismissed or jailed hundreds of police officers, judges, prosecutors and journalists in effort of – namely- fighting against the “Parallel State” within the Turkish state.

Turkish government took over Zaman Daily, Turkey’s largest newspaper, on March 4, 2016. Turkish police entered the Zaman’s headquarters by force, fired tear gas at the protesting journalists and civilians. Hundreds of protestors were injured.[37][38] In his efforts to eradicate the movement within Turkey, Erdogan and AKP government has since identified the movement as the Gulenist Terror Organisation (FETO) by Turkish officials, although there is no court ruling.[39] Erdogan regime have been also targeting individuals and businessmen who have supported movement’s organizations and activities.

That tells us a lot. I’m going to add that one westerner tweeting last night said it seemed like theatre and that was the point I started thinking this whole thing might be a put-up job to ensconce Erdogan, curry world support for such things as EU entry but more importantly internally, to rid himself of “moderate” Islam.

One of the tweets went:

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And so to my other tweets:

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Gülen show no signs of being a violent movement, in fact they are more insidious than the jihadis as they would not get our backs up and create resistance. Thus they can spread the religion by other means. These were not the tactics last night. Last night, people were fired upon and tanks went over cars and so on. It was violent, in line with Erdogan’s methods.

You’d agree there are at least anomalies? Now which would the US prefer to see? Obviously, they want this racial conflagration but on the ground in the actual Muslim lands, a more benign version would suit better. Hence references to the US as being behind it. Or that could just be Putin, who’s been quite quiet on the whole matter.