Happy 2012…My last published story of 2011…the Turkish Republic and the Gülen movement…
Istanbul-My last story of 2011 was published Thursday by EurasiaNet.org. Turkey: Has Gülen Movement Replaced Deep State? was meant to raise a series of questions that are very prevalent in Turkey, especially in the past weeks as hundreds of people have been detained in Turkey, almost always on scant evidence.
The December 26 trial of arrested Turkish journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener has pushed a shadowy organization known as the Gülen movement to the forefront of public attention in Turkey. The group’s influence has long been an open secret. Now, its weight is being felt at a time when the country’s democratic credentials are increasingly being called into question.
To those that do not follow Turkish politics on a regular basis, the Gülen movement might appear to be the stuff of conspiracies. However, community networks, many times organized around one of the various Islamic movements in the country, have always been powerful forces in Turkey. The Gülen movement, or Gülen organization, as some people I interviewed insisted it should be called, is one of the largest and most powerful of these networks. Indeed, the Millî Görüş another Islamic organization, was instrumental in propelling the first Islamic political parties to power in Turkey. Something to note is a general consensus, among the people that agreed to be interviewed, that the Gülen movement is more confident now, especially with Turkey’s once all powerful military apparently tamed, and therefore more willing to be open about their role in the country.