Fethullah Gulen shares blame for Turkey’s plight

Source:the Economist Date:14Aug2020

Finally, a fair view of the damage Gulenists caused Turkey.


The movement is a tough nut to crack. From the 1970s onwards, it attracted hundreds of thousands of followers, drawn mostly from among the poor and devout students who gravitated to its prep schools and dorms. After the end of the cold war, it began to market itself as the torchbearer of an enlightened Islam, setting up foundations abroad and winning a circle of Western well-wishers. But it was only when Mr Erdogan and his Justice and Development party came to power in 2002 that it started to flourish. Its sympathisers had previously trickled into Turkey’s bureaucracy. With Mr Erdogan’s encouragement, they took over entire institutions. (By one estimate, Gulenists held 30% of top jobs in the judiciary and 50% in the police.) With his approval, they orchestrated the arrests of thousands of Kurdish activists, army officers, secular types and journalists. “The Gulenists played a decisive role in enabling Erdogan to consolidate power,” says Gareth Jenkins, a security analyst.