A history of Turkey’s AKP-Gülen conflict

Hakkı Taş (2018) ‘A History of Turkey’s AKP-Gülen Conflict,’ Mediterranean Politics, 23 (3): 395-402. Full Text

Abstract: Although organized independently, both the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) and the Gülen Movement (GM) have primarily addressed the same base and acted as mediums of upward mobility for Sunni Anatolian conservatives. Targeted by the old secular establishment, AKP and GM forged a mutually beneficial relationship in 2000s, with the former’s political office reinforcing the latter’s social and bureaucratic power and vice versa. Nevertheless, with the demise of their common enemy, this marriage of convenience gradually turned into a brutal fight, as epitomized in the abortive coup of 15 July. This profile provides a critical history of AKP and GM relations, illustrating how and why the image of Gülenists has changed in AKP’s projection from a faith-based community to a terrorist organization.

Painting ©Janet Hagopian, “Ethics of War”

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