By Hendrik Müller (vol. 7, no. 8 of the Turkey Analyst)
The determination of Turkey’s Constitutional Court to fulfill its role of upholding the rule of law, in spite of this putting it at odds with the mercurial prime minister, has unexpectedly presented a check on Erdoğan’s ambitions. The recent rulings of the Court raise hopes that it can be a true bastion of the rule of law. But if the allegations that its president, Haşim Kılıç, harbors ambitions to become president of the Republic were revealed to be true, those who have called the integrity of the Court into question will appear to be vindicated. That would be regrettable.
The speech that Haşim Kılıç, the president of the Turkish Constitutional Court, gave at the 52th anniversary of the founding of the court, sharply criticizing the government for the purges in the judiciary, has been widely castigated by pro-government commentators. Kılıç, a religious conservative, is condemned as a “traitor” to the cause of the Islamic conservatives. More cautious commentators observe that Kılıç has pointed to a real problem, but nonetheless make the case that Kılıç and the court needs to dispel the impression that it is taking sides in the power struggle between the government and the supporters of Fethullah Gülen.
By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 7, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
Recent amendments to the Turkish Criminal Code have resulted in the provisional release of more than 30 of the defendants in the notorious Ergenekon court case. In the new political climate created by the power struggle between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the followers of the exiled Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, those released appear unlikely to have to return to prison. Nevertheless, even if they eventually all collapse, the repercussions of Ergenekon and the other politically motivated cases spawned by the Gülen Movement are likely to haunt Turkey for years to come.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 07, no. 01 of the Turkey Analyst)
The escalating power struggle between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the followers of the exiled Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, collectively known as the Gülen Movement, has stripped away the last traces of the facades that each had spent years trying to construct.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 6, no. 23 of the Turkey Analyst)
The civil war in the Turkish state is unprecedented in the history of the republic. Prime Minister Erdoğan is preparing to deliver a final blow to the “cemaat” and may succeed in asserting his control over the state apparatus. But Erdoğan’s political fortunes depend on convincing the conservatives that his party is “clean”, and that Fethullah Gülen’s Hizmet movement is a “gang” in collusion with hostile foreign powers against the “pious” government. While it was easy to mobilize the conservatives against the Gezi protesters, it may prove more challenging to discredit what used to be fellow Islamic conservative allies.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.