By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 8 of the Turkey Analyst)
The latest wave of arrests in the Ergenekon coup plot case, targeting secular academics and NGOs, has once again altered perceptions of the investigation. It has become more difficult to interpret the investigation as exclusively concerned with bringing coup plotters to justice. Representatives of the AKP itself were dismayed by the turn taken by the investigation. Attention is now focused on the Fethullah Gülen movement, which is accused of masterminding an operation directed at its secular challengers in civil society, acting on its own and by-passing the AKP.
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.
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.