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AKP, Gulen community in open war

The war between the AKP and its former de facto partner, the Gulen community, is heating up amid reports of government plans to shut prep schools, a sector where Gulenists are hugely influential.
Children play at the garden of Fatih College in Istanbul April 16, 2008. The 640-pupil school is run by followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Muslim preacher who advocates moderate Islam rooted in modern life, and whose teachings have inspired millions of Turks to forge a powerful socio-religious community active in publishing, charity and above all education. The Gulen movement has built up a network of some 800 schools around the world, teaching a full curriculum but with a strong focus on science and t
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The de facto ruling coalition between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Fethullah Gulen community has devolved into a war, which is now in the open. The Gulen community was instrumental in ending the political tutelage of Turkey’s Kemalist-Republican military and senior judicial bureaucracy through a series of police operations and mass trials from 2008 to 2011, as well as administrative and constitutional measures. The row, which flared occasionally in the past two years, has grown into an open war, with the sides hurling veiled threats at each other, after it emerged that the government is planning to shut down Turkey’s prep schools, a major source of financial revenues and human resources for the Gulen community.

The spark that fueled the war was a scoop that the Zaman daily, the flagship of the Gulenist media, published coverage on Nov. 13 about a draft law indicating that the AKP is readying to close down the prep schools in the 2013-14 school year.

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