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Erdogan's blacklist

The battle between Erdogan's party and Gulenist elites shows that cooperation with the Gulen Movement is no longer worth it to the AKP.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting in Ankara November 29, 2013. Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan signed a multi-billion-dollar energy package this week that will help transform the semi-autonomous region into an oil and gas powerhouse but infuriate a central Baghdad government wary of increasing Kurdish autonomy. The energy deal came in the early hours of a frosty Wednesday morning in Ankara, and was signed during a three-hour meeting between Kur

On Nov. 25, former soccer player Hakan Sukur, who is now a Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliament member, tweeted his concerns about the tensions between his party and the Gulen community (also known as Hizmet, meaning "service," and Cemaat, meaning "community"). Sukur explained that he has been a part of the Gulen community for over two decades and argued it was wrong to close private tutoring halls. This was courageous considering another parliament member, Idris Bal, known for his close relations with the Gulen community, is about to be expelled from the AKP. Bal was heavily criticized for his outspoken report on Gezi protests, but his firm stand against the closure of tutoring halls was the last straw. 

Al-Monitor’s Turkey Pulse contributors have explained the issue in detail from different perspectives. Kadri Gursel’s piece deserves credit for portraying such a complicated case in an independent manner. It is worth noting that the tutoring hall issue is important for the Turkish public on its own. Professor Ozer Sencar shared with Al-Monitor the most recent survey results conducted by Ankara-based Metropoll Strategical and Social Research Center on the issue of tutoring halls. A November 2013 survey indicates that the majority of Turks believe the halls are necessary. About 57% of the population opposes the closure of the tutoring halls by government decree. In September 2012 only 44% were against the idea. In addition, when asked if the decision was to reshape the education system or to punish the Gulenists, the public is deeply divided: 39.3% say “to reshape the education system,” 23.3% say “to punish the Gulenists” and 37.4% have no comment.

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