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Gulenists likely losers in Turkish power struggle

Standing strong against corruption accusations, the AKP appears poised to rule Turkey for another decade as the Gulenists are likely to lose their political clout soon and the opposition remains weak.
Supporters of Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan react as he addresses the audience during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara January 28, 2014. Erdogan, keen to maintain economic growth ahead of an election cycle starting in two months, has been a vociferous opponent of the higher borrowing costs sometimes needed to bolster currencies, railing against what he describes as an 'interest rate lobby' of speculators seeking to stifle growth and undermine the economy. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY -
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The climate in Turkey is again far from normal in the run-up to the March 30 local elections. Turkey was not and is still not a democratic state based on the rule of law. The Justice and Development Party (AKP), the country’s ruling political party, is locked in a political power struggle with Gulenists organized within the state. In old Turkey, political parties used to compete for power with the army’s Kemalist generals. The AKP’s rival at present is not the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), but the Gulenist cadres within the state. Anyone closely familiar with Turkish society and politics is well-aware that neither the CHP nor any other party stands a chance of coming to power over the next decade.

Analysts have to be realistic, regardless of their political convictions. Objective analyses are needed on who will shape Turkish politics in the next decade. It is ridiculous for analysts opposed to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan or the AKP to present their wishful thinking as valid assessments. Many irrational analyses during the Gezi Park protests had suggested the AKP was about to collapse. Hardheaded analysts, however, argued that the party would weather the protests by further consolidating its support base. They proved right.

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