It has become almost a Turkish tradition now to have a new criminal case every season in which the nation gets bitterly divided. The latest example is the case of “Tahsiyeciler,” or “Annotators,” which is a small Islamist community based in eastern Turkey. More than 120 members of this group were detained in January 2010 for alleged al-Qaeda ties, and 11 of them spent months in prison. But now the government, and a like-minded prosecutor, argues that this was in fact a scheme cooked up by the “parallel state” of the Gulen movement to crack down on an innocent rival group.
The detention of several Turkish journalists on Dec. 14, which attracted global media attention, was a result of this accusation, for all the journalists were linked with the Gulen movement and were blamed for “propaganda” against the Annotators. Moreover, the prosecutor who launched the investigation soon also added Fethullah Gulen himself to the arrest list, which is likely to create tension between Turkey and the United States. Gulen has been living in rural Pennsylvania since 1999.