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The de-Gulenification of Turkey

Western observers first must understand the severity of Turkey’s coup plot and the complexity of the religious group that seems to be behind it.
Turkish commandos take part in an operation to search for missing military personnel suspected of being involved in the coup attempt, in Marmaris, Turkey, July 22, 2016. REUTERS/Kenan Gurbuz - RTSJ80F
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If one needs to define what is going on in Turkey in the aftermath of the failed July 15 coup attempt, besides the arrest of the actual putschists, here is an accurate term: The de-Gulenification of Turkey. Just like the de-Baathification process in post-occupation Iraq, the aim is to cleanse the whole public sector from a cadre that is considered to be the enemy of the state.

First, let’s see how Turkey came here. The infiltration of state institutions — especially strategic ones such as the police, the judiciary and the military — by the Gulen community is a fact harped on by secular journalists for decades. When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, the infiltration went even further, for Erdogan considered Fethullah Gulen a key ally.

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