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Political leg of Gulenist network in Turkey remains obscure

Pressure mounts on the Turkish government to assume political responsibility for Gulenist entrenchment in the state.
Turkish gendarmeries escort fugitive commandos who were involved in a bid to seize President Tayyip Erdogan during a failed coup attempt last month, as they leave from a gendarmerie station in Mugla province, Turkey, early August 1, 2016. REUTERS/Kenan Gurbuz - RTSKIP4
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A massive cleansing operation has been underway in Turkey since the July 15 coup attempt, targeting the Gulen community — now called “the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization” (FETO). The purge, conducted through legislative decrees made possible by the state of emergency, has landed thousands of people behind bars, including former or incumbent governors, bureaucrats, army generals, university presidents, academics, journalists and businessmen. Yet not a single known politician has been detained. This has sparked debate over the missing “political leg” and led to some intriguing developments and confessions.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus was among the first to bring up the issue of FETO’s political connections. “There is certainly a political leg. Which coup in Turkey has been without a political leg? All legs of the coup must be uncovered,” Kurtulmus said in a TV interview last week. Stressing he knew no names and did not allude to anyone, he added, “All these things must be investigated. The interrogations [of detainees] must be meticulously conducted and [the investigation] must go as far as it takes.”

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