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Are Turkey's Salafi groups taking up arms?

Reports of increasing private armament among Turkey's Salafi groups have fueled concerns over social peace in Turkey where polarization is rife.

Reports of increasing private gun ownership among radical Islamist Salafi groups have shed light on the risks of rising Salafism and individual armament in Turkey.

Concern surrounding the armament of Salafi groups was set off when Muslim televangelist Ahmet Mahmut Unlu — also known as the Cloaked Ahmet Hodja — made headlines in early September when he warned Turkish authorities about the rising armament among Salafi associations. “There are around 2,000 associations. These are taking up arms,” Unlu said in a televised interview on Sept. 9, warning the groups were “getting ready for a civil war.” Unlu said he can name more than 200 of the associations.

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