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Erdogan's Desperate Overture

Turkey's Islamist PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come out in support of the retrial of hundreds of military officers sentenced as part of the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer show trials.  These Moscow 1937-like shabby spectacles, discussed at length on this website (here and here), seemed to have been the final nails in the coffin of Turkey's secular-nationalist military elite.

However, Erdogan's AKP (or more precisely, his faction in the AKP), has found a much tougher adversary than the aged generals:  the shadowy Gulen movement led by exiled imam Mohammed Fethullah Gulen (who lives in the Poconos mountains of Pennsylvania and receives millions of dollars from the federal government for his charter school network).  The Gulenists dominate Turkey's judiciary and police and amassed a significant amount of wealth and power using a blend of Freemasonic-like secretiveness and "moderate" Islamism.

The fact that Erdogan would so openly reach out to his enemies in the military shows a degree of desperation by "The Sultan", especially after the Gulenists in the police went after some of his ministers.  How violent and destabilizing this conflict between the "loud" Islamists of Erdogan and the "quiet" Islamists of Gulen will turn out is anyone's guess.

Eugene Girin

Eugene Girin is a New York-based attorney and commentator.

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