Gulen and Erdogan Have Split?

The Gulenists are fascinating.  I’ve seen every hypothesis about their goals in print: from radical islamism, to spreading understanding and high quality education, from reestablishing a caliphate, to turning Turkey into a strong, secular state.  My priors and much of the evidence suggest the extreme hypotheses are not true.  These recent stories about a break between Erdogan and the Gullenists suggest a positive role for them – opposing the further centralization of power in Turkey and ensuring vibrant democracy.  The Turkish opposition has long been crippled by attachment to poor economic policies that kept Turkey behind for much of the 20th century and old fashioned secular (ultra-) nationalism.  To have a new opposition that draws on the government’s pious base is a positive development.



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