Thursday, November 28, 2013

Row between Turkish government and Gülen heats up with new document

    Thursday, November 28, 2013   No comments

The row between followers of the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s movement of and the Turkish government took another dimension after a daily revealed Nov. 28 that a decision from the National Security Council (MGK) recommending an action plan against the Gülen movement be signed by the government in 2004.

Government officials, however, wasted no time in making statements about the MGK decision and said it has never been enforced.


The decision made during the August 2004 National Security Council meeting includes a two-page section titled, “Measures that should be taken against Fetullah Gülen’s operations,” the daily Taraf reported Nov. 28.

“Legal regulations that introduce harsh sanctions should be adopted and an action plan [against the Gülen Movement] should be prepared,” says the decision, signed by the former President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, former Chief of General Staff Hilmi Özkök and current President Abdullah Gül, who was then foreign minister.

Tension between the government and the Gülen Movement, known in Turkish as “Cemaat” (community) or “Hizmet” (service), escalated recently after Erdoğan announced plans to abolish private examination prep schools (dershane), many of which are financed and run by Gülen’s followers. Erdoğan describes the group’s loud objections to his government’s plans as “a smear campaign.”

Although the Gülen Movement is thought to have had close relations with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) until recently, the daily Taraf claimed the MGK document proved that a decision to “finish” the movement had already been made in 2004.

Isr Ed

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