Erdoğan’s efforts to destroy the Gulen movement aimed at consolidating his own power and regime

Rainer HERMANN
Rainer HERMANN


Date posted: January 25, 2015

AYDOĞAN VATANDAŞ / NEW YORK

Now for many at home and abroad, Erdoğan is trying to build his own regime and wiping out everyone he considers an opponent or rival.

Hermann says Erdoğan’s efforts to destroy the Hizmet movement are aimed at consolidating his own power and regime. “Erdoğan wants to wipe out everyone whom he sees as a rival. There are not many left to challenge him. That left the Hizmet movement as a corrective force. The movement is a danger to him.

Do you think Erdoğan’s efforts to destroy the Hizmet movement are aimed at consolidating his own power and regime

Absolutely. Erdoğan wants to wipe out everyone whom he sees as rival. There are not many left to challenge him: The military is gone from the political stage forever, no strong political party challenges him, the Gezi protests did not come close to becoming a critical mass for change. That left the Hizmet movement as a corrective force. The movement is a danger to him: It opposed and opposes Erdogan’s trend toward authoritarianism by insisting on an EU path and more reforms, and it does so — as Erdoğan claims for himself — by being a movement of pious Muslims. He argues that whoever is not with him is against him and needs to be eliminated — not physically but politically.

Do you think he is building his regime, a dictatorship Turkey?

Absolutely. He wants to build a regime according to his wishes. He wants to be at the top of a state, being himself a mix of an Ottoman sultan and a republican president. He tells people to know their limit; by telling them he makes it clear that he is at the top and they are at the bottom. Erdoğan is authoritarian, but he is not a dictator (yet). He is elected; there are still some checks and balances, even if eroded, and there is still a civil society, even if under threat.

Do you think that he can achieve that?

Even if Erdoğan wanted to transform Turkey into a dictatorship he would not succeed. However, he is exercising a majoritarian form of democracy where, after an election, those who won the absolute majority can do what they want to do. This is not a liberal democracy where minorities are respected. Turkey is drifting away from Europe and a European democracy, becoming closer to Oriental types of states in which a pyramid of power is kept together from the top by the clientelistic interests of cronies. We have seen in 2011 that those states in the Arab world are not sustainable. In the case of Turkey, protests against Erdoğan will mount when the economy stops growing. Clientelistic economies waste resources; they are not competitive. That might happen to Turkey if the policy is not adjusted.

PROFILE

Dr. Rainer Hermann was born in 1956. He has studied economics and Middle Eastern Studies in Freiburg, Germany; Rennes, France; Basel, Switzerland; and Damascus, Syria. He has an M.A. in economics and a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern studies. Starting his journalism career in 1989, he has been working for the German daily “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” since 1996. After having spent more than 20 years as correspondent abroad — mostly in İstanbul and Abu Dhabi — He has been the editor at the daily’s headquarters in Frankfurt since 2012. He is the author of five books on Turkey and on the Arab world. In March his book on ISIL will be published.

Source: Today's Zaman , January 24, 2015


Related News

The Global Imam

Suzan Hansen wrote an article about Mr. Gulen on The New Republic Magazine. She is trying to answer the question: What does the leader of the world’s most influential Islamic movement really want? What does the leader of the world’s most influential Islamic movement really want? Suzy Hansen November 10, 2010   The New Republic (Full content […]

Gov’t lifts confidentiality of MGK docs for publishing in partisan press

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government, which accused the Taraf daily of being a “traitor” for publishing secret state documents last month that include a covert plot against Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the profiling of citizens, has lifted the confidentiality of some National Security Council (MGK) documents to be released by its partisan media outlets.

Post-Kemalist Turkey and the Gülen Movement

The Gülen Movement was known for the cool-headed decisions it took at the risk of severe criticism during Turkey’s most difficult times. Today, it would be expected that the same movement will display a similar rationality in a changing Turkey.

Turkey seizes billions of dollars worth 691 companies over alleged ties to Gülen movement

The state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) has announced that a total of 691 companies, some of whose assets are worth billions of dollars, have been seized by the government due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement. The government has been confiscating the private property of non-loyalist businesspeople without due process on unsubstantiated charges of terrorist links.

Erdogan caught off guard in latest political crisis

Nobody thought Turkey’s powerful Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would be caught so off guard — not after last summer’s Gezi Park protests — as he apparently was before the major graft probe, which involves four of his ministers, including the minister of interior and his sons. It is clear he sees a “shadow state” behind the operation and holds the Gulen movement responsible. Indications are Erdogan intends to “strike back” with a massive purge within the police.

Erdoğan threatens Kosovo PM: You will pay

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday lashed out at Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj for dismissing the interior minister and the secret service chief over the abduction of six Turkish nationals to Turkey, threatening that he would pay for it.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

President Gül inaugurates Turkish school in Kenya

Wife of arrested teacher: I was offered to lie about others in exchange for my husband’s release

Gulenists dismissed, purged, and tortured: Canadian Immigration Board

Deputy PM threatens Taraf daily, Baransu for covering controversial MGK docs

Gulen: Oppression will end as politicians will leave office one day but this movement will continue to exist

How strong is the Gülen movement in France?

Parents seeking urgent Release of School Principle Fatih Keskin

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News