KCK, Gülen, AKP: shifting alliances?

(Photo: Cihan, Sinan Kabatepe)
(Photo: Cihan, Sinan Kabatepe)


Date posted: November 29, 2013

MUSTAFA GÜRBÜZ
Regarding the heated prep school debate, Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ardahan Deputy Orhan Atalay explicitly spelled out the AKP- Gülen tension: “Just as the KCK [the Kurdistan Communities Union, an umbrella organization that contains the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)] is a parallel structure within the state; prep schools have become the same thing.” According to this view, (1) prep schools are considered the bastions of the Gülen movement, (2) the movement is a parallel structure within the state, and (3) the government’s action against the movement stems from a national security concern.

It was especially interesting to hear the aforementioned account from an AKP deputy elected in an eastern province because the AKP’s biggest competitor in the region, the pro-Kurdish party, has expressed similar arguments. In his interview with Hasan Cemal, Murat Karayılan summarized this sentiment very well:

“Fethullahists [Gülen movement supporters] are trying to settle into the state hierarchy; this is why they have become close to the Justice and Development Party (AKP). They have gained power. They are getting support from the United States as well. The USA puts forth the Fethullahists into the Islamic World…They say ‘We are also against the PKK; we’re also pro-state,’ and thereby they infiltrate the state…They’re [widespread] among the AKP supporters.”

In electoral campaigns, pro-Kurdish party officials referred to Gülen organizations and AKP policies interchangeably. They got the picture right: The Gülen movements’ grassroots influence among Kurds has been translated into pro-AKP votes in the past decade. That’s why some religious Kurds feel perplexed as the AKP moves to ban prep schools. For them, the AKP officials shoot themselves in the foot.

If you are following the social media debates, you will notice that the Gülen activists place a special emphasis on the role of prep schools in Turkey’s eastern provinces. Clearly, prep schools are the bastions of the Gülen movement in the region. In the eyes of the pro-Kurdish movement, however, the situation is more complex: The Gülen-affiliated prep schools are also the bastions of the AKP in the region, materialized in the electoral competition. The closure of these schools would bring a double win for the BDP: a strong blow to its main rival in the civil society (i.e. the Gülen movement) and a decrease in pro-AKP votes. Chairman Selahattin Demirtaş has already expressed their full support for the closure bill.

Would the AKP-Gülen rift bring a shifting alliance regarding the Kurdish issue? In Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) circles, rumors linking the Oslo negotiations with the PKK and the government’s decision on the prep schools are abundant. The AKP leaders, of course, deny these empty allegations. Yet, the fight over rumors does not change the current alliance between AKP and BDP on curbing the Gülen movement’s influence in the region. As Kurdish intellectual and writer Ümit Fırat puts it: “If the prep schools are shut down, it is undoubtedly the PKK who will be most happy about that.”

It is stunning to watch triads. As renowned sociologist Georg Simmel pointed out in his treatise on social geometry, one common observation is that — in any group of three people/groups — two will tend to unite against the other one. This tendency of alliance formation makes triads a very unstable grouping, which may lead to conflict.

Source: Today's Zaman , November 29, 2013


Related News

EU and Turkey’s rights abuse

How did Turkey plunge into this mess of freedom suffocation, and what has really gone wrong with the once-admired President Erdogan ? While I keep pondering on these questions, I believe it is not too late for the Turkish government to retrace its steps and embrace full democratic norms.

34 housewives arrested over Gülen links in İstanbul

Thirty-four housewives were arrested by a Turkish court on Saturday due to alleged use of a smart phone application called ByLock and links to the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government blames for a failed coup last July.

Turkish school leaves tight quarters for spacious former Wayne corporate building

MINJAE PARK, STAFF WRITER Colorful desks and chairs fill the rooms, and lockers line the walls, but the campus of the ambitious Turkish school that moved to Wayne this year still looks a lot like the corporate offices it once was. The middle- and high-school students at the Pioneer Academy‘s remodeled 165,000-square-foot, $11 million building lug […]

Gulen blasts ‘despicable’ 2016 Turkey coup bid, subsequent ‘witch hunt’

US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, the man blamed by Turkey for a failed coup attempt a year ago, on Friday again denied any involvement in what he called a “despicable putsch,” and called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his followers.

Mongolia’s Elite Schools sponsor reading halls at pediatric hospital

The Turkish-initiated Elite International Schools in Mongolia provided a state pediatric hospital at the capital city Ulaanbaatar with new reading halls for its young residents. At the ribbon cutting ceremony were the schools’ officials, students and hospital authorities along with the local press.

Turkey Continues Its Witch Hunt Against Gülen Followers

The arrests and detentions took place more than 6 weeks after the Turkish military staged a failed coup. But people who had absolutely nothing to do with the coup, who are simply accused of sympathizing with Fethullah Gülen, were also arrested. In what’s becoming a repetitive story, a host of journalists, lawyers, teachers and civil servants were among those arrested by the authorities.

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

Gülen’s defense against Erdoğan’s onslaught

‘A bridge should not demolish other bridges,’ says scholar Gülen

Dozens take to Parliament Hill to protest Turkish human rights violations

The US Should Not Extradite Fethullah Gülen, To A Paranoid Turkish Government

Turkish school graduates in Bosnia now teachers at alma maters

Police chief request promotion for taking part in ‘parallel’ witch-hunt

HRW report: No evidence to accuse Gülen movement of terrorism

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News