Gülen-led group"s short political history in the light of the operations - ALI BAYRAMOĞLU

Gülen-led group"s short political history in the light of the operations

Just 5 days before the elections, the second operation oriented at "the autonomous structure that tends to become a state" had started. Discussions are intense and there are many questions: The timing of the operation, whether it states a system cleaning or a rulership struggle, which has the political responsibility in the formation of autonomous structure… These are just the prominent ones.

The "Gülen-led group" had been one of the matters I had observed closely since the beginning of the 1990s as an academic and as a journalist. Without a doubt, this congregation had always appeared in front of us as a multi-layered structure. Through its religious aspect, social aspect, cultural aspect and political aspect, it had created a whole entity, which could carry a meaning separately and intertwine both.

In the periods, when religious organizations had been kept under pressure and when they were regarded as a fear and rage object from the point of the system and in the eyes of the secular segment, the Gülen-led Group had become prominent with its communal and religious way. During the transition days when the religion-state-society relations started going from a closed public layout to an open society layout, this development had been addressed under "Turkish conservatism", "religion and modernization relationship", "toleration", and "living together" headlines within the secular segment. Meanwhile, the segment in other religious groups and the remote approach towards the Gülen-led group had stretched, and a veil had been laid over the memory. Whether in terms of a divinity approach and state relations or in terms of the Gülenists" style of organization and religiousness, the discussions were about religion. Religiousness between different Islamic tendencies, and even, a relative approach in the frame of Islamist cooperation had started.

The second half of the 1990s and the main axis in the early 2000s was like this.

Then the "breaking point" arrived.

The Gülen-led group"s political aspect had started to surpass its social and cultural aspects at a fast pace. What I mean with the political aspect is matters like organizing and spreading within the state, controlling the system"s main mechanism with an organized structure and directing the state policies, following liquidation policies and putting itself in for the rulership.

Without a doubt, AK Party rulership had played an important role in developing the political aspect of the open society period in religion-state relations. Though, these two elements can"t explain the Gülen-led group"s transition from "social" to "political", and steering from being a "soft power" to being a "sharp power" alone.

Then why was the transition experienced?

The traditional thesis on this matter is that the Gülen-led group"s essential objective had always been reaching political power and by using all the opportunities within this frame, advancing with correct timing. It won"t be right to describe the wave, whose social tissue is strong, cultural and religious functions are deep and which touches an important mass, with absolute political matters. Thus, my observations and opinions are of the idea that the "Gülen-led group"s sociological base" is quite different from the "Gülen-led group"s political roof" in terms of motivation, expectation and the meaning it produces.

From my point of view, the breaking point is 1999. It was Fethullah Gülen"s departure to the U.S.A after February 28 and the investigation cases opened against him, and especially after the Gülen-led group had been regarded as a threat by the military and thus prepared their action plans accordingly to this.

From this point on, Gülen had accelerated political organizing.

There are two possible reasons for this.

The presumptive first reason, which is more open, is the closed international relationships establish by Gülen-led group, unspoken and maybe compulsory collaborations, and possible benefit partnerships. The Gülen-led group"s structuring within the Turkish state and way of spreading across the world, had obviously formed a hunger and exercising center for a lot of countries and structures.

The Gülen-led group"s sensitivity in an Israel policy and the point arrived at with the (what we encounter today in the Selam-Tevhid investigation, what Ali Fuat Yilmazer keeps talking about, and what causes Gülenist journalists to right books one after another) Iran hostility is quite interesting.

The more concrete second reason is the assignations of the military coup attempts like Sarikiz and Ayisigi, which will especially target their own existences in 2002-2003, by the police officers that are close to Fethullah Gülen. Accordingly, the Gülen-led group concentrated on gathering more political power, while preparing for a political struggle. The solid response is the policy of capturing critical positions in places like the intelligence arm, the courthouse and the revenue office irregularly. It had become clearer today: Everyone whose feet are shaking had been removed from their positions with a push, and been replaced by one of the loyal soldiers of the Gülen-led group. The result is, this group had left its sociological and partially politic tissue and advanced towards a more active political organizing.

Then in what political conditions was this actualized and later on which era replaced it?

And when did all these come into light?

To the second part….


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