Istanbul-based journalist Claire Berlinski has a good, informative article in City Journal on Fethullah Gülen, the “[c]ontroversial Muslim preacher, feared Turkish intriguer—and ‘inspirer’ of the largest charter school network in America.” I’ve posted several articles on Gülen and his movement over the past year-and-a-half (see here, here and here). Claire’s is one of the best.
Here are some other interesting articles I’ve read on Turkey of late:
On The National Interest website, Halil Karaveli says how “Erdogan Pays for His Foreign Policy,” in the sense of paying the price. In the space of three years, Turkey has gone from zero problems with its neighbors to problems with almost all of them. Insofar as Erdoğan’s domestic political standing is undermined as a consequence, this is objectively not a bad thing.
On the NYT’s Latitude blog, Andrew Finkel , in “Erdogan, the Not-So Magnificent,” tells us how the Turkish PM and his party are “parodying Turkish history with a slew of misguided construction projects attempting to revive the Ottomans’ glory.” Quelle bande de ploucs…
Also in the NYT, Anand Giridharadas had a good piece last week on “Forging a New Identity” in Turkey, on the deep socio-cultural-political cleavage and conflict between “white Turks” and “black Turks” (which has nothing to do with skin color). In this conflict, I am resolutely with the “whites,” though I do think they should seek accommodation with—and show a little more tolerance toward—their “black” compatriots. And vice-versa.
UPDATE: Soner Cagaptay has a good article in The Atlantic on “Turkey’s Distinctive Brew,” in which he asserts that Turkey’s institutionalized Westernization and deeply-rooted secularism will limit the extent of Islamization. (December 11)
2nd UPDATE: Nicholas Birch has an article in The Majalla on how “Tension [is] mount[ing] between Turkey’s biggest Islamist players, Erdoğan and Gülen.” (September 5, 2013)
3rd UPDATE: Dani Rodrik has an article in Project Syndicate on the Gülen movement, “Erdoğan is not Turkey’s only problem.” In the piece he links to an important post in English from his and Pınar Doğan’s Turkish-language blog on the Balyoz affair, “Fethullah Gülen, the Jews, and hypocrisy.” (September 11, 2013)
4th UPDATE: French journalist Ariane Bonzon, inquiring into Fethullah Gülen—now an enemy of RT Erdoğan—, has a piece in Slate.fr asking “What is the Gülen neo-brotherhood, a state within the Turkish state, and a thorn in Erdogan’s side?” (en français ici) (December 23, 2013)
5th UPDATE: BBC Newshour reporter Tim Franks interviewed “Fethullah Gulen…[the p]owerful but reclusive Turkish cleric” at his estate in Pennsylvania. (January 27, 2014)
7th UPDATE: Berna Turam, Associate Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Northeastern University, writing on the Al Jazeera English website, weighs in on “Gulen, Erdogan and democracy in Turkey.” The lede: What will come out of the struggle between the Gulen movement and the AKP? (March 13, 2014)
8th UPDATE: Claire Berlinski has another piece in City Journal on Gülen, this one after the falling out with Erdoğan, “Turkey’s two thugs: Erdoğan and Gülen are both dangerous—but only one of them lives in the Poconos.” (December 23, 2014)