Summary of The Remarkable Scale of Turkey’s “Global Purge”

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The Remarkable Scale of Turkey’s “Global Purge” summary
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On July 15, 2016, the Turkish military launched an unsuccessful coup aimed at toppling Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The coup served as a pretext for the Turkish government to arrest thousands of its critics and dismiss almost 140,000 civil servants, members of the military and judges. Erdoğan’s purge has not stopped at Turkey’s borders though – which is why Freedom House’s Nate Schenkkan believes the pursuit of dissidents is not only undermining democracy within Turkey but also eroding key principles of the liberal international order. getAbstract recommends his article if you’d like to understand why what happens in Turkey, doesn’t stay in Turkey.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the Gülen movement helped promote Turkish values abroad,
  • Why Turkey’s governing party split with the Gülen movement and
  • Why Ankara’s international purge of dissidents poses a threat to the liberal international order.
 

About the Author

Nate Schenkkan is a project director at Freedom House, a democracy and human rights research organization.

 

Summary

In the 1970s, followers of the charismatic Turkish cleric Fethulla Gülen created the “Gülen movement,” which embraced a nationalist form of Islam. After the 1980 military coup in Turkey, successive governments used the Gülen movement to project a new image of the nation abroad: as a modern, capitalist state that successfully melds the principles of Islam and secularism. The movement accomplished this promotional task through a network of elite schools and media initiatives, such as the English-language daily Today’s Zaman. After Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the 2002 parliamentary elections, the AKP aligned itself even more closely with Gülen and expanded the movement’s cultural and educational initiatives throughout sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.  


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