Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 28, 2015

The Politics between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Gülen Movement in Turkey: Issues of Human Rights and Rising Authoritarianism

Fait Muedini

Abstract

I examine the rising tension between two Islamic movements in Turkey: The Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Fethullah Gülen’s Hizmet Movement within the context of increased human rights abuses by the government in Turkey. I argue that Gülen and Hizmet are a continued concern for Recep Tayyip Erdogan and AKP because of Hizmet’s social services, primarily in the realm of education. Furthermore, their influence in public ranks further troubles Erdogan. However, it seems that because of Hizmet’s disinterest with electoral politics, along with an absence of other challengers to the ruling government party’s electoral success, Erdogan and the AKP will continue to hold political power, at least for the short term. Furthermore, this case illustrates Erdogan’s willingness to carry out increased authoritarian actions, as well as a willingness to violate the human rights of civil society actors in Turkey.

Acknowledgment

I would like to thank Burcu Pinar Alakoc, Turan Kayaoglu, Kaltrina Ukmata-Muedini and the anonymous reviewers for their comments with regards to the paper. All remaining errors are mine.

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Published Online: 2015-8-28
Published in Print: 2015-6-1

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