Friday April 18, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
15o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The Jacobins of Turkey

By Dr Evangelos Venetis *

Every revolution has its Jacobin period, characterized by post-revolutionary civil strife for the control of power and the implementation of goals and particularly the means through which these goals are achieved.

Turkey is no exception. Ôoday, after the hitherto successful completion of the Islamic revolution against Turkish nationalists and their secularized compatriots, the political networks of Fethullah Gulen and Recep Tayyip Erdogan are clashing over how to apply and implement their common objective. One could interpret recent developments in Turkey through this prism.

It's true that Gulen and Erdogan share a common goal – traditional Islam's supremacy in the country's political and social life – but they differ in regard to the method. While Gulen believes in a moderate form of Islam in the medium term, in a gently and patiently operating model in domestic and foreign policy, Erdogan argues that once the Islamists have prevailed over the nationalists, there is no reason for moderation, but rather a need to act quickly and with full force in promoting traditional Islam at home and in support of similar-minded Muslims elsewhere. The conflict between Gulen and Erdogan for the country's foreign policy is summarized in the case of Ankara’s deteriorating relations with Israel and Egypt. Gulen has repeatedly opposed these developments in favor of patience, not spasmodic actions. Unlike Gulen, Erdogan is outspoken in his Islamic rhetoric, avoiding the feints and evasions of his rivals.

Additionally, as chief spiritual leader and mastermind of the Islamic revolution in Turkey, Gulen considers Erdogan a simple political player and part of his network and a person who should be loyal to him for the support Gulen has provided him thus far. Erdogan, for his part, views the spiritual leader of the revolution with respect. But he deems that his political leadership has been of equal service to the revolution. Obviously it is a clash between the political and religious leaders of the Islamic movement.

Both claim that their view is right, but both know that they are two sides of the same coin. They are aware of the fact that this crisis will not last long; otherwise both the revolution and the country's security will be jeopardized. The recent political unrest in Turkey is a result of Gulen’s effort to teach Erdogan a lesson. For his part, the Turkish prime minister knows that by employing blows below the belt, Gulen wants to damage his popularity ahead of the upcoming presidential election. However Erdogan is learned in such knocks. Despite Gulen’s curses, Erdogan is full of confidence and knows that he is at the helm of the country and that he has his own sphere of influence. Both know they each have their own role in Turkey's future, because they each represent one of the two poles in Islamic tradition, i.e. the political Sultan (Erdogan) and the religious Sheikh ul-Islam (Gulen). It is up to both of them to realize this as soon as possible.

* Dr Evangelos Venetis is head of the Middle East Research Project at the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP).

ekathimerini.com , Monday December 30, 2013 (17:15)  
The placebo effect and the economy
Ukraine is a crisis—but not a Cold War
Transparency of political party funding
Historical baggage
Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
Greece officially offered on Thursday to assist Turkey in its efforts to locate and salvage a Turkish Air Force fighter jet which crashed in the Aegean almost 20 years ago. Greek Defense Min...
Talks lined up in wake of ‘shameful’ soccer scenes
The government has pledged to meet with soccer officials after Easter to tackle unruliness in the game following wild scenes at the Greek Cup semifinal between PAOK and Olympiakos in Thessal...
Inside News
PPC to issue corporate bond of 500 mln
Public Power Corporation is planning to tap the markets after Easter with the issue of a corporate bond to draw 500 million euros. The Energy Ministry is also eagerly awaiting the issue, as ...
Primary surplus continued by end-March
The budget’s cash results for the first three months of the year pointed to a primary surplus of 771 million euros, according to data published on Thursday by the Bank of Greece. When revenu...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Former Red Bourousis wrecks Olympiakos´s hopes for a break
Olympiakos tried harder in Game 2 of the Euroleague play-offs in Spain, and Real Madrid was not as good on Thursday as in Game 1, but the Spaniards still emerged victorious on the night with...
SOCCER
Greek soccer turns fishier than ever
Soccer in Greece reached new lows in scenes unseen since the national team’s triumph in Euro 2004, as PAOK and Olympiakos served up a cup semifinal with PAOK emerging as the winner and the s...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Former Red Bourousis wrecks Olympiakos´s hopes for a break
2. PPC to issue corporate bond of 500 mln
3. Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
4. Primary surplus continued by end-March
5. Eurobank eyes top Core Tier 1 level in Greece
6. Tourist spending up 17.3 pct
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece startup leaders say they can’t break jobless cycle alone
2. Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus
3. Mayoral candidates clash over Athens mosque plans
4. Seven arrested over Toumba violence
5. Greek current account deficit widens in February
6. National Bank of Greece plans senior unsecured bond sale
Today
This Week
1. Bomb explodes outside Bank of Greece
2. CCTV footage from Nigrita Prison shows signs of inmate torture [Video]
3. Car bomb explodes outside Greek Central Bank building, no one hurt [Update]
4. Samaras sees no need for third bailout
5. Parties start announcing candidates for European Parliament elections
6. Greece's market return mirrors return of tourists
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.