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Erdoğan’s Self-Inflicted Crisis

PRINCETON – The dramatic battle between Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its erstwhile ally, the “Hizmet” religious movement led by the self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, has begun to expose the massive rule-of-law violations that these two groups employed to consolidate their power. Prosecutors widely thought to be Gülen sympathizers have launched a wide-ranging corruption probe that has so far ensnared four ministers and reaches all the way to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son.

Erdoğan and his advisers have now hit back. They accuse the Gülenists of mounting a “bureaucratic coup” and engaging in a wide range of dirty tricks, from “planting evidence” against generals who were convicted last year of plotting to overthrow Erdoğan’s government to “extensive unauthorized wiretap[ping].”