That there was a covert power struggle between the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party [AKP] and “The Service,” a sociopolitical Islamic movement under the spiritual leadership of Turkish Sunni man of religion Fethullah Gulen is known. This struggle broke out into the open on Aug. 13 with a communiqué issued by the Gulen movement.
What makes the struggle interesting for third parties is the prowess and potentials of The Service, popularly called Cemaat [faith community], in affecting the political course of the country.
The Service has a qualitative and quantitative concentration particularly in the administration, judicial, security and educational institutions of the state of the Republic of Turkey, in addition to effective media and widespread social and economic networks.
Until recently, The Service was operating within the framework of an actual coalition of power with the Islamist party. Their unity and sharing of power had common goals, such as ending the tutelage of the Kemalist military in national politics.
It is a reality that The Service has phenomenally amplified its power in Turkey and globally during the last 11 years of AKP rule.
The question now is what kind of positions The Service, freed from this asymmetrical coalition that appears to have been definitely disintegrated, will adopt against the AKP. Of course, the real question is how The Service will make use of the colossal power it has in the coming elections.