Utah Series in Middle East Studies
On July 15, 2016, a faction of the Turkish military attempted to overthrow the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Turkish government blamed the unsuccessful coup attempt on Gülenists, adherents of an Islamist movement led by Fethullah Gülen. They had helped elect Erdoğan and his AK Party, with the goal of bringing an ostensibly “soft” version of Islam into the secular Turkish government. In alliance with the AK Party, Gülenists steadfastly increased their representation in various government institutions, including the military, the police, and the judiciary. This volume focuses on the historical and sociopolitical contexts of the Gülen Movement’s origins and political ascendancy along with its possible role in the failed coup.
Editors Yavuz and Balcı are among the first international scholars to have studied the movement from its nascent stages in Turkey. The volume's contributors include scholars who have researched the movement in Turkey, Central Asia, and the Balkans. The result is a comprehensive, timely assessment of numerous dimensions of Gülenist activities, including its social and political networks and the institutions that supported the movement as it became a major economic and educational force in Turkey and elsewhere. This volume reflects exchanges among scholars who having studied the Gülenists, assembled to discuss how and why the movement became belligerent opponents of Erdoğan’s government, and it addresses questions such as how this major, still continuing disruption in Turkey’s politics will affect not only the future of the movement but also that of Turkey's embattled democracy as well.