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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Central Asia has become a “battleground” between Erdogan and Gulen

The President of Kyrgyzstan Atambayev responded harshly Turkey, warned in Bishkek on the preparation of the coup. In this plot, as well as in the recent Turkish coup, Ankara suspects “parallel structure” of the preacher Fethullah gülen living in the United States. The Gulen structures in fact are actively working in the countries of Central Asia and Azerbaijan. What is the purpose of their activities on the territory of the former USSR?

President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev quite sharply reacted to statements of the Turkish foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu about a possible coup in Kyrgyzstan, supporters of the preacher Fethullah Gulen. “It’s absurd. If such clever, why we slept through a revolution? – quotes the President Agency Sputnik-Kyrgyzstan. – Of course, we all listen to the tips and information check. And to scare, or to teach us is not necessary. Frightening we are.

“If you’re so smart, why have themselves slept through a revolution?”

The Turkish foreign Minister called on the Kyrgyz authorities to take action against private schools in the country, which allegedly financed by the Fund Gulen, said that if Kyrgyzstan doesn’t change the relationship to the “gang of Gulen, Turkey will change the attitude to Kyrgyzstan.

These statements, the Kyrgyz foreign Ministry called incorrect and noted that the sovereign state itself can decide what is good and what is bad.

Enemy of the state №1

Recall that after the coup attempt on July 15-16 President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his entourage was blamed for the coup on the commander of the air force, General Akin Ozturk. As the ideologist and mastermind of the coup, Erdogan said his longtime opponent gülen, who since 1999 lives in the American town of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. However, Gulen and Erdogan calls a “pawn”. In 2014, the Turkish leader said that had fled to America, Islamic preacher are the United States, Israel, Bashar al-Assad and other “hostile Turkish forces.”

What extremist groups are recognized as terrorist in different countries (infographic)Ankara wants Washington to extradite Gulen. Including this requirement were personally Erdogan. From the United States, “issue”: Secretary of state John Kerry said that the United States needed a formal request from Ankara for extradition, but such a document in Washington has not yet received. Gülen himself, at least publicly, strongly condemned the attempt of the revolt and denied accusations of his involvement.

“Sir” and his Jamaat

The Gulen’s supporters call him Hodja Effendi – teacher, and led them (and banned in Turkey, the Hizmet movement is often referred to as simply “Jamaat” – “community”.

Ideologically and philosophically Erdogan and his main enemy – not the antagonists. Both are opposed to “hard” secular Republic, built by Ataturk and his successors; and the other fought for the rights of Muslims. While both profess a rather soft version of Islamism, involving the creation of the state, traditional in content, but modernist in form.

Gülen is more “liberal” than Erdogan. If the early writings of the ideologist and preacher even allowed himself anti-Western passages, he was later proclaimed himself a supporter of democracy, tolerance, emancipation of women and the integration of Turkey into the EU.

As previously noted the newspaper VIEW, up to a point it was possible to speak about allied relations: the movement of the former Imam gülen sympathized with the moderate Islamist Erdogan, who is in a tight clinch with the secular forces of Turkey. According to the Islamic scholar Rinat Pateev, in the beginning of the reign of Erdogan, it seemed, even gülen will return to Turkey from the American exile, but between supporters of Erdogan’s party of justice and development and the Hizmet movement was split, Erdogan even repeatedly poklyalsya Fethullah Fethullah Gulen. By the way, many then pointed out that it is using the Hizmet movement, the United States initiated the prosecution of Erdogan in corruption. Gulen and Erdogan parted in approaches to the Syrian conflict.

And note, the current Turkish leader began to accuse Gulen of plotting a coup before the current disastrous performance of the military.

Hizmet and its affiliates represent a curious phenomenon. The basis of the structures of the gülen education. Specifically – a huge network of private schools in many countries with high quality education (the percentage of admission to universities, including leading among graduates is very high). In Turkey, these schools were opened more than 300 around the world – more than a thousand. The total number of students, according to the magazine Newsweek, has exceeded 2 million seven years ago (and most of them get a scholarship). The educational structure of the Gulen operate not only in Central Asia but also, for example, in Ukraine.


“The Gulen universities occupy a niche in Central Asia. They help these countries to develop their educational system. The Gulen education quality standards”, – said in an interview with the newspaper VIEW, research fellow, Centre for the study of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Volga-Ural Institute of Oriental studies of the RAS, Stanislav Pritchin.

“It is understandable why Turkey wants this from us: these institutions are financed directly from the Fund Gulen. But with him, we signed an agreement for a long time and should abide by it,” – said in comments to the website 24.kg Kyrgyz political scientist Demir Uzbeks. “There are about a hundred cooperation agreements with Turkey. Maybe they think that the Turkish lyceums, schools, foundations, businesses affiliated with Gulen? Even so, it is necessary to prove that they are working against the leadership of Turkey,” – said, in turn, the analyst Sheradil Baktygulov.

Overall, Turkey is actively present in the Kyrgyz system of higher education. In Bishkek there are two major Turkish University. Over the past year there has been several scandals, in particular, the teaching staff was fighting with management about the methods of education.

Military coup attempt in Turkey has greatly exacerbated the situation. Kyrgyzstan, according to Stanislav Pritchin, refused to close the Gulen universities, which explains the strong statement Cavusoglu.

Turks blackmail and threats to try to put pressure on Kyrgyz authorities to shut down the Gulen universities,” he said, stressing that the presence of such educational institutions in the country is not a threat, as “the range of their influence is limited and the number of Kyrgyz graduates who received higher education in Turkey, much higher than the number of students who studied at local educational institutions affiliated with Gulen.

While the Kyrgyz President Atambaev have close relations with Erdogan, has his own business in Turkey and, according to local observers, even mansions. Moreover, due to the Turkish vector Atambayev is trying to balance including relations with Russia.

Interests in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan

Pritchin recalled that Erdogan is not the first time requires its partners from Central Asia to close Gulen schools. These requirements in due time was heard in the address of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. “Now, apparently, decided to go to the last offensive on the background of the coup attempt. But I don’t see any serious risks that could threaten the political stability of Central Asian States from this vector,” – said Pritchin.

Recently in Azerbaijan closed the TV channel ANS, which is in the midst of a coup attempt in Turkey released an interview with Fethullah Gulen. Azerbaijani press Council has urged local journalists to support Erdogan and not to defend the rebels and their patrons. Also in Azerbaijan was closed Gulen the “Caucasus” University.

“All this intensified with the participation of Erdogan”

In Kazakhstan, Turkish lyceums were opened in 1992. In 1997 he established the international public Fund KATEV to coordinate the work of educational institutions of the Turkish side. Under the leadership of this organization are 29 Kazakh-Turkish high schools, University and College. Similar institutions existed in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, but were closed for one reason or another at a time of discord with Turkey.

At the same time Erdogan at the expense of their pan-Turkic projects building policy in Central Asia. “There are the parliamentary Assembly of Turkic peoples and TURKSOY (international organization of Turkic culture), a Turkic Academy in Astana, through which Turkey tries to promote its soft power. It’s all there and this is built in Turkey’s foreign policy on ideology in Central Asia. And all this intensified with the participation of Erdogan,” emphasizes Stanislav Pritchin.

“Russia wary of such things Turkish”

With regard to the situation in Russia, where the Turkish religious Association “nurdzhular” (believed to be affiliated with the Gulen) is prohibited by the Supreme court, Pritchin believes that in Russia there is a General perception that the Gulen educational institutions of the threat. “I personally children who went there. Some alarming issues with regards to the indoctrination I had not noticed. In Russia is very cautious about such things Turkish. The Central Asian States largely try to realize their identity through Turkic roots, so they used these institutions to develop their educational system,” he concluded.

* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”

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