Why did those groups counter-mobilize against Fethullah Gülen and the Gülen Movement?

Fethullah Gülen

The dominant protectionist group assume that social, cultural and political representation in Turkey, as well as the identification of any societal problems and their solution, are their sole and exclusive prerogative. This is best seen in their counter-mobilization during the February 28 Process against SMOs and civil society. The counter-mobilization was not based on democratic procedures or political consensus but was, and still is, realized and secured through ideological interpretation. The protectionist system propagates itself and permeates daily life and existential choices. It filters and represses some demands by presenting them as an absolute, existential threat to the very structure of society. When the dominant group cannot compete with any alternative in argument, action and services, it uses the protectionist system to stigmatize any suggestion or advice, any alternative or opposition, as a threat to national security.

Despite the fact that such interpretation and counter-mobilization is anti-democratic and anti-egalitarian, the protectionist elite legitimates it by exploiting combinations of events and circumstances and segmentation, radicalization and tension in society.

The counter-mobilization also resurfaces at different times and in different circumstances as improprieties, corruption or concealment of other vested interests. One way for protectionist actors to seek a reduction in the risks involved in a decision is to secure for themselves a preventive consensus through the use of ideological manipulation. This preventive consensus usually goes by the name of “Kemalism” in Turkey.

The counter-mobilization in Turkey has in practice decayed into a counter-mobilization against all except themselves. It is especially targeted at religion, religious people, and all modernizing efforts and projects originating from the faith-inspired communities. That is the context of their making Fethullah Gülen and the Gülen Movement their major “adversary.”

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