Erdoğan & Gülen conflict reaches Iraqi Kurdistan

30.01.2014 – Hemin Saleh
- BasNews, Erbil – The recent conflict between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the reclusive Turkish Islamic cleric Muhammed Fethullah Gülen is expected to extend its way into Iraqi Kurdistan.

Gülen supporters have been critical of the Kurdistan-Turkey oil export agreement and political analysts believe that with their backing, Gülen will attempt to bring new strategies to Kurdistan. The Hizmit (Service) Organization in Turkey, which is directly supported by Gülen, has invited various Sulaimaniyah media delegates, including the main newspaper of the PUK – Kurdistani Nwe, as well as Awene News and Lvin Press to take part in their organizational congress in Istanbul.  

Furthermore, the Hizmit Organization only invited Dewran Radio from Erbil, which they support, to participate in the organizational congress in Istanbul.

Zryan Rozhhalati, a political analyst of Turkish political affairs, told BasNews that given the conflict which has developed between Erdoğan and Gülen, he expects Gülen to come up with a new plan for Turkey and the Kurdistan region. “In the past, Turkey was intervening in Kurdistan for Turkme parties in the region through their formal relations with Kurdistan. But after this conflict, a new phase will begin in terms of alliances,” Rozhhalati explained. Rozhhalati also acknowledged that Gülen is a very well-known and influential person who has more than 18 schools, universities and radio stations, and will soon launch a TV channel. “Gülen’s entry to Kurdistan was intended to be under the establishment of religious purposes, but he might change the cursor of his media and organizations towards his personal interests by starting a new phase in his actions in Kurdistan following his conflict with Erdoğan,” Rozhhalati further explained. Gülen has had projects in the Kurdistan region since 1994. He currently owns many schools, universities and media centers operating in Erbil, Sulaimaniyah, Dohuk and Kirkuk.

Gülen is a Turkish preacher, Islamic opinion leader and politician who has an influential impact in Turkey and other Islamic countries. In September 12, 1980 a military coup d’état took place in Turkey.  Gülen supported the coup and took part in the subsequent government.