Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Turkey’s Internal Power Struggle

February 13, 2013, The Turkey Analyst

In recent weeks, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has become increasingly outspoken in his criticism of the highly politicized court cases, such as Ergenekon and Sledgehammer, that have resulted in hundreds of suspects being imprisoned on charges of belonging to terrorist organizations and plotting to stage coups. The result has been a flurry of speculation about possible legislative amendments that would enable the suspects to be released from jail and punitive measures against the followers of the exiled Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who are widely regarded as being behind the court cases. But the situation has also highlighted the parlous prospects for democracy in Turkey and the power struggle between two essentially authoritarian and intolerant forces.