As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responds to the failed coup attempt on July 15, Azerbaijan is embracing the Turkish government’s narrative that the botched putsch was orchestrated by followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Among recent actions taken by Azerbaijan authorities is a clampdown on a Gulen-linked newspaper. Officials have also forced Qafqaz University, considered to be one of the best institutions of higher learning in the country, to sever connections with Gulen’s organization.
While Baku has not yet mimicked Ankara in designating the Gulen organization as a terrorist group, it is obvious that Ilham Aliyev’s administration has adopted wholesale the views espoused by Ankara. It thus is clear that political motives are behind Baku’s decision to restrict Gulen’s influence.
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Eldar Mamedov is a political adviser to the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament. He writes in his personal capacity.