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Turkey: Effort to Force Closure of Gülen Schools Falling Flat in Eurasia

As part of a wide-ranging clampdown in the aftermath of the failed July coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration has urged countries in Eurasia to shut down schools associated with the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen. But outside of Azerbaijan, the call does not seem to be swaying Eurasian governments.
 
Erdoğan has publicly accused Gülen supporters of leading the thwarted coup. Accordingly, lots of Gülenists in Turkey have been arrested, and lots more fired from their state jobs. The Turkish government has also classified Gülen’s organization as a terror group.
 
Erdoğan’s animus toward the Gülen movement is such that Turkey has gone to great lengths to get friendly governments in Eurasia, specifically the Turkic-language states in Central Asia, to crack down on suspected Gülenists in their respective countries, as well as shut down Gülen-oriented schools. The Gülen organization made significant inroads into Eurasia in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
 

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Turkey: Effort to Force Closure of Gülen Schools Falling Flat in Eurasia

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