By Bayram Balci (07/02/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Following the end of the Soviet Union, the Gülen movement developed a dynamic educational network in Central Asia and the Caucasus, with that region offering Turkey its strongest base of soft power. The AKP government’s support for these schools, and the informal alliance between Gülen and the AKP since 2002, was beneficial to both parties. The collapse of this mutual cooperation last December and the war Erdoğan has declared on what he calls the “parallel structure” raise the question of the movement’s future in Turkey and abroad, but most importantly in Central Asia and the Caucasus, which have played a crucial role in the Gülen movement’s international strategy.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.