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The dramatic battle between Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its erstwhile ally, the "Hizmet" religious movement led by the self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, has begun to expose the massive rule-of-law violations that these two groups employed to consolidate power.Beyond such public statements, the Erdogan government did everything in its power to ensure that these and other political trials (including a massive one involving hundreds of Kurdish activists) would proceed to their preordained conclusion.Erdogan and his advisers sound very different these days. The reason for the conversion is clear: Erdogan needs to isolate and embarrass the Gulenists, with whom he is now engaged in a bitter struggle for power.Erdogan is the one who gave a pass to the Gulen movement in the first place.Today, Erdogan has fewer good options, but he could still turn the situation around.The battle between Erdogan and the Gulen movement has escalated so much that it is hard to imagine reconciliation. The good news is this tooth-and-nail fight lays bare the corruption and judicial manipulation on which Erdogan's regime is based.
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