Once Erdoğan had more or less secured his hold on power, however, the relationship started to break down. "Once the old establishment was decisively defeated, sometime around 2010 to 2011, disagreements emerged between the AKP and the Gulen movement," Al-Monitor's Mustafa Akyol explains. It started when a "power struggle between pro-Gulen police/judiciary and the AKP" erupted over an investigation into the country’s top intelligence agency that pitted pro-Erdoğan intelligence officials against pro-Gülen police and prosecutors.
Then, in November 2013, Erdoğan announced he planned to shut down prep schools (weekend classes for university exam preparation), about a quarter of which are run by the Gülen movement.
A month later, Akyol continues, "the real bomb went off: Zekeriya Oz, an Istanbul prosecutor who is widely believed to be a member of the Gulen movement, initiated an early morning raid on dozens of individuals, including the sons of three ministers, an AKP mayor, businessmen and bureaucrats." It was a massive corruption scandal, which alleged that the government illicitly traded gold with Iran in exchange for oil, undermining the international sanctions regime then in place.
The Gülenists argued this proved the government was fundamentally corrupt and in bed with Turkey’s Iranian enemies. Erdoğan and the AKP in turn accused the Gülenists of attempting a takeover through the corruption investigation, and of being in bed with Israel (which would naturally oppose Turkish cooperation with Iran). "An increasingly paranoid prime minister is said to believe that a ‘Gülen-Israel axis’ is bent on unseating him," the Economist wrote of Erdoğan at the time.
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