A 2003-dated decree ordering Turkish embassies abroad to support and facilitate the activities of the Fethullah Gulen community has been annulled upon the instruction of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, two Turkish newspapers have reported.
Newspapers Cumhuriyet and Zaman said the decree annulling the 2003-dated decree was sent to Turkish embassies and consulates several weeks ago. The first decree was signed by then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul during the first months of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government with the demand of support from National View Organizations and Turkish schools operated by the Gulen community.
Zaman said the members of the Gulen community and representatives of its affiliated organizations were not invited to the celebrations of the April 23 National Sovereignty and Children Fest by the embassies, in a first sign of the implementation of Davutoglu's decree.
Foreign Ministry officials preferred to remain tight-lipped and not comment on the annulment, the paper said, but quoted an anonymous Turkish ambassador as saying, "The speech delivered by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the ambassadors' conference and the annulment of this decree is already a clear message."
The relations between once allies, the AKP government and the Gulen movement have deteriorated and turned into an open struggle following the launch of a massive corruption and graft operation that engulfed four of Erdogan's ministers, Erdogan himself and his family as well. Accusing the Gulen community of attempting a plot against the government, Erdogan described its leader, Gulen, a self-exiled Islamic scholar in the U.S., as the head of an illegal organization and the architect of this treacherous act against the Turkish state.
Erdogan said the activities of the Gulen community abroad were dangerous and he will ask his foreign interlocutors to take the necessary measures against them.