On New Year’s Day I posted an important article by Paul Stenhouse in Quadrant, in which Stenhouse noted the jihadist ties of Fethullah Gulen and the Naqshbandi Sufi order. These contentions have been disputed by some who contend that both are exponents of a peaceful, non-political, non-supremacist Islam; I had hoped to bring you more information on that, but a prominent Turkish Muslim writer has declined my invitation to post a substantive refutation of Stenhouse’s article at Jihad Watch.
As background, therefore, in support of Stenhouse’s article, here is a MEMRI article from last summer with more details about both, as reported in a mainstream Turkish publication.
“The Upcoming Elections in Turkey (2): The AKP’s Political Power Base,” by R. Krespin for MEMRI (thanks to Looney Tunes):
In a recent five-part series titled “Sects, Religious Communities, and the July 22 [Elections]” in the secular, mainstream Turkish daily Milliyet, journalist Omer Erbil listed some of the Islamist sects and associations that are playing a role in the upcoming elections. Following are the main points of this review. 
1. The Fethullah Gulen community: This is the largest and strongest Islamist community in Turkey, as well as the most prominent representative of the Nur (“Light”) movement of Said-i Nursi.  It is led by Fethullah Gulen, or, as he is referred to by his community, Fethullah Gulen Hocaefendi, and according to media assessments, about 30 of the AKP candidates who have a good chance of being elected are Fethullah Gulen followers (Fethullahcilar).
2. The Nakshibendi sect: A large Islamist order, which began in the 14th century in Turkistan, Central Asia, and spread to Anatolia and the Balkans, gaining much power in the 19th century. The Halidiye branch lives today in the influential Iskenderpasa, Ismailaga, Erenkoy, and Kashgari communities. Many political figures in Turkey either come from or are influenced by the Nakshibendi tradition. Among these are Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Parliamentary Speaker Bulent Arinc, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, and Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin. Iskenderpasa Nakshibendi sect leader Mehmed Zahit Kotku is known to have trained former prime minister and president Turgut Ozal, former Islamist prime minister Necmettin Erbakan, and his successor, Islamist Felicity Party (SP) leader Recai Kutan.
The Iskenderpasa sect, which is currently led by Sheikh Nurettin Cosan, openly supported the AKP during the 2002 elections. Sheikh Cosan also issued an order to AKP MPs to vote “no” in the March 1, 2003 parliamentary vote on allowing the U.S. military passage through Turkish soil to open a northern front in the war in Iraq, and it is known that some 100 AKP MPs obeyed the order.
Erbakan’s Islamist Milli Gorus movement, and its offspring, the AKP, have very close ties with the Nakshibendi Islamist sect. It is believed that about 80 of the sect’s faithful were among the founders of the AKP.