A Universal Islamic Phenomenon in Turkish Religious Practice: the Fethullah Gulen Case

Aug 3 ’12

Understanding Structure and Hierarchy in the Gülen Movement – 2

Martin Taylor In my previous blog, in an effort to understand and explain how the Gülen Movement (also called Hizmet) operates without a top-down organizational structure, I looked at Gore Inc, a privately owned high-tech company producing over a thousand products and an annual turnover of $2.5 billion with over 9,000 employees and factories in […]

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Aug 3 ’12

Understanding Structure and Hierarchy in the Gülen Movement – 1

Martin Taylor The Gülen Movement, also known as Hizmet (service), is a social movement inspired by the Turkish Islamic scholar and peace activist Fethullah Gülen.[1] It began in Turkey in the 1970’s and operates principally in education, dialogue, media and relief work. It has founded over a thousand schools; even more dialogue organisations; clinics; media […]

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May 19 ’12

Are there autonomous Hizmet groups?

When we look at the discussions and debates surrounding the Hizmet (Gülen) movement especially in the Turkish media, I observe that some writers are inclined to see the movement composed of a few relatively autonomous groups with sometimes clashing visions and practices. As someone who has been working on the movement in my academic capacity […]

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May 18 ’12

How does Gülen Movement achieve cohesion despite its decentralized and non-authoritarian structure?

Participation in services takes relatively stable, enduring forms. Individuals come and go and replace one another but the projects remain and continue. Individual needs and collective goals are not mutually exclusive; they are one and the same thing, and in daily life coincide and interweave closely with the action of the Gülen Movement. The Gülen […]

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May 14 ’12

Is Gülen Movement a cult?

One common characteristic of participants in the Gülen Movement is their acceptance of the scholarly authority of Fethullah Gülen. They tend, in addition, to emphasize particular aspects in the practice of their faith. These aspects emerge as distinguishing features or styles in their positive discourse and peaceful action. However, certain factors disable any sort of […]

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Apr 11 ’12

Does Gulen movement have a formal hierarchy?

The volunteers of this movement have established in many countries around the world credible institutions and organizations operating in a variety of fields including education, health, media, dialogue, and relief, national and international trade. These are disparate organizations established by individuals or via a collective group of volunteers who operate professionally. The aforementioned organizations are […]

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Apr 3 ’12

What is Fethullah Gülen’s position in the movement?

Fethullah Gülen is an opinion leader, an inspirer who encourages people to do service; he advises on plans and projects and provides guidance either through media or a press release when he deems appropriate and necessary. Since his early days, as an individual like all other fellow citizens, his involvement in the movement stems from his […]

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Mar 22 ’12

Gülen Movement and Transparency

By Ismail Mesut Sezgin – Aug 8, 2011 The transparency of the Hizmet or Gülen Movement has long been a theme of various critics – writers, intellectuals and politicians. In the context of Turkey where secularism is deployed as a means to control religion rather than to separate it from politics, it is not hard […]

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Mar 11 ’12

Hierarchical structure of Gulen Movement

Externally, the movement is independent of any state or group. Internally, it does not have a strict hierarchical structure. Instead, it is a network of independent charitable foundations, educational institutions, private corporations, and media organizations that are associated via shared hopes and values. There is no registration of volunteers. The volunteers of the movement have […]

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