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Gülen movement

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Gülen movement
Gülen hareketi
Also known as
CountryTurkey, United States, European Union
Active regionsWorldwide
IdeologyGülenism
SizeFormerly 200,000 to four million
Presently unknown. 70,000 in Germany (2018)[1]
Designated as a terrorist group by Gulf Cooperation Council
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
Northern Cyprus
 Pakistan
 Turkey
Websitefgulen.com
gulenmovement.com

The Gülen movement (Turkish: Gülen hareketi), referred to by its participants as Hizmet ("service") or Cemaat ("community") and since 2016[2] by the Government of Turkey as FETÖ ("Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation" or, more commonly, "Fethullah Terrorist Organisation";[3] Turkish: Fethullahçı Terör Örgütü), is an Islamist fraternal movement led by Fethullah Gülen, a Muslim preacher who has lived in the United States since 1999.[4][5][6] The movement is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey,[7] Pakistan,[8] Northern Cyprus,[9] and the Gulf Cooperation Council.[10] However, the Gülen movement is not recognized as a terrorist organization by Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Finland and Sweden. Owing to the outlawed status of the Gülen movement in Turkey, some observers refer to the movement's volunteers who are Turkish Muslims as effectively a sub-sect of Sunni Islam;[11][12][13] these volunteers generally hold their religious tenets as generically Turkish Sunni Islam.

A U.S.-based umbrella foundation which is affiliated with the movement is the Alliance for Shared Values. The movement has attracted supporters and drawn the attention of critics in Turkey, Central Asia, and other parts of the world. It is active in education and operates private schools and universities in over 180 countries. It has initiated forums for interfaith dialogue. It has substantial investments in media, finance, and for-profit health clinics.[14][15] Despite its teachings which are stated conservative in Turkey, some have praised the movement as a pacifist, modern-oriented version of Islam, and an alternative to more extreme schools of Islam such as Salafism.[16] But it has also been reported of having a "cultish hierarchy"[17] and of being a secretive Islamic sect.[18][19]

The Gülen movement is a former ally of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP). When the AKP came to power in 2002 the two formed, despite their differences, a tactical alliance against military tutelage and the Turkish secular elite.[20][21] It was through this alliance that the AKP had accomplished an unprecedented feat in Turkish republican history by securing national electoral victories sufficient to form three consecutive majority governments in 2002, 2007, and 2011. The Gülen movement gained influence on the Turkish police force and the judiciary during its alliance with conservative President Erdoğan, which saw hundreds of Gülen supporters appointed to positions within the Turkish government.[22] Once the old establishment was defeated around 2010 to 2011 disagreements emerged between the AKP and the Gülen movement. The first breaking point was the so-called ″MIT crisis″ of February 2012, it was also interpreted as a power struggle between pro-Gülen police and judiciary and the AKP.[23][24][25] After the 2013 corruption investigations in Turkey into stated corrupt practices by several bureaucrats, ministers, mayors, and family members of the ruling AKP of Turkey was uncovered,[26][27] President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blamed the movement for initiating[28] the investigations as a result of a break in previously friendly relations.[29] President Erdoğan said Gülen attempted to overthrow the Turkish government through a judicial coup by the use of corruption investigations and seized the group-owned newspaper (Zaman— one of the most circulated newspapers in Turkey before the seizure[30]) and several companies that have ties with the group.

Since May 2016, the Gülen movement has been classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey under the assigned names Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (Turkish: Fethullahçı Terör Örgütü) (FETÖ) and Parallel State Structure (Turkish: Paralel Devlet Yapılanması) (PDY).[31] After the failed coup attempt in 2016, the government of Turkey blamed the group for the coup and authorities have arrested thousands of soldiers and judges.[32][33][34] Over ten thousand education staff were suspended and the licenses of over 20,000 teachers working at private institutions were revoked for stated affiliation to Gülen.[35][36] Fethullah Gülen condemned the coup and denied any involvement.[37][38]

Discover more about Gülen movement related topics

Fethullah Gülen

Fethullah Gülen

Muhammed Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish Islamic scholar, preacher, and a one-time opinion leader, as de facto leader of the Gülen movement. Gülen is designated an influential neo-Ottomanist, Anatolian panethnicist, Islamic poet, writer, social critic, and activist–dissident developing a Nursian theological perspective that embraces democratic modernity, as a citizen of Turkey he was a local state imam from 1959 to 1981. Over the years, Gülen became a centrist political figure in Turkey prior to his being there as a fugitive. Since 1999, Gülen has lived in self-exile in the United States near Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

Armenia

Armenia

Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a landlocked country in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region; and is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the Lachin corridor and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. Yerevan is the capital, largest city and the financial center.

Austria

Austria

The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, the most populous city and state. A landlocked country, Austria is bordered by Germany to the northwest, the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia to the northeast, Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The country occupies an area of 83,871 km2 (32,383 sq mi) and has a population of 9 million.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. Bulgaria covers a territory of 110,994 square kilometres (42,855 sq mi), and is the sixteenth-largest country in Europe. Sofia is the nation's capital and largest city; other major cities are Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas.

Cyprus

Cyprus

Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is situated south of the Anatolian Peninsula, and its continental position is disputed; while it is geographically located in West Asia, it has cultural and geopolitical ties to Southern Europe. Cyprus is the third-largest and third-most populous island in the Mediterranean, and is located south of Turkey, east of Greece, north of Egypt, and west of Syria. Its capital and largest city is Nicosia. The northern half of the island is de facto governed by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which was established following the 1974 Turkish invasion.

European Union

European Union

The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has a total area of 4,233,255.3 km2 (1,634,469.0 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 447 million. The EU has often been described as a sui generis political entity combining the characteristics of both a federation and a confederation.

Canada

Canada

Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest binational land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Finland

Finland

Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east, with the Gulf of Bothnia to the west and the Gulf of Finland across Estonia to the south. Finland covers an area of 338,455 square kilometres (130,678 sq mi) with a population of 5.6 million. Helsinki is the capital and largest city, forming a larger metropolitan area with the neighbouring cities of Espoo, Kauniainen, and Vantaa. The vast majority of the population are ethnic Finns. Finnish, alongside Swedish, are the official languages. Swedish is the native language of 5.2% of the population. Finland's climate varies from humid continental in the south to the boreal in the north. The land cover is primarily a boreal forest biome, with more than 180,000 recorded lakes.

Alliance for Shared Values

Alliance for Shared Values

The Alliance for Shared Values (AfSV) is a New York-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit umbrella organization and major part of the Gülen movement, or Hizmet.

Central Asia

Central Asia

Central Asia is a region of Asia that stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to western China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north. It includes the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, which are colloquially referred to as the "-stans" as the countries all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of". Current geographical location of Central Asia was formerly part of the historic Turkistan also known as Turan.

2013 corruption scandal in Turkey

2013 corruption scandal in Turkey

The 2013 corruption scandal in Turkey or 17-25 December Corruption and Bribery Operation was a criminal investigation that involved several key people in the Turkish government. All of the 52 people detained on 17 December were connected in various ways with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Prosecutors accused 14 people – including Suleyman Aslan, the director of state-owned Halkbank, Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, and several family members of cabinet ministers – of bribery, corruption, fraud, money laundering and gold smuggling.

2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt

2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt

On 15 July 2016, a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces, organized as the Peace at Home Council, attempted a coup d'état against state institutions, including the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They attempted to seize control of several places in Ankara, Istanbul, Marmaris and elsewhere, such as the Asian side entrance of the Bosphorus Bridge, but failed to do so after forces loyal to the state defeated them. The Council cited an erosion of secularism, elimination of democratic rule, disregard for human rights, and Turkey's loss of credibility in the international arena as reasons for the coup. The government said the coup leaders were linked to the Gülen movement, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the Republic of Turkey and led by Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish businessman and scholar who lives in Pennsylvania. The Turkish government alleged that Gülen was behind the coup and that the United States was harboring him. Events surrounding the coup attempt and the purges in its aftermath reflect a complex power struggle between Islamist elites in Turkey.

Description and membership

The movement states that it is based on moral values and advocacy of universal access to education, civil society, tolerance and peace. The emphasis among participants is to perform "service" (also the meaning of the Turkish word "hizmet") as arising from individuals' personal commitments to righteous imperatives. Along with hizmet, the movement, which has no official name, is termed the Gülen movement or cemaat (the latter also used to describe participants in Sufi orders, meaning "congregation," "community," or "assembly.") The movement has been characterized as a "moderate blend of Islam".[39][40] Gülen and the Gülen movement are technology-friendly, work within current market and commerce structures, and are savvy users of modern communications and public relations.[41] In 2008, Gülen was described as "the modern face of the Sufi Ottoman tradition", who reassures his followers, including many members of "Turkey's aspirational middle class", that "they can combine the statist-nationalist beliefs of Atatürk’s republic with a traditional but flexible Islamic faith" and "Ottoman traditions that had been caricatured as theocratic by Atatürk and his 'Kemalist' heirs".[41]

In the early 2000s, the Gülen movement was seen as keeping a distance from established Islamic political parties.[42]

Sources state that the Gülen movement is vying to be recognized as the world's leading Muslim network, one that is more reasonable than many of its rivals.[43] The movement builds on the activities of Gülen, who has won praise from non-Muslim quarters for his advocacy of science, interfaith dialogue, and multi-party democracy. It has earned praise as "the world's most global movement".[44]

"It is impossible to calculate the size of the Gülen movement" since the movement is not a centralized or formal organization with membership rosters, but rather a set of numerous, loosely organized networks of people inspired by Gülen.[45] Estimates of the size of the movement vary, with one source stating that between 200,000 supporters and 4 million people are influenced by Gülen's ideas (1997 Tempo estimate),[46] and another stating that Gülen has "hundreds of thousands of supporters".[47] The membership of the movement consists primarily of students, teachers, businessmen, academics, journalists and other professionals.[15] Its members have founded schools, universities, an employers' association, charities, real estate trusts, student organizations, radio and television stations, and newspapers.[47]

The movement's structure has been described as a flexible organizational network.[48] Movement schools and businesses organize locally and link themselves into informal networks.[49] Akin to Turkey's Sufi tariqas (lay religious orders), banned in Turkey in 1925,[50] The movement skirted Kemalist Turkey's prohibitions against assembling in non-state sponsored religious meetings. (As a young man, future President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan belonged to the Naqshbandi tariqa, then technically banned in Turkey.[51])

Each local Gülen movement school and community has a person designated its "informal" (in the sense of not being Turkish state-sponsored) prayer leader (imam). In the Gülen movement, this individual is a layman who serves for a stint within this volunteer position. His identity is kept confidential, generally only purposely made known to those with close connections to those participating in decision-making and coordinating councils within the local group. Above a grouping of such "secret" (not-publicly-acknowledged) imams is another such volunteer leader. This relationship tree continues on up the laddar to the nation-level imam and to individuals who consult with Gülen himself.[52] (These individuals closest to Gülen, having degrees from theology schools, are offhandedly referred to within the movement as mullahs.[53]) Gülen's position, as described in the foregoing, is analogous to that of a shaykh (master) of a Sufi tariqa. Unlike with traditional tariqas, no-one makes pledges of any sort, upon joining the Gülen movement; one becomes a movement participant simply by working with others to promote and effect the movement's objectives of education and service.[54]

The Gülen movement works within the given structures of modern secular states; it encourages affiliated members to maximize the opportunities those countries afford rather than engaging in subversive activities.[55] In the words of the leader himself and the title of a cornerstone of his philosophy, Gülen promotes "an Ottoman Empire of the Mind".[56]

Detractors of the movement "have labeled Gülen community members as secretive missionaries, while those in the Movement and sympathetic observers class it as a civil society organization".[57]

Critics have complained that members of the Gülen movement are overly compliant to the directions from its leaders,[58] and Gülen's "movement is generally perceived by its critics as a religio-political cult".[59] The Guardian editorial board described the movement in 2013 as having "some of the characteristics of a cult or of an Islamic Opus Dei".[60]

Scholars such as Simon Robinson disagree with the characterization, writing that although "[t]here is no doubt that Gülen remains a charismatic leader and that members of the movement hold him in the highest respect", the movement "differs markedly from a cult in several ways", with Gülen stressing "the primacy of the scriptures" and "the imperative of service" and consistently avoiding "attempts to institutionalize power, to perceive him as the source of all truth, or to view him as taking responsibility for the movement".[61] Zeki Saritoprak says that the view of Gülen as "a cult leader or a man with ambitions" is mistaken, and contends that Gülen should be viewed in the context of a long line of Sufi masters who have long been a center of attention "for their admirers and followers, both historically and currently".[62]

Beginning in 2008, the Dutch government investigated the movement's activities in the Netherlands in response to questions from Parliament. The first two investigations, performed by the AIVD, concluded that the movement did not form a breeding ground for radicalism and found no indications that the movement worked against integration or that it was involved in terrorism or religious radicalization. A further academic study sketched a portrait of a socially conservative, inwardly directed movement with an opaque organizational structure, but said that its members tend to be highly successful in society and thus form no threat to integration.[63]

Hizmet-affiliated foundations and businesses were estimated as worth $20-to-$50 billion in 2015.[64]

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Universal access to education

Universal access to education

Universal access to education is the ability of all people to have equal opportunity in education, regardless of their social class, race, gender, sexuality, ethnic background or physical and mental disabilities. The term is used both in college admission for the middle and lower classes, and in assistive technology for the disabled. Some critics feel that this practice in higher education, as opposed to a strict meritocracy, causes lower academic standards. In order to facilitate the access of education to all, countries have right to education.

Civil society

Civil society

Civil society can be understood as the "third sector" of society, distinct from government and business, and including the family and the private sphere. By other authors, civil society is used in the sense of 1) the aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens or 2) individuals and organizations in a society which are independent of the government.

Statism

Statism

In political science, statism is the doctrine that the political authority of the state is legitimate to some degree. This may include economic and social policy, especially in regard to taxation and the means of production.

Interfaith dialogue

Interfaith dialogue

Interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive, and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels. It is distinct from syncretism or alternative religion, in that dialogue often involves promoting understanding between different religions or beliefs to increase acceptance of others, rather than to synthesize new beliefs.

Tariqa

Tariqa

A tariqa is a school or order of Sufism, or specifically a concept for the mystical teaching and spiritual practices of such an order with the aim of seeking haqiqa, which translates as "ultimate truth".

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a Turkish politician serving as the 12th and current president of Turkey since 2014. He previously served as prime minister of Turkey from 2003 to 2014 and as mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. He founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001, leading it to election victories in 2002, 2007, and 2011 general elections before being required to stand down upon his election as president in 2014. He later returned to the AKP leadership in 2017 following the constitutional referendum that year. Coming from an Islamist political background and self-describing as a conservative democrat, he has promoted socially conservative and populist policies during his administration.

Naqshbandi

Naqshbandi

The Naqshbandi is a major Sunni order of Sufism. Its name is derived from Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari. Naqshbandi masters trace their lineage to the Islamic prophet Muhammad through Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of Sunni Islam and Ali, the fourth Caliph of Sunni Islam. It is because of this dual lineage through Ali and Abu Bakr through the 6th Imam Jafar al Sadiq that the order is also known as the "convergence of the two oceans" or "Sufi Order of Jafar al Sadiq".

Imam

Imam

Imam is an Islamic leadership position. For Sunni Muslims, Imam is most commonly used as the title of a worship leader of a mosque. In this context, imams may lead Islamic worship services, lead prayers, serve as community leaders, and provide religious guidance. Thus for Sunnis, anyone can study the basic Islamic sciences and become an Imam.

Mullah

Mullah

Mullah is an honorific title for Shia and Sunni Muslim clergy or a Muslim mosque leader. The term is also sometimes used for a person who has higher education in Islamic theology and sharia law.

Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire, also known as the Turkish Empire, was an empire that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Turkoman tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe and, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Cult

Cult

In modern English, cult is usually a pejorative term for a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs and rituals, or its common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal. This sense of the term is controversial and weakly defined—having divergent definitions both in popular culture and academia—and has also been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study.

Opus Dei

Opus Dei

Opus Dei, formally known as the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, is an institution of the Catholic Church whose members seek personal Christian holiness and strive to imbue their work and society with Christian principles.

Socio-economic activities

Schools

The movement is active in education (kindergarten–university) as well as civic opportunities in other areas such as for interfaith dialogue, humanitarian aid, media, finance, and health.[14] Most Gülen Movement schools are private. By 2017 it was estimated 1.2 million Turks have passed through Hizmet schools (including Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son in-law, Berat Albayrak);[65] and its educational footprint extends to over 160 countries. In 2009 it was estimated that members of the Gülen Movement ran schools around the world in which more than two million students were enrolled.[66] Estimates of the number of schools and educational institutions vary widely; it appears there are about 300 Gülen Movement schools in Turkey and over 1,000 schools worldwide.[67][68]

Beyond the borders of Turkey, many Gülen schools can be found in countries with large populations of people of Turkish descent. Gülen schools in predominantly non-Turkish Muslim countries provide families with an alternative to madrasa education.

Gülen schools have received both criticism and praise.[69]

In June 2021, the Turkish-Kyrgyz educator and the head of the Sapat educational network in Kyrgyzstan, Orhan Inandi, went missing from the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, leading to mass protests. Inandi, 53, had lived in Kyrgyzstan since 1995 and holds dual Turkish-Kyrgyz citizenship.[70] One month later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on July 5 that Turkish intelligence agents had abducted Inandi, accusing him of being “a top Central Asian leader” of the Gülen movement led by U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen.[71] Kyrgyz officials have denied claims they colluded with Turkish intelligence to abduct a Turkish-Kyrgyz educator who disappeared from Bishkek.[70]

Charter schools in the United States

In 2011, it was estimated that over 120 charter schools in the United States in 25 states were operated by participants of the Gülen movement.[72][73] The largest numbers of such schools were in Texas (60 schools, Harmony schools, run by the Cosmos Foundation); Ohio (19 schools, known as Horizon Science Academies and operated by Concept Schools Inc.); and California (14 schools, operated by the Magnolia Foundation).[73] The Philadelphia Inquirer reported at the time that Gülen schools were one of the largest users of H1B visas, receiving approval for 684 such visas in 2009.[73] The Inquirer reported that the FBI, Labor Department, and Education Department were investigating whether some charter school employees employed via H1B visas misused funds by kicking back a portion of their salaries to movement groups.[73] The investigation had no tie to terrorism, and there was "no indication the American charter network has a religious agenda in the classroom".[73]

A 60 Minutes episode profiled Gülen movement-operated charter schools in the U.S. in May 2012.[74] The profile estimated that there were about 130 affiliated schools nationwide, with about 36 Harmony School in Texas, serving "mostly underprivileged students" and all emphasizing math and science.[74] The episode said that the schools generally received high marks for the quality of education, but also said that Gülen's reclusive nature "invites conspiracy theories that he's running Turkey from the Poconos and is bent on global Muslim domination" and that "[o]ne statement involves immigration fraud: that the schools are providing work visas for hundreds of Gülen followers from Turkey."[74]

Professor Joshua Hendrick of Loyola University Maryland, who studies the movement, said that Gülen himself "does not have a direct hand in operating" the charter schools,[75] and it was reported that Gülen has never visited the schools.[74] The Harmony Schools in Texas do not teach religion, and the charter network says that some 7.8% of its teachers are non-Americans.[75]

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2016 that around 150 U.S. charter schools were tied to the Gülen movement, "ranging from networks in Texas, Illinois and Florida to stand-alone academies in Maryland".[75] The Journal stated that like other charter schools "blacks and Hispanics in underserved neighborhoods" made up the majority of the student body, with common themes including "an emphasis on math and science education, Turkish language classes and sponsored trips to Turkey".[75] Hendrick said that in the upheaval following the 2016 Turkish coup attempt, proposed new charter schools and charters up for renewal "that are run by Turkish-Americans and are said to be connected with the cleric" could run into increased opposition, as the Turkish government has sought "to bring down Mr. Gülen through U.S. charter schools they claim are connected to him".[75]

Dialogue

Gülen and Pope John Paul II

The movement's avowal of interfaith dialogue grew out of Gülen's personal engagement in interfaith dialogue, largely inspired by the example of one of his influences, Said Nursi. Gülen has met with leaders of other religions, including Pope John Paul II, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and Israeli Sephardic Head Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron.[76] Gülen advocates cooperation between followers of different religions as well as those practicing different forms of Islam (such as Sunnism or Alevism).

Gülen's call for interfaith dialogue has influenced three generations of movement followers.[69]

Gülen movement participants have founded a number of institutions across the World that promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue activities. Among these are the Journalists and Writers Foundation in Istanbul, the Rumi Forum in Washington and the Indialogue Foundation in New Delhi.

Media

Movement participants have set up a number of media organizations to promote its core values such as love, tolerance, hope, dialogue, activism, mutual acceptance and respect. These media organs include TV stations (Samanyolu TV, Mehtap TV), (Ebru TV) (English), the newspapers Zaman, Today's Zaman (English), magazines and journals in Turkish like Aksiyon, Sızıntı,[77] Yeni Ümit, The Fountain Magazine (English), Hira (Arabic), The International Cihan News Agency and the radio station Burç FM [tr].

Humanitarian aid

The movement runs charity and humanitarian aid organizations which are transnationally active. The leading one among them is the Istanbul-based Kimse Yok Mu Association (KYM). KYM organizes charity campaigns to help those in need in different parts of the world. Like any other activities of the Gülen-movement, KYM runs local projects responding to specific needs. KYM holds UN Ecosoc Special status.

Another charity organization Embrace Relief was established in New Jersey and is active in the Americas, Asia and Africa.

Professional associations

While being both praised and criticized for being market friendly, the Gülen movement has established various professional associations and business networks. Among them Istanbul based TUSKON is the major non-profit business confederation which states to promote economic solutions as well as social and political ones. Another one called TUCSIAD is based in China, in addition to DTIK's Asia-Pacific Group which supports the Gülen movement outside of Turkey in China, hoping to influence Turkish politics from the outside.

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Gülen movement schools

Gülen movement schools

So-called "Gülen movement" Schools are a network of private or semi-private schools founded by Turkish-Americans. Alp Aslandoğan, executive director of the non-profit organisation Alliance for Shared Values has said that the schools are independent yet indirectly tied to the Islamic Gülen movement on the "intellectual or inspirational level." In 2009 it was estimated that members of the Gülen movement ran schools that serve more than 2 million students, many with full scholarships. Estimates of the number of schools and educational institutions varied widely, with about 300 schools in Turkey and over 1,000 schools worldwide.

Berat Albayrak

Berat Albayrak

Berat Albayrak is a Turkish businessman and former politician, and the son-in-law of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He is a former CEO of Çalık Holding. He was a member of parliament from Istanbul in the 25th, 26th and 27th legislative sessions. He served as Minister of Energy and Natural Resources in the 64th and 65th government of Turkey and was the Minister of Finance and Treasury in the 66th government until his unexpected resignation on 8 November 2020 citing health reasons. His resignation was officially accepted on 9 November and he was succeeded by Lütfi Elvan on 10 November. In 2004, he married the daughter of Turkish president Erdoğan. Albayrak has been accused of involvement in oil production and smuggling in the Islamic State.

Madrasa

Madrasa

Madrasa is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, secular or religious, whether for elementary instruction or higher learning. The word is variously transliterated Madrasah arifah, medresa, madrassa, madraza, medrese, etc. In countries outside the Arab world, the word usually refers to a specific type of religious school or college for the study of the religion of Islam, though this may not be the only subject studied.

Charter schools in the United States

Charter schools in the United States

Charter schools in the United States are primary or secondary education institutions that are funded through taxation and operated by private organizations, rather than local school districts. They do not charge tuition, as they are funded with public tax dollars. Charter schools are subject to fewer rules than traditional state schools. Proponents argue that they are meant to serve underserved communities that wish to have alternatives to their neighborhood school. There are both non-profit and for-profit charter schools, and only non-profit charters can receive donations from private sources. However, there are several ways that non-profit charters can profit.

Concept Schools

Concept Schools

Concept Schools is a nonprofit charter management organization.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes.

United States Department of Labor

United States Department of Labor

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is one of the executive departments of the U.S. federal government. It is responsible for the administration of federal laws governing occupational safety and health, wage and hour standards, unemployment benefits, reemployment services, and occasionally, economic statistics. It is headed by the Secretary of Labor, who reports directly to the President of the United States and is a member of the president's Cabinet.

60 Minutes

60 Minutes

60 Minutes is an American television news magazine broadcast on the CBS television network. Debuting in 1968, the program was created by Don Hewitt and Bill Leonard, who chose to set it apart from other news programs by using a unique style of reporter-centered investigation. In 2002, 60 Minutes was ranked number six on TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time", and in 2013, it was ranked number 24 on the magazine's list of the "60 Best Series of All Time". The New York Times has called it "one of the most esteemed news magazines on American television".

Pocono Mountains

Pocono Mountains

The Pocono Mountains, commonly referred to as the Poconos, are a geographical, geological, and cultural region in Northeastern Pennsylvania. They overlook the Delaware River and Delaware Water Gap to the east, Lake Wallenpaupack to the north, Wyoming Valley and the Coal Region to the west, and the Lehigh Valley to the south. The name Pocono is derived from the Munsee word Pokawachne, which means "Creek Between Two Hills".

Loyola University Maryland

Loyola University Maryland

Loyola University Maryland is a private Jesuit university in Baltimore, Maryland. Established as Loyola College in Maryland by John Early and eight other members of the Society of Jesus in 1852, it is the ninth-oldest Jesuit college in the United States and the first college in the United States to bear the name of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus.

Turkish language

Turkish language

Turkish, also referred to as Turkish of Turkey, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 80 to 90 million speakers. It is the national language of Turkey and Northern Cyprus. Significant smaller groups of Turkish speakers also exist in Iraq, Syria, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested the European Union to add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state. Turkish is the 13th most spoken language in the world.

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 until his death in April 2005, and was later canonised as Pope Saint John Paul II.

Criticism

Fethullah Gülen's and the Gülen movement's views and practices have been discussed in international conferences. In October 2007 in London a conference was sponsored by the University of Birmingham, the Dialogue Society, the Irish School of Ecumenics, Leeds Metropolitan University, the London Middle East Institute, the Middle East Institute and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.[78] Niagara Foundation of Chicago, together with several academic institutions, organized "The Gülen Movement: Paradigms, Projects and Aspirations" conference, which was held at University of Chicago on 11–13 November 2010.[79]

In 2017 German magazine Der Spiegel called the movement a "secretive and dangerous cult" while calling Gülen a suspicious individual. Saying, "the movement calls itself a tolerant service movement, while those who have left the movement call it a secretive Islamist organization with Fethullah Gülen as its leader". The article said pupils attending the "cults" schools in Germany were under immense pressure from their abi's (tutors) who were telling them which books to read, which movies to watch, which friends to meet and whether to see their families or not. While the abi's were keeping a protocol of all those staying in the cult's dormitories.[80]

Der Spiegel also criticized the movement regarding its activities towards freedom of the press. Despite Gülen emphasizing how much he cares of the freedom of the press in interviews, the movement launched a campaign towards the newspaper in 2012 after an article was written regarding the "cult", in which about 2000 readers wrote letters of complaint to the press council, all of which were alike each other, and which were all rejected. Der Spiegel said the movement distorted events, threatened those who spoke against it, and accused Der Spiegel of having ties to the Turkish mafia. While Gareth Jenkins of The Sunday Times said, despite portraying itself as a peaceful educational movement, the Gülen organization never hesitates using anti-democratic and anti-liberal methods.[80]

The Süddeutsche Zeitung quoted a German lawyer calling the organization "more powerful than the Illuminati" and "not transparent as opposed to the claims", and reported that the organization tried to reorganize in Swabia region of Germany.[81]

Bombing of Şemdinli Bookstore, 2005

On November 9, 2005, a bookstore was bombed in Şemdinli. The Prosecutor of the case, Ferhat Sarıkaya, prepared a criminal indictment in which Turkey's Commander of Land Forces Yaşar Büyükanıt was accused of forming a gang and plotting the bombing. A decade later, prosecutor Sarıkaya confessed that he was ordered by Gülenists to include General Yaşar Büyükanıt into the criminal indictment, in order to prevent his promotion in the army (Chief of General Staff) and to ease the grip on Gülenist structures within the army.[82]

Assassination of Hrant Dink, 2007

The role of Gülen movement in the assassination of journalist Hrant Dink in Istanbul was brought to public attention. Hakan Bakırcıoglu, one of Hrant Dink's lawyers, said in an interview with Deutsche Welle that the underaged perpetrator, Ogün Samast, had help from third parties, including people connected to the Istanbul and Trabzon police forces.[83]

Four prosecutors in the trial have been dismissed from their posts due to their ties with the movement, and for failing to make progress with the case.[84] Furthermore, police commissioners Ramazan Akyürek and Ali Fuat Yılmazer were accused of not sharing their foreknowledge of the attack with the prosecutors, gendarmarie, or the intelligence services despite being briefed of a planned assassination several times.[85]

Ergenekon trials, Sledgehammer trial, 2008

According to investigative journalist Nedim Şener, the Gülen movement used the assassination of Hrant Dink, the assassination of priest Andrea Santoro, the Zirve Publishing House murders as well as other events, to create an atmosphere and illusion of a clandestine Kemalist ultra-nationalist organization holding responsible for these misdeeds.[86] With the start of the Ergenekon trials, this alleged organization was called "Ergenekon terrorist organization". The Gülenist media, in particular Taraf, Zaman and Samanyolu Haber TV, were instrumental in shaping the public opinion during these operations. In these court cases, military officials, parliamentarians and journalists were accused of plotting a violent coup to oust the government. It later turned out that these cases were based on fabricated evidence, and that most such fabrications were produced by the Gülenists in the police.[87] In 2011, Nedim Şener was included to the Ergenekon trials for being member of Ergenekon and subsequently was arrested and held in pre-trial detention.[88]

Cheating at the Public Service Entry Examinations, 2010

In 2010, the exam questions and answer keys of the Public Personnel Selection Examination (KPSS) were stolen and handed out to certain Gülenist members. The members with high scores were placed strategically in the critical state bodies.[89]

Redesigning of Turkish political landscape

Members of the Gülen movement inside the intelligence agency were accused of reshaping Turkish politics to a more "workable form" by leaking secretly filmed sex tapes and corruption tapes of both government members and opposition members, with the resignation of main opposition leader Deniz Baykal in 2010 as one of the most notable example. Politicians with no recorded scandalous behavior are believed to be killed like the Great Union Party leader Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, who died in a helicopter crash in 2009.[90]

Assassination of Andrei Karlov

Turkish officials declared the Gülen movement to be responsible for the assassination of Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov, while Russian officials accused the shooter of aiming to damage Russia–Turkey relations[91][92] that had been normalizing since the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt.[93][94][95][96]

Collaboration with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)

Since 2013 Gülen movement has been accused by the Turkish Government of collaborating with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).[97] In 2014 the movement reportedly conducted several meeting with the PKK, in parts of Northern Iraq under PKK control.[98] In 2015, Turkish Government said the movement had leaked the identity of 329 Turkish Gendermarie informants to the PKK. Who were then executed by the PKK.[99]

On 15 April 2016, during the Kurdish–Turkish conflict Gülen movement member Brigadier General Ali Osman Gürcan deliberately sent 17 soldiers to a house that was packed with IEDs according to the testimony of his companions. Which led to the death of a police officer and wounding of eight soldiers. The house was marked on a map with the code 'P368' for IED's, which Gürcan erased from the map. Leading to a brawl that led to his companions calling him a "traitor".[100] Gürcan later participated in 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt under the Peace at Home Council. He was arrested after the coups failure and charged with life imprisonment.[101]

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Fethullah Gülen

Fethullah Gülen

Muhammed Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish Islamic scholar, preacher, and a one-time opinion leader, as de facto leader of the Gülen movement. Gülen is designated an influential neo-Ottomanist, Anatolian panethnicist, Islamic poet, writer, social critic, and activist–dissident developing a Nursian theological perspective that embraces democratic modernity, as a citizen of Turkey he was a local state imam from 1959 to 1981. Over the years, Gülen became a centrist political figure in Turkey prior to his being there as a fugitive. Since 1999, Gülen has lived in self-exile in the United States near Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

Academic conference

Academic conference

An academic conference or scientific conference is an event for researchers to present and discuss their scholarly work. Together with academic or scientific journals and Preprint archives such as arXiv, conferences provide an important channel for exchange of information between researchers. Further benefits of participating in academic conferences include learning effects in terms of presentation skills and “academic habitus”, receiving feedback from peers for one’s own research, the possibility to engage in informal communication with peers about work opportunities and collaborations, and getting an overview of current research in one or more disciplines.

Irish School of Ecumenics

Irish School of Ecumenics

The Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE) is an institute of Trinity College Dublin, dedicated to the study and promotion of peace and reconciliation in Ireland and throughout the world. The school is located in Dublin and Belfast, and consists of eight permanent full-time academic staff, visiting academic staff, postdoctoral fellows, and administrative staff. ISE has 82 M.Phil. students and 39 Ph.D. and M.Litt. research students.

Middle East Institute

Middle East Institute

The Middle East Institute (MEI) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank and cultural center in Washington, D.C., founded in 1946. It seeks to "increase knowledge of the Middle East among the United States citizens and promote a better understanding between the people of these two areas."

Niagara Foundation

Niagara Foundation

The Niagara Foundation is a nonprofit organization, founded in 2004, dedicated to the mission of fostering civic conversations and sustained relationships between people of different cultures and faiths, and part of the Alliance for Shared Values.

Der Spiegel

Der Spiegel

Der Spiegel is a German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg. With a weekly circulation of 695,100 copies, it was the largest such publication in Europe in 2011. It was founded in 1947 by John Seymour Chaloner, a British army officer, and Rudolf Augstein, a former Wehrmacht radio operator who was recognized in 2000 by the International Press Institute as one of the fifty World Press Freedom Heroes. Typically, the magazine has a content to advertising ratio of 2:1.

Freedom of the press

Freedom of the press

Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the fundamental principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely. Such freedom implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state; its preservation may be sought through constitution or other legal protection and security.

Illuminati

Illuminati

The Illuminati is a name given to several groups, both real and fictitious. Historically, the name usually refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on 1 May 1776 in Bavaria, today part of Germany. The society's goals were to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life and abuses of state power. "The order of the day," they wrote in their general statutes, "is to put an end to the machinations of the purveyors of injustice, to control them without dominating them." The Illuminati—along with Freemasonry and other secret societies—were outlawed through edict by Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria, with the encouragement of the Catholic Church, in 1784, 1785, 1787 and 1790. During subsequent years, the group was generally vilified by conservative and religious critics who claimed that the Illuminati continued underground and were responsible for the French Revolution.

Swabia

Swabia

Swabia is a cultural, historic and linguistic region in southwestern Germany. The name is ultimately derived from the medieval Duchy of Swabia, one of the German stem duchies, representing the territory of Alemannia, whose inhabitants interchangeably were called Alemanni or Suebi.

Assassination of Hrant Dink

Assassination of Hrant Dink

The prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was assassinated in Istanbul on 19 January 2007. Dink was a newspaper editor who had written and spoken about the Armenian genocide, and was well known for his efforts for reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and his advocacy of human and minority rights in Turkey. At the time of his death, he was on trial for violating Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code and "denigrating Turkishness". His murder sparked both massive national protests in Turkey itself as well as widespread international outrage.

Hrant Dink

Hrant Dink

Hrant Dink was a Turkish-Armenian intellectual, editor-in-chief of Agos, journalist and columnist.

Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle, abbreviated to DW, is a German public, state-owned international broadcaster funded by the German federal tax budget. The service is available in 32 languages. DW's satellite television service consists of channels in English, German, Spanish, and Arabic. The work of DW is regulated by the Deutsche Welle Act, meaning that content is intended to be independent of government influence. DW is a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Designation as a terrorist group

Gülen movement is deemed a designated terrorist group by the following countries and international organizations:

Northern Cyprus, recognised only by Turkey and considered by the international community to be part of the Republic of Cyprus, also designated the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization in July 2016.[108]

In 2017, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and to the British Parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee there was no "evidence to justify the designation of the Gülenists as a terrorist organisation by the UK".[109] The same year, Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator, said that the European Union didn't see the Gülen movement as a terrorist organisation and that the EU would need "substantive" evidence to change its stance.[110] In 2018, in a conference with Turkish President Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany needed more evidence to classify the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization.[111]

Discover more about Designation as a terrorist group related topics

List of designated terrorist groups

List of designated terrorist groups

A number of national governments and two international organizations have created lists of organizations that they designate as terrorist. The following list of designated terrorist groups lists groups designated as terrorist by current and former national governments, and inter-governmental organizations. Such designations have often had a significant effect on the groups' activities. Many organizations that have been designated as terrorist have denied using terrorism as a military tactic to achieve their goals, and there is no international consensus on the legal definition of terrorism. Some organisations have multiple wings or components, one or more of which may be designated as terrorist while others are not.

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey, officially the Republic of Türkiye, is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with the Black Sea to the north; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east; Iraq to the southeast; Syria and the Mediterranean Sea to the south; the Aegean Sea to the west; and Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest. Cyprus is located off the south coast. Turks form the vast majority of the nation's population and Kurds are the largest minority. Ankara is Turkey's capital, while Istanbul is its largest city and financial centre.

Gulf Cooperation Council

Gulf Cooperation Council

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council, is a regional, intergovernmental, political, and economic union comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The council's main headquarters is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Charter of the GCC was signed on 25 May 1981, formally establishing the institution.

Pakistan

Pakistan

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 243 million people, and has the world's second-largest Muslim population just behind Indonesia. Pakistan is the 33rd-largest country in the world by area and 2nd largest in South Asia, spanning 881,913 square kilometres. It has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south, and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China to the northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the north, and also shares a maritime border with Oman. Islamabad is the nation's capital, while Karachi is its largest city and financial centre.

Northern Cyprus

Northern Cyprus

Northern Cyprus, officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is a de facto state that comprises the northeastern portion of the island of Cyprus. Recognised only by Turkey, Northern Cyprus is considered by the international community to be part of the Republic of Cyprus.

List of states with limited recognition

List of states with limited recognition

A number of polities have declared independence and sought diplomatic recognition from the international community as sovereign states, but have not been universally recognised as such. These entities often have de facto control of their territory. A number of such entities have existed in the past.

Cyprus

Cyprus

Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is situated south of the Anatolian Peninsula, and its continental position is disputed; while it is geographically located in West Asia, it has cultural and geopolitical ties to Southern Europe. Cyprus is the third-largest and third-most populous island in the Mediterranean, and is located south of Turkey, east of Greece, north of Egypt, and west of Syria. Its capital and largest city is Nicosia. The northern half of the island is de facto governed by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which was established following the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Parliament of the United Kingdom

Parliament of the United Kingdom

The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the sovereign (King-in-Parliament), the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. Both houses of Parliament meet in separate chambers at the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.

Foreign Affairs Select Committee

Foreign Affairs Select Committee

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee is one of many select committees of the British House of Commons, which scrutinises the expenditure, administration and policy of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Gilles de Kerchove

Gilles de Kerchove

Gilles de Kerchove d'Ousselghem is a Belgian senior European Union official. He was director in the general directorate of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) in the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union from 1995 – 2007, he has since been appointed as EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator, succeeding Gijs de Vries.

European Union

European Union

The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has a total area of 4,233,255.3 km2 (1,634,469.0 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 447 million. The EU has often been described as a sui generis political entity combining the characteristics of both a federation and a confederation.

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel

Angela Dorothea Merkel is a German former politician and scientist who served as Chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021. A member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), she previously served as Leader of the Opposition from 2002 to 2005 and as Leader of the Christian Democratic Union from 2000 to 2018. Merkel was the first female chancellor of Germany. During her tenure as Chancellor, Merkel was frequently referred to as the de facto leader of the European Union (EU), the most powerful woman in the world, and since 2016 the leader of the free world.

Political involvement

According to academic researcher Svante E. Cornell, director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, "With only slight exaggeration, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as well as the government it has led could be termed a coalition of religious orders."[112] "[...T]he Gülen movement stayed away from electoral politics, focusing instead on increasing its presence in the state bureaucracy. The Hizmet movement’s stated success in this regard would initially make it Erdoğan’s main partner, but also his eventual nemesis."[113]

2002–2013 collaboration with the AKP

From 2002 to 2013, the Gülen movement comprehensively collaborated with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in obtaining political power in Turkey.[114]

Questions have arisen about the Gülen movement's possible involvement in the ongoing Ergenekon investigation,[115] which critics have characterized as "a pretext" by the government "to neutralize dissidents" in Turkey.[116] In March 2011, seven Turkish journalists were arrested, including Ahmet Şık, who had been writing a book, "Imamin Ordusu" (The Imam's Army),[117] which states that the Gülen movement has infiltrated the country's security forces. As Şık was taken into police custody, he shouted, "Whoever touches it [the movement] gets burned!".[118] Upon his arrest, drafts of the book were confiscated and its possession was banned. Şık has also been charged with being part of the stated Ergenekon plot, despite being an investigator of the plot before his arrest.[119]

In a reply, Abdullah Bozkurt, from the Gülen movement newspaper Today's Zaman, said Ahmet Şık was not being an investigative journalist conducting "independent research", but was hatching "a plot designed and put into action by the terrorist network itself".[120]

According to Gareth H. Jenkins, a Senior Fellow of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center at Johns Hopkins University:

From the outset, the pro-AKP media, particularly the newspapers and television channels run by the Gülen Movement such as Zaman, Today's Zaman and Samanyolu TV, have vigorously supported the Ergenekon investigation. This has included the illegal publication of "evidence" collected by the investigators before it has been presented in court, misrepresentations and distortions of the content of the indictments and smear campaigns against both the accused and anyone who questions the conduct of the investigations. There have long been allegations that not only the media coverage but also the Ergenekon investigation itself is being run by Gülen's supporters. In August 2010, Hanefi Avcı, a right-wing police chief who had once been sympathetic to the Gülen Movement, published a book in which he alleged that a network of Gülen's supporters in the police were manipulating judicial processes and fixing internal appointments and promotions. On September 28, 2010, two days before he was due to give a press conference to present documentary evidence to support his allegations, Avcı was arrested and charged with membership of an extremist leftist organization. On March 14, 2011, Avcı was also formally charged with being a member of the alleged Ergenekon gang.[115]

The Gülen movement has also been implicated in what the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) - and after 2013 also President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - have said were illegal court decisions against members of the Turkish military, including many during the Ergenekon investigation.[121]

2013 AKP corruption scandal

On 17 December 2013, an investigation into stated corrupt practices by several bureaucrats, ministers, mayors, and family members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkey was uncovered, resulting in widespread protests and calls for the resignation of the government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.[26][27] Due to the high level of political influence by the Gülen movement in Turkey, it is rumored to be facilitated by the movement's influence on the Turkish police force and the judiciary,[28] the investigation was said to be a result of a break in previously friendly relations between the Islamist-rooted government and the movement.[29]

President Erdoğan and the AKP (the ruling party of Turkey) have targeted the movement since December 2013. Immediately after the corruption statements, the government subjugated the judiciary, media and civil society which were critical of the government's authoritarian trend in recent years.[122][123][124] After the corruption statements surfaced, Erdogan labelled it as a "civilian coup" against his government. Since then, Erdogan has shuffled, dismissed or jailed hundreds of police officers, judges, prosecutors and journalists in the name of fighting against a "Parallel State" within the Turkish state.

Crackdown against the Gülen movement from 2014

On 14 December 2014, Turkish police arrested more than two dozen senior journalists and media executives connected with the Gülen movement on various charges.

A statement by the US State Department cautioned Turkey not to violate its "own democratic foundations" while drawing attention to raids against media outlets "openly critical of the current Turkish government".[125][126]

EU Foreign Affairs chief Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said that the arrests went "against European values" and "are incompatible with the freedom of media, which is a core principle of democracy".[127]

On 20 January 2015, Turkish police launched raids in Ankara and three other cities, detaining some 20 people suspected of illegally eavesdropping on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other senior officials. The suspects are linked to Turkey's telecommunications authority and to its scientific and technological research center TUBITAK. Local media said the move was aimed at the "parallel structure" — the term Erdogan uses to refer to Gülen's supporters in the judiciary, police and other institutions.[128]

The Turkish government took over the Gülenist Zaman Daily, on 4 March 2016. Turkish police entered the Zaman's headquarters by force and fired tear gas at the protesting journalists and civilians. Hundreds of protestors were injured.[129][130] In his efforts to eradicate the movement within the country the Turkish National Security Council has identified the movement as the "Gülenist Terror Organisation" ("Fethullahçı Terör Örgütü", FETÖ).[131] The government has also been targeting individuals and businessmen who have supported the movement's organizations and activities.

Purge of movement in Turkey after July 2016

In reaction to the 15 July 2016 coup attempt, led by a military faction operating outside the chain of command, the Turkish government quickly stated the coup's leader to be Gülen. In following days and weeks, a massive crackdown affected all entities affiliated to the Gülen movements, from individuals to businesses, newspapers to schools and universities.[132]

Following the assassination of Andrey Karlov, the Turkish government was reportedly investigating the assassin's links to the "Gülenist Terrorist Organisation" (FETÖ); in a speech, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the perpetrator was a member of FETÖ.[133][134]

Prosecutions; extraditions to Turkey; political asylums granted

Since the 2016 coup attempt, authorities arrested or imprisoned more than 90,000 Turkish citizens and closed more than 1,500 nongovernmental organizations, primarily for alleged ties to the Gülen movement.[135]

In 2018, approximately 25,000 Turkish asylum requests were filed by alleged Gülenists in the European Union (a rise of 50% from 2017), with Germany's share 10,000 and Greece's about 5,000.[136] Within the U.S., according to news reports, a number of Gülenists successfully receiving political asylum status are resettled in New Jersey.[137]

In 2019 it was reported that Interpol had denied Turkey's appeals of the agency's rejections of Turkey's red notice requests regarding 464 fugitives, citing Interpol's legal definition of the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt as not terrorism but a failed military putsch.[138]

As of 2020, Turkey had successfully pressured a number of countries, especially those in Africa and the former Soviet Union, to extradite over 80 alleged Gülenists to Turkey.[139][140]

Among Turkish citizens within Turkey convicted for alleged memberships in the Gülen movement are Turkey's honorary president of Amnesty International, Taner Kilic, and Amnesty's Turkish branch, Idil Eser, in July 2020.[141]

Discover more about Political involvement related topics

Central Asia-Caucasus Institute

Central Asia-Caucasus Institute

The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute or CACI was founded in 1996 by S. Frederick Starr, a research professor at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. He has served as vice president of Tulane University and as president of Oberlin College (1983–1994) and the Aspen Institute. He has advised three U.S. presidents on Russian/Eurasian affairs and chaired an external advisory panel on U.S. government-sponsored research on the region, organized and co-authored the first strategic assessment of Central Asia, the Caucasus and Afghanistan for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1999, and was involved in the drafting of recent U.S. legislation affecting the region.

Justice and Development Party (Turkey)

Justice and Development Party (Turkey)

The Justice and Development Party, abbreviated officially AK Party in English, is a political party in Turkey self-describing as conservative-democrat. It is one of the two major parties of contemporary Turkey along with the Republican People's Party (CHP).

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a Turkish politician serving as the 12th and current president of Turkey since 2014. He previously served as prime minister of Turkey from 2003 to 2014 and as mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. He founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001, leading it to election victories in 2002, 2007, and 2011 general elections before being required to stand down upon his election as president in 2014. He later returned to the AKP leadership in 2017 following the constitutional referendum that year. Coming from an Islamist political background and self-describing as a conservative democrat, he has promoted socially conservative and populist policies during his administration.

Ergenekon (allegation)

Ergenekon (allegation)

Ergenekon was the name given to an alleged clandestine, secular ultra-nationalist organization in Turkey with possible ties to members of the country's military and security forces. The would-be group, named after Ergenekon, a mythical place located in the inaccessible valleys of the Altay Mountains, was accused of terrorism in Turkey.

Ahmet Şık

Ahmet Şık

Ahmet Şık is a Turkish investigative journalist, the author of several books, a trade unionist, and member of Parliament in Turkey. His book, The Imam's Army, investigating the controversial Gülen movement of the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, led to his detention for a year in 2011–2012 and the book's being seized and banned. He was under indictment in the OdaTV case of the Ergenekon trials; his cause has been taken up by English PEN, an association of writers fighting for freedom of expression. In 2016, the prosecutor in this case requested Şık's acquittal. On 29 December 2016, Şık was taken into custody once again on charges of "propaganda of terrorist organisations", with reference to 11 tweets that he had published. The following day, an Istanbul judge ordered Ahmet's arrest. According to lawyers, Şık was denied access to legal advice, held in solitary confinement, and not given drinking water for three days. He ran as an HDP candidate in 2018 Turkish elections and got elected from Istanbul's second electoral district. In 2020, he resigned from HDP, citing political differences and after sitting as an independent for a year, he joined the Workers' Party of Turkey.

The Imam's Army

The Imam's Army

The Imam's Army is a book by Turkish journalist Ahmet Şık on the life and work of Fethullah Gülen and his Gülen movement. Şık was detained in March 2011, before the book was published, and the draft book was seized by the government and banned, claiming it was an "illegal organizational document" of the secret organization Ergenekon. Şık was detained pending trial, being eventually released pending trial in March 2012. In the interim, in an act of anti-censorship defiance, a version of the book was released in November 2011 under the name 000Kitap (000Book), edited by 125 journalists, activists and academics, and published by Postacı Publishing House.

Today's Zaman

Today's Zaman

Today's Zaman was an English-language daily newspaper based in Turkey. Established on 17 January 2007, it was the English-language edition of the Turkish daily Zaman. Today's Zaman included domestic and international coverage, and regularly published topical supplements. Its contributors included cartoonist Cem Kızıltuğ.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins is the oldest research university in the United States and in the western hemisphere. It consistently ranks among the most prestigious universities in the United States and the world.

Hanefi Avcı

Hanefi Avcı

Hanefi Avcı is a former chief of police in Turkey, and author of the best-selling book Haliç’te Yaşayan Simonlar, in which Avcı claimed that the Gülen movement had infiltrated the police and manipulated key trials such as the Ergenekon trials through judges and prosecutors close to the movement. Avcı, a conservative Islamist, was himself once close to the movement, and his children were educated in a Gülen school. Avcı, who in the 1990s testified to parliament in relation to the Susurluk scandal and in 2009 to prosecutors about the mafia links of the Ergenekon organization, was the first Turkish state official to confirm the existence of the Turkish Gendarmerie's JITEM intelligence unit.

Republican People's Party

Republican People's Party

The Republican People's Party is a Kemalist and social-democratic political party in Turkey which currently stands as the main opposition party. It is also the oldest political party in Turkey, founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president and founder of the modern Turkish Republic. The party is also cited as the founding party of modern Turkey. The CHP describes itself as a ''modern social-democratic party, which is faithful to the founding principles and values of the Republic of Turkey". Its logo consists of the Six Arrows, which represent the foundational principles of Kemalism: republicanism, reformism, laicism (Laïcité/Secularism), populism, nationalism, and statism. It is the main opposition party to the ruling conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Grand National Assembly with 135 MPs.

2013 corruption scandal in Turkey

2013 corruption scandal in Turkey

The 2013 corruption scandal in Turkey or 17-25 December Corruption and Bribery Operation was a criminal investigation that involved several key people in the Turkish government. All of the 52 people detained on 17 December were connected in various ways with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Prosecutors accused 14 people – including Suleyman Aslan, the director of state-owned Halkbank, Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, and several family members of cabinet ministers – of bribery, corruption, fraud, money laundering and gold smuggling.

Timeline

  • 1941 – Fethullah Gülen is born in Korucuk, near Erzurum, Turkey
  • 1950s – Gülen's first meeting with people from the Nur Movement[142]
  • 1960 – death of Said Nursî[143]
  • 1979 – Science journal Sızıntı begins publication[144]
  • 1982 – First "Gülen school" opens.[145]
  • 1986 – Zaman, a daily newspaper in Turkey,[146] begins publication, later becoming one of Turkey's top selling newspapers
  • 1993 – A television channel opened in Turkey, Samanyolu TV.
  • 1994 – The (Turkish) Journalists and Writers Foundation (Gazeteciler ve Yazarlar Vakfi) established, with Gülen as honorary president[147]
  • 1998 – Gülen meets with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican[148][149]
  • 1999 – Gülen escapes to Pennsylvania after the Turkish government charges him with attempting to set up an Islamist state in Turkey[26]
  • 2004 – Establishment of Niagara Foundation[150]
  • 2004 – Establishment of Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There?), a charitable organization;[151] 2010, receives "special" NGO status with United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.[152]
  • 2005 – Establishment of TUSKON (Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists)[153]
  • 2007 – A news channel was opened in Turkey, Samanyolu Haber TV.
  • 2012 – Journalists and Writers Foundation (Gazeteciler ve Yazarlar Vakfi) receives "general consultative status" as a Non-Governmental Organization of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.[154]

Discover more about Timeline related topics

Fethullah Gülen

Fethullah Gülen

Muhammed Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish Islamic scholar, preacher, and a one-time opinion leader, as de facto leader of the Gülen movement. Gülen is designated an influential neo-Ottomanist, Anatolian panethnicist, Islamic poet, writer, social critic, and activist–dissident developing a Nursian theological perspective that embraces democratic modernity, as a citizen of Turkey he was a local state imam from 1959 to 1981. Over the years, Gülen became a centrist political figure in Turkey prior to his being there as a fugitive. Since 1999, Gülen has lived in self-exile in the United States near Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

Pasinler, Erzurum

Pasinler, Erzurum

Pasinler or Basean, is a town in Erzurum Province, Turkey on the Aras River.

Erzurum

Erzurum

Erzurum is a city in eastern Anatolia, Turkey. It is the largest city in and capital of Erzurum Province. It is situated 1,900 meters above sea level. Erzurum had a population of 361,235 in the 2000 census, increasing to 367,250 by 2010.

Said Nursî

Said Nursî

Said Nursi, also spelled Said-i Nursî or Said-i Kurdî, and commonly known with the honorifics Bediüzzaman and Üstad among his followers, was a Kurdish Sunni Muslim theologian who wrote the Risale-i Nur Collection, a body of Qur'anic commentary exceeding six thousand pages. Believing that modern science and logic was the way of the future, he advocated teaching religious sciences in secular schools and modern sciences in religious schools.

Zaman (newspaper)

Zaman (newspaper)

Zaman, sometimes stylized as ZAMAN, was a daily newspaper in Turkey. Zaman was a major, high-circulation daily before government seizure on 4 March 2016. It was founded in 1986 and was the first Turkish daily to go online in 1995. It contains national (Turkish), international, business, and other news. It also has many regular columnists who cover current affairs, interviews, and a culture section.

Samanyolu TV

Samanyolu TV

Samanyolu TV was an international Turkish language TV station with its headquarters in Istanbul.

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 until his death in April 2005, and was later canonised as Pope Saint John Paul II.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state spanning the Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern, Appalachian, and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It borders Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and the Delaware River and New Jersey to the east.

Islamism

Islamism

Islamism is a political ideology which posits that modern states and regions should be reconstituted in constitutional, economic and judicial terms, in accordance with what is conceived as a revival or a return to authentic Islamic practice in its totality.

Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists

Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists

The Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists, best known by the abbreviation TUSKON, was an employers' organization in Turkey, with about 40,000 members. It was founded in 2005 by seven business federations. Ninety percent of the TUSKON members were small or medium establishments with fewer than 50 employees. TUSKON engaged in lobbying all decision-makers at the local, regional, national and global levels. Rızanur Meral, the managing director of SANKO Automotive Group, was the last president of TUSKON.

Samanyolu Haber TV

Samanyolu Haber TV

Samanyolu Haber TV was one of the Turkish national news channels broadcasting internationally. It was launched after expansion of Samanyolu TV network which included Mehtap TV, Burc FM, Yumurcak TV, and Dünya Radyo.

United Nations Economic and Social Council

United Nations Economic and Social Council

The United Nations Economic and Social Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, responsible for coordinating the economic and social fields of the organization, specifically in regards to the fifteen specialised agencies, the eight functional commissions, and the five regional commissions under its jurisdiction.

Further information

Discover more about Further information related topics

University of Utah Press

University of Utah Press

The University of Utah Press is the independent publishing branch of the University of Utah and is a division of the J. Willard Marriott Library. Founded in 1949 by A. Ray Olpin, it is also the oldest university press in Utah. The mission of the press is to "publish and disseminate scholarly books in selected fields, as well as other printed and recorded materials of significance to Utah, the region, the country, and the world."

Clifton, New Jersey

Clifton, New Jersey

Clifton is a city in Passaic County, in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Criss-crossed by several major highways, the city is a regional commercial hub for North Jersey and is a bedroom suburb of New York City in the New York Metropolitan Area. As of the 2020 United States census, the city had a total population of 90,296, retaining its position as the state's 11th-most-populous municipality. For 2019, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated a population of 85,052, an increase of 1.1% from the 2010 enumeration, ranking the city the 399th-most-populous in the country.

Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and its printing history dates back to the 1480s. Having been officially granted the legal right to print books by decree in 1586, it is the second oldest university press after Cambridge University Press.

European Council on Foreign Relations

European Council on Foreign Relations

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) is a pan-European think tank with offices in seven European capitals. Launched in October 2007, it conducts research on European foreign and security policy and provides a meeting space for decision-makers, activists and influencers to share ideas. ECFR builds coalitions for change at the European level and promotes informed debate about Europe's role in the world. ECFR has offices in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Warsaw and Sofia.

D+C Development and Cooperation

D+C Development and Cooperation

D+C Development and Cooperation is a monthly English language journal funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. It claims is to provide a credible forum of debate involving government, civil society, and academia at an international level. All articles are available online.

Qantara.de

Qantara.de

Qantara.de is an Internet portal in German, English, and Arabic, produced by Deutsche Welle in order to promote intercultural dialogue between the Western and Islamic worlds.

Al-Monitor

Al-Monitor

Al-Monitor is a news website launched in February 2012 by the Arab American entrepreneur Jamal Daniel and based in Washington, DC, United States. Al-Monitor provides reporting and analysis from and about the Middle East.

Ahval

Ahval

Ahval is an Emirati-funded online news website that solely reports on Turkey. The site was launched in 2017. Turkish journalist Yavuz Baydar is the current editor-in-chief. The name Ahval means "events" and is a Turkish Arabism derivation from "ahwal".

University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is a public research university located in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1853, it is Australia's second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria. Its main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb north of Melbourne's central business district, with several other campuses located across Victoria.

Source: "Gülen movement", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, December 2nd), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gülen_movement.

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