The Gulen movement in Turkey

Lord Hylton

The Gülen Movement in Turkey: The Politics of Islam and Modernity

by Caroline Tee.  Published IB Tauris 2016 (272 pages)

I commend the review of this book of page 24 of The Tablet for 7th January 2017.  Laurent Mignon, the reviewer, recalls the Gülen Movement’s Sufi background and the influence of the Kurdish Sunni theologian Said Nursi.

The movement is unusual in emphasizing the compatibility of modern science and Islam, and by putting this into practice in its schools and universities. It was for a long time the ally of the Justice & Development Party (AKP) and its predecessors in Turkey.  Fethullah Gülen, the inspirer of the movement, feared for his safety in Turkey and fled to USA in 1997.

Some years after that, relations with the political party became tense. The result was that the attempted coup d’etat of 2016 was blamed by the Government on the Gülenists and their Hizmet Movement.  Since then they have been severely persecuted in Turkey. It is also remarkable that the movement prizes the conservative values that exist in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but at the same time encourages interfaith dialogue and cooperation.  This is most noticeable in Britain, the US, and Australia.

4 comments for “The Gulen movement in Turkey

  1. 11/01/2017 at 10:42 pm

    The only way I can attempt any sort of ‘grasp’ of that Situation
    is to focus upon the term “Movement”:

    the lifelong-challenges of individual human movement –

    which begin in the womb
    where among other ‘shortcomings’ for instance the mother’s possible ‘need’ to wear ‘corseits’ has already ‘impaired’ the human-baby.

    Then our human-movement handicap is not-remedied the bio-evolutionary species-necessity of premature-birth;

    and then the scientific fact that (“) the human animal is the only one on Earth that is born not knowing how to move itself to keep itself alive(“);

    and then the subsequent avoidance by every educational, Governmental and Religious organisation
    of its Divine-Duty to thoroughly (“holisticlv”) nurture
    and co-consciously educate and maintain
    each and every “sacramentally-divine-human-energy” in each and every human ‘ward or dependent’;
    [as in the 7 Sacraments,
    which and the “lay world” somato-psychicly cares for in their practical inner-functions of
    “Grounding; Centering; Boundarying; Bonding; Sounding; Facing; and Spacing, one’s inwardly-being and outwardly-relating self] .

    All of which comes down to
    “the Health and ‘Divinity’ of a People is dependent upon the success and upon failures,
    by ruling organised Bodies, Civilisations, and Religions
    to support, educate, and maintain
    every-one of its people, all of the time,
    in the
    “co-building of their movement-abilities
    as the main basis for their co-building of their 7-fold holistic-health levels”.
    It is surely salutary that no civilised organisation in History has yet succeeded in this latter Divine as well as “Peace-Buildingly Practical” Duty, isn’t it ?

    And yet surely with just a small amount of time and cooperative-effort, such Peace-Maintaining Individual and Civilisational Holistic Health,
    could be begun and maintained ?

    And maintained without any-one or Any-Body having to “flee into hiding”
    and to “seek sanctuary” in other Countries
    and in Specially-Exclusive Life-Respecting Bodies ?

  2. 17/01/2017 at 12:40 am

    Lord Hylton,
    It seems that the Gulen movement is involved in the kind of engagement with the future required to keep a society vital and alive. That engagement is based in a Turkish past and heritage. But there’s never any assurance that the prqocess of working things out in the present will not destroy some of the most promising contributors to a society’s development. The same sort of tension is evident elsewhere. I am aware of your broad perspective.But in the United States of America people also find that articulating a long term vision clearly can be a political liability.

    • 19/01/2017 at 7:01 am

      How reponse-ably aware are we of the worsening state-of-the-planet, one devastating part of which is shown (only) via “How Many People Can Live On Planet Earth” :-
      that overall our various human-civilisations are none of them shaping up “sustain-worthy”
      e.g. the “both leading and commanding USA civilisation” is both over-consuming, over-extincting-&- over-destroying, this Earth’s carrying-capacity [in terms of ‘global-hectarages per-person’ alone] at the rate of 9-times what is their “fair-share and longest-term-thrival-survival Need” [my paraphrasing and half-a-step further interpretation].

      Taking a full-step further, we arrive at the ‘intuition’
      “So no human-civilisation so far has been longest-term sustain-worthy” {???}

      So what’s the point of on the one hand the goingly-dominant “human-mechanised top-gun” global-‘civilisation’ –
      incidentally causing both destructive-&-genocidal wars, and the pointed “sniping off” of those human-beings and “sustainworthy-ing peoples associations who from sub-neighbourhood levels could be 24/7 upwardsly effectively and non-wastefully-destructively growing a Longest-Term Ecolonomicly-Capacitous Earth-
      and the essentially peacefully-revolutionised Longest-Term Holisticly-Healthy and Co-Sustainworthy(ing) Human-Race Civilisation ?

      It’s also clear that none of those “good and moral” bodies –

      even of the Religions and the sub-bodies within them, such as at focus here and in such clear ‘lamp-bearing’ as Mother Theresa, Venerable Bede Griffiths, Ghandi, Martin Luther King –
      and espeially “disastrously”, because of its huge organisational size and extent, yet failing “world-peace-building duties”, the increasing un-sustainworthiness of The United Nations Peace Keeping and Building Powers and Forces –

      are sufficient to save not only “our-highly-and transcendentally successful Human Race” but the very Lifesupports that ‘help’ us so to be ?

      To this “lifeplace-researching” writer, there is a plentiful enough documented and videographed knowledge & know-how advance
      to constitute and support the Longest-Term Sustainworthy(ing) Strategic Need…
      see lists of solme of these under ‘Basics’ in ;; and the first-in-the-world “grass-roots” attempt to have a voluntary not-for-profit, power nor prestige “people’s discussion e-site” .

      Is there a real hope in what you say, that USA people are aware of this and that (therein) “articulating a long term vision” –
      amounts to being (“) a political impossibility (“)

      • 19/01/2017 at 7:47 pm

        As regards overpopulation, which is a theme you frequently approach, I find it can be an easy and falsely expedient response. Delaying marriage, spacing legitimate births, approving of monastic institutions, understanding the inevitability of limited war, development of real space colonization plans, efficient energy use, planned human habitat expansion and a hundred other issues are all relevant. We do need religious insight as we push forth into the future. It will be challenging. Both British and American persons will have roles to play in working out a feasible future.

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