Political Islam

Was Gulen really “Once a close ally” of Erdogan?

Was Gulen really “Once a close ally” of Erdogan?

Taking into account their contrasting roots and development in broader perspective, contending that Gulen and Erdogan were once close allies is not reasonable and accurate. Particularly, using this clause to justify the organized cruelty and tragedy in Turkey is completely unfair. Their ideology and viewpoints generally contradict. Hostility of and distrust by the National Outlook against Gulenists persists for decades. …

Gülen flatly rejects the totalizing ideology of Islamism

Gülen flatly rejects the totalizing ideology of Islamism

Gülen is well aware that generally speaking Islamism is a reactive and reactionary ideology that is formed by contemporary human and social needs rather than what actually religion dictates. Put differently, he strongly refutes the claim of the Islamists that what they advocate is indeed the true, authentic, original and pure Islam.…

Erdoğan and Gülen: The Marriage of Convenience

Erdoğan and Gülen: The Marriage of Convenience

Religiously, the Gülen Movement both reflects the long tradition of Turkish Sufi brotherhoods, and Gülen’s own emphasis on societal change through education, humanitarian activism, and interfaith dialogue. Gülen never sympathized with, or adopted, the AKP’s more conservative form of political Islam.…

Gülen on Secularism, Democracy and the Rule of Law

Gülen on Secularism, Democracy and the Rule of Law

Gülen: "Members of minority communities should be allowed to live according to their beliefs. If these sorts of legislations are made within the norms of international law and international agreements, Islam will have no objection to any of these. No one can ignore the universal values that the Qur’an and the Sunnah have presented with regard to the rights mentioned above."…

Gülen vs Erdoğan – two diverging interpretations and practices of Islam

Gülen vs Erdoğan – two diverging interpretations and practices of Islam

The medieval-minded Islamists divided the world into two sharply distinguished parts — Islamic caliphate vs. un-Islamic countries, including the democratic states. They coined the terminologies like “Dar al-Kufr” (land of infidelity) and Dar al-Islam (land of belief) which are instrumental for the present-day jihadists. But Fethullah Gülen, as a sagacious modernist Islamic scholar, urges to replace all such obscurantist and dichotomous terms with the spiritual Islamic concepts.…

True Nature of Gülen-Erdoğan Relationship

True Nature of Gülen-Erdoğan Relationship

Yes, at one time, there had been rapprochement and mutual support, but reality and history show that such an alliance has long been overstated. The truth is, Erdoğan and Gülen only came together when Erdoğan’s stated goals reflected deeply held beliefs by Gülen. As is often the case, perception is mistaken for reality. Gülen is not Erdoğan’s biggest threat, nor was he his chief ally.…

Gulen vs Erdogan – Contesting Religious Expressions

Gulen vs Erdogan – Contesting Religious Expressions

While on a shallow level they share a common religion, in his role as politician, Erdoǧan’s Islam is nationalistic, chauvinistic, militant, exclusivist, and is a source for his authoritarian, patriarchal leadership style. Gűlen’s understanding of Islam is inclusive, peaceful, contains universal values, and requires humility and service to others; ideals that few politicians have found easy to uphold.…

Gazi Warrior Vs. Sufi Mystic: Turkey’s Erdogan-Gulen Breakup

Gazi Warrior Vs. Sufi Mystic: Turkey’s Erdogan-Gulen Breakup

The two men with the most power in Turkey are President Tayyib Erdoǧan, and religious leader Fethullah Gűlen. The former is the founder and long-time former leader of the AKP and former Prime Minister. The latter, a Sufi theologian known reverentially as Hocaefendi (respected teacher) to his millions of followers, inspired a civil society humanitarian movement, called Hizmet. …

Political Implications of the Hizmet-Gülen Movement

Political Implications of the Hizmet-Gülen Movement

Even though Hizmet views itself as a proponent of civil society, its work certainly has political ramifications. It is a faith-based movement, although scrupulous in presenting itself as having no religious agenda at all; it is strictly a civil society initiative.…