Opinions

A Trip to Turkey: Religious Practice and the Secular State

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli Beyond the borders of Turkey, the city of Konya is well-known. Located just south of Ankara, it is Turkey’s most religiously conservative city. On the trip I made this summer with the Interfaith Dialog Center, all of us, Catholics, Protestants and Muslims, were excited to visit this center of Sufi mysticism. […]

An Interfaith Trip to Turkey: A Lesson in History

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli In the sixth century, the Byzantine Emperor Justinian ordered a new church to be built in his capital of Constantinople. It was dedicated to Holy Wisdom and bore the name Hagia Sophia. When the construction was completed, Justinian is said to have exclaimed, “Solomon, I have outdone thee!”  For nearly a thousand […]

Gülen-inspired schools and SMOs

Muhammed Çetin In an attempt to distract the public from Fethullah Gülen’s acquittal by Turkey’s top court and perturbed by his top ranking in Foreign Policy magazine’s poll, elements of the Turkish media are using a lawyer’s wording in an attempt to engineer a setback for Gülen. In the brief submitted by US Citizenship and […]

Gülen and the AK Party: A common quest for democracy or something more? (2)

* Mehmet Kalyoncu Both the Gülen movement (aka Hizmet movement) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) seem to believe that military operations alone cannot solve Turkey’s terrorism problem. Because of this shared understanding, the movement’s civil society organizations and government agencies have been working hand-in-hand in the Southeast to revive the region […]

Gülen and the AK Party: A common quest for democracy or something more? (1)

Mehmet Kalyoncu* Given the variety of opinions on the subject, it is obvious that the question of what kind of relationship exists between the Gülen movement and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) intrigues not only foreign observers of Turkey but also some Turks. While foreign observers categorically associate the Gülen movement (aka Hizmet […]

Understanding Fethullah Gülen (2)

Ekrem Dumanli One of the reasons for the difficulty in understanding Fethullah Gülen is the term “community” itself. Unfortunately, the meaning attached to this word connotes a group of people closed to and isolated from the outside world. It is also used to refer to illegal organizations. Both approaches are tendentious. As Ali Bulaç says […]

Understanding Fethullah Gülen (1)

Ekrem Dumanli Some of the most reliable newspapers in the world published important articles about Fethullah Gülen last month. For instance, the International Herald Tribune wrote that Gülen was “an inspiration for Muslims who feel at home in the modern world.” After dwelling on his childhood spent in Erzurum, his youth, his activities following his […]

The Gülen Movement and human rights values in the Muslim world

ÖZCAN KELEŞ* Fethullah Gülen is many things at once and it is this combination of characteristics, abilities and qualifications, some of which have hitherto seemed mutually exclusive, that marks him out from the rest and has provided him with a transformative edge. It is the combination of three particular characteristics that have enabled Gülen to […]

The Gülen Movement in the public sphere

The Abant Platform is a good example of a religiously inspired social capital formation in a society with ideological, ethnic and religious fault lines. This platform departs from a belief that religion, and particularly Islam, can be a positive factor in social, political and economic life. The Gülen movement has been quite successful in utilizing its cultural and human capital in order to empower the civil society and expand the democratic space available for the formally excluded periphery vis-à-vis the centre.

Fethullah Gülen’s prospects for inter-religious dialogue

Fethullah Gülen has emerged as one of the most persuasive and influential voices in the Muslim community calling for dialogue as a step toward peace. Indeed, he offers “a way to live out Islamic values amidst the complex demands of modern societies and to engage in ongoing dialogue and cooperation with people of other religions.”

Gülen conference in London

HÜSEYİN GÜLERCE Though the national agenda is stuck in debates over terrorism and a cross-border operation, I’d like to open a parenthesis and touch upon a historic conference held last week in London. Forty-nine scholars from various universities around the world addressed an audience during this three-day international academic conference, which kicked off at the […]

Fethullah Gülen and the role of nonviolence in a time of terror

Fethullah Gülen is unusual in adding a distinctly Islamic voice to the calls for a non-violent approach to conflict resolution. But how well do Gülen’s teachings on non-violence lead to peaceful transformation on the ground? Is his a static and passive approach bounded by dogma, or are we witnessing an innovative, active and self-aware spirit of transformation which really can lead to a new way of defining Islam in action?

A road less traveled

Education is only a part of the movement’s activities; its main attraction to large segments of Turkish society is its willingness to engage in dialogue with other religions and ideologies. It is an inclusive movement. The movement is always the first to condemn violent activities whenever and wherever they occur, regardless of who the perpetrators are.

The Einstein of the Islamic world

BÜLENT KENEŞ LONDON – Let’s think about a man born into an ordinary family of meager means in a suburban Anatolian town. He sets out on that adventure called life all alone, deprived of a formal education. But he educates and raises himself through unconventional means. Despite this lack of a formal education everything he […]

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The view from Brussels

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