Question in the aftermath of the Turkey coup – Who is Fethullah Gulen?


Date posted: July 20, 2016

M. Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish opinion leader and preacher emeritus who has been living in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania since 1999.

Gülen embraces an inclusive and peaceful understanding of Islam. His commitment to dialogue and altruism has inspired the Hizmet Movement, a transnational social initiative active in education, interfaith dialogue and humanitarian aid activities.

Mr. Gülen and Hizmet participants are known for their commitment to peace, democracy and non-violence, and oppose turning religion into a political ideology.

In 1994, Mr. Gülen had said “from now on, both in Turkey and in the rest of the world, there will be no return from democracy.”

Gülen is well-known with his statement “a true Muslim cannot be a terrorist and a terrorist cannot be a true Muslim,” published in The Washington Post after 9/11 attacks.

He was named as ‘The World’s Top Public Intellectual’ by Foreign Policy magazine in May 2008, and made it onto TIME100 list of the most influential people in the world in 2013. He is the recipient of Manhae Peace Prize in 2013 and Gandhi-King-Ikeda Award for Peace in 2015. He is also the recipient of New York-based EastWest Institute’s 2011 Peace Award.


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