Anatolian Tigers drive Turkey’s silent revolution


Date posted: April 29, 2012

ATUL ANEJA

The Anatolian Tigers — a new breed of pious businessmen who have risen from the grassroots to fire Turkey’s economic and political transformation — are targeting an entry into the high-technology big league. “We have tasted considerable international success in the areas of manufacturing and trade. Our next challenge is to develop an expertise in select areas such as computer software, pharmaceuticals and new energy,” says Sadan Yavuz, a finance specialist, with a Canadian higher education background.

The Gulen movement’s message of inclusivity, inter-faith engagement, entrepreneurship, education and outreach has had a decisive influence in directing the entrepreneurial impulses of the Anatolian Tigers.

Mr. Yavuz is one among several professionals with business exposure abroad in the ranks of the Anatolian Tigers who have achieved spectacular business success without sacrificing their core religious values.

Emerging out of Anatolia — Turkey’s Asiatic part, long stereotyped as “backward” — these businessmen, mostly engaged in small and medium enterprises — have turned to their unique and inclusive version of Sufi Islam to achieve meteoric business success. A report by the European Stability Initiative has called the new Anatolian business class “Islamic Calvinists” because of the similarity of their work ethic and values with the mentality of the Calvinist Burghers, the pioneers of early capitalism in Europe.

The Anatolian Tigers have been deeply influenced by the writings of Said Nursi, who shepherded the Nur (light) movement in the region.

DRIVING FORCE

Nursi’s advocacy of embracing Western science and technology as well as engagement with “competing paradigms”, has had a deep impact on his followers in Central Anatolia. In the tradition of Nursi, Fethullah Gulen has given a clear contemporary direction to the Anatolian middle class. The Gulen movement’s message of inclusivity, inter-faith engagement, entrepreneurship, education and outreach has had a decisive influence in directing the entrepreneurial impulses of the Anatolian Tigers.

As they grew, benefiting initially from the early phase of globalisation initiated in the eighties under the stewardship of Turgut Ozal, a former Prime Minister and President, the Anatolian Tigers have become part of a new ecosystem that is steadily overwhelming Turkey’s established order.

The Anatolian businessmen have ploughed their considerable resources to the cause of the Gulen movement (aka Hizmet movement), which, in step with its focus on education, has opened quality schools imparting modern education in more than 140 countries. The Gulen movement’s well acknowledged educational contributions abroad, in turn, have helped soften the ground for the entry of Anatolian businesses in many of these countries. “There is no direct link but our association with the Gulen movement quite often helps to do business in new areas such as Africa, Central Asia and the Balkans,” says Fatih Kutlutas, another Anatolian Tiger. The top floors of many of the buildings affiliated with the Gulen movement usually have a few “guest rooms”, which travellers can usually access.

Organisations such as ISGED — a business-development establishment — and the 20,000-member TUSKON are also helping Turkish small and medium enterprises to break into markets abroad. Addressing a TUSKON gathering recently, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “These businessmen [affiliated to TUSKON] conquer hearts in five continents by conducting successful projects and contributing to education in these countries.”

With a fast developing support infrastructure, Anatolian businessmen are quietly confident of further success. “We aim to export $150 billion in 2012 and $500 billion by 2023,” says Mehmet Buyukeksi, president of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM).

The Anatolian Tigers and the Gulen movement have staunchly supported the Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Mr. Erdogan, and President Abdullah Gul, who hails from Kayseri, Central Anatolia’s powerful industrial hub.

The triumvirate — the Anatolian Tigers, the Gulen Movement and the AKP — have been pioneers of a silent democratic revolution, which appears set to peacefully marginalise Turkey’s military-led old guard.

Source: The Hindu , April 28, 2012


Related News

Bulgarians Outraged at Deportation of Gulen Supporter to Turkey

Abdullah Buyuk was handed over to the Turkish authorities on August 10 after his political asylum request was denied. Two Bulgarian courts had blocked his deportation in March, saying that he was wanted for “political reasons” in Turkey, and that he could not be guaranteed a fair trial.

Erdoğan vows to strip Gülen sympatizers off Turkish citizenship

Speaking in his Black Sea hometown of Rize on Saturday, Erdoğan repeated his unsubstantiated accusations against the Gülen movement, calling its sympathizers “terrorists.” Erdoğan urged these people under persecution to become citizens of the countries in which they are living, saying that “they will not be considered citizens of this country.”

How does the Hizmet movement fare with democracy?

Ruling elites of this country, unfortunately, have targeted different groups at different times. Thus, religious people, Kurds, Alevis, nationalists (ülkücüs), leftists, non-Muslim minorities and democratic intellectuals have been in the bull’s eye for attacks from these elites. The Hizmet movement has always been a member of this list of plagued groups.

Rainer Hermann interviews Fethullah Gulen – Do good and let it unfold

Rainer Hermann The Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen has been living in the United States for 13 years now. A widely branched network of followers developed also there in his name. There is no road sign indicating the exit and the dirt track. It leads you through a foggy broadleaf forest colored in all the shades […]

Gülen rejects labeling of Hizmet as ‘gang,’ calls it ‘traitorous’

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has rejected the labeling of the Hizmet movement as a “gang,” saying those who uttered this word committed “traitorous” behavior. The term gang, “örgüt” in Turkish, has become a famous euphemism in Turkey to denote the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and has a negative connotation.

Hizmet, Erdoğan and the US

Today, the government resorts to irrational conspiracy theories in an effort to divert public attention from allegations of corruption. As a social movement that successfully promotes Turkey’s values in its schools in about 150 countries around the world, the Hizmet movement’s patriotism cannot be doubted

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Liberia: ‘Go Beyond Secondary Education’- VP Urges Liberia’s Turkish Light International School

Police awaiting outside hospital to detain woman who just gave birth

Deputy says AK Party tainted by corruption as he resigns

Opposition, diplomats slam gov’t attempt to shut down Turkish schools

Practicing Muslims and negotiating with the Kurdists

Reaction mounts against PM’s witch-hunt remarks

Turkey’s Corruption Probe, And One Question For Erdogan

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News