|Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew poses to cameras with Dutch Queen Beatrix after receiving one of a Roosevelt Institute's Four Freedoms Award on May 12, 2012. (Photo: Cihan)|
Speaking to Turkish media after the awards ceremony, Bartholomew said he thinks the award he received is a message of peace for Turkey and the world. “All of the recipients are working for peace and friendship. All of them contribute to peace: I as a man of religion and the other as a politician. The Indian lady is fighting poverty. I am honored to contribute to these beautiful efforts. I am thankful to the Roosevelt Institute,” he said.
The patriarch also said he attended a meeting of the Journalists and Writers' Association (GYV), of which Gülen is the honorary chairman, in İstanbul last week and stated that Gülen also contributes much to world peace. “We have been working with these friends [from the GYV] for long years. We are very close to each other as we share the same ideals: peace and unity. We appreciate their service for education. Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi contributed and is still contributing a lot to interreligious dialogue. I met with him in Turkey and the US. We will continue to work together for world peace and our country's well-being. This is our common goal,” he said.
Stating that Gülen has been carrying out successful peace efforts, Bartholomew said he expects Gülen to return to Turkey soon. “We really love him. We hope he comes back soon,” he added.
Gülen is a Turkish Islamic scholar well known for his teachings promoting mutual understanding and tolerance between cultures. Now residing in the US, Gülen has pioneered educational activities in a number of countries, along with efforts to promote intercultural and interfaith activities around the world.
He has also written nearly 50 books in Turkish, some of which have been translated into several languages. He was most recently honored with the EastWest Institute's (EWI) 2011 EWI Peace Building Award for his contribution to world peace.