Rumi Forum's blog on Hizmet, Fethullah Gulen, peacebuilding, education and interfaith efforts.

Monday, April 15, 2013

RESPONSE Eurasianet- Turkey: How Durable is Gülen Movement?

Below is a response to the Eurasianet article that we placed on this blog a few days ago. The source article is on Justin Vela's blog.

A response to Turkey: How Durable is Gülen Movement?

Today, a member of the Gülen Movement e-mailed regarding my recent article “Turkey: How Durable is Gülen Movement?”
He gave permission for me to post his response, asking to remain anonymous because his words are not an official position of the movement.
And I saw your piece on the Movement.
I understand that you are trying to give a balanced view but I am kind of having hard time understanding if it is a necessary to reduce something down to weak and shaky although it is doing far better than that. Anyway it’s your discretion and I respect that.
 I have some points about Mr. Yavuz’s arguments;
“The movement dies with the leader….” Yes if it the leader is more of a carismatic figure rather than someone creating the paradigm and institutionalising it…and the followers rationalising and internalizing the perspective as a way of life.
The level of institutionalisation is far more avanced than those Nur movements. The consensus was limited to “what is right” in that movement back in time. But now it is more like there is a consensus about “what is right, how to promote it and with which tools” and this consensus is working almost perfectly around the globe. An organisation that big, you can’t run on only the carisma of the opinion leader. It already became a way of life. Comparing it to political parties is a huge mistake for an academic figure like Mr. Yavuz. These are two distinct and uncomparable entities.
The relations with Ak Party;
Ak party convinces the participants and symphatizers of the movement on some issues and can’t do that on some other. The analysis that movement is too close to Ak party is just picturing the times the gov’t has convincing arguments. The question here is “Why does it have to be an either/or question?” The people in the movement support the gov’t on some issues and don’t on some others. Why can’t it be that clear?
And about Mr. Gulen getting skewed news; he is not a naive person, nothing needs to be said on that. It is possible of course but it is an extreme possibility. Of course he is not running any of the Hizmet institutions but so far these institiutions have not gone astray from the perspective of Hizmet. If he sees a deviation from the principles of the movement he kindly reminds those principles and that would be received with great sensitivity.