Analysis on Fethullah Gulen
Rumi Forum's blog on Hizmet, Fethullah Gulen, peacebuilding, education and interfaith efforts.
|Mr Gulen was interviewed by the BBC in Pennsylvania US.|
Getting the interview
Guney Yildiz BBC Turkish
This was Mr Gulen's first broadcast interview in 16 years.
His previous interviews were mostly via email.
The whole process of arranging it took at least a year.
In order to persuade him, I had to go through a series of interviews myself, by panels of Hizmet participants - from Europe, Turkey and the US.
It was postponed a couple of times and wasn't confirmed until a day before, when I had a final meeting with Hizmet members in New York.
Younger participants, such as Kadir Uysaloglu, UK representative of Zaman newspaper, made an extraordinary effort to arrange the interview.
We were still not close to doing it even after arriving at the building where he was staying.
I have read reports about journalists getting within a few metres of him but having to go back to their offices without an interview.
I was told I could join him after his meal - he was one floor up, and messages still had to go through a couple of people.
The Hizmet participants are quite protective about him.