Exiled Turkish Leader Grows Opposition Movement from Pennsylvania

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fethullah Gülen 2012 being interviewed by Turkish journalist Nuriye Akman. (Diyar Se/Wikimedia Commons)

Not many people outside of Turkey understand that the growing unrest in Iraq may provide a vital opportunity for the quiet Islamic leader Fethullah Gulen. He represents a huge political constituency in Turkey, and he directs his movement from a quiet compound close to home in Pennsylvania.

Gulen has built a global network of schools and Muslim political institutions that are a direct challenge to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdowan. He is a champion of the Islamist style governance, but uses a moderate model that's very different from the style of the madrassas in Pakistan, or the powerful ideologically driven government of Iran.

Gulan has the potential of being a kingmaker in Turkey, and no one knows that better than Prime Minister Erdowan, who has jailed Gulan's supporters and banned some of his books.

We explore this powerful self-exile with Berna Turam, a professor of sociology and international affairs at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. She says Gulen has launched a movement with unprecedented scale and influence. 


Berna Turam

Produced by:

Allie Ferguson


T.J. Raphael

Comments [2]

Aamira from Pennsylvania

Gulen needs to be made to go! He is in USA advocating insurrection by using his networks against the President of Turkey. The religious group Nursi who he claims to be following-they have quickly distanced themselves from Gulen making a statement on their website they are not aat all affiliated with Gulen, and Gulen doesn't follow the tenants of Nursi! It should not be allowed and Erdogan has asked USA to allow him to be extradited to the USA. This man is using people and using his schools as a cover, to topple Turkeys existing government and establish his brand of Islamic governing. In fact if you search Google his schools in Pa are under investigation as well as there has been many complaints about his schools from parents and former workers.






Jun. 27 2014 01:03 PM
brainiac3397 from USA

I wonder what she'll have to say about the "dersanes"(basically the house of the mentors as they generally share a house as room mates) and how the "abis"(volunteer mentors) tend to bend the truth to get parents to force their children to go. Perhaps explain the various frauds committed by teachers and administrators of the private schools linked to the movement, where students and parents who support the movement get more leeway in grading and payments(discriminating other students and parents).

There is also how businesses are given various aid in return for becoming sponsors for the movement, though this also makes the business owner subordinate to the movement leaders.

In reality, it's nothing more than a cult of personality where the leadership only supports those on the "inside" while discriminating against anyone who doesn't support them. This includes Muslims and Turks who don't see eye-to-eye with the movements agenda. Those gullible enough to fall for the lies of the movement end up being used as mere tools, and abandoned once they serve no use.

They speak of peace and dialogue, but ride around arrogantly on their high horse looking down on anyone they consider the opposition or expendable.

Jun. 27 2014 12:39 PM

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