The Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, formerly an ally of Gülen, has designated the movement as a terrorist organisation under the name Gülenist Terror Organisation (Fetullahçı Terör Örgütü, FETÖ) or Parallel State Organisation (Paralel Devlet Yapılanması, PDY), and has accused it of trying to infiltrate the Turkish state and overthrow the government during a failed coup attempt in 2016
His movement has no address, no mailbox, no registration and no central bank account. Gülen supporters don't demonstrate for sharia and jihad, and the cemaat operates in secret. Gülen, the godfather, determines the movement's direction. Some members within the inner circle of power have been serving Gülen for decades.
They control the most important organizations within the movement, the publishing houses and foundations. Within the cemaat, individual world regions, like Central Asia and Europe, are managed by a "brother." The hierarchy extends all the way down to national and local "brothers" in city neighborhoods. (1)
The Gülen Community from Service to FETÖ
11 April 2018
Gülen was born in Erzurum, in Turkey's northeast, in 1941 and was raised in a conservative environment. His childhood and formative years were crucial in shaping his future teachings on Islam. Erzurum remained immune from the radical modernist reforms of the 1930s, and traditional Islamic culture played a significant role in everyday life.
Academic Şerif Mardin coined the term "daily Islam" to describe how Islamic traditions shaped everyday life. The Gülen community stems from the Nur movement as Gülen was heavily influenced by the teachings of Said-i Nursi (1874-1960), who was a significant Islamic thinker.
The Gülen movement was formed in the 1970s on the foundation of incorporating traditional Islam into daily life with communal living - the tenets of which were laid out in Nursi's seminal work, Risale-i Nur.
Gülen took Nursi's concepts as a basis for his intellectual teachings, particularly in forming a group identity. In this way, the Risale-i Nur serves as a means to protect Gülen and his followers from the negative aspects of modernity as well as a bridge between contemporary Muslims and Islamic tradition. At the time Gülen founded the community, he spent time with each of his students, went to camps with them, began forming an intellectual basis, and first expressed what he wanted to do.
The community named itself the "Service Movement" (Hizmet Hareketi) during the 2000s. Barış Müstecaplıoğlu, formerly a member of the Gülen community, said the movement had a hierarchical structure.
"The movement has a hierarchical structure like in every major company (that can be categorised as a consultancy). The details are unknown and change with the movement's development, but there are imams (administrators) responsible for various groups of countries followed by imams responsible for countries.
“Imams in charge of cities in Turkey report to the imam in charge of Turkey. Each city is divided into regions based on their size, and the regions are divided into neighborhoods, each of which has a separate authority. Beneath neighborhood imams are imams in charge of houses and dorms that are part of said neighborhood.
“Everyone meets with their superior for a weekly consultation to discuss developments of their followers, give reports on subscriptions to their magazines or newspapers or donations made, as well as talk about project-based issues such as collecting animal hides during the Feast of the Sacrifice or about an organisation at a school.
“During these meetings, orders and recommendations are shared with the whole congregation in a hierarchical fashion from those higher up going down from imam to imam. This is where common attitudes about politics and the country's agenda are passed down, and these ideas are then further shared with the pupils at the homes and dormitories. They are also organised at every school."
The terminology used by members of the community provides insight into the structure of the movement:
Some of the biggest investments made by the Gülen community are in the field of education. These schools - which are known as Gülen schools and can be found throughout the world - are private and encompass all levels of the education system, including pre-school, primary, secondary, and tertiary.
Gülen schools operate in 140 countries and are estimated to number at more than 11,000. Even though they are independent of each other in terms of name and legal status, they are known to have originated from the Gülen movement. These schools offer classes in the language of the country they are in, the most commonly used foreign language where they are based (mostly English, Russian, Persian, or French based on the location), and in Turkish as an elective.
Teachers at these schools also teach Turkish culture (Turkish folk dances, poetry, songs, theater, etc...). The International Turkish Olympics, which was supported by Turkey's incumbent party at one point in time, is one of the most important activities organised by these schools. In 2012, the 10th annual competition was held in Türk Telecom Arena Stadium in Istanbul and attracted 100,000 spectators. The closing speech was made by Turkey's then-prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
As you can tell from the information provided above, the Gülen movement is extremely organised from an economic perspective, and its resources are scattered across the globe. In light of this, it is difficult to determine how much the community was financially affected when the Turkish government took over its resources.Source
4 March 2019:
Turkish gov’t pays cash rewards for apprehension or death of Gülen supporters
Turkey’s Interior Ministry has paid more than 19 million Turkish lira to 249 people who provided information leading to the arrest or were instrumental in the death of supporters of the faith-based Gülen movement, a pro-government newspaper reported on Tuesday.
A report by Burak Doğan in Yeni Şafak stated that the program is titled “Homeland Reward” and the recipients’ identities are not released. The award is given to people who locate or murder suspects wanted by the state, particularly Gülen movement supporters. The reward program has reportedly been in effect since Aug. 31, 2015 and the rewards are paid in cash
|Statements from Fethulla Gulen|