A Universal Islamic Phenomenon in Turkish Religious Practice: the Fethullah Gulen Case

Mar 11 ’12

Hierarchical structure of Gulen Movement

Externally, the movement is independent of any state or group. Internally, it does not have a strict hierarchical structure. Instead, it is a network of independent charitable foundations, educational institutions, private corporations, and media organizations that are associated via shared hopes and values.

There is no registration of volunteers. The volunteers of the movement have founded several institutions, as a result of their bottom-up local participation. At the center of these institutions are the movement’s schools. All of these schools pursue secular curricula, using modern pedagogical methods and emphasizing universal human values such as respecting others, promoting peace, and seeking progress. These schools appreciate both universal values and local cultures wherever they exist.

The volunteers altruistically support these institutions by their own personal resources without expecting self-interest. Those who do not have financial resources, contribute to the movement through their labor or ideas. The altruism and the hard work of the volunteers have created trust felt by many people in or out of the movement. That became a substantial source of “credit” for the movement.

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