Is the Gülen Movement opposed to the political, governmental or democratic system?

No. The fact that, as a thoroughly civic, autonomous initiative, the Gülen Movement is situated entirely outside the conventional channels of political representation – party, government, state, etc. – does not mean that it therefore stands in some way against the political, governmental or democratic system.

The non-profit-oriented management of its educational and cultural institutions distinguishes the Gülen Movement sharply from political actors and formal state institutions and agencies. Its forms of collective action do not contend for space with or in government or state institutions or agencies. They deal with human beings individually in the public space through independent, legally constituted civic organizations.

The Gülen Movement’s origin, source and target is the individual human being in the private sphere. The Gülen Movement’s approach is “bottom–up”, transforming individuals through education to consolidate a peaceful, harmonious and inclusive society as a result of an enlightened public sphere. It is not the “top–down” approach characteristic of state or government agency.

This reflects Fethullah Gülen’s rationale for the primacy of education among the Gülen Movement’s commitments: “As the solution of every problem in this life ultimately depends on human beings, education is the most effective vehicle, regardless of whether we have a paralyzed social and political system or we have one that operates like clockwork.”

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