When and how did the first stage of the institutionalization of the services and the Gülen Movement take place?
In 1974, the first university preparatory courses were established in Manisa, where Fethullah Gülen was posted at the time.
Until then, it had been largely the children of very wealthy and privileged families who had access to university education. The new courses in Manisa offered the hope that in future there might be better opportunities for children from ordinary Anatolian families. The idea took hold that, if properly supported, the children of ordinary families could take up and succeed in higher education.
Word spread of these achievements, and the following year Fethullah Gülen was invited to speak at a series of lectures all over Turkey. The service idea became firmly rooted in various cities and regions of the country. From this time on, the country-wide mobilization of people drawn to support education and non-political altruistic services can be called a movement – the Gülen Movement.
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