Why are they often called “Gülen-schools” if he has no relationship with them?

Because of its brevity, outsiders tend to use “Gülen schools” rather than “Gülen-inspired schools.” The shorter term seems to imply some sort of central control of activities and even an ideology, while the second makes it clearer that there is no centralization in the Movement. In fact, as yet there is no consensus among writers on what to call the Gülen-inspired institutions. However, if the term “Gülen schools” is equated with, for example, Montessori schools (where a particular training and qualifications are required for personnel and a specific methodology is used), it is misleading.

Participants have their own perspectives on terms used for the Movement and the social movement organizations (SMOs) participants have set up. However, many outsiders seem oblivious to these perspectives or choose to ignore them. The use of descriptions like “Gülen schools” can arise from ignorance or from attempts to spread disinformation.

Movement participants tend to use the Turkish term hizmet (volunteer services) for the projects and services they provide as a whole. This term could be a solution for the inconsistency in naming the Movement and in clarifying the identity of its services and institutions for outside observers.