Were Gülen’s efforts always opposed by the authorities?

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No. His efforts also elicited positive responses from many in authority. By the age of thirty-six, Fethullah Gülen had become one of the three most widely recognized and influential preachers in Turkey. For example, in 1977, when the prime minister, other ministers and state dignitaries came to a Friday prayer in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, a politically sensitive occasion in Turkey, Gülen was invited to preach.