What is the socio-economic background of those who do not belong to the Gülen Movement but support its collective action?

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Fethullah Gülen

They are highly diverse and widespread. It is difficult to identify specific social categories within the varied and widespread socio-economic groups who maintain a co-operative (but not participatory) relationship with the Movement. They belong to an increasing number of roles and professions.

However, it is possible to say that the overwhelming majority of educated participants in the Movement do not work in religiously-oriented occupations but in education, engineering, the sciences and business. They support a moderate faith-inspired initiative to build a network of schools, universities, hospitals, media and businesses. This is interpreted as a ‘third way’ between the forces of militant secularism and radical Islamism. That too is a factor encouraging more co-operative support for the Movement from non-participants or ‘third parties’. A good example is the book, Bariş Köprüleri: Dünyaya Açilan Türk Okullari (“Bridges of Peace: Turkish Schools Opening to the World”), a compilation of twenty-seven articles written by ‘third-party’ statesmen, politicians, scholars, thinkers and journalists. The articles discuss more than 300 educational institutions and other efforts of the volunteers of the Gülen Movement in ninety countries.