Fethullah Gulen: biography, personal life, achievements, photos


Fethullah Gulen is a famous Islamic public figure. Previously, he was an imam and preacher in Turkey, founded an influential social movement called Hizmet, and is the honorary president of the writers and journalists foundation. Currently located in the United States in voluntary exile. When arriving in Europe, it usually stops at Monte Carlo or Monaco. In 2008, he was recognized as the most influential intellectual on planet Earth, according to a poll conducted by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines. Since 2009, regularly included in the lists of the most influential Muslims in the world. In his sermons, he focuses on the ethical education of the younger generation, was one of those who launched the process of dialogue in Turkey, which he then managed to continue on an international scale, is an ardent supporter of the multi-party political system in the country. Often it is called one of the most important Muslims in the modern world.



Fethullah Gulen was born near the Turkish city of Erzurum in 1941. He was born in a small village Korudzhuk. His father was an imam, his name was Ramiz. Interestingly, there is much controversy about the nationality, biography of Fethullah Gulen. It was always believed that he was of Turkish descent, but recently there have been serious doubts about this.

A few years ago, published data, according to which Fethullah Gulen - Armenian. Turkish law enforcement agencies then noted that they had long doubted the Turkish origin of the preacher. One of the proofs that he is Armenian is considered the birthplace of the grandfathers of the hero of our article. They arrived in Erzurum from Hlata, in which Armenians traditionally lived. This is a town, not far from Lake Van. According to some reports, Gulen's grandfather left Hlata, settling in Erzurum because of certain events that were associated with the honor of his family.

However, who, according to the nation, Fethullah Gülen, in fact, remains unknown.

Early career

He received his initial education in his native village. When the family moved to Erzurum, he decided to focus on getting a classical Islamic education.

Fethullah Gülen began working as a preacher and imam. He remained in this status until 1981, when he officially retired. At the turn of the 80-90s, the hero of our article delivers sermons in the most popular mosques of Turkey with a large gathering of people. In 1994, he participated in the formation of democratic institutions in the country, in particular, the Fund of Writers and Journalists, in which he was elected honorary president.

Voluntary exile


In 1999, Fethullah Gulen leaves for treatment in the United States, since then has not returned to Turkey, remaining in voluntary exile. Shortly thereafter, a criminal case was initiated at home against him, which was closed only in 2008 for lack of corpus delicti.

In America, he underwent heart surgery, and was repeatedly hospitalized due to diabetes and other diseases.

Fethullah Gulen himself, whose photo you will find in this article, has repeatedly stressed that he would like to return to Turkey, but fears the unstable situation in the country, as well as persecution and provocations due to his political views. Now the preacher is 77 years old.

Theological views


In his many books, Fethullah Gülen does not offer any fundamentally new theology, making reference to classical authorities, using their conclusions and the system of evidence, and developing them, if necessary. He has a generally accepted and conservative perception of Islam. Gülen respects the Sufi tradition, even though he himself has never been in any tariqa.

Gülen teaches Muslims that it is not at all necessary to enter into any Sufi order, but at the same time it is important to maintain an internal religious feeling that should not contradict the actions that a person performs in his life.

The main differences of the teachings of Gulen are that he derives from the interpretation of certain ayahs of the Koran. He teaches that Muslims should serve the common good of the nation and their community, as well as all Muslims and non-Muslims in the world. The Hizmet public movement founded by him is an international organization that promotes its ideas. The doctrine of serving people over the years has attracted an increasing number of supporters not only in Turkey, but also in Central Asia and in other countries of the world.

The second postulate of Gülen is the interfaith dialogue.



In his sermons, Fethullah Gülen, whose biography is given in this article, often emphasizes that the study of the exact sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry) is the actual worship of God. Gulen schools operate in Turkey, which are considered among the best in the quality of education provided. In them, expensive equipment, equal treatment of boys and girls, from the first class of children are taught English.

In critical reviews of these schools, they note that women teachers are not delegated the administrative powers that men have. Beginning in the sixth grade, female students separate from the male representatives go to the dining room and stay for a change.

Intercultural dialogue


Gulen often stresses that goodwill towards other nations and a commitment to dialogue are at the heart of Turkish culture. The same tradition originates in Islam. According to him, Muslims have always adopted the best achievements of civilizations and cultures that they have encountered throughout their history.

Gulen himself often meets with representatives of other faiths. In particular, with the Constantinople Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew, Pope John Paul II, Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron.

Since the late 2000s, Gulen’s Hizmet public organization has begun a dialogue with non-religious leaders around the world.

In his teaching, the hero of our article advocates cooperation between various Islamic movements.

Ban in Russia

Moreover, in many countries, the attitude towards Gülen is ambiguous. For example, in Russia, some of his books are prohibited.

By the decision of the district court of the city of Orenburg, such works as “Criteria or Fires in the Road”, “Doubts generated by the Century”, “Life and Islamic Faith”, “Prophet Muhammad - the crown of the human race” are included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials.

Attitude to the problems of the modern world


Gülen often speaks about the problems that the modern world is facing today. Thus, he criticizes laicism for the departure to the philosophy of reductive materialism. At the same time, he emphasizes that he considers democracy and forces compatible.

Gulen responds positively about Turkey’s plans to join the European Union, believing that both sides will ultimately benefit from this.

He is extremely negative about terrorists, stating that they will still be brought to justice, even in the other world where they will be responsible for the killing and suffering of innocent people.

Relationship with Erdogan


Currently, Gulen is not considering options to return to Turkey, as his relationship with the current head of state can be described as tense.

Fethullah Gulen and Erdogan - opponents. The situation escalated in late 2013, when the Turkish president accused the preacher of organizing an attempted coup d'état in the country. This was preceded by a major corruption scandal in the country, which severely hit the authority of the authorities.

In December 2014, the Istanbul court decided to issue a warrant for the arrest of Gülen. The prosecutor's office sent a petition to the Ministry of Justice to begin preparing documents for the inclusion of the preacher in the so-called Interpol Red Bulletin. So called the list of criminals on the international wanted list, the arrest of which is agreed with Interpol. However, the international law enforcement organization refused to sanction the arrest of Gulen to the Turkish authorities.

America, in which he is now, is also not going to give out Gulen to Turkey.

Coup d'état

In 2016, there was another attempt at a military coup, in which the authorities also accused Gülen. It all happened on the night of July 16, when a group of Turkish military seized a number of strategic facilities in Istanbul, Ankara, Malatya, Konya, Kars and Marmaris. Attempt to seize power as a result of a completely failed. Erdogan and the government loyal to him managed to hold on to the head of Turkey.

At the time of the military coup attempt, Erdogan himself was on vacation with his family in a hotel in Marmaris. The president was warned about the uprising, he managed to leave the hotel shortly before the putschists began to storm him. Erdogan quickly reached the nearest airport, which was located in Dalaman, in less than an hour arrived in Istanbul. By this time, the riots on the streets of the city had already been managed to neutralize.

That same night and early in the morning, the fighters launched air strikes against the parliament building and the presidential palace. In the morning, tanks began to attack the buildings. At the same time, the rebels managed to seize control of international airports, bridges across the Bosphorus Strait, offices of major television companies, and various government agencies.

The rebels in a televised statement said that the Turkish leadership was removed from power, they declared a curfew and martial law. Erdogan was able to break into television on one of the television stations, which he did not have time to capture, declaring that the coup was not legitimate, and called on his supporters to take to the streets.

Part of the army and the police remained loyal to the government. Mass support for Erdogan turned out to be the clergy and the people. As a result, the putschists were unable to hold the captured objects, some of the rebels were killed on the spot, in total 104 putschists were killed.

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