Writing in Hürriyet Daily News, Ezgi Başaran discusses the great degree of misinformation surrounding Fethullah Gülen and the Gülen Movement in the West. To counter that misinformation, she offers 11 points revealing the true face of the movement:
2. The Gülen movement has two layers. The first one consists of Fethullah Gülen’s many disciples who more or less believe that he is the Mahdi, the Islamic version of a messiah. The second layer is the top echelon known to operate as a secret network, nested mainly in the security apparatus and the judiciary, to achieve their goals through Machiavellian methods, especially in Turkey. His followers in the state civil service, judiciary, police and – as we have understood recently – in the army are more loyal to Gülen than the institutions they work for. They take orders from the “brothers” of the movement rather than acting in the lawful chain of command of the state.
3. Fethullah Gülen believes in secretive and incremental take-over from within and that the change should come from the bottom up. One of his early sermons which was included in the indictment of 1999 epitomizes this belief: “You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers… until the conditions are ripe, they [the followers] must continue like this… You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it… You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey… Until that time, any step taken would be too early – like breaking an egg without waiting the full 40 days for it to hatch. It would be like killing the chick inside.”
4. The Gülen movement had been working with the best PR agents in America and built a strong lobbying machine in the U.S., the U.K. and Turkey. According to the U.S. government, this movement’s financial capacity was estimated to be between $25 billion and $50 billion with schools and charities in more than 150 countries.