ABSTRACT

This chapter deals with the rise of a globally networked civil/cosmopolitan Islamic activist organization in Turkey collectively referred to as the Gulen Movement (GM). In contemporary Turkey, the experience of late-Ottoman modernization, Kemalist republicanism, and institutional secularization gave rise to variations of both classical modernist and civil/cosmopolitan forms of Islamic activist organization. Among secular-minded Turks is that if 'Islamists' achieve majority representation in Parliament, as they did in 2002, they will inevitably attempt to subvert the state and campaign for an Islamic reform of Turkish society. In the 1990s, political and economic development in Turkey provided the GM network with global routes to be explored. The fall of the Soviet Union, the structural weakening of the Turkish state monopoly over information and capital flows, increased Turkish migration to Europe, and global developments in ICT all contributed to the transformation of the GM from a modest community of Nursi followers to an international civil/cosmopolitan Islamic activist movement.