The Fethullah Gulen movement and politics in Turkey: a chance for democratization or a Trojan horse?

Gozaydin I. B.

DEMOCRATIZATION, vol.16, no.6, pp.1214-1236, 2009 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13510340903271837
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1214-1236
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Since 1923 the official ideology of republican Turkey has been strictly secular. However religious networking has always been a very important component of the socio-structural system in the country. Over time, the republican regime sought to stifle development of such networking, while at the same time also promoting changes in this regard. For 50 years - between 1930 and 1980 - Islamic networks in Turkey developed market relations that promoted strategies to improve the economic position of their members. In this context, several 'new' religious groups emerged, including the Fethullah Gulen movement. This article is concerned with the democratic involvement of the Fethullah Gulen movement in recent democratization in Turkey.