Gulen movement is a civil society movement in Turkey and they have lots of international connections in the worldwide. Other names of this movement are Gulen congregation and “hizmet hareketi” or only “hizmet”. People generally use Gulen congregation to define this movement in Turkey. The cause of using this name is Islam and their connection with Islam. This movement has many schools, universities, educational institutions and some non-governmental organizations to aid organizations. Movement also has some foundations and associations to has dialogue between different religions and cultures. Also they have some hospitals, financial institutions and media organizations to tell their purposes and to find support from other people.
The supporters of this movement generally meet around Islamic thoughts of Fethullah Gülen. He is an old imam, preacher and writer. He wrote books more than fifty and lots of articles. His articles and sermons were published in many magazines and newspapers. According to some studies of some important magazines, he is in the between of most significant intellectual people in the worldwide. He is an Islamic thinker and he interprets lots of old sources about Islam according to present-day requirements. He generally follows the ideas of Said Nursi and he interprets his books which called Risale-i Nur. This movement occurred around these interpretations of Gülen and he is the opinion leader of this movement.
Many important and trained people like philosophers and social scientists support Gulen movement thanks to their ideas and practices about dialogue between religions and cultures. According to these people, Islam can be unifying element for the all humanity. However, also many important people against to these ideas and they criticize this movement and their purposes. Their main causes of these criticizes are that they see this movement as a dangerous for the secular nature of the Republic of Turkey. Also, another criticize is the economic and political power of this movement. They believe that movement and their supporter has very big power on state and government and they manage the country in Turkey. When we look at he current advances and events we can say that some of these criticizes are right but some of them are wrong and only personal ideas or the ideas of some specific groups.
Media using of Gulen movement
Media is the fourth biggest power after legislation, execution and judgment in a country. That’s why support of the media is very important for this kind of movements and organizations. Many civil society movements want to have this power of media to make their voices heard and to find support easily. Especially, the power of media is very significant in Turkey. Every politic and non-politic group has their own media. They have TV channels, radio channels, newspapers, magazines and internet sites for their own propaganda. Gulen movement also has their own media. These media outlets are very big and they have very big effect on people and country. Moreover, they can determine or change the agenda of the country sometimes.
Twenty years ago, there were not private TV channels in Turkey and using of the internet was not separated like nowadays. Radios and magazines and newspapers were only media devices for this kind of movements. However, Gulen movement had a difference from other movements. They used cassette technologies to separate their ideas and they were the best user of tape technology in Turkey. They separate easily sermons of Fethullah Gülen. He was very important preacher for Muslim people and for their supporter. Their supporters and other people could hear his voices, they could listen his ideas and they could feel his feelings thanks to this tape technology. This was very important way to find supporter and it had very big affect on people and their minds. Also, Muslim brothers use this technology in Egypt against to dictator and then against to coup government.
Nowadays, communication technologies and devices are more developed. That’s why using technologies change now and every group use these new technologies like visual technologies, internet and the most important feature of the internet; social media. Many different groups use social networking sites to share their ideas and to increase the number of their supporters. Gulen movement also uses these same ways. They can adapt themselves according to today’s condition. Now, they have many internet sites and they have can do publications. Also they have different publications in different countries with different languages. In this way, they can have international supports in the worldwide. In many different countries, universities prepare Gulen movement symposiums and seminars thanks to media using.
Media institutions of Gulen movement
Gulen movement has lots of media institutions nowadays. They have internet sites, TV channels, radios, magazines and newspapers in different areas. Television channels of movement are Samanyolu TV, STV Avrupa (STV Europe), STV Amerika (STV US), S Haber (S News), Mehtap TV, Ebru TV, Yumurcak TV, Küre TV, Hazar TV and Dünya TV. Newspapers of movement are Zaman and Today’s Zaman. Radio channels of movement are Burç FM, Samanyolu Haber, Radyo Cihan and Radyo Risale. The magazines of movement are Aksiyon, Sızıntı, Yeni Ümit, Yeni Bahar, Yağmur and Gonca. The internet sites of movement are herkul.org and f.gulen.com. Movement also has a news agency and its name is Cihan Haber Ajansı (CHA).
Samanyolu TV (STV) was founded in 1993. Its content is mostly cultural and Islamic topics. Samanyolu Broadcast group has eight TV channels and three radio Channels in totally. TV channels are; Mehtap TV generally broadcast on cultural and religious topics. Samanyolu Haber TV broadcast usually on reporting and documentary topics. Ebru TV always broadcast with English language to introduce Islamic culture and and civilization for stranger people on international area in the worldwide. The content of Yumurcak TV is generaly for the kids and to teach them Islamic ethics. In addition to these, Samanyolu TV, Samanyolu Avrupa TV and Samanyolu US have a general content about general topics from Turkey and the area where they broadcast. Hazar TV broadcast in Azerbaijan and its content is generally family programs and religious programs. Dünya TV broadcast with Kurdish language to take support from Kurdish people.
Zaman daily newspaper is famous and biggest media organization in Turkey. It was founded in 1986. According to results of research of GENAR Research Company, Zaman newspaper was selected as most reliable newspaper in Turkey in 2009. Also, according to results of research of Konsensus Research Company, Zaman was selected as most unbiased newspaper in 2011 in Turkey. Moreover, Zaman is most printed newspaper in Turkey and its daily circulation is between 950.000 to 1.000.000. Zaman is published in 35 different countries, in 10 different languages with 2 different alphabets and it is printed in 10 different countries. Zaman also won many different awards about the topic of visual and design of newspaper. As well as it is the first newspaper which has internet site in Turkey (www.zaman.com.tr). That’s why it is the first Turkish newspaper on the internet. The contents of newspaper are economy, foreign news, television, culture and art, family-health, reviews and sports. Sometimes, they translate some important comments from foreign newspapers and magazines in their reviews pages.
Zaman newspaper has a daily English version; Today’s Zaman in Turkey. Today’s Zaman was published first time in 2007. It has cooperation with The Washington Post about content. Today’s Zaman is managed from same center with Zaman and it has its own personnel. It is also very big establishment in Turkey. Every Sunday, newspaper is published with the name of Sunday’s Zaman.
Before the TV and internet, radio was biggest media device to propaganda for different groups and social movements. It could give information fast and easily. Gulen movement also uses this technology. Burç FM is the most famous radio channel of Gulen movement. Radio also has broadcast in North Africa, Middle East and Middle Asia thanks to satellite technologies in order to find support from different area for their movement. Samanyolu Haber Radyo has common broadcast with Samanyolu Haber TV. It was founded in 2007 in Istanbul. It has voluntary reporters and thanks to internet broadcast it has lots of audiences.
Another radio channel of Gulen movement is Radyo Cihan. It is one of Turkey’s first private radio channels. It was founded in 1993 in Istanbul and it was known by the name of Marmara FM. In 2011, it was sold Feza Gazetecilik and after this date Radyo Cihan is the biggest radio channel of Gulen movement. Their slogan is “Bu sesi herkes duymalı” (Everyone should hear this voice). The main feature of all this radio channels is that. You can hear the voice of Fethullah Gülen or the name of Gülen. Also all of these radio channels have a common purpose. This purpose is finding support for their movement and telling their main ideology for people.
Sızıntı is the first magazine of the Gulen movement and it was published in 1979. It was also first written press media device of movement. It is published monthly and its content is about literature and popular science. Monthly circulation of Sızıntı is in the near of 850.000 average. Religious topics are broadcasted generally in this magazine. The real meaning of the universe and the biological properties of human are general and main topics in this magazine. Also, the news about Fethullah Gülen and movement are broadcasted in magazine. Moreover according to some news Gülen wrote editorial of Sızıntı in February 2008.
The other famous magazine of Gulen movement is Aksiyon. Aksiyon is started to publish in 1994. It is a weekly news magazine and it came forward with journalism studies. It broadcasts every week new fifteen news file average. Its content is very wide and it almost broadcasts about every topic like politics, economy, culture and art, intelligence, foreign policy and social news. Aksiyon generally broadcasts news and comments together and this give an opportunity to analyze the news for people. It is only magazine in the area of weekly news in Turkey now. Its circulation is 56.000 averages in every week and it is very significant for a weekly magazine.
Yeni Bahar magazine was begun to publish in 2011. Its content is child, family, society, health, history and culture. it was a gift for subscribers of Zaman newspaper. Yeni Ümit is another magazine of Gulen movement. It was started to publish in 1988. It is published every three month. In its content, there are the topics about religious sciences and Islamic culture. It broadcasts about researches of Qur’an and it is published in 42 different countries. It has an important circulation. It is sold 98.000 averages in every three months. Its circulation is very big also in Middle East thanks to its contents.
Another magazine of Gulen movement is Yağmur. It was published first time in 1998 and it is published every two months. The content of magazine is language, culture and literature topics. Also, movement has another monthly magazine. Its name is Gonca. It is published in Izmir. The content of magazine is child and family and culture. It has small stories, jokes and riddles for children.
Gulen movement has two important internet sites. fgulen.com is the official internet site of Fethullah Gülen. He answers the questions of follower in this site. The site has very big mass follower. Another important internet side of movement is herkul.org. In this site shares the videos of conservation of Gülen weekly. These conversations are generally about cultural, political, religious and scientific topics. This site is actually an online magazine. It broadcasts the parts of the books of Gülen. These parts are generally about the agenda of Turkey and about the problems of other Muslim societies. That’s why it has many followers from overseas.
Gulen movement also has a news agency. Its name is Cihan Haber Ajansı (CHA). It was founded in 1994 in Istanbul. It has broadcasting twenty-four hours everyday on satellite and internet. According to their own information, they broadcast 450 writing news, 400 photographs, 180 news photos and 85 video news. They make news about politics, economy, sport, foreign news and art. They give these news for national television channels in Turkey and for the half of national newspapers in Turkey. Also they provide news for private companies. They have Arabic broadcasting since 1997. They have their bureaus in 31 different countries and they have their own reporters in 55 different countries.