Gülenism as “religionist” kemalism

ÇAYLAK A., Dinc G.

Insight Turkey, vol.19, no.3, pp.181-206, 2017 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.25253/99.2017193.11
  • Journal Name: Insight Turkey
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.181-206
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


Utilizing Gramsci's conceptualization of hegemonic struggles through both coercive means of the state and also the production of consent in civil society, the article conducts a comparative textual analysis of the writings and speeches of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Fetullah Gulen. In so doing, the article focuses on four main themes: (1) sacralization of modern knowledge, science, and education; (2) militarism and centrism; (3) statism and corporatism; and, (4) ethnic nationalism and Turkism. It argues that the ideology of the Gulen's "service movement" shares the principles of Kemalism in the above-mentioned domains, while couching them within a religious discursive framework. Since Gulenism uses Quranic terminology out of context and for secular ends, the term "religionist" is used instead of "religious" to describe this ideology.