Statements by Ex-Gulenists
In 2008, the Dutch current-affairs TV program "NOVA" did a segment on the Gülen movement’s activities in the Netherlands. The program was entitled “Parliamentary majority demands investigation into Turkish movement” (“Kamermeerderheid eist onderzoek naar Turkse beweging”). This occurred during a time when the Gulen Movement's activities in the Netherlands were being questioned and investigated by the government. Public funding for Gulen schools was reduced subsequent to this.
Some material relating to this program is available on the NOVA website. One page is of particular interest, as it contains statements made by 3 ex-members of the Gulen Movement. These statements are in Dutch, but an English translation is provided here (below).
Statements from former members
July 4, 2008
As a student I have for 8 years been present among the Nurcus in the Netherlands.
As a matter of fact, the Nurcus are divided in several different groups, the sect in which I was a member is the movement of Fethullah Gulen, who is currently living in the United States. This large organization has, as is well known, formed the media group Zaman; one of the largest TV channels in Turkey. Also one of the largest political groups in Turkey. Furthermore, they have a newspaper distributed also in the Netherlands with a circulation of one million. And many boarding schools such as Het Centrum ("The Center") in Rotterdam. These are matters which are all public information. However, this is the only thing that is publicly known.
The core of the organization is secret and it has many aspects including;
(1) teaching groups, in almost every country in the world including of course the Netherlands,
this well-camouflaged group is very active at 3 levels:
(i) elementary school children who are accompanied by secondary school students
(ii) secondary school children who are accompanied by and indoctrinated by university students.
(iii) student groups with student organizations among which the most well-known is Cosmicus.
All universities and HBOS (secondary schools) in the Netherlands have students who in turn recruit new members if they do not come from boarding schools throughout the Netherlands where secondary students live. In and of itself, the homework assistance from fellow students is very good;
However, this group is organized as a sect with a groupthink outside of which these students cannot think, one of the important characteristics of a sect.
Also the parents of the elementary students as well as the parents of secondary schools give an annual gift to the organization. This money-collection is called “hizmet Toplantısı” (“service meetings”). Parents and students are stigmatized if they do not make a reasonable contribution, one of the characteristics of a sect. These monies are not registered and are in the greatest part sent to countries where this enormous organization is also active, for example Turkmenistan or Nigeria, or Indonesia, or the Balkans, etc.
The conditions of middle school children which are fully indoctrinated with so-called Islamic ideals are very poor, on the other hand, the parents are glad that they are not burdened with their adolescent children, everyone is happy except the poor students; they sleep together with several boys; there is no question of any privacy. After years living in the boarding school it is psychologically impossible to pull yourself away; you get guilt feelings. Furthermore, it forces the students to live, think and do as the Big brothers instruct them to. Furthermore, through psychological pressure, these students are told which choice of career is the best they can make for the sake of high ideals.
Another very bad aspect is that students no longer respect their parents and they do not listen if the parents do not live by the standards imposed by the group; they are psychologically distanced from their parents; here you have your little soldiers that march only to the orders of their Abis. The Abis are obliged to obey the provincial leaders, who in turn must obey the national leaders, who in turn obey Fethullah Gulen.
(2) a commercial group, which rents houses and boarding schools that parents pay for. Furthermore, everything is purchased by merchants for the boarding schools. Moreover, parents are also indirectly pressured to do all their shopping with their affiliated commercial group.
(3) The political branch of this mafia-like organization; the Turkish Government. Also, the military have a lot of senior people in their midst. These people occupy positions in all levels of society.
The same structure is almost ready in the Netherlands. Many of their members are active in Dutch politics; at present mainly local governments; federal control through parliament members will follow. Their political network in all political parties is quite large, but at present still local.
Islam and dialogue, I find this the worst part; another mafia structure that is abusing my inviolable faith for their very important goals, namely: (1) political power around the world; they are getting there fast, and (2) financial power; they are already the richest group in Turkey, this group excludes others from participating in the Netherlands;
Everything is done through the indoctrination of the students who form a separate group, also they will always disavow anything that contradicts what Islam wants; openness, fairness to all, whether or not religious let alone whether or not Muslim; there should be no distinction.
Also, the family is a major cornerstone of society, in which you should not take away the responsibility of the parents, they do this also.
Furthermore, starting with puberty, children have an extra need for privacy, which they deny; They create good obedient young soldiers for their purposes, those few students who wake up are regarded as apostate and monitored so that they do not disclose their secrets. therefore it is [sic].
I have known this movement in the Netherlands since beginning of 1990’s. In Turkey, I was for 7 years active as a pupil. They have been organized in five branches.
1: Education for example: boarding schools in various cities in the Netherlands such as: Rotterdam, Amsterdam Dortrecht and Nijmegen. They are known as the Akyazili boarding School and The Center in Rotterdam and students of associations Cosmicus, White Tulip and Lucerna.
2: Islam and dialogue. By misusing Islam they come in contact with various Christian and humanist organizations. As an example, they recently set up a Dialogue Academy through which they make contacts. And through these organizations they launch what appears to be a whole modern and integrated mosims [sic, probably should read “Muslims”]. Although within the group the members are indoctrinated in anti-integration and are subjected to awful negative views of the Dutch way of life and distrust of Dutch society.
3: Political network. They are represented by various parties. The second agenda is one of good thoughts. This real network abuses Dutch goodwill and uses it to suit its purpose.
4: Commercial network. They are very well organized in all countries of the world. A good example is the way they arrange trips to Turkey for Dutchmen so that they can then brainwash them. They even have various entrepreneurs' (businessmen's) networks in the Netherlands. The best known are Hogiaf and Anifer. Recently they too have organized travels.
5: Media. The best known are Samanyolu TV international, Feza TV and the newspaper Zaman. Zaman is published monthly, weekly and daily. The weekly reaches 10 thousand families in the Netherlands; this in the Netherlands. This is especially propagated by Milli Gorus in the Netherlands. Many of these papers are distribuuted free everywhere. Many Dutchmen are honored to be mentioned in this newspaper.
I declare that I have been a member of the Nurcu community for 5 years. During this membership, I held different positions within the community. And I declare the following:
I declare that:
The Nurcu community is not an officially registered community but that it is known as the Nurcu's by the Turkish community.
This community has Islamic ideals although the existence of such an Islamic group was always denied by the members.
This strategy of denial is arranged so to appear that they are not part of the Islamic community if ever any negative aspects appear in the news. Another reason for this denial is to make sure that they cannot be identified.
The leader of this community is Turkish born, and lives now in the United States and his name is Fethullah Gulen.
This community is active world-wide. The headquarters and 'birthplace' of this movement is in Turkey.
In Europe they are active in the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands this community has tens of foundations, such as SEMA in Nijmegen, the Center and Akyazili in Rotterdam. Lucerna in Tilburg and Foundation White Tulip in Almere. Time Media Group, which publishes the newspaper Zaman, the TV station STV, Cihan Haber Ajansi, the periodical Aksiyon. They are all the media organ of this community. Foundation Cosmicus and Dialogue Academy are two other organizations that have official ties to this community.
Nurcu's, also named Hizmet by the members, is especially active in education and the media.
In the Netherlands they have at least one school established in Rotterdam under the name Cosmicus Class.
The main purpose of this community is to convert non-Muslims to Islam and so increase Islamic power.
The community has a complicated organizational structure. There is one person who has the final responsibility for the activities in the Netherlands. This person reports to Fathullah Gulen.
From my experience the quality of the education that this community offers is bad. The education does not promote integration.
The members of the community are under social and psychological pressure. There are life rules that each member must follow. The imam of the region in which you live decides with whom you get married. Those life regulations include the reading of particular books, observation of Islamic rules, not going outside frequently, and always listening to your superior, obeying your superior and yet much more. These rules are imposed so that they can have control over the members.
This community collects in various manners hundreds ofthousands to millions of Euros in the Netherlands alone. Nothing is reported to the tax collector.
(1) The original Dutch text contains some irregularities, likely reflecting the fact that it was written by non-native speakers. For this reason, the English translation above may appear somewhat awkward in places.
(2) The term “Abi” is a Turkish word (colloquial form of ağabey, which means “big brother”) that when used within the Gülen movement refers to junior members of the movement, sometimes tutors, who are supposed to lead a group of students, befriend them, and work towards converting them.
(3) "Milli Gorus" (National View) refers to a Turkish religious movement that is very active in Europe.
(4) "Nurcu" is a term referring to followers of Said Nursi, and is sometimes used for the Gulen Movement. Gulen's followers are sometimes called the "Nurcular." Technically speaking, not all followers of Said Nursi are necessarily followers of Gulen, but the Gulenists are clearly dominant in this group today.