Hendrick, “Gülen: The Ambiguous Politics of Market Islam in Turkey and the World”

This August, New York University Press will publish Gülen: The Ambiguous 9780814770986_FullPolitics of Market Islam in Turkey and the World by Joshua D. Hendrick (Loyola University Maryland).  The publisher’s description follows.

The “Hizmet” (“Service”) Movement of Fethullah Gülen is Turkey’s most influential Islamic identity community. Widely praised throughout the early 2000s as a mild and moderate variation on Islamic political identity, the Gülen Movement has long been a topic of both adulation and conspiracy in Turkey, and has become more controversial as it spreads across the world. In Gülen, Joshua D. Hendrick suggests that when analyzed in accordance with its political and economic impact, the Gülen Movement, despite both praise and criticism, should be given credit for playing a significant role in Turkey’s rise to global prominence

M. Fethullah Gülen, the movement’s founder, moved to the U.S in 1998. Following their leader across the Atlantic, loyalists in the Gülen network have expanded their operations in the U.S., where they are now active in intercultural outreach, commerce, political lobbying, and charter school education. Hendrick argues that it is the Gülen Movement’s growth and impact both inside and outside Turkey that has helped Turkey emerge as a regional power in the twenty-first century.

Drawing on 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Turkey and the U.S., Hendrick examines the Gülen Movement’s role in Turkey’s recent rise, as well as its strategic relationship with Turkey’s Justice and Development Party-led government. He argues that the movement’s growth and impact both inside and outside Turkey position both its leader and its followers as indicative of a “post political” turn in twenty-first century Islamic political identity in general, and as illustrative of Turkey’s political, economic, and cultural transformation in particular.

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