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GülenThe Ambiguous Politics of Market Islam in Turkey and the World$
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Joshua D. Hendrick

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770986

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770986.001.0001

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Strategic Ambiguity and Its Discontents (i.e., the Gülen Movement in the United States)

Strategic Ambiguity and Its Discontents (i.e., the Gülen Movement in the United States)

(p.206) 8 Strategic Ambiguity and Its Discontents (i.e., the Gülen Movement in the United States)

Joshua D. Hendrick

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the Gülen Movement's (GM) activities in the United States to illustrate how its reliance on strategic ambiguity seems to have reached its limits. The GM network is characterized by an ambiguous system of strong and weak social ties and client-patron relationships that extend throughout the global economy. When the GM fell victim to a state-led backlash against religious identity communities in Turkey in the late 1990s, Fethullah Gülen fled to the United States. In the United States, Gülen's followers were able to replicate their education and economic network. This chapter considers the GM's public relations efforts to promote Fethullah Gülen in the United States as well as its education initiatives in the country. It shows that the GM's U.S. experience is reflective of both the successes and the discontents of its strategically ambiguous “post-political” mobilization.

Keywords:   education, Gülen Movement, United States, strategic ambiguity, Turkey, Fethullah Gülen, public relations, post-political mobilization

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