Do the Gülen-inspired institutions outside Turkey have any effect on Turkey's foreign relations?
In the year 2000, in order to give a new impetus to Turkey's relations with Central Asian and Caucasian countries, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs held advisory meetings with Turkey's ambassadors to those countries.
The report on the meetings said that Gülen schools in those countries had a positive effect on Turkey’s relations with their governments.
In a 2003 report prepared for the RAND Corporation, public policy expert Cheryl Benard stated: ‘Gülen puts forward a version of Islamic modernity that is strongly influenced by Sufism and stresses diversity, tolerance, and non-violence. His writings have inspired a strong multinational following and have proven attractive to young people.’
In 2004 Kyrgyz Constitutional Court President Bayekova described Gülen as a person of science, peace, and tolerance. Remarking on the international importance of Gülen’s work, Bayekova said: ‘We saw in Gülen an example that, if a person wants, he can achieve as much on his own as a government does. We can establish peace and dialogue if we want. We, as Kyrgyz, work hard to fulfill Gülen’s goals.’
In 2005 the Romanian commission of UNESCO presented Gülen with an award for his remarkable efforts in activities concerned with dialogue and tolerance and his efforts toward co-operation and peace between the nations of the world.
Turkish diplomatic and even military personnel enroll their children in Gülen-inspired schools abroad, and the reports Turkish ambassadors abroad have sent home on the schools are full of praise. Many other people from all walks of life have also visited the schools and witnessed the quality of education and the positive change in the students and the peoples affected, and expressed their approval. In this way, the schools have also become a means for the Gülen Movement to gain recognition.