The theologian and writer, Dr. Ahmet Kurucan, reminisces about his years as a student with Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi. His book titled “From Memory to Paper – My Years as a Student with Hocaefendi” has been released by Süreyya Kitap and is now on the shelves. The book discusses Gülen’s identity as a scholar, how he raised his students, and how he instilled the love of knowledge in them.
Ahmet Kurucan has witnessed Fethullah Gülen’s daily life and is one of his closest companions. He has had meals with Hocaefendi, traveled together, hosted guests, and spent a significant amount of time with him.
In this 382-page book, Ahmet Kurucan highlights two important aspects of Hocaefendi: his scholarly identity and his human qualities. Regarding the book, Ahmet Kurucan says:
“In this book, I will emphasize two aspects to the extent possible. One is Hocaefendi’s scholarly identity, the original idea of which belongs to Enes Ergene, but with the agreement of Ali Bulaç, it can be said that ‘Fethullah Hoca is the last representative of the scholarly tradition inherited from the Ottoman era.’
As for his human qualities; you live together for 24 hours a day. You have breakfast, lunch, and dinner together, either at the same table or in the same room, right next to his table.
You watch the news together on TV or listen to it on the radio. You read the newspaper that he reads. You participate in conversations with guests who are always present. You occasionally join him on intercity journeys. You witness his joy, anger, sorrow, grief, illness, and well-being.
When you cannot sleep, you see him coming to you in the corridor while you study and sit together for an hour to have a conversation. Sometimes friends come with their children. You observe how he interacts with the children. Of course, there are exceptions for those with specific problems, but there are also people who openly share their commercial, family, or other problems, seeking solutions and advice, and you are the first-hand witness to these.
Sometimes you go to social events at other people’s homes. You witness his conversations and interactions with famous individuals from the fields of politics, art, culture, and sports. In essence, when he retreats to his room within the 24-hour timeframe, except for that narrow or wide space, you share the same atmosphere and breathe the same air.
In other words, you are together with Fethullah Gülen, who is a human being. And the most important reason for me to write this memoir is that you have always taken notes of these experiences, which I refer to as witnessing history, and have preserved those notes from that day until today.”