Well-respected Turkish intellectual and scholar Fethullah Gulen has decided to donate the honorarium that accompanies the Manhae Peace Prize he received to Peace Projects Grant Program.
Gulen was awarded the Manhae Peace Prize for his contributions to world peace at a ceremony held in South Korea last Sunday. Among the prominent recipients of the Manhae awards since they were first presented in 1997 are former South African President Nelson Mandela, exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and Iranian rights advocate Shirin Ebadi.
JWF President Mustafa Yesil received the prestigious Manhae award and generous 28,000USD honorarium in South Korea on behalf of Gulen, who was not able to attend the award ceremony due to health problems.
JWF's Yesil, who delivered a speech at the event after receiving Gulen's award, said the goals and ideals of the Hizmet movement are to help people and to make lives better without expecting anything in return and to work for world peace.
“Mr. Gulen has emphasized that he is accepting this award not for himself, but on behalf of the volunteers who work for humanity and peace. I find it meaningful that this award named after Manhae, who sought to become an ideal person and who made big sacrifices for his homeland, is being given to Mr. Gulen.” Yesil said.
Gulen is a Turkish Islamic scholar well-known for his teachings promoting mutual understanding and tolerance between cultures. Now residing in the US, he has pioneered educational activities in a number of countries, along with efforts to promote intercultural and interfaith activities around the world. He has written nearly 50 books in Turkish, some of which have been translated into several languages.
What was especially memorable was also the reality that the Peace Projects and the Istanbul Summit benefited me professionally and personally, opened up my mind and gave me even more to become passionate about peace, dialogue and commitment to welfare of all humanity.