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How Gülen triumphed

Over half a million people voted in our poll. But of the many voting campaigns mounted, only one had a decisive impact

By Tom Nuttall   July 2008

When Prospect and Foreign Policy drew up our list of the world’s top 100 public intellectuals a few weeks ago, none of us expected a Turkish Sufi cleric, barely known in the west, to sweep to victory. Nor did we expect every name in the top ten would be from a Muslim background. (Noam Chomsky, who won the last poll in 2005, led the west in 11th place this time.)

The early running this year was made by Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian novelist, and Garry Kasparov, the chess grandmaster turned anti-Putin dissident. At one point Al Gore was on…

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