When he was approximately 20 years old, Gülen left Erzurum for Edirne, Turkey's door to the West. Years of deprivation, solitude, and surveillance followed a period of military service that was particularly fertile in Mamak and Iskenderun. During his military service, one of his commanders encouraged him to read the Western classics. After returning to Edirne and therefrom to Kirklareli, Gülen unexpectedly found himself in Izmir in 1966. While in Edirne he was known as the Hodja from Erzurum; when he went to Erzurum he was called the Hodja from Edirne. In Izmir he was known as Fethullah Hodja or Hodjaefendi.