Gulen Schools Worldwide

Gulen Schools Worldwide
Restore the Ottoman Caliphate. Disclaimer: if some videos are down this is the result of Gulen censorship which filed a fake copyright infringement to UTUBE.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gulen Movement to take over Academy in England?

Parents are being informed of a plan to make The Warriner School and two primaries an academy, sponsored by a Turkish-backed organisation.

The primary schools are Sibford and Hornton. Parents have been sent letters by Warriner head teacher Dr Annabel Kay and chair of governors Mandy Morris extolling the virtues of the plan and an open meeting was held to answer questions.

The organisations involved, BAU Foundation and Mentora Academies Trust, are new and were only accepted and registered with the Department for Education (DfE) in August.

If the schools leave Oxfordshire County Council – the local education authority (LEA) – they will be funded centrally. It is not known how much the allowance will be but the Mentora Academies Trust will give the academy a ‘token’ £150,000 a year and it is understood the academy would be better off.

Dr Kay, an unpaid director of the BAU Foundation, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to access national best practice to support all our schools in providing the very best outcomes for all our children.

“The directors are a group of highly-skilled people who want to work with us to be the very best we can.”

Academies organise and pay for their own management and administration with input from their sponsor and can reorganise pay scales and conditions to suit their priorities.


Gulen losing power in Turkey? The riff between Erdogan vs. Gulen

The Turkish national flag and a poster of Atatürk are seen hanging on a school building on the first day of school on September 16, 2013. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

At the NATO headquarters in Brussels, a Turkish diplomat greeted a passing delegation in his mother tongue. “They are Albanian diplomats. They are the F type,” he told me. By “F type,” he meant that they were graduates of the schools in Albania run by followers of Fethullah Gülen, Turkey’s most influential cleric.

Many Gülen-affiliated schools were established in the post-Cold War period, particularly in the Balkans and Central Asia, and later in Africa. At home, the Turkish secular system has long been suspicious of the movement’s religiosity, and has always kept a close eye on the Gülenists.

Nervous about the growing strength of political Islam, Turkey’s fiercely secular military-judicial elites embarked on a massive purge of the Gülenists following the military coup of 1997, which unseated the Turkish Republic’s first Islamist-led government. Gülen, who took refuge in the United States, was tried in absentia on charges of seeking to overthrow Turkey’s secular order.

But while Gülenists and their schools outlived the secularist grip on power, the movement is again coming under pressure, this time from Erdoğan’s conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. Today, some of the educational institutions run by Gülen’s followers are facing closure by the very Islamist government the movement has long supported.

The Gülen movement contributed to the consolidation of AKP governance as the two joined hands to eliminate a common foe: Turkey’s Kemalist, staunchly secularist military-judicial tutelage system. While the AKP government turned a blind eye to the growing dominance of Gülenists in key institutions, the movement helped the AKP eliminate their enemies. Gülenist institutions, such as their media outlets, supported the controversial Ergenekon case that landed hundreds of military officials and journalists perceived to be supporting the old “Kemalist” order in jail, having been convicted of plotting to topple the AKP government.

While the weakening of the old actors suited the interests of Erdoğan’s party, the Gülenists’ perceived abuse of power and infiltration of the judiciary and police started to alarm the AKP. Many trace the beginning of the falling-out to the government’s move to strengthen the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) against the police department. Erdoğan appointed one of his closest aids, Hakan Fidan, to head the MIT in 2010.

The power struggle was laid bare for the first time when a court summoned Fidan for questioning in early 2012 over talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Many in Turkey felt that the Gülen movement was targeting Erdoğan and displaying its discontent with the government’s policy toward the Kurdish issue.

As the main foe had been eliminated with the military under civilian control and their former civilian supporters discredited, “the partnership is over,” wrote journalist Ahmet Hakan.

The struggle has now entered a new phase after the AKP government decided to target the Gülenists’power base, the so-called prep schools that provide private courses to high school students to help them pass their university exams. They not only generate financial resources, but also serve as a recruiting ground for new followers.

Speculation abounds as to why Erdoğan has gone for this potentially risky move against the Gülenists, especially ahead of local and general elections that will take place in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Showing increasing signs of authoritarianism, Erdoğan no longer has an appetite for sharing his power, let alone allowing any other power center to interfere with his way of governing.

Although it is a large network that controls major business, trade and publishing activities, the lack of transparency and the loose organizational structure of the Gülen movement make it hard to assess its influence on Turkish society. But Erdoğan must have calculated that the movement’s clout is smaller than what is being projected by Gülenist media outlets.

In his gamble, Erdoğan is relying on his own support base and the extremely low probability of the Gülen movement’s supporters turning to other political parties, like the Republican People’s Party or the Nationalist Movement Party, which they see as the remnants of the old Kemalist system.

The local elections in March next year will give an indication of where the struggle will lead. Some believe that there will be a temporary ceasefire until after the local elections and that the contention will flare up with the presidential elections, which are scheduled to take place in the summer.

Since Erdoğan is expected to run for the presidency, the Gülen movement might also want to show its strength by boycotting the local elections. A significant loss of votes for the AKP in the local elections might force the prime minister to mend fences with the Gülenists if he wants to secure the presidency.

All views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, The Majalla magazine.
About the writer, Barcin Yinanc

Barçin Yinanç

Barçın Yinanç started her career in journalism in 1990 at Milliyet Daily, one of Turkey's major newspapers. She worked as a diplomatic reporter covering Turkish foreign policy issues, Turkey–EU relations, transatlantic ties and regional developments from the Middle East to the Caucasus. In 2001, she became a television reporter for CNN Türk, later becoming a program editor for the same channel. She is currently a columnist for the English-language newspaper Hürriyet Daily News. She lives in Istanbul.


Gulen Movement by Carnegie Endowment, from social activism and politics

Since its election in 2002, the ruling Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP), under the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has transformed Turkey. The reforms initiated by this conservative government with Islamic roots have amounted to a passive revolution—they have profoundly altered Turkish society, modernized its institutions, and strengthened its economy, which is now the sixteenth-largest in the world in terms of GDP.


Yet it would be a mistake to attribute the many successes that have enhanced Turkey’s role as a major regional and international player to AKP leadership alone. Erdoğan’s government has enjoyed support from a number of political organizations as well as from influential religious and social forces within Turkey. The most invaluable, but also the hardest to assess, is a movement that plays a fundamental role in Turkey’s social and religious life: the Gülen movement of Fethullah Gülen, referred to by the terms cemaat or hizmet.

The AKP and the Gülen movement established an alliance in 2002 based on a common desire to push back the central role of the military in the country and create a new, more conservative, and more Muslim Turkey. Each brought different skills to the task—Erdoğan and his AKP colleagues were experienced in political activism and electoral politics, while the Gülen movement used education and social activism to promote its objectives. This alliance was not without disagreements, but until recently common interests outweighed differences.

During the past few months, however, tensions have deepened between Erdoğan and the Gülenists in the realms of both domestic and foreign policy, causing speculation that the alliance is headed for a fundamental break. There can be no doubt that rifts have emerged over a variety of issues, from the rising power of the Gülen movement to the increasingly authoritarian actions of the prime minister. But talk of a complete break may well be premature.

The Gülen Movement

Fethullah Gülen emerged as a religious authority in Turkey in the 1970s, and little by little he became the spiritual leader of a vast community that now boasts an estimated 3 million sympathizers. Gülen, who moved to the United States in 1999, encourages his disciples to become modern, moderate Muslims. An adherent of free markets, he champions the Islamic faith and the spirit of capitalism. He is also a nationalist, seeking to boost Turkey’s influence and prestige abroad.

Gülen relies heavily on education to transmit his ideas, and he has formed a network of hundreds of schools and businesses worldwide. This network is active on every continent, including in the United States, where his sympathizers run approximately 130 charter schools, mainly in Texas.

He focuses his efforts on educating new generations and promoting the emergence of elites who are simultaneously pious, modern, patriotic, committed to globalization, and comfortable with economic success. Like the Jesuits and other missionaries who trained Turkey’s republican, Kemalist elites to value secularism and follow a Western path through the schools they founded at the end of the Ottoman Empire, Gülen aspires to use education to help forge new generation of Anatolian, conservative elites (or counterelites) that might play a key role in creating a modern, more openly Islamic Turkey.

For this reason, Gülenists have always given great importance to the training of elites. As far back as 1998, a study on relations between Turkey and the Turkic republics of Central Asia, where Gülen’s schools represented the best of Turkish policy in the region, showed that Central Asian students who were trained at Turkish police academies returned to Central Asia very familiar with Gülen’s religious and social ideas.

After emerging from Gülen’s schools, many of these elites have assumed key positions within the Turkish administration. Gülen’s disciples are influential in key institutional bureaucracies and the media. Many hold important positions in the state apparatus, the judiciary, the educational system, and key sectors of the Turkish economy. While the movement’s representatives do not deny the presence of sympathizers within state structures, they insist that this is not the result of any strategy to infiltrate the state apparatus and instead point to the fact that these educated individuals have reached high ranks in the civil service thanks to their work ethic and perseverance.

Political Influence

Indeed, the Gülen movement is quick to emphasize that it is essentially religious and social, not political. In practice, however, Gülen’s community is interested in politics. But it must refrain from coming across as partisan, which could divide its members, many of whom are attracted to Gülen’s religious discourse rather than to his ideas and political initiatives.

Still, over time the presence of Gülen’s disciples in the state apparatus has given the movement a significant amount of political influence, a development that may have contributed to the AKP’s desire to form an alliance. After coming to power, the AKP offered Gülen’s community its political and, especially, its symbolic backing, publicly supporting his educational initiatives in Turkey and abroad. In exchange, the AKP benefited from the social connectedness of Gülen’s movement and from the support of the media outlets with which the movement enjoys a close relationship.

And the alliance was based on more than just pragmatic concerns. The AKP and the Gülen movement also share the same social base—the rising Anatolian middle classes, which are morally conservative, economically market-oriented, and open to globalization. In addition, the religious conservatism of the AKP and the Gülen movement is directed against a common enemy: the Turkish army and the bureaucracy, which are dominated by the Kemalist intelligentsia. This has created an unwritten pact between the two groups, bolstering their complementarity.

Gülenists have been uncharacteristically active in the public debate on a new Turkish constitution, advocating for a political system that is more parliamentarian than presidential. The movement has also organized conferences and discussions in Turkey and abroad through its prestigious Abant Platform, which aims to strengthen democracy through dialogue.

Growing Tensions

For nearly ten years, the alliance between the AKP and the Gülen movement—natural and spontaneous, for the most part—has functioned well, but it is now showing increasing fragility, exacerbated by changes in the conditions and the sociopolitical context that initially gave rise to it. Indeed, the raison d’être for this alliance—the vital need for both groups to protect themselves against the Kemalist apparatus, embodied in particular by the army—is gradually disappearing. With support from the Gülenists, the ruling AKP has considerably reduced the role and power of the army, which no longer enjoys the political prerogatives that made it even recently the true power in the country. A host of other factors have also contributed to growing tensions, and the diametrically opposed temperaments of the two leaders—Erdoğan is impetuous and hot-tempered, and Gülen is prophetically calm—do not facilitate dialogue.

The first rift between the AKP and the Gülen movement was in the foreign policy arena. As prime minister, Erdoğan has cooled relations between Turkey and Israel for political, strategic, and ideological reasons. A crisis broke out between the two countries in May 2010 when a Turkish relief organization attempted to send a flotilla of humanitarian aid to Gaza in defiance of the Israeli government’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli navy boarded several ships of the flotilla, including the Turkish MV Mavi Marmara, and faced resistance from the activists aboard. Nine activists, including eight Turkish nationals, were killed.

Gülen publicly disapproved of the Turkish NGO’s initiative to break the Israeli blockade. He criticized the Turkish government for supporting it and distanced himself from the prime minister’s anti-Israel rhetoric. Indeed, Gülen’s community has always refrained from strongly criticizing Israel, in part because doing so would run counter to the ecumenical, interreligious discourse that has contributed to the movement’s global success. This stance also reflects the fact that the Gülen movement has a strong presence in the United States, where it enjoys backing from many friends of Israel, and this powerful American support reinforces its influence.

Gülen’s disapproval may also reflect the fact that the NGO that organized the flotilla, the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, was close to the AKP and to some extent in competition with the Gülen movement’s own activities in the social sector.

On the domestic front, the two organizations have begun to clash with more frequency. The Turkish media report that the AKP government is increasingly annoyed and concerned that its decisionmaking power and sovereignty are being challenged by the growing influence of Gülen’s community on all government structures as well as on the police, judiciary, and public education system. But unlike the secular opposition, which responds vehemently to what the media call the infiltration of state structures by Gülen’s disciples, the AKP has reacted with restraint to avoid publicizing the emerging rivalry at the heart of the state.



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Canadian Tax money ($500,000) goes to the construction of Gulen Movements Ottawa Offices

University of Toronto hosting conference sponsored by Islamist Gulen Organization

NB: See the updates below, this gets much worse. This started out as a relatively routine post on Islamist infiltration of public institutions until a bit more digging uncovered just how insidious the rot is. Toronto Police Services Chief Bill Blair sits on the advisory board of the Gulen Movement's Intercultural Dialogue Institute. The Founder of the Gulen Movement Fethullah Gülen is a rabid anti-Semite. The Ontario Government has gifted 500K of your money to help build this anti-semitic organization's Ottawa headquarters and our Minister of Citizenship & Immigration is happy to break bread with them. Our political class is comprised of useful idiots.

U of T is playing host this week to a "Religions and Social Innovation Conference". One of the events sponsors stands out, the Intercultural Dialogue Institute, this is the Canadian branch of the Gulen Movement, and bases itself on the teachings of the movement's founder, Fethullah Gulen.

The Gulen movement has among it's primary goals the Islamization of Turkey and the Turkish Islamization of the Muslim diaspora : "M. Hakan Yavuz, a Turkish professor at the University of Utah and astute observer of the Gülen movement, states that "its main goal has been the Islamization of Turkish society." Bayram Balci, another Turkish scholar who has studied the Gülen schools, said, "Fethullah's aim is the Islamization of Turkish nationality and the Turkification of Islam in foreign countries."

Much more prominent in the US, the Gulen Movement has come under fire for its system of charter schools which have received federal funding to establish what are essentially Islamic madrassas: "Americans may not realize it yet, but Turkey’s regression from a secular democracy into an Islamic state may be based on an educational movement that has also taken root in America. Imam Fethullah Gülen and his Gülen Movement (GM) have had enormous influence in setting the increasingly Islamist agenda of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Much of this is due to GM’s vast empire of media entities, financial institutions, banks and business organizations."

More on the Gulen Movement: Protesters want Turkish Islamic cleric ousted - "The protesters repeated earlier accusations against Gülen, arguing that he is connected to the government now leading Turkey and is seeking to Islamicize the country. Speakers also discussed charter schools affiliated with the movement across the U.S. and said Gülen is using American tax money to spread his message.

Umit Dikkaya came from New York City and joined friends. She wore a shirt proclaiming that she is proud to be from Turkey. “We’re here to expose the reality about this Gülen movement,” she said."

Fethullah Gülen's Grand Ambition - Turkey's Islamist Danger


Fethullah Gülen and the Jews - Link

"Dani Rodrik and Pınar Doğan, two Harvard-based scholars, have uncovered some of Gülen’s writings on Jews which should give pause for thought about where the shadowy preacher truly stands. From their “Balyoz Davası ve Gerçekler” (“Sledgehammer Case and Facts”) blog:

Even though they have lived in exile here and there and have led an almost nomadic existence, Jews have been able to maintain their racial characteristics with almost no loss. Moreover, the Jewish tribe is very intelligent. This intelligent tribe has put forth many things throughout history in the name of science and thought. But these have always been offered in the form of poisoned honey and have been presented to the world as such. For instance, Karl Marx is a Jew; the communism he developed looks like a good alternative to capitalism at first sight, but in essence it is a deathly poison mixed in honey… Jews will maintain their existence until the apocalypse. And shortly before the apocalypse, their mission of acting as the coil spring for humanity’s progress will come to an end, and they will prepare their end with their own hands.

Their incurable enmity to Islam and Muslims aside, these people, which look with scorn upon even their own prophets and killed many among them, will finally end up in the position of Nazis and will look for a place to hide in the four corners of the earth. Nevertheless, since dwelling on the true causes and motives related to this topic will both oppose the business of truth and result in raising undue passions, we shall let this pass for the moment. Yes, until Islam comes to be represented to the desired extent, it seems like luck will favor the Jews for some time still.

Sadly Toronto Police Services Chief Bill Blair sits on the Advisory Board of the Gulen Movement's Toronto Branch, the Intercultural Dialogue Institute as do many other local Grandees. For the record here's the Gulen Movement's Canadian web site listing the offices of the Intercultural Dialogue Institute across Canada. This proves, once again, that our political class are know nothing useful idiots of the Islamists.

As always our politicians are quick to make Kissy Face with Islamists: Iftar with Hon. Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

On April 23rd, 2013 Honorable David C. Onley, the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario hosted a reception in honour of the Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI)

Unbelievable: The Ontario Trillium Foundation contributed $500,000.00 of your tax dollars to the construction of the Gulen Movement's Ottawa Offices!

The Intercultural Dialogue Institute building will be a reality by July 2013. The Institute will be a centre to foster cultural understanding and dialogue amongst ethnic groups by offering educational, social, and youth programs to people from diverse communities. It will provide essential services for newcomers to settle in Canadian society and move into the workforce.

The project will cost about three million dollars. Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their contribution of $500,000 as the Community Capital Fund.

Why is Turkey being attacked by terrorists in Somalia?


Somalilandsun - At the star of the month the Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu was the target of a suicide car-bombing. A Turkish policeman lost his life in the attack and three others were wounded. The extremist movement al-Shabaab (The Youth), an off-shoot of al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack raised a number of questions about why the Turks had been targeted. For several years now, Ankara has played a very important role in attempts to alleviate the human tragedy in Somalia caused by the civil war and drought. So what could have enraged the assailants? What is the message they were trying to send to Turkish decision-makers?

1. Attacks in Somalia and the Turks.

An examination of the security record in Somalia over the past year and a half reveals that this is not the first attack targeting Turks. The recent report of the UN Secretary-General's office, S/2013/326 issued on 13 May 2013 shows that one of the Turkish aid convoys was attacked by a vehicle driven by a suicide bomber. In October of last year, Mustafa Haşimi, head of Africa operations in TIKA (the Turkish International Aid Agency), was attacked by armed militias in central Somalia near the town of Galkayo and slightly wounded. According to Somali media, there had been fierce clashes between the militia and units attached to the Puntland police escorting the TIKA official. During the clashes one of the militants was killed and three others were wounded. Earlier still, in March 2012, Muhtar Abu Zubayir, the leader of the al-Shabaab movement attacked the Turkish state in a recorded message he sent out via a radio station, accusing Ankara of being the gateway through which Western colonialism enters Somalia. Sheikh Mahmud Ragi (Ali Tayri), the official spokesman for al-Shabaab threatened to carry out more attacks on Turkish diplomats.

These incidents are evidence that Turkey's Somalia policy has now entered a new stage, and that the turmoil inside the country and its repercussions abroad will have adverse consequences on Turkey's work in the country. Ever since the Somali state went bankrupt at the start of the 1990s it has experienced a series of complex security challenges. Security, political, tribal, clan, and religious issues are entangled with one another, and a steady rise in foreign involvement has further complicated the picture.

Bearing this complexity in mind enables us to better understand the remarks of Mohammed Mirsel Sheikh, Somalia's ambassador to Turkey, to the Anatolia Agency in Ankara earlier this month. The Somali ambassador alluded to the confused state of affairs in his country when he remarked that "the machinery of the state is weak in Somalia, including its security apparatus." The ambassador continued, "the fact that al-Shahaab al-Mujahidin has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Turkish embassy in Mogadishu is not by itself sufficient. It is essential that we work together with the Turkish government to identify those responsible for the attack."

2. The Turkish-Somali Military Agreement: A Turning Point?

The attacks on Turks appear to have started early in 2012. The attacks have not been continuous but appear to be occurring at intervals and, as such, are reminiscent of the attacks on the African forces in Somalia. In addition to the strategic aspect of Somalia's relations with Turkey, it's important to remember that after the war with Kenya and before the recent attack on the Turkish Embassy, al-Shahaab had itself been subject to attacks in the areas of southern Somalia that it controlled. [1]During al-Shabaab's war with Kenya, the Somali government had also been involved, despite an initial delay. In order to strengthen the combat capabilities of the weak Somali government forces, Ankara and Mogadishu signed a military training agreement on 13 April of last year. It included training programs, exchanges, visits, and discussions between the Turkish and Somali armies. There's little doubt that the al-Shabaab movement blames its defeats (particularly the loss of Kismayo Harbour in September 2012) on the foreign powers which had fought directly against it and those who were indirectly involved by training Somali government forces. Turkey falls into this latter category.

The war waged against al-Shahaab by Kenya, Africa, and the Somali government forces came onto the international agenda at the same time as the Arab Spring. Libya's former leader, Muammar Gaddafi devoted a lot of effort in his final years to playing a key role in Somalia and channelling weapons to the various factions and groups there. Eritrea has also been accused of arming various Somali groups, among them al-Shabaab, though it has persistently denied these accusations. Nevertheless, Eritrea's president Isaias Afewerki lost his biggest ally when Gaddafi was overthrown and now finds himself facing a much bigger challenge.

The clashes taking place in the Middle East have been strikingly reflected in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somalia. [2] Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Israel all regard this region as important to their national security. There have been a lot of reports published recently which mention a gradual increase in Iran's presence in the area, in parallel with the crisis in Yemen and escalating Western opposition to Teheran. Indeed, Iran has been accused many times of supplying weaponry to al-Shabaab by sea. Leaving aside the veracity of the accusations, and regardless of whether the Somali government currently appears more stable than it did in previous years, Somalia is a prime candidate for an arena where increasing tensions from regional and international conflicts will be expressed.

3. Oil? Now What?

Somalia has recently witnessed a number of important developments with economic and strategic consequences. From the start of last year, there have been increasing signs that international petroleum and natural gas companies have renewed their interests in Somalia. Reports indicate that Somalia has rich reserves of petroleum, natural gas, and uranium. If this is the case, Somalia could become one of the world's largest energy producers. However these developments have led American, Italian, and British companies to compete and jockey for position, much like they did in the 1990s. There are those who argue that this competition was responsible for the failure of "Operation Hope", the joint U.S.-UN intervention in Somalia of the early 1990s. There are accusations that Italy had supported Muhammed Farah Aidid, the clan leader who was the main enemy of the American military. As Somalia's former colonial master, Rome argues that Washington knew nothing about the social fabric and tribal structure of Somalia, claiming that this was the cause of the mission's failure. More recently, in October 2012, the government of Somaliland (the territory which unilaterally proclaimed its independence from Somalia in the early 1990s) signed an agreement with General Energy. Turkey has since also joined the line of investors interested in Somalia.

There are other questions which could be asked about the details mentioned above. Is the Turkish government aware of all these complications in Somalia? Does it have the capability to deal with increasing attacks on Turkish targets and interests in the country? In Turkish role, was it only targeted at the need for humanitarian assistance- maybe it was done in way that it worked for a political stability that helped the interests of oil companies and traditional powers be in Somalia or Horn of Africa-? It appears that Turkish decision-makers are feeling the need to review their regional policy, partly with regard to checking the degree of acceptance for their roles in Somalia and partly to further their understanding of tribal and political relations in the country and their impact upon its domestic and foreign policies. The military forces now being trained for the benefit of the Somali state could quickly turn into an anti-government force if political and tribal interests prevailed over loyalty to the state. They could even also turn against the foreign country training them. What applies to the Somali government is equally applicable to al-Shabaab: all these armed groups are either being organized within the government or splitting off from it—depending on their interests and their tribal links. This fact creates potential internal and regional weaknesses which reflect the fluctuations already mentioned. Therefore, Turkish decision-makers determining Somalia policy should take these weaknesses into consideration.



Saturday, September 14, 2013

Gulen Turkish Schools in Yemen creates division from old Ottoman invasions

People walk past the Bab al-Yemen gate in the old part of Sanaa, Jan. 6, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)

Read more:

From the Sabaha region, which overlooks Sanaa from the west and constitutes a vital outlet to the port of Al-Hudaydah on the Red Sea, the Ottoman (Turkish) armies invaded Sanaa twice to tighten their grip on it — in 1538 and again in 1849. Perhaps it was there that the commanders of both armies paused to take a first look at a national capital that they were about to turn into merely another capital for a new Ottoman vilayet (administrative division).

About This Article

Summary :
Turkish influence in Yemen, which has continued since Ottoman times, has proven to be a divisive topic among the Yemeni public.
Original Title:
Turkey: The New-Old Actor in Yemen
Farea al-Muslimi
Posted on:  September 13 2013
Translated by: Pascale Menassa and Sahar Ghoussoub
Categories :Originals Yemen

Today, in that same region, a new tall building stands alone on the eastern side of Mount Asser, with a huge sign on which is written “International Turkish School of Sanaa.”

This school stands witness to the long history of Yemeni-Turkish relations, which is perhaps the longest-standing between any two countries in the world, despite their differences.

Naser Taha Mustafa, director of the Yemeni president’s office and former head of the Syndicate of Yemeni Journalists, said on his personal Facebook page that while his grandfather was Turkish, that has not had a negative effect on how he has been treated and regarded as a national Yemeni figure. Hundreds of Turks who stayed in Yemen after the departure of Turkish troops from Sanaa in 1918 were integrated into the highly tolerant Yemeni society, in the wake of Turkey’s defeat in World War I.

Just as some Turkish descendants are government officials, some old Turkish buildings are still being used by the Yemeni government. The headquarters of the Yemeni army’s high command uses an old Turkish building that was renovated and expanded. A Turkish monument that faces the western gate of the building was erected three years ago, standing witness to a relationship founded on common religion.

In Yemen, you can still hear an old man talking about heroic adventures and stories of wars against the Turks. At the same time, however, his elderly wife will still be wearing Turkish-style dress that was popular for a while in Sanaa, yet is now only common among old women resisting change.

Moreover, some words in the local Sanaa dialect have Turkish roots such as kindara, which means shoes. Salta, a traditional Yemeni dish that is still very popular, was the food of choice among the Turkish army decades ago.

The topic isn't simply about history. Even Turkey's current affairs resonate in Yemen and have their pros and cons. Yemenis became divided between supporters and opponents of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic government as a result of the government’s response to the Taksim Square protests in June. The rift soon widened as a result of the Egyptian army’s ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood strongly backed by Erdogan.

Any discussion of Turkish-Yemeni relations cannot overlook the historical memory between an invader and a country occupied by the power of weapons, even if spreading Islam was the pretext under which Turkey invaded Yemen. Such justification is illogical, because Yemenis adopted Islam decades before Turkey; it then spread throughout the country and citizens did not stray from their religion. Thus, there was no reason for the Ottoman Empire to impose Islam on Yemenis.

Turkey: weapons and jihadists

Whenever Turkey is mentioned today in Yemen, the first word that comes to mind is “weapons,” in reference to the multiple [illegal] weapons deals that were revealed during the past two years, before smugglers were able to succeed in bringing weapons into Yemen. These arms include thousands of pieces manufactured in Turkey. At the same time, other deals coming from Iran to Yemen were unveiled, although neither country claimed responsibility. Moreover, “Turkish pistols” have become popular in Yemen among those who are accustomed to carrying personal weapons.

Despite the contradiction between the Turkish and Iranian positions in Yemen and the region in general, Saudi media outlets have accused Turkey of cooperating with Iran and Qatar to smuggle arms to Yemen.

According to the Saudi daily Al-Sharq, “Turkey has recently appeared as a strong player — alongside Qatar, Iran and Israel — and has managed to coordinate with Qatar and share several important roles in smuggling arms to Yemen through the same networks that have been active for many years in the western part of the country.”

However, these accusations are not necessarily accurate, and come in the framework of Saudi Arabia’s disputes with Ankara regarding their differences in position toward the Muslim Brotherhood — which Riyadh publicly regards as an enemy. Yet, what is certain and constant is that Turkish arms are being smuggled to Yemen through huge deals, whether in the framework of regional coordination with those countries or without. Turkish President Abdullah Gul objected to Iran’s meddling in Yemen when he visited Sanaa less than a year ago, and expressed his shock at the actions of some countries trying to derail Yemen’s security and unity. Moreover, he confirmed that no force can take away Yemen’s unity, security and stability, and Turkey does not even want to hear of such thing.

Turkey’s supervision and support of the recruitment of Yemeni militants, with the cooperation of Yemen’s Muslim Brotherhood, was mentioned by local Yemeni newspapers at the time. Moreover, Al-Sharq mentioned earlier that a Turkish intelligence group is in Yemen to oversee the process of sending militants from the Muslim Brotherhood to Turkey, to prepare them and take them to Syria to fight against President Bashar al-Assad's regime. The newspaper also stated that Turkish Airlines has added several direct flights from Yemen to Ankara to transport militants. While the transport of militants used to happen individually before, there are now large groups going there with the Yemeni authorities' knowledge.

Turkey and the Yemeni spring

During the mandate of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Turkey worked on renovating and maintaining archaeological buildings that go back to the era of the Ottoman occupation of Yemen. Moreover, Turkey expanded its horizons of cooperation with Yemen, and its annual exports to the latter reached into the millions of dollars. The Turkish president visited Sanaa and gave Yemenis unprecedented emotional praise by saying, “Merely the mention of Yemen in Turkey causes Turks to get shivers down their spines. All Arab countries are our friends, but Turks know Yemen very well because of their shared history and beautiful memories.”

Yemenis remained impressed by the ruling experience of the Islamists in Turkey, until Ankara revealed its public support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which led the revolutions of the Arab Spring in several countries, including Yemen. Thus, the position of Yemenis toward Turkey changed in line with their position on these revolutions and on the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of power in several countries.

When Turkey announced its support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen and opened its hospitals to treat wounded members of the group, as well as when Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2011) and Muslim Brotherhood member Tawakkol Karman was granted Turkish citizenship, the country’s popularity increased among the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters in Yemen — to the point that Karman announced she was more proud of her Turkish nationality than her Nobel Peace Prize. On the other hand, Ankara’s antagonism to other parties — whether supporting the former regime or opposing the Muslim Brotherhood — intensified, especially after the increased mutual visits between officials of the two countries and the strictness of Ankara’s opposing position to Assad’s regime in Syria and the new authority in Egypt. These latter positions constitute the main reason behind the division of the Yemeni street regarding these parties, whether collectively or individually.

Erdogan’s four-finger salute — which became the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and was soon adopted by hundreds of thousands around the world — is also widely spread in Yemen. Pro-Turkey Yemeni parties have announced their stances in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, based on Turkey’s policies in Egypt and Syria.

Turkey in the Yemeni school curriculum

For decades, Yemeni ninth-graders studied detailed chapters on the bloody and cruel reign of the Ottoman Empire in Yemen and its unfair taxation system.

However, another educational program was established in Yemen and lasted from the 1970s until 2001 when former President Saleh canceled it. It was called the scientific institute program and was funded by the state budget. The program was run by the Muslim Brotherhood, which developed its curriculum, presenting the Ottoman era as the "Ottoman conquest of Yemen." Students were taught that the conquest was to promote and spread the Islamic caliphate. It was not about colonialism or invasion — the term conquest refers to the rule of the Islamic state in non-Muslim countries for the purpose of spreading Islam, whether by means of war or peace.

There was a significant difference between these institutes and public schools in terms of what students were taught about Ottoman Turkey. Public school textbooks were much more thorough when it came to this topic.

The Turkish school in Sanaa

Nearly half a decade ago, the Turkish Embassy opened a private school in Sanaa, which now has branches in Taizz and Aden. Two years ago, the school acquired its own building on the western entrance to Sanaa, through which Turkish armies had entered, setting the stage for its centuries-long rule.

Hundreds of Yemeni students enrolled in this school. Some of them visited Turkey within the framework of the school's program to spread and promote Turkish culture. For three years, the school has been sponsoring a science contest for students in Sanaa. The contest includes three subjects, yet excludes history, perhaps due to the Turks’ sensitivity to this subject. Also, Turkey has recently started to grant Yemeni students scholarships to various Turkish universities.

It seems that the history of foreign influence in Yemen is playing out once again. While today the conflict of power between Turkey and Iran has been reflected on the situation in Yemen, both countries had colonial rule in Yemen.

The Persians — during the era of the Sassanid Empire — invaded Yemen in the sixth century, while the Ottoman Empire conquered Yemen 10 centuries later in the early 16th century. Ottoman rule lasted until the end of World War I, and thus is fresher in the minds of Yemenis than those of the Persians.

The coalition between domestic conflicting parties and regional conflicting parties — which are seen as extensions of the former — has strongly provoked a sense of nationalism among Yemenis. Yet, Yemenis are well aware that this coalition will affect Yemenis alone in the future — whether those who studied in the Houthi sessions in Saada, those who graduated from the Turkish school in Sanaa or those who stood on the fence between both sides.

The combination of religion and politics, which characterizes current foreign intervention in Yemen, threatens Yemeni social peace more than anything else — even more than nuclear weapons. This is true because while this intervention is led from the outside, its repercussions will have a major effect within the Yemeni borders alone.

Farea al-Muslimi is a Yemeni youth activist, writer and freelancer. His work has appeared in The National, Foreign Policy, As Safir and many other regional and international media outlets. On Twitter: @AlMuslimi

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fetullah Gulen Protestosu 1.eylem part-2 13.07.2013 Saylorsburg PA Usa (...

Turkish Americans protest at Gulen's compound in Saylorsburg, PA.
They stood their ground with concerned American Teachers, parents and citizens
They want to warn Ameirca of the dangers of harboring a criminal that must stand
charges in Turkey for disrupting a secular government.  The reason for Gulen fleeing
to the USA and seeking asylum and living as a recluse in seclusion. 
Gulen's Empire is estimated at $25 Billion

Friday, July 5, 2013

Protest at American home of exiled Imam Fethullah Gulen, July 13, 2013 in Pennsylvania

  • 1:00pm until 4:00pm in EDT
  • 1865 Mount Eaton Road iin Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, 18353


    1- İstiklal Marşı
    ... 2-Atatürk, silah arkadaşları ve gezi eyleminde cemaat polisi tarafından hunharca katledilen arkadaşlarımız için 1 dakikalık saygı duruşu
    3-10. Yıl Marşı
    4-Hazırlanan bildirinin basına okunması ve dağıtılması
    5-fetullah gerçeğinin basın aracılığı ile hem ABD'ye hem de Dünya'ya anlatılması
    6-Eylemin bitişi

    YILANIN ADRESİ: 1857 Mt. Eaton Road in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania
    Eylem Saati: 1 pm de başlayacak...


    Fethullah Gulen, A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING!

    Our fellow Americans,
    We as Turkish-Americans are here to warn you about this very dangerous man! This man is an extremist Islamist with intentions of spreading Sharia Law all over the world. We know! And we are here to warn you and expose him!

    When living in Turkey, Gulen was a staunch enemy of secularism. He pushed for an authoritarian Islamic state. In fact, a Wikileaks wire reveals how Istanbul Chief Rabbi Ishak Haleva tried to warn USA of this man’s activities, saying he is a “radical Islamist” whose moderate message cloaks a more sinister and radical agenda.

    After Gulen fled Turkey in 1998, upon being charged with seeking to overthrow the secular Turkish government to replace it with an Islamic Republic, he was able to secure a visa to move to USA.

    How did he receive his residency status while he was ‘wanted’ by the –then- Turkish Government? This is still a mystery. Now, this man owns and operates charter schools in USA –through various foundations- despite the fact his Madrasas were outlawed in countries like Russia and Uzbekistan. His schools were under investigation in the Netherlands. Plus, the origin of his immense wealth, which he used to open and operate these schools all over the world, is unclear. Who is behind him?

    On July 13, Turkish Americans and anyone who believes in secular democracy and human rights are getting together to protest him, in front of his home in Pennsylvania! The protest will be peaceful and our message is clear, the USA should not shelter or host a dangerous man like this while we are fighting extremists all over the world. War on terror should start at home!

    1- USA and Turkish National Anthems
    2- A moment of silence for our Turkish friends who died fighting these extremists in Turkey and for anyone who died on war on terror. And for the heroes who fought for the secular Turkish Republic, Ataturk and his comrades in arms.
    3-10th year anthem
    4-Reading and disbursement of the statement
    5-Information on Fetullah Gulen
    6-Finish and goodbyes

    Address: 1865 Mount Eaton Road iin Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, 18353
    Protests date and time: July 13, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.

    Bring your signs and slogans! We are going to show the world this snake!

  • Thursday, May 23, 2013

    Gulen Movement launches new Turkish School in Chad, Africa and many more Turkish business to extract resources out of Africa

    A new school building has been launched under the umbrella of Chad-Turkish Educational Institutions active in the central African country Chad, saved from the brink of revolution in early May. In attendance of the grand opening of the school founded by the deceased philanthropist Ahmet Guner from Duzce (a province in Turkey) in the capital N'Djamena were Chad's prime minister Joseph Djimrangar, minister of education Abdelkerim Seid Bauche, Turkey's ambassador to Chad Ahmet Kavas, the founder Guner's son Murat Guner and a crowded group of guests.

    PM Dadnadji arrived at the school launched in a critical period, which witnessed a revolution attempt foiled by the state, under high security measures. Chad police department took extensive security measures in the area surrounding the ceremony venue.

    Following the national anthems of both countries, the president of International Chad Educational Institutions Huseyin Serce noted that their educational initiatives kicked off with only 17 students in 2001 have been continuously growing ever since and added all they seek is to offer a higher quality education to Chad.

    Murat Gungor, on the other hand, recalling his father couldn't live up to see the school's opening said they, as children of Ahmet Guner, will definitely continue the services handed down to them.Next, Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Kavas noted these educational activities are investments for future bilateral relations. The minister of education Abdelkerim Seid Bauche alike said bilateral relations in the future will be shaped by today's ongoing efforts performed in education. He further said Chad-Turkish schools function as bridges between the two countries and they greatly appreciates the schools' activities.

    Following the remarks, PM Dadnadji cut the ribbon of the building with 430-student capacity. The construction launched in 2011 cost approximately 3 million dollar. As the most modern education institution in Chad, the school comprises library and language classrooms alongside the computer and science labs. Dominated by local teachers, the academic staff offers Arabic, French, Turkish and English courses. The poem performance by a little Chad student and the local guests in their traditional clothes added color to the ceremony.

    Source: [in Turkish] Timeturk, 17 May 2013. English translation is retrieved from HizmetMovement.Com

    Turkish businessmen aka Gulen's TUSKON gift another school to south Africa


    Managers of Gaziantep based Caliskan Group and South Africa based Sumo Coal, brothers Israfil and Semsettin Caliskan, have constructed a 500-student capacity school in Pretoria, the managerial capital of South Africa. The inauguration of Star College was performed by the minister of education of Gauteng province, Barbara Creecy, in an opening ceremony hosted by a former Fenerbahce midfielder Johan Moshoe.

    The ceremony started by Moshoe with Turkish jokes. Moshoe, who is currently the coach of Star College soccer team, talked about his love of Turkey, where he spent his 11 years. Students sang Turkish songs and dance show of little ones received great applause from the audience.

    Besides the minister of education Greecy, congressmen, Turkish ambassador of Pretoria Kaan Esenler, ambassadors of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Zambia, Ukraine to South Africa, diplomats, politicians and Turkish businessmen attended the ceremony.

    After offering his gratitude to Turkish investors for donating a large education complex to the capital, Mosheo invited Fatih Caliskan who was representing his father Israfil Caliskan, and Semsettin Caliskan to the stage. Greecy presented Caliskan brothers with a plaque of appreciation, and said: First of all, I would like to thank you very much for gifting us with this magnificent building. I would like to thank Ufuk [Horizon] Education Foundation who has opened 8 education centers in South Africa. The school that we are inaugurating now will be a flagship of others. But I hope that it will not be the last one and you will open more schools. Turkish schools do not only provide students with just an academic education they also prepare students for the society by not neglecting important aspects of education such as sports, personal development, family and adaptation to social life, and universal code of ethics. Turkish schools successfully educate out kids on topics of great importance to us such as math, science, and technology. In this respect, they serve as a model for education in South Africa. We have sent a delegation to Turkey to study your method of education.

    Following the opening ceremony, the guests were served with delicacies from Turkish cuisine.

    Source: Cihan, 20 April 2013

    Disclaimer: The original article is in Turkish. Slight deviations from the original meaning may have occurred due to the difficulties in translating phrases and idioms. PII volunteers translated the article.


    Monday, April 29, 2013

    Gulen Schools Worldiwde, Tally of Gulen Schools outside of Turkey

    Turkish News Magazine Yeni Aktuel's 2005 Tally
    of Gulen Schools outside Turkey
    Footnote:  This list is already over 7 years old and the Gulen Schools have increased in number AND CONTROVERSY. 

    In 2005, prominent Turkish news magazine Yeni Aktuel published an article (in Turkish) entitled "Gulen's Educational Empire." It can be viewed at the Haber10 website. In this article, a tally is given of Gulen schools outside of Turkey. The schools are not named, but their number is listed by country. A translation of this list is given below.

    Note that a number of Gulen charter schools were already in operation in the U.S. in 2005 (see the Perimeter Primate blogger's timeline), but are not counted in this list. It is unclear whether Yeni Aktuel simply did not know of their existence, or if their omission was a "courtesy" to the Gulen Movement.

    It is often said that the Gulen schools in Russia were closed, but the mention on this list of 6 schools in the Russian Federation is consistent with our observations that Gulen schools are in operation in that country. The closure was temporary, as confirmed in the doctoral dissertation of Mustafa Gokhan Sahin (Florida International University, 2010).

    The mention of one school in Uzbekistan is also noteworthy. The Department of State's religious freedom article on Uzbekistan (accessed Dec 2012) says that all "Turkish schools" (referring to Gulen schools) were closed in 1999. Several other sources refer to this closure; Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty wrote that
    "In 1999, Tashkent closed all Turkish lyceums after its relationship with Ankara turned sour." However, a Today's Zaman article of Jan 19, 2011 reports the closure of the Tashkent Ulugbek International School. Most likely this is the one school referred to in Yeni Aktuel's list.

    There has been substantial expansion of the international school network since 2005.

    North America
    Canada: Language class.
    Mexico: 1 school and cultural center.
    U.S.: 5 private schools, more than 50 cultural centers.

    South America
    Argentina: 1 cultural center.
    Bolivia: 1 cultural center.
    Brazil: 1 cultural center.
    Chile: 1 cultural center.
    Colombia: 1 cultural center.

    Azerbaijan: 12 schools.
    Georgia: 3 schools.
    Russian Federation: 6 schools.
    Ukraine: 2 schools.
    Moldova: 2 schools.
    Lithuania: 1 cultural center.
    Latvia: 1 cultural center.
    Estonia: 1 cultural center.
    Romania: 4 schools.
    Bulgaria: 3 schools.
    Macedonia: 4 schools.
    Albania: 4 schools.
    Bosnia and Herzegovina: 2 schools.
    Hungary: 1 language school, 1 cultural center.
    Slovakia: 1 cultural center.
    Czech Republic: 1 cultural center.
    Poland: 1 cultural center.
    Germany: 3 schools, language schools and cultural centers.
    Austria: 1 language school.
    Italy: 1 cultural center.
    Switzerland: Student dormitory and cultural center.
    Netherlands: Student dormitory and cultural center.
    Belgium: Student dormitory, language school and cultural center.
    France: Cultural center and language courses.
    Denmark: language class and cultural center.
    Belarus: 1 language school.
    Norway: language class and cultural center.
    Sweden: language class and cultural center.
    Finland: 1 "college" (=college-preparatory high school), language class and cultural center.
    UK: Student dormitory, language school cultural center.
    Portugal: 1 cultural center.
    Spain: Cultural center and language class.

    Morocco: 4 schools.
    Algeria: Language school.
    Egypt: Language school and student dormitories.
    Mauritania: 1 school.
    Mali: 1 school.
    Niger: 1 school.
    Chad: 1 school.
    Sudan: 2 schools.
    Ethiopia: 1 school.
    Senegal: 1 school.
    Gambia: 1 school.
    Guinea-Bissau: 1 school.
    Guinea: 1 school.
    Burkina Faso: 1 school.
    Ghana: 1 school.
    Togo: 1 school.
    Nigeria: 4 schools, cultural center.
    Cameroon: 1 school.
    Central African Republic: 1 school.
    Congo: 1 school.
    Uganda: 1 school.
    Kenya: 4 schools.
    Tanzania: Education complex (Including outpatient clinic, sports halls, primary school and high school).
    Malawi: 1 school.
    Mozambique: 1 school.
    Madagascar: 1 school, 1 cultural center.
    South Africa: 4 schools.

    Kazakhstan: 29 schools.
    Tajikistan: 13 schools.
    Kyrgyzstan: 12 schools.
    Turkmenistan: 20 schools.
    Uzbekistan: 1 school.
    Afghanistan: 4 schools.
    Pakistan: 6 schools, 1 cultural center.
    India: 3 schools, 1 language class.
    Nepal: 1 school.
    Bangladesh: 4 schools.
    Mongolia: 4 schools.
    Japan: 1 school, 5 language schools, cultural centers.
    South Korea: 1 cultural center.
    Malaysia: 1 school.
    Vietnam: 1 school.
    Cambodia: 2 schools.
    Burma: 2 schools.
    Thailand: 3 schools.
    Iraq: 4 "colleges" (=college-preparatory high schools).
    Israel: cultural center.
    Yemen: 1 school.

    Australia: 7 schools.
    Indonesia: 4 schools.
    Philippines: 4 schools.