With the growth of Gulen schools worldwide. We had requests from around the world to start a second blog on the Gulen Turkish Schools worldwide. From Mexico to Iraq, and Africa to Afghanistan we will post the news stories and as usual amuse you at the same time. To contrast and compare we invite you to http://www.gulencharterschoolsUSA.blogspot.com http://www.charterschoolwatchdog.com http://www.charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com
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.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
GULEN Worldwide-Leader of group accused of plotting against Turkey calls Pennsylvania home
-- One of the world's most powerful Muslim preachers lives behind a gated
compound in the small, leafy town of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.
The reclusive Turkish cleric's
name is Fethullah Gulen.
If you believe the Turkish
government, supporters of this cleric in Pennsylvania are spearheading a coup
attempt in Turkey that is destabilizing one of America's most important allies
in the Middle East.
In recent weeks, Turkish Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a religious conservative, has compared Gulen and
his supporters to a virus and a medieval cult of assassins.
Meanwhile, in an interview
with CNN, a top official from Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party,
or AKP, called the Gulen movement a "fifth column" that had
infiltrated the Turkish police force and judiciary.
"We are confronted by a
structure that doesn't take orders from within the chain of command of the
state," parliament member and deputy AKP chairman Mahir Unal told CNN.
"Rather, it takes orders from outside the state."
Who is this mysterious man in
The 72-year old imam went into
self-imposed exile when he moved from Turkey to the United States in 1999.
He rarely speaks to
journalists and has turned down interview requests from CNN for more than two
years. But in a rare e-mail interview published in The Wall Street Journal on
Tuesday, Gulen denied any involvement in a political conspiracy.
"We will never be a part
of any plot against those who are governing our country," he wrote,
according to The Wall Street Journal.
Muslim cleric and
school spiritual leader
Supporters describe Gulen as a
moderate Muslim cleric who champions interfaith dialogue. Promotional videos
show him meeting with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican in the 1990s. He also
repeatedly met with rabbis and Christian priests in Turkey.
The preacher is best known as
the spiritual leader of a network of schools and universities that operate in
more than 100 countries. In the U.S., this academic empire includes Harmony
Public Schools, the largest charter school network in Texas. The U.S.
Department of Education awarded Harmony schools in Texas a $30 million grant
after they received high scores in the government's "Race to the Top"
Every year, students from
Gulen schools around the world gather in Istanbul for a lavish series of concerts,
dances and academic competitions called The Turkish Olympics. At these events,
African students perform Turkish folk dances in traditional Turkish costumes
before packed stadium audiences.
Gulen supporter and newspaper
columnist Ihsan Yilmaz insisted the schools "are not owned by Gulen,"
but by a loose network of volunteers from the cleric's movement.
"These people know each
other, they meet together, but officially speaking, (the schools) are owned by
different businessmen," Yilmaz explained.
Volunteers in the Gulen
movement also own TV stations, the largest-circulation newspaper in Turkey,
gold mines and at least one Turkish bank.
"There are many
businessmen in Turkey who espouse the ideas of Gulen. Because starting from the
1960s, Gulen has been teaching them look, in order to be a good Muslim, you
don't have to be a poor guy," explained Yilmaz, who is also a professor of
political science at Fatih University, a Gulen-affiliated school in Istanbul.
Relations with the
Throughout much of the last
decade, the Gulen movement was also a strong Erdogan supporter.
Pro-Gulen media outlets backed
sprawling investigations of alleged coup plots organized by Turkish military
commanders. Dozens of military officers, as well as secular writers, academics
and businessmen, waited for years in prison for trials that critics called
At that time, it also became
increasingly dangerous to criticize the Gulen movement.
Police arrested and imprisoned
writer Ahmet Sik for more than a year, accusing him of supporting a terrorist
organization. A court banned his book "The Imam's Army," which took a
critical look at the Gulen movement, before it was even published.
Now out of prison, but still
facing charges, Sik said the long-standing alliance between Turkey's two most
prominent Islamic conservative leaders -- Erdogan and Gulen -- had collapsed
into a bitter power struggle.
"There was a forced
marriage, and the fight that began with who would lead the family is continuing
as an ugly divorce," Sik told CNN.
"On the one side, there
is the Gulen community, a dark and opaque power that can damage the most
powerful administration in Turkish history. And on the other side, you have an
administration that under the guise of fighting this community can and has
suspended all legal and democratic principles," he said.
In November, Erdogan announced
plans to shut down privately owned preparatory schools, which help some Turkish
students study for university entrance exams. Pro-Gulen media groups denounced
the move, which would hurt an important part of the Gulen academic empire in
On December 17, police carried
out a series of anti-corruption raids targeting dozens of people closely linked
to the Turkish government. Among those arrested were the sons of two senior
Cabinet ministers as well as the head of the state-owned HalkBank. Outlets like
the pro-Gulen newspaper Today's Zaman published detailed reports alleging that
police found large amounts of cash -- in the case of the bank director, stored
in shoe boxes -- in the homes of some of the suspects.
Erdogan denounced the
allegations of graft against his government. Instead, he accused police and
prosecutors of organizing a politically motivated investigation to hurt his
party before nationwide municipal elections in March. The Turkish government
embarked on the highly unusual mass demotion of thousands of police and
prosecutors believed to be involved in the investigation.
'God is behind us'
"There is a political
crisis in Turkey right now, and also a societal crisis in the sense that I've
hardly seen Turkish society this polarized, this tense, this paranoid,"
said Mustafa Akyol, author of the book "Islam Without Extremes."
"Both sides use religious
language to justify themselves," Akyol added. "Both sides say 'God is
behind us.' "
In a fiery speech distributed
on one of his movement's websites last month, Gulen accused the Turkish
government of hypocrisy.
"Those who don't see the
thief but go after those trying to catch the thief, who don't see the murder
but try to defame others by accusing innocent people: Let God bring fire to
their houses, ruin their homes, break their unity," the cleric yelled
while shaking his fist in anger.
There are few signs that the
power struggle between rival wings of the Turkish bureaucracy shows any signs
of letting up. Speaking on condition of anonymity, Erdogan supporters have said
that a recent series of police arrests targeting alleged al Qaeda suspects in
Turkey were actually carried out by pro-Gulen police and prosecutors seeking to
embarrass the Turkish government.
Within hours of the anti-al
Qaeda raids on January 14, a counter-terror police commander involved was
reportedly demoted to his department's juvenile crimes division.
As the mudslinging also
continues between different factions of the Turkish media, it is highly
unlikely that the enigmatic cleric, safely sequestered in Pennsylvania, will
return to face the political firestorm in Turkey anytime soon.