In addition to having acquired the operation of the largest network of privately-managed, taxpayer-funded charter schools in the US (currently 135 in 26 states), members of the Gulen Movement are very active with efforts to recruit sympathizers. One of their approaches is to invite academics, journalists, politicians, public officials, and religious community leaders on one of their subsidized, guided trips to Turkey. The trips are also regularly arranged for American students, parents, and teachers associated with the Gulen charter schools.
It must be mentioned that travelers are not always aware of the full intention behind the trips. As one photo journalist from Colorado noticed on the fourth day of travel, "We are beginning to understand the reason for the cultural exchange: it is not simply to meet local leaders and learn about Turkish culture, but also to gain an understanding of the Gülen Movement..." "Gain an understanding," as in acquiring the perspective fed to them by members of the Gulen Movement over the course of nine to 10 straight days of tightly controlled immersion. This secretive group happens to be highly controversial in Turkey, and elsewhere.