Monday, September 2, 2013

"Expose the Gulen Movement" report



On Saturday, August 31st, I was one of the speakers at the "Expose the Gulen Movement" protest rally held on a farm in the rural, rolling hills around Saylorsburg, PA. We assembled less than two miles from the compound where Fethullah Gulen lives. 

Gulen is considered to be one of the two most powerful men in Turkey. Those who attended the protest have a common interest in shedding light on the Gulen Movement's activities. To many Turks and Turkish-Americans, Gulen is using his power to undermine modernity, secularism, democracy, and women's rights not only in Turkey, but throughout the world.

This is the video of my speech about the Gulen charter schools, starting at 00:45 min.


Link: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4244422/AbdEylemVakti/videos/28766474

Earlier that day, Gulenist operatives had driven around to take down the signs that organizers had posted to help guide protesters to the rally.

I also spoke at yesterday's "Expose the Gulen Movement" conference in Piscataway, NJ, attended by 100 people, mostly Turkish Americans.  My segment starts at 40:00 min. and lasts 20 min.



I understand the conference was simultaneously broadcast in Turkey. (Note: Sadly, the audio quality could be better.)

In both talks I explain how the privatization of public education has allowed the Gulen movement to establish the largest charter school network in the US. Their 146 charter schools will enroll over 60,000 students this year. The schools' taxpayer-supplied revenue is up to approximately one-half billion dollars per year.

Preceding me in both videos is Mary Addi, a former Gulen charter school teacher. She was interviewed in the 60 Minutes piece.

The moderator at the conference is Kaya Boztepe, ex-president of the Federation of Turkish American Associations. 

The panelists seated at the table are a retired Turkish admiral and two Turkish journalists. The journalists, who have been critical of the government and the Gulen Movement, spent nearly two years in jail after being arrested under terrorism charges. They were finally released but I understand their trials are still pending and it is expected that they will be found guilty and end up with long sentences. Turkey now leads the world with jailing journalists. More about those panelists in this post.

I must emphasize that the panelists and conference attendees are extremely alarmed by Fethullah Gulen and his followers' escalating power in Turkey and elsewhere, and the manner in which they have acquired it. Gulen left Turkey in 1998 and has been hiding out at his compound in the US ever since. However, he periodically delivers his opinions through his media organs in Turkey (Zaman newspapers) and also gives weekly sermons to his followers online @ http://www.herkul.org/

In Pennsylvania I met a local resident who reported seeing guards with "machine guns" at the entry of the compound in the late 1990s. Locals have also seen helicopters flying over the compound. I've read reports about those things, but never knew if they were true or not.

Keep in mind how odd this must be -- along with the emergence of two Turkish-American organized anti-Gulen protests held this summer -- for the Pennsylvanians who live in what is normally an extremely quiet rural area.

Over the past two days, I also met a lot of Turkish Americans with personal stories of their own about being negatively-affected by the Gulenists. This group's stealth strategy is brilliant. They intimidate and threaten their critics and many people have become afraid of speaking out against them.

The big question is why is our government letting this group run so many charter schools? And why are so many of our public officials allowing themselves to be courted by this group?

What I continually hope for is a time when we will have a broad, informed, public discussion about this situation. 

Please educate yourself about the Gulen Movement. For instance, you can start by listening to this new Australian Broadcasting Corporation interview with Joshua Hendrick about how the Gulen Movement works (first 45 minutes; transcript also available). Please share and talk about the situation with other people you know.

I periodically post new information at https://twitter.com/sharonoak but the very best source of information is https://twitter.com/CASILIPS


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

As an Turkish American, i want noting more to see gulen movement vanish from this country... I will be always with the protesters... he is the most dangerous Islamist in this world and he is poising young mines all over the world... HE NEEDS TO BE STOP!!!!

nikto said...

It is bizarre what is promoted in the name of "free-market capitalism"
in America today.

And it is very telling that no Conservative groups can be enlisted
in this particular battle against Islamist extremism, with all of the fervor about terrorism and the dangers of radical Islam.

Where are the Conservative objections?

Money truly trumps all in America.

nikto said...

The Wikipedia page on the Gulen Movement seems slanted. It describes Gulen as "pacifist" and "modern". It might be a good idea to review the Wikipedia page and analyze/comment on its apparent slant or spin---Or even contact
Wiki for a possible
correction/revision/addition, if they need to be set straight.

nikto said...

I wonder what Bill O'Reilly would think of this story.

His reaction would tell us what he really thinks is a bigger priority----Fighting Islamists (as all good Conservatives tout as a vital), or privatizing America's Public Schools.

It's enough to make a Conservative's head explode.

Rachel said...

Quite frankly, I am a student in the Harmony Public School system and the only religious contents that we ever even get close to are biblical allusions in English class and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance "One nation under God" every morning to adhere to the country's Christian principles. Incredibly ironic considering how the US government enjoys subtly inducing its own religious themes into our minds while criticizing a charter school for promoting -ahem- STEM subjects (SCIENCE, technology, engineering, mathematics). However, I can understand people's frustrations towards Harmony's success in producing MIT and Harvard students, especially coming from a school established by 'Islamic extremists' who just so happen to be quite lenient and unquestioning towards the the Athiest, Catholic, and Buddhist students that I attend school with. Regardless of your perspectives of the Gulen Movement, please refrain from defaming and slandering our school with anymore nonsense. Lots of children that were designated to lowly public schools in their neighborhood were fortunate that such a chartered school exists to pull them out of their unfortunate academic experiences. I, for one, was rescued from the hoodlums of my neighborhood and granted the opportunity to excel in 19 Advanced Placement subjects.

Kirarira said...

The world still needs to be civilized and to be taken through many awareness program to differentiate the excellent from the awful, If you can fight schools encouraged by Fethullah Gulen or any other school, then, your one of the worst enemy the world have ever had. Nowhere in those schools established after being encourage by Fethullah Gulen you will get a product that has hatred for humanity, or a mind that bends on abhorrence all the time like you’re doing. A mind that does not encourage humanity to put our differences aside and concentrate on issues that affects us as children of God who created all that exist on earth is all you carry forward and that is bad for humanity. All that have hatred for those schools are just advancing their own programs and have a mind that is full of hatred for anything good. as an author of this terrible massage of hatred, you need to read a book written by Fethullah gulen called love and tolerance for your betterment. It is the duty of all good people never to give up on people like you until you have attained some level of understanding the good humanity stands for.
To our brothers in Turkey,fethullah Gulen should be a gift to you alongside other nationalities since he advocates for harmony, respect for peoples difference, elimination of poverty, conflict and ignorance. He has never wished to be involved in politics of Turkey. So, he is not a threat to politicians and I have a feeling that, it is on that basis that anything good he does, your against it.Fethullah Gulen has never attacked anyone, but his is to guide and teach how best the world can relate well amidst out various differences.
Schools that have been started by People, who have been inspired by Fethullah Gulen, have contributed greatly in promoting science, morality and other disciplines.
Brothers and sisters, let us put aside prejudice and build a society that all will wish to live in.

fuatavni said...

I detest to have prejudices and do my best not to accuse anyone or any group without having proven knowledge or experience although I might be still mistaken.
I know good people among Gülen Movement, among the people who have sypmathy for F.Gülen.
now comes the famoust "but.." part.
But, leave him being "a gift" as commented here,on the contrary he is a dangerous person with a hidden agenda and strategy in each and every country they have presence.The reason that they are so much into "education" is simply to scan for the best minds and turn them into simple zombies, and use them per their convenience.Thats why "education business" is not only a human resources pool for them but also a good way of profiting.

It is true that he may seem "pacifist" but he is ready to use every ways and means to reach his agenda.
In Turkey by the way, they are collecting money from their followers claiming that they teach Islam and Turkish language in their schools all over the world and they use this money in their schools.
No need to say that there is no track record of collected money.

It is also rumour that he is Mahdi, he is not articulating this himself but his followers do this discretely.

Anonymous said...

Try this if you want to understand Gulen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDZJR1Zyu-A

Anonymous said...

Have been a Gulen school teacher in two Gulen schools. Had to work with them in Turkey. The way they handle everything is nothing less than a cult and they send girls/boys not even part of universities (but use dersanes to educate them-illegal) to get greencards and to teach the Ottoman centered aim or vision in their mind. They barely speak English well enough to even teach.

One girl told me that they had plans to take over America. Their abis or brothers in charge must have fed them lines of bull.

I truly despise heir Ottoman empire centered theocracy. They have schools everywhere and they all know their power through this group.

Educate yourselves!! -Former Gulen school teacher

Anonymous said...

They are also antisemitic and are very pro Islamic takeover of the world.