In October 2015, the Republic of Turkey retained the London-based, international law firm, Amsterdam and Partners, “to conduct a global investigation into the activities of the organization led by the Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen.”
Another component of Amsterdam and Partners’ work related to Gülen concerns public awareness:
“We have been retained by the Republic to expose allegedly unlawful conduct by the Gülen network worldwide,” said Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP, during a press conference held today at the National Press Club in Washington DC. “The activities of the Gülen network, including its penetration of the Turkish judiciary and police, as well as its political lobbying abroad, should concern everyone who cares about the future of democracy in Turkey.”
In my book, School Choice: The End of Public Education, I have a chapter examining Fethullah Gülen, the powerful Turkish imam who commands leadership of scores of charter schools on American soil. Indeed, Gülen himself has been residing in the Poconos (Pennsylvania) since 1999.
One can get a sense of concerns related to Gülen from this November 10, 2017, California NAACP resolution for Gülen school investigation:
RESOLUTION #16 CONCERNING THE IMPACT OF GÜLEN CHARTER SCHOOLS
WHEREAS, there exists over 200 schools in the United States operated by the Gülen Organization, teaching over 80,000 American students. This organization operates under the names Magnolia Science Academy (CA), Horizon Science Academy (OH , IL), Harmony Science Academy (TX), Sonoran Science Academy (AR), Coral Academy of Science (NV), Dove Science Academy (OK), as well as others.
WHEREAS, audits having been conducted in LAUSD, the State of Oklahoma, the State of Georgia (resulting in their closure), the State of New York, have resulted in a pattern of massive accounting irregularities involving without limitation the use of Gülen related landlords such as Terra (NY, NJ), the Sky Foundation (OK), Harmony Public Schools (TX), Concept Schools (IL, OH), the use of Gülen Related Management Companies such as Accord (CA), Concept Education Services (OH), Apple Education (NJ), Terra Science and Education (NY), as well as others.
WHEREAS, Gülen schools; such as Magnolia (CA) have targeted the African American and Hispanic communities as shown in the documentary film Killing Ed.
WHEREAS, all 200 Gülen schools recruit teachers from Turkey under the H – 1B Visa program thereby replacing fully qualified American teachers.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the California NAACP urges federal, state and local authorities to conduct forensic audits of both the schools, and the management organizations operating them.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the California NAACP further urges that these investigations be conducted by state and federal auditors as opposed to state boards of education, as well as other relevant investigations necessary to evaluate fully the apparent, suspect financial dealings, visa misuse, and highly suspicious conduct.
Regarding the California NAACP resolution, PR Newswire adds this statement from Amsterdam:
The organizations running these schools have not only been found to be pillaging taxpayers through real estate schemes and self-dealing to their own contractors, but they are also abusing the H-1B visa program to bring over foreign teachers often lacking in basic English skills and training. This has a devastating impact on the communities in which they operate.
In September 2017, Amsterdam published a 650-page book, Empire of Deceit: An Investigation of the Gülen Charter School Network, that “details how the nationwide charter school network controlled by the Gülen Organization enriches itself at the expense of American school children.”
Regarding Empire of Deceit, PR Newswire notes:
Amsterdam’s book reveals surprising facts regarding the Gülen Organization’s vast US network:
- Misuse of taxpayer funds totaling at least $243 million.
- More than 6,504 H-1B visas to import unqualified Turkish teachers at a public cost of as much as $26 million and lost jobs for American teachers.
- Nearly 81,000 students enrolled at Gülen schools across 27 states and District of Columbia.
- Widespread manipulation of state mandated testing, grades and attendance figures.
- Lobbying and publicly funded trips to Turkey to influence politicians and local officials.
Amsterdam and Partners also sponsors an Empire of Deceit website, which promotes Killing Ed, “an independently produced documentary feature film that exposes a vast range of questionable academic, labor, and H1-B visa violations by schools tied to Gülen movement.” The site includes the following 11-minute director’s cut “to accompany the launch of Empire of Deceit“:
(Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is connected to a documentary on Gülen through his lobbying form, Flynn Intel Group; I’m not sure if it is Killing Ed.)
The Empire of Deceit website also includes an interactive US map, with the heading, “Gülen’s Footprint Inside of the United States.” One can search by state– or “by issue”:
- States with Active Networks
- HB-1 Hiring by State
- States with Suspect Property Deals
- Charter Bonds Procured by the Gülen Organization
- Regional Hub and Member States Identified
Time for those state- and federal-level forensic audits of Gülen-run charter schools.
EDITORS NOTE: According to Discover the Networks the under the section titled “Center for American Progress’ Relationship with Turkey’s Islamist, Jihad-Supporting Regime” states:
On May 14, 2013, CAP issued a report titled “Freedom of the Press and Expression in Turkey,” which downplayed the increasingly authoritarian crackdown on the media by Turkey’s jihad-supporting prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, whose Islamist party was already moving inexorably to transform the secular Turkish republic into an Islamic state. At that time, Turkish prisons held 49 of the 232 journalists who were incarcerated worldwide—more than any other country on Earth. In addition, as former Middle East Pentagon advisor Michael Rubin noted, Erdogan was in the habit of personally suing “even political cartoonists who lampoon him and his government.” Notwithstanding the foregoing facts, the CAP report whitewashed Erdogan’s crackdown as a “necessary, if sometimes unpleasant, correction” that would ultimately result in democratic reforms. Asserting that “the blame [for the crackdown] must not be placed solely on the government,” but also on anti-government ethnic groups such as the Kurds who had fomented unrest and provoked government suppression. “Turkey today is more democratic than in the past, if perhaps less socially liberal,” said the report.
The CAP report was partially funded by the Turkish branch of George Soros’s Open Society Institute. Even more significantly, the report failed to disclose that a Turkish business group named TUSKON, which had close ties to the Erdogan government, had donated large sums of money to CAP in order to gain entrance into the latter’s exclusive Business Alliance. Known for lobbying government officials and forming business relationships with Western organizations (such as CAP), TUSKON serves as the business arm of the so-called Gulen movement—named after Fethullah Gulen, a charismatic spiritual leader devoted to spreading Islamist theology across the globe. Moreover, TUSKON and CAP had jointly hosted annual “fact finding” trips to Turkey, where participants enjoyed access to senior Turkish government officials. Reporter Ken Silverstein wrote, “A former CAP staffer told me that TUSKON … ‘could call anyone in the government and get us a meeting or interview.’ As a result of the Turkish group’s support, CAP was ‘totally in the tank for them.’”
It should also be noted that the CAP report obscured not only Ergodan’s press crackdown but also the nature of the Armenian genocide, in which Turkey had systematically slaughtered more than a million Armenians beginning in 1915. The report only refers to the genocide in non-judgmental terms, as “the death of more than 1 million Armenians during and after the First World War.” [Emphasis added]