City Journal Winter 2016

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Claire Berlinski
Prisoner of Conspiracy « Back to Story

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I'm posting my blog video here because I need to reach out to the real people who are effected by the Global Economic Crisis. Please pass this video on.

I always make sure to read Claire Berlinski's articles. In addition to being informative, they are quite entertaining as well.
"...supposedly written in 2003 yet makes reference to a company that came into existence in 2008"

Let me guess, Dan Rather did a segment on this document, claiming it proved George Bush was involved, right?
"Gü, depending on whom you ask, either an elderly, gentle, oft-slandered preacher or Turkey’s aspiring Ayatollah Khomenei."

Dividing criticisms of Gulen into these two categories is an oversimplification. Neither of these characterizations is accurate.

Gulen is not like Khomenei - he and his followers have an acute understanding that the expansion of their international business empire is incompatible with a Khomenei-like approach, and it is business that they care about more than anything.

That doesn't make them innocuous. The Gulen Movement is a relentlessly persistent machine that eats everything in its path on its way to acquiring more money and power. They have perfected a formula for using their existing institutions to generate more followers, who then go on to create more institutions.

What is concerning is their lack of ethics (e.g., use of secrecy and deception), the way they spread misinformation to pursue their goals (corruption of the media), their use of money to obtain supporters among politicians and influential individuals, their strategy of planting their members in powerful positions, and their methods of attacking their critics. Their educational empire is a rapidly-growing force that is doing little to improve education in any country. Gulen schools are "successful" because they make sure that the students, whether rich or poor, are more hard-working and talented than the populations served by competing schools. Gulenists are brilliant at marketing. But the schools are not run for the betterment of education and society. Neither is any other Gulenist organization or institution. Everything they do is aimed at acquiring more money and power.

There is plenty to be concerned about without invoking "Khomenei."

Dear Claire

You say "The claims about these supposed conspirators defy logic."
This is understandable for you to say because you did not live in Turkey in the past when a nationalist student would be killed and then next day and a communist youth would be killed in retaliation. We would read about it and think that two sides were fighting with each other. Then we learned that both was killed with the SAME gun. So please do not talk about "Logic" if you did not live in Turkey.

A brilliant article, Claire. I've been researching this for some time as background to a new novel, which I doubt will ever see a Turkish bookshelf! At first I believed everything I read in the well written and persuasive columns of Today's Zaman. Then it all became a little too twee. Further research revealed exactly what your article describes.

There is another end game, which the AKP's very actions may precipitate, contrary to their intentions. A coup d'état is not beyond the realms of possibility.
There is some logic to the assertion in the quoted Today's Zaman piece. The favorable press Gulen himself had been getting in the US was mainly due to skillful propaganda and the inability or unwillingness of foreigners to read his decrees or his press organs in Turkish. So they must figure that since the positive press coverage was due to propaganda the negative one must be too.

Here is an example. The author (Berlinski) herself once published a piece outlining how foreign correspondents were simply repeating the story they were told by AKP people about the AKP. If foreigners start telling a different story, would it be wrong for the AKP people to conclude that they have simply started to channel another PR group?
Just because there is no evidence of a conspiracy doesn't mean that a conspiracy doesn't exist. It just may mean that the conspirators are really good at covering their tracks.
Sarah Palin controls everything!
Being part of Ergenekon is what some anonymous Gulenists in the U.S. who, in defending their Gulen charter schools, claim about members of the "Goose Network." The G.N. is a term the Gulenists have given to Americans who are trying to expose the Gulen Movement's involvement in 120+ charter schools, largely unbeknown to the wider public.

As just one example, check out the comments by Gulenist "William Pack" @
there is no evidence but many comments...