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Claire Berlinski
Who Is Fethullah Gülen? « Back to Story

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I graduated from one of these turkish schools. What you wrote was actually what i had seen there and even more. It was just ugly. They claim to promote tolerance, peace and dialogue. But what i see from there is only suppression, intolerance and male dominance. Yes. The abi, elder brothers, have all the says. You only see men in the upper admin level. They isolate themselves from the local and stay in their circles with all the filthy secrets. They manipulate students and parents' feelings by claiming to make them feel like at school and family woth the so called beloved school. It just makes me sick because their ultimate goal is to gain sympathy or support from the local in order to operate there legitimlately. Why call themselves cemaat or hizmet but they only open school to serve to the local elites? Needless to say, those people can back them up when problems arise like their war with Turkish government now. They say the locals love their education and their passion in teaching and turkish government has no rights to shut them down. They plan everything all along. Don't fight over each other at our children's expense and at the local people's trust for them. It's really disgusting and unacceptable.
Hello, nice report about Gülen, HOWEVER, I would like to point out your erroneous depiction of Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK, the founder of the Turkish Republic, HE WAS A BORN MUSLIM, HE WAS "NOT NON-MUSLIM" AS YOU HAVE ERRONEOUSLY WRITTEN. I advise you to research well, and not listen to the lies said about Atatürk haters, the so-called Muslims, who in fact are not Muslims in the sense of the word, isn'T it evident from all the corruption, lies, cruelty that has come to the light since Jume and November 17, it's all a pack of bullshit, I am also Muslim and believe in God, but I do not steal as they do, those who support them inspite of all this shit they have done are also false Muslims, a true believer would never do the things they did. ATATÜRK believed in God, he would pray too, please do not be misled by the followers of these corrupt people and as well as of the Cemaat people. Thank you.
Greetings to the author for the great analysis!
Many useful details. Insight, vision.
Best,
Plamen
antigone braeuer-mcdermott January 06, 2014 at 5:18 AM
ms. berlinski writing is too long winded, repetative, and boring. she obviously had a lot to say. a little much. she talks about america as "we". such an ego. i'm happy to know that there is a moderate religious islam. and that it may influence people in the middle east towards moderninity and democracy. regards
jıhad is to give effort to the legacies cut from both sides. salutes man.
IN ONE WORD HE'S THE "VISION-SUPERS' OF THE ERA. NO ONE TO BE DEGRADED IN HIS PRAYER I BELIEVE. SALUTES FROM TURKEY.
Gulen is reportedly a valuable asset to the CIA and has done many valuable things for USA through the CIA and is a good friend of America.
Fethullah gulen is a very dangerous terorist. U call it hizmet movement but Fethullah Gulen call it jihad. His main purpose is to bring shariah. I really know him closely he can easily kill but he is afraid of killing in these so called early stages. He is far more dangerous than usame who was also defining his movement as jihad.
ı lıve in turkey all of chaos in turkey for example polıce forces, judgment unfairness etc... because of gulen.. he ıs very dangerous and he supply ıslamıc terrorıst group WATCH OUT amerıcan people !!!!!
illiterate philosopher August 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM
@Jane so if you are a Kurd you can't be Sunni?? Hahah.. Sunnism is not an ethnicity.. Read more
I like all of the objective articles and ideas, you are good enough, thank you for your writers and editor.

Mehmet Everest, Istanbul - Turkiye
This article is talking about some facts but not all. The author FAILS to mention (or intentionally does not mention) the entire story. For example, it is referring to the speech in 1999 video "You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers. . . . "

At that time in Turkey, religious people in Turkey could not work at high-up government positions no matter how qualified they are. There was discrimination in several government positions. For example, if your mother or wife covered her head, you would not be recruited for the (higher) officer positions in the Turkish Army. The author has to mention the entire story if she wants to be taken seriously. Otherwise, this is a one-sided,and non-scientific story.
The guys in this movement are like the sisters of Mother Theresa. It is upon the society to judge them on their ethical values. I understand the skepticism in Europe (where i live) because we europeans are very strongly against the church and their initiatives. We do not offer donations because we pay 30-40% of our income to the state and the state regulates our money through social programs. Interdependence is very accepted in Europe, mostly north europe. But I do not understand the skepticism in the US. Americans are very good at offering donations, I have worked with Catholic family services, Catholic schools and there is a huge catholic network of hospitals, schools that is largely maintained by donations. Americans understand the unofficial altruism better than europeans. In US you can maintain a church only through donations but in Europe this is impossible. In Germany the state gets this tax and the state affords the expenses of the churches. In Europe we accept the official altruism. Apparently, the Gulen movement does the unofficial altruism, the american style altruism. The Americans having a great experience in this should understand this guy. It is American's fault that their schools are doing very bad in Math and Science and the Gulen inspired charter schools are offering just that.

But the largest contribution that Gulen movement can and is offering is in Africa. Africa is a long forgotten continent where the Gulen movement schools are offering a lot. Actually I would suggest everyone to read Michael Reids book, The Forgotten Continent- the battele for Latin America soul just to understand how much we forget, at least for Latin America we have a book written on it... but for Africa it will hopefully written in the next 50 years. The world has been milking Africa, eventhough it was a skinny cow, the world kept milking on it. I was hoping that Obama could do something to strengthen African countries but nothing has been done. Interestingly the contribution of the Gulen movement in Africa has been considerable, something that I had never expected even of Obama administration or the American unofficial altruism.

While we (In US and Europe) are dealing with different levels of luxury, the african are starving. The worldwide humanitarian organizations many times are harming the african people. US and Europe may not need a rising turkish-unofficial altruism that much, but Africa needs it. Africa needs also investments of the Chinese type in the order of tens of billion of dollars... but it needs also a support in their education system, something where the Gulen movement schools have contributed a lot.

This is a long issue for discussion... we should not be like the Fox News anchor who judges a muslim writer for writing a book on Jesus, we should not be judgmental on Muslims who contribute to the world.
There is a continuous misunderstanding of several points:
1. Nursi was not against the Kemalist modernization, Nursi was more democratic than Ataturk (who converted Ottoman Empire parliament from a 5-party parliament to a single-party one). Nursi continuously advised people to fully obey to their new government. What Nursi was after was what all the Bible Belt is after: to weaken the teaching of evolution in schools. In 2013 in the South you still can not teach evolution, which is very bad from a scientific perspective too. It is a little odd and embarrasing that in 2009 the noble-prize winner in Physics, Steven Wienberg, had to sign the petition for teaching evolution in Texas schools.
Dont understand how can an alleged journalist/writer can write about something who she/he cant say the truth and make deliberate or ignorant mistakes.

Said Nursi was a Kurd. What do you mean by Sunni? were you afraid to offend AKP and kick you out of Turkey?
Strange that not a single word about sexual harassment and rape in the Cemaat schools? Is it due to lack of information or censorship?

There are video evidence of those.
This article shed a light on the Cemaat and the Gulen organisation for me. Although I strongly disagree with the ethnicity argument and I think Americans are too focussed on the colour of the skin. |Anyway, despite that, I found the article extremely bright in its examples and descriptions. I would like to add (again its the American self-centeredness) that Gulen schools are financed through all of Africa, predominantly South Africa, they are funded through the government aswell. Other African states hand their construction work ((rail)road and big construction) to Gulen associated organisations |(because they bid cheap)| in order so they can put forward a plan or a person in influential (state/board)positions. Evidence of this I cannot give (I'm not a scholar in this field, just like to make conversations abroad), though I trust my sources.
Very interesting. thourogh, balanced, full of knowledge I needed to read about! wishing it'll be read by many as possible.
What a biased article.. It is sad to see so many people who are misinformed and uneducated to attack such a peaceful and fragile man. This guy has done nothing but contributed peace to the world. I have read many of his books and watched videos, attended Gulen-inspired seminars, organizations, business meetings.. you name it.. Just a crap load of false info going around. We need more people like this guy in the world. Next time you say something controversial make sure you do a bit of research or get in contact with your local 'cemaat' (they're everywhere)
3 Fatwas from Gulen For 3 Violonce Waves in Turkey! The E-mail sent to US senators and members of EP! Tell Claire to check her twitter
This Gulen guy is danger for Turkey and as well as for usa. No one knows how he became superrich and powerful but we know that he was helped by some secret organisations and services. He would do exactly what he says'do not leave your foot Print-mark on the snow for your enemy then hunt him without noticing you'. Stupid government policies and tax money funds made him the greatest evil for Turkey and same steps taken by the US government then it will be too late. USA will be corrupted in many ways just like a giant mafia groups taking their shares. Just like israel and Sauidi radicals influence in US politic then add Turks radicals too. Shame that not only ordinary israeli, saudi, turkish citizens suffers from these radicals, everyone else will with their power hungry greedy so called their leaders.
This cannot be a coincidence.

When I read it, I thought this article must be written a well-known Turkish origin, old-fashined facist writer, whom I'm very familiar with.

There are some reasons why she wrote like this. One option maybe that this writer must be brainwashed by some her close quasi muslim-Turkish friends in Turkey or she was already ready to believe all these rumours. as an ill-intentioned person coming from USA.

Otherwise no one can write an article which is full of cycnicism. I know there are people who have the same idea with this writer in Turkey.

Please do not pretent to be impartial. There must be something hidden inside you and coming from your background maybe about Islam. Otherwise you would not be so keen to believe all these non-sense, biased, distorted ideas.

The most comprehensive I read about the Gulen movement. Excellent work!
Thanks for this article. Extremely interesting. As someone who recently began studying Turkish and has seen some of the extracurricular work being done with the students of these schools. I refer to the Turkish Language Olympiades, in which American children who attend those schools and learn Turkish can compete in a performing arts competition and the best get to Turkey for the international competition. Regardless of the politics, there is no doubt that whoever organizes the Olympiades is improving the lives of those students, in so far as children are given the chance to study the performing arts and to travel, and truly learn a foreign language, in a way that so many American students do not.
There is a very interesting debate in one's gulenist twitter account. worth reading:

https://twitter.com/GulenCharters60
I contribute to the debate with 2 interesting connections. First one is a gulen movement organization which is called Niagara Foundation. They gave a peace and dialoque award to Arne Duncan(dept. of ed.) while he was the head of chicago public schools. After that, they opened several charter schools in Chicago area which are called concept schools.
1-http://www.niagarafoundation.org/ (click on the peace and dialogue awards.)
2-http://www.conceptschools.info/ (this is the official web blog of concept charter schools in chicago)

be aware!
I love reading all the comments by Gulen's minions, they are so so predictable and so sadly brainwashed.
This sounds to me like a cult version of the Muslim Brotherhood. Emphasis on modernism; emphasis on secrecy; emphasis on infiltrating the institutions of society and the state, of education and opinion makers. Think of Egypt and the Brotherhood's takeover of the social institutions, like hospitals, schools, etc. Think of their spokesman on al Jazeera, Qaradawi.

The charges against Gulen were dropped by the AKP, weren't they?

Furthermore, the creepy disrespect of parents should remind readers of just how influenced Turkey was by Germany.

I doubt that Gulen is supported only by the Anatolian business class.

Hint: "Don't be evil."
Sounds like a Turkish version of Scientology, but with a heavier dose of evil.
Ahmad Fawaid Sjadzili January 10, 2013 at 5:48 AM
nice to subcribe this journal. Tq
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That was an inspiring, knowledgable and hopeful piece. I am pleased that there are some that see what is really going on. The US believe that by having a less radical Islam that it can influence the quickest growing religion in the world. However, all it is doing is promoting the shear number who practice Islam.
What ends up happening is that you have an out come that is out of your control and the worst thing about it is that "you helped create it".
Thanks to these actions the teachings of Ataturk "divorce religion from government so that all people of the state should be equal" are no longer being practised. In the name of trying to influence "Islam" you have a country that now faces East when it was proudly facing west since 1923. You have members of the "Ergenokon", who have sons and daughters, and now will live in a cell for 22 years all based on the circumstantial evidence that you speak of. What is more intesting is that this all comes from a state in Pennsylvania. Is that in the US.
business promotional products December 09, 2012 at 4:30 AM
You live a charmed life and I am glad to know you via the blog! I swear I could hear that fountain as I looked on!
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Thank you for writing this. The Gulen movement is scary because nobody knows exactly what they want and how they are going to get it. People can always use another reminder to supplement Todays Zaman with other reading. Sadly, the Hurriyet Daily News is not as well-written or thorough as Zaman, so I must rely on a variety of blogs and other sources too. As to the AKP, do you think that they are connected in any way with Gulen? It seems imaginable that if not Erdogan, perhaps lower-level officials are members of the movement or at least "inspired" haha by it?
I appreciate the objectivity of the report and its positive recommendations for the present American foreign policy.
Ted Schrey Montreal November 11, 2012 at 11:43 PM
I did it! I read the piece to the very end! And I haven't even ever been to a Gulen-madras...,
charterschool, I mean.

:"if Gulen's followers can beat [the teachers' Unions], more power to them", is a curious point of view;

in particular when one considers that many Gulen-school teachers are apparently straight from Turkey;

while the writer admonishes the reader at the same time that "It's wrong to imagine that Gulen can be...[an] asset to us internationally.

So which is it? Using Gulen-teachers fresh from Turkey as e.g. strike-breakers (scabs), which might be seen as an international asset,

or keeping a sharp eye out for any nefarious intentions and/or practices?
Ted Schrey Montreal November 11, 2012 at 2:41 PM
An 'Islamic secularism' seems an oxymoron.

Besides, Western culture has already provided the world with all sorts of secular perspectives.

Thirdly, the problem-resolution skills of Islamic countries don't seem highly developed just yet, falling short of nonviolence and democratic balance.

All this doesn't look encouraging; there hangs more than a faint whiff of a quintessentially totalitarian longing for domination around this phenomenon.

But I must read this article more slowly and thoroughly, just in case I am about to miss out on the first stirrings of an Islamic Enlightenment.
Another interesting fact to know about the Gulencis is their TUSKON business men are forging relationships worldwide. As their worldwide schools work to teach Turkish to children in Africa, America, etc., the future business links to Gulen operated businesses will sustain.
THe other note is the amount of contracts these TUSKON contractors are getting in middle eastern and other countries. After Iraq was leveled by civil unrest and invading forces of America, Great Britain, Canada, etc., The Gulen Movement aka the AKP party of Turkey, sits back and waits like a vulture to swoop in and re engineer the social, religious, and economic structures.

In Iraq alone, These Turkish TUSKON contractors have been awarded over $11.8 billion in contracts with over 109 projects, re building: transportation, roads, government offices, schools (surprise surprise) hospitals, etc.,

Who is supporting who? America supporting Gulencis? or Gulencis helping themselves out when other countries are reduced to rubble. They are doing the same in Syria. The more the beatiful country is destroyed and leveled the more money $$$ /turkish Gulen contractors will make.
Claire Berlinski's article on the Gulen Movement is the best and the most sophisticated analysis of the subject I have ever seen. The scarcity of such diligent and impartial analysts is one of the main reasons why people both in Turkey and the USA maintain a contralateral ignorance about each other.
The "Annoyed Teacher" appears to accuse the author of using the loaded buzzword "radical Islamist movement" when in fact Berlinski explicitly says:

'To call this movement “fundamentalist” or “radical” is to empty both terms of meaning.'

The "Annoyed Teacher" wonders why it is wrong to teach Turkish in those schools, when in fact the article neither says nor implies any such thing about teaching Turkish.

In fact, I could find none of the claims "Annoyed Teacher" makes about the article in the article itself.

It is not Turkishness or Islamic piety but, rather, precisely this kind of questionable behavior in the intellectual and PR domain by the movement's members, hirees &c. that raises eyebrows and brings into question whether their ethics is the kind one wants youngsters -- in any country -- to be exposed to.
To anyone reading this, take the article with a grain of salt. I work in one of the charter schools that has been said to have ties to Gülen and his movement. It's amazing how nasty the propaganda truly is, and how distorted (and often completely wrong) facts can get when special buzz words are used and thrown around.

Just simply because we have Turkish teachers working with us does not mean we have ties to Gülen, or any so-called radical Islamist movement (another buzz word). How is it any different from any American worker going overseas to find a job? And to speak directly to the article, our Turkish teachers are teaching Turkish and Math. Before anyone decides to jump down my throat for that, would it have made a difference if they were say Japanese instead of Turkish? Why is it wrong to teach Turkish in the schools, yet we learn languages like German, French, Latin and Spanish in our schools (and for some of the more ambitious schools, Japanese as well). It's just a unique offering we can make to our students.

Before anyone gets any bright ideas about spreading around this malarkey, take the time to actually call or speak to someone who works at one of these charter schools. Do your research into the schools themselves. Call the Department of Education, find a way to talk to parents, or set up a meeting with an administrator. Don't believe everything you read/see on the internet. Websites like Charter School Watch Dog do not get their facts correctly. I should know! Their facts on my school are completely wrong or skewed. My personal favorite is how certain members of the Turkish teachers "change" their names (the website used the example Ozdugan was changed to Oz). No one ever remembers a teacher who used a slightly different name, especially one that was difficult to pronounce? I'll use an example. You take a social studies class, and the teacher writes his name on the board as Mr Ghirlandaio (an Italian surname for those wondering). If I was him, since I HATE when people butcher my name (and I have an easy one), I'd shorten or change my last name a bit.

Finally, I know that someone is going to say "well if you're so sure of yourself, tell us what your school is and lets find out ourselves". I won't for the sole reason of the students. It's not fair to them that members of a radical group of uninformed Americans can't accept that they might just be wrong. For once in our lives, stop accusing everyone of doing wrong and radical things, and realize that some of these people in these "watchdog" groups are no different from the radicals they claim they're fighting against.
The Gulen Movement is the Islamic equivalent of the Mormons in every way. From the weird doctrinal differences with their parent religion, to their at times creepy solidarity, their wholesomeness on a personal level, their hierarchical structure and their emphasis on business. Are they dangerous? Well are Mormons dangerous? No, but its important to recognize that they have an agenda.
It will be interesting to see what develops among the Nurcus in later years after Gülen passes from the scene. The track record for hierarchical Turkish organizations based on the leader's charisma is that they quickly disintegrate following the loss of that leader. There's no institutionalization or provision for succession.
@ Sahin

Sure I will just put your contact information here the comments I will be more than happy to contact you. :) After all you are transparent right?

(He wont post here again)
Sahin, Gulen movement id not transparent. That is the problem.
The charter schools are a service that these people provide, and they overall do a great job. However, they are also conduits for funneling American taxpayers' money straight to Gulen/Turkey. You can argue that that is not true, but as in insider, I know that it is.
The continued denial of this is why I no longer support the schools. Turkish employees of the schools are required to give a percentage of their salary to the 'organization'- the non profit that runs them. They say that they can never return to Turkey if the quit the 'organization'. I have Turkish friends that want out, saying that the 'organization' is like the mafia.
Mr Bill, Gulen Movement has always been transparent. Members of the movement can manage schools, newspapers or television. Please let us know if you know anything bad happening about charter schools.
@Sahin The GUlen Movement has everything to do with the Charter Schools. But please keep up with your denial Even if your crime/cult did come clean and decided to become transparent who would ever trust you ever again? Liars, thieves, organized crime, decietful and sinister.

read this article and let's see you attack him like you attack others.

http://azstarnet.com/news/blogs/senor-reporter/sr-reporter-sociologist-calls-on-g-lenist-charter-schools-to/article_78c5b71e-0e01-11e0-9e51-001cc4c03286.html
Gulen Movement has nothing to do with Charter School. Most of the Turkish supports the movement and there are many Turkish businessmen, academicians and professionals all around the world. Also Gulen Movement (Hizmet Movement) is transparent, more information can be gathered at official web sites like http://www.GulenMovement.ca and http://fgulen.com
Your initial response to the question "What are the schools for?" --- "...they seem to be moneymakers"---- is what I think Mr. Gulen is about. Like most good capitalists he wants market share--- and, like a lot of billionaires in the US, doesn't necessarily want the whole country to know how much he is worth or how far he is reaching. Until a few years ago no one knew the Koch brothers by name and one day we all woke up and saw that they had controlled most of the natural gas in the US. That's the way a good capitalist works! The 1999 speech by Gulen could have been given decades ago by the anonymous billionaires who are filling the PACs with money today.... and those folks all believe in the high minded principles espoused by Mr. Gulen: if there is peace and harmony there is free trade and money to be made.
charterschoolwatchdog.com November 02, 2012 at 10:53 AM
Finally a journalist who manages to bravely and truthfully depict what Gulen and his movement are really about. For more on this group see, http://www.charterschoolwatchdog.com
Want to learn truth about Fethullah Gulen and about his inspired a global civil society movement? Please visit www.gulenmovement.com, www.gulenmovement.us and for videos http://www.youtube.com/gulen4worldpeace
The Gulen Charter Schools are exempt many laws that most people would consider desireable, such as teaching the comprehension of what it means to be an American. How can a Muslim teach about the origins of our Constitution? How will bringing not only teachers, but construction people here, affect our service people when they return home from Iraq or Afghanistan?
Dear Orkney;
The Gulen Movement is not Muslim. We Sunni's and Shi'ates do not recognize Sufism and above all Sufi according to Fethullah Mohammed Gulen.

Said Nursi was not even Turkish, the Gulen Movement is a CULT and organized crime.
Majority of Islamic countries do not accept Gulen and his followers despite the fact they have had Gulen books translated into Arabic, Farsi, Indonesia, et al and it just isn't working.

Hell my other Turkish brothers don't even accept this nutcase, no wonder he hides in America under his rock in the Poconos.

Charter schools are a vehicle often used by sectarians for hijacking public funds. Most are Christian in the United States, some Jewish. Now Muslims are getting into the act. Do we want our taxpayer dollars used to subsidize religions and religious movements we don't subscribe to? Especially secretive foreign groups with disguised agendas?

They are also a vehicle for destroying teachers' unions. Teachers should be treated with respect as professionals and expected to perform as professionals. But they have a right to organize like any other group in society, like big business, for example. I don't think that teachers unions cause educational failure. There are other, more significant factors, such as the socio-economic background of the students, parental support, local culture,etc.

Promoters of charter schools often have other objectives than the improvement of education. Supporting favored religions or breaking the teachers' union.
Here is another example of Gulen Cult attacking journalists and not the issue.

You would think that by hiring Karen Hughes (G. Bush personal spin Dr. your education tax dollars) that you would have a larger budget to make better films.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIZE5O5ni1Q





Bury De is a Gulen Cult member doing his failed and childish attempts at damage control Attack the Journalist and not the issue at hand. Here is Another example of how the cult uses their own media outlets.

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-253266-when-a-reporter-becomes-part-of-the-story.html

That was in retaliation for these teachers who came forward. As you can see they were anonymous until the Gulen CUlt members hacked and data mined info to expose them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKyUBjDWDCE

Yes they even took out a blog on me calling me paid Ergenekon member and a terrorist. Very serious accusation for a single parent who only lives in Az.

This is only a fraction of the trouble the Gulen CUlt Members cause people in Turkey. But if you keep letting them grow in USA it will get worse. This tactic they are taking is nothing new to the FBI and to this country. Scientolgy already has already one upped the GUlen Cult on that one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Snow_White

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Freakout

Cults are dangerous....Cults educating your children to become politicians and journalists are even more dangerous.

Bring it little boys... do your worst.


Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.
life sciences
We can see the Gulenist Propaganda in full effect here under the comments section.

They will try everything to discredit Ms. Berlinski and all others who try to reveal the truce face of this dangerous cult.
Burey De, that is all you have to say? Throw in some smear? I don't know Claire Berlinski but what does this have to do with her rather well-constructed article? If you don't have any real criticism you can present and support, I suggest you behave more like an adult. Stay on the case argued please.
How can I believe this lady?http://recursed.blogspot.in/2011/07/more-silliness-from-claire-berlinski.html
Caveo Cavi Cautum October 26, 2012 at 5:27 AM
After all being said and done, you've made it too obvious in your closing remarks that you are also trying to look sympathetic to the cemaat, why? Does US really need an imam to stand against the teachers' union... really? That's probably one of the worst insults anyone can make of the American people. Perfect investigation, unbelievably poor conclusion, why?
Wow, well writ. Is there executive summary? lol
Wow, well writ. Is there executive summary? lol
I do not knwo the Charter School system, but I worked as a non Catholic in an Opus Dei boys school for two years. Of course it emphasised Catholoism, but most kids coming out were not that influenced. They were taught respect for society, to always get a job when they could, to be kind to wives and be a Dad to their kids. Perhaps a secular society, will few morals, fixed an debt and short-termerism isn't the the same society as the religiously based previous society. Teaching is a vocation, good behaviour a sign of respect, single mothers a sign of dead beat Dads, as much a problematic Mothers.
The West needs a simple remedy, higher grades, especially in Science, Maths and Technology, higher participation rates in employment, less debt and more savings. Perhaps some Christians should get together and set up a school and fund it out of their own pockets. I didn't agree with somethings in the Opus Dei school, but the boys played sports, did quite well at school, all the non academic boys were guided into trades really were they unemployed or in trouble with the law. The brightest wanted to enter medicine and not law for the sole reason of making money.
This is the best research-info on Gulen movement I have yet to read. I hope the world would read it.
..."opposes violence and turning religion into a political ideology.”

But Islam is and always was a political ideology. And when its at a political advantage, it is quick to use violence to take over. This is the rule of their own texts and a traditions for well over a thousand years of practice, century after century of death and destruction.

I suggest that Mr Gulen's "ideals" are far short of noble. He was trained from childhood in the arts of taqiyya, we are dupes for this man. We are in danger until people become educated about the what Muslims have done to Europe.

I doubt many young people will read this article. But try to remember it when the kids end up being terrorists.
Here is a little constructive criticism. Why not come clean about your affiliation to Gulen and the charter schools? As far exercising my freedoms of speech is it a pleasure and a right. Unlike in your country where disagreeing or even insulting the Government and of course unholyness Mad Man Imam Mouhammad Fethullah Gulen could have you in court being sued or even in prison. Judging from these documents here your over sensitive cult leader has his team of lawyers on speed dial.

http://gulentrial.org/gulen/6_defamation_cases.pdf

Which brings me to another observation of your cult's activities using the charter schools as a front. Can you explain to the rest of as to how you can justify using the high schools in Texas to import lawyers and legal clerks on H1-B visas? How is this even remotely educational? Second, pick up the phone book and go to the yellow pages and look under "L" for Lawyers and "A" for attorneys. We have no shortage in the legal field. Never the less qualified school teachers. Is this part of the agenda of moving through the veins of the arteries? How many of your cult members are now attending American Law School for the glory and advancement of Gulen's Goons? Never the less your over obvious and ridiculous Harmony School of Policial Science and Communication to condition and groom future generations of Gulen / Turkish sympathizers and journalist. Bad enough we have our own government eroding our own rights away now we have to contend with you adding to the problem. Call some us Patriotic or even ultra-nationalistic so be it. But there are some of us who are unwilling to sell out our children and America's future for a fake award, a free trip to Turkey or even even a mouthful of stool softening Noah's pudding with a baklava chaser. So please don't feel alone and isolated when being exposed. We also like to go after our own politicians, church leaders and other civic leaders of our community for having anything to do with you. Again this is right of being an American and not living Turkey. Anyone who studys Turkish politics and the clown antics of Turkish judiciary can tell you that Turkey knows nothing of political science, human rights and to think you want to teach our children about law government and due process? For if I were a citizen of Turkey I would already be in prison for speaking my mind. Not criticizing the Gulenites but for telling the truth. No one here is jealous of you for anything. In order to have jealousy you have to possess something we would want. We have free speech and the right to choose to say and act as we see fit. I don't see Gulenites or citizens of Turkey having any of this. So be careful of your lies when informing students, teachers and politicians of how of how progressive and secular Turkey is. Under Gulenites your country is rolling backwards not forward. We do not wish the same for our country either. Fix your own problems we don't need or want you here adding to the current debacle of government and education.
It looks like Berlinski's article served as a tool for manipulation for longtime Gulen Haters such as Bill Thacker, Casilips, Mari Addi and their groupies. If you look at the long written comments, they are full of hatred. These 4-5 individuals dedicated their life to attack on Gulen and Hizmet. It's understandable that they are exercising their freedom of speech. However, this distorted, one sided point of view which is built upon hatred and jealousy doesn't help a mainstream American who doesn't know anything about this phenomena. We need constructive criticism, not hatred and jealousy.
Well, I'm not sure the latest sociology backs up your optimism on assimilation. Are not the children of Muslim immigrants in America significantly more "devout" and uncompromising than their refugee parents? As for the appeals of economic growth, we might have to have some.
What a thorough research! Thanks for sharing.

Many of the Fethullah Gulen followers also give Gulen false praise and tells others who don’t know anything about their cult leader that Gulen is to be likened to heroic figures such as Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and Gandhi. GUlen could not even stand in the shadows of these great and noble people when it come to the efforts and hard work of changing the world. First of all one would actually have to leave the posh Poconos prison and mingle with the people.
Martin Luther King was noted as a dynamic speaker and stood for equality cival rights and the advancemeant of minorities in America. Fethuallh Gulen sits his dusty and grease stained chair and communicates to his followers via You Tube and then curses and advocates for the destruction and deaths of the Kurdish people a minority in Turkey.
Mother Theresa fed the poor, took care of the sick children and the infirmed. She spent her life caring for the children and orphans. She often times even went to war fronts sacrificing her own safety for the loves of children. At one time she rescued 37 children from a hospital during the conflict of Isreal and Palinstine. Gulen would actuallyhave to stop pretending to be sick all the time to gain false sympathies from cult members and actually remove himself from the couch. Mother Theresa built make shift hospitals and begged for medical supplies. Gulen owns hospitals and yet could not even one suitable Dr. in his own country so he flees to America. Gulen has never ever spoke out about the mistreatment of children in Turkey who are locked in adult prisons. Not once has he ever advocated for the orphaned children and demanded these homes to be brought up to modern standards especially when it comes to the care of those with handicaps such as Autism or other severe mental disabilities.
There is no comparison from Gandhi to GUlen. Gandhi was highly educated and by standards a wealthy man who hung his suit and walked away from prosperous law firm to stand against the injustice of his country. Gulen uses the the law to intimidate and threaten anyone who opposes his thoughts and cults progress. Gulen is worth over 25 billion dollars. Gandhi gave everything away to ensure his people could have civil rights, independence and freedom. Gulenites use there clout to oppress others, a dream of a Golden Generation or the have and have nots and to enslave others who may not believe in the Gulen way of doing things. Gulen robs from the poor, forcing non believers out of business and into poverty. Gandhi was a dedicated vegetarian, and undertook long fasts as means of both self-purification and political mobilization. Gulen looks as if he could miss a meal or two and no one would even notice. .

All in all Gulen’s ambition for building schools is not about about peace and mutual respect of other. But none other than political gain and influence. His interfaith dialogs with others focus on core of tolerance. Even the word tolerance shows Gulen and his follower’s lack of commitment and honestly. Every great master and spiritual leader will use the word and lessons of acceptance. . In short would you rather be tolerated or accepted for who you are? Like these great leaders, Gulen has never at anytime sacrificed or given up his postion for the sake of others. Its always, whats in it for the prosperity of the cult’s collective.
Oh American Dad is the most comical (snicker giggles) are we to understand you are American and support the Gulen Cult?

Then I have ocean front property in Florida (where one of your schools is ranked 1792 out of 1795 schools) for $1.00 an acre. The sad part is some people do fall for your boring Gulen propaganda (yawn) those are the same ones you have manipulated with free trips to Turkey, Free Turkish Dinners, telling them their kids are scholars and giving them easy grades. Or the best you have a 100% college acceptance (while not telling them their kid is accepted at some flunky Junior college or one of the Gulenist operated colleges in America like the North American College in Texas.

American Dad you are no more American than Gulen who had Kurdish roots among other things.
You try and leave the CULT and you will see how you end up in jail, or destroyed by Gulen and his gang of organized crime.

Go ahead try to leave see what happens.

The day that one of the Gulenist operated and managed schools will stand up and be honest about their obvious affilations with Gulen is the day we can all rest assure that this CULT is on the up and up.
But as it sits, they go to great lengths to deny the undeniable.
They come on these boards with ambigious remarks as if commenting on the boards is a proven way to win over the masses. The truth be known is that the 130 charter schools in the USA are under investigation, by region and many (over 90) have been denied renewal, applications or expansions. The funds are drying up and Americans are fighting back and informed who and what this CULT stands for: Greed, manipulation, world dominance, deceit under the guise of "dialog" "Friendship" "Peace" blah blah.

His followers are media savvy yet predictable and obsessed with one goal...gaining more share of power. Parading around an ancient photo of a 1 time meeting with the late Pope John Paul or other world leaders as some sort of "endorsement" is hogwash and amateur. What is the current Pope Benedict's view of Turkey and the Gulen Movement?

Yet to this day, his sheep followers Hakan, Alp, et al cannot NAME one SPECIFIC thing Gulen has done for world peace. Putting a fatwa out on the Kurds was not promoting world peace, Gulen stating that all the evil in the world is from the Vatican was not promoting world peace. Or calling the Vatican a "Den of Snakes and the Pope a Viper"

Lets see if his followers can spin the latest mantra of "peacebuilding through education" and if American politicians are still willing to accept free trips and bribes from Hizmet.

Here is a good suggestion for Hizmet. You profess to bring good to America, education, dialogue, teaching Turkish culture and language to OUR children. Why don't you fix your own miserable country of Turkey. You have the worst human rights record and jail the most journalists than even Russia or China?

Turkey's schools perform at the bottom of the heap in worldwide rankings, and poverty is at an all time high as well as over 14 million illiterate. Solve your own problems before you profess to know what is right or wrong with other countries.

Your stay in America is drawing to an end. They have your big fish money man Arici in Federal Prison who is singing like a canary.

You remember Arici don't you???? "I was sent to Cuba by a religious group I have the wire transfers to prove it" '

The Feds love this guy.

The piece is effectively built upon an accurate compilation of much documented evidence and previous work done by many others on the movement. The movement appears non-violent on the surface, but ask that to the Turkish citizens - including women and children - who have been brutally teargassed by the very police insidiously controlled by the Gulen movement and those who have been jailed by the Special Authority Courts which are essentially puppets of the movement. I don't think the movement would be criticised as much if it did not employ mafia-like methods as the writer suggests. Radical elements do unfortunately exist within the movement even if not everyone involved with it can be held responsible.
Sounds like Mormons. Not exactly a match.

They're nonviolent. There's no direct parallel to the "white horse" and "red horse" of Joseph Smith's "White Horse Prophesy." No messiah fantasy to match Smith's "One Mighty and Strong" who's also going to be president. They do match up to Smith in 1832 thinking the Russians are a risk to overrun the world.

No Mitt Romney. Otherwise, same difference?
Indeed a 5th grade educated man who is in exile - his puppet brainwashed followers refuse to admit they are Hizmet out of shame. Gulen hopes to raise a future "Golden Generation" which will inherit the riches of the world and operate the neo-Ottoman Caliphate based on greed, manipulation and hiding behind "Peace building through Education" (as if Gulen knows how to accomplish this)
Planting the seeds for the future TUSKON Gulen Business owners worldwide.
Gulen lives under lock and key, not even leaving the "Golden Generation" Compound to attend the services for his dead brother back in Turkey.
http://www.gulenschoolsworldwide.blogspot.com
http://www.gulencharterschools.weebly.com
http://www.turkishinvitations.weebly.com
http://www.gulenpoliticians.blogspot.com
There were many parts in the article to criticize, however the silliest was; "But many ethnically Kurdish citizens of Turkey heard this as a call for genocide and were terrified by it." There are hundreds of thousands of Kurds in the cemaat also Said Nursi was a Kurd. Isn't it obvious that Gulen has nothing against Kurds?
I have been closely following the activities of the Gulen Movement and all I can say that this movement is arguably the only god example of a Muslim community. Can you find another good example?

1) They are 100% non-violent. You can't even show one single incident where any member of the Movement has ever used the means of violence so far.

2) They are open to interfaith dialog and understanding, which is also rare in Islamic world.

3) They give importance to science and education. They are far from bigotry.

4) Through their actions, they represent peace, cooperation and fraternity.

This movement is the best example of any Muslim community in the world. If a better global example (other than brutal, and horrendous Al-Kaida!!!) comes to your mind, just let us know so that we can start following them.
The only real danger for democracy and liberalism is Islamophobia, calling for the abolishment of the right to freely exercise religion on behalf of an apocalyptic vision of millions of Muslims practicing "taqqiya" until the day they take over power. It's merely the same crap as the Global Warming Hoax, designed to fearmongering in order to take away freedom and prosperity from people.
Gulen organisation is the most powerful propaganda machine since Goebbels. Their sole existence is based on "taqiyya" and propaganda.

The 1999 speech of Gulen is a basic red flag showing the dangerous mindset and revealing their true face. As you can see in the various Gulen speeches, their aim is to use Western democracy as a means to achieve their hidden agenda, not to adapt to it as an ideal.

This organisation should be taken very seriously, they are very well organised, dangerous like weapon and an ultimate threat to the democracy and liberalism.
I am working together with many people from the Gulen movement every day. They are decent, honorable and trustworthy persons who stick to their promises and whose word is their bond. Their dedication to morality and loyalty derives from their deep religious belief.

That's exactly what sooner or later will lead to success in Capitalism and therefore the Gülen movement actually IS successful. Some Western spremacists just can not stand the thought of people from other countries and cultural backgrounds achieving success without abandoning the values that they are holding dear.

But it's as simple as that. They do a good job, and therefore they succeed. Get over it.
Ms. Berlinski is to be commended for this piece, which contains astute observations, is comprehensive, and will be useful to parents and taxpayers. The issue of the Gulen charter schools has received insufficient attention from the media, and this article is a great step forward.

Ms. Berlinski comes to this piece as a journalist with an observant eye, substantial expertise on Turkey, and knowledge of American politics and society. Like many reporters who cover the Gulen Movement, she is not an education reporter. This is mentioned only as a factual statement (i.e., no criticism intended); no reporter can cover every field. It is an important point, because her assessment of the quality of education offered at Gulen charter schools must necessarily be based on prima facie information – that is, standardized test scores, and apparent parent satisfaction (quantified by enrollment figures).

Both these measures are questionable. Dr. Ed Fuller, an education expert, analyzed characteristics of students entering and leaving the Harmony Public Schools in Texas (which are representative of the entire nationwide chain) and found that entering students, including the economically disadvantaged ones, tended to already be performing at a higher level. This in itself could explain higher test scores, without being an indicator of better educational quality. Also, Fuller found the schools had lower percentages of English language learners and special needs students relative to comparison schools; both these groups tend, statistically, to drive test scores down.

As for parent satisfaction, the dream of many parents is a selective school – for free. There are credible allegations that Gulen charter schools use pre-admission placement tests and other tactics to bias admission, and also that they “encourage” lower performing or less obedient students to leave. Unequivocally, these schools do not have a student and parent body representative of nearby district schools.

Many parents are not happy with the Gulenist administrators, yet some still support them publicly because they value the selectivity, and they believe standardized test scores (a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution article shows that this belief is misguided). Fuller has noted that the Harmony schools have very high attrition, not a sign of widespread, long-term parental satisfaction. Parents of the small group of students who are ultra-high-achieving in math, or who regularly win awards in any field, may be extremely vocal in their support of the administration because their child has favored status and is given special support. There is, however, no trickle-down effect; the attention lavished on award-winners does not benefit the bulk of the student body, although parents enter the schools with this expectation. The reality is that the “success” of Gulen charter schools is largely an illusion.

To support the Gulen charter schools simply because you oppose teachers’ unions or support charter schools is senseless. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, there are more constructive ways to pursue your agenda without forming an alliance with an extremely corrupt group that cleverly plays off both sides of our society against each other, while raking in the money.
Another Islamic predator.
No mention of imprisoned Turkish journalists? There is a whole lot of people in jail because they write or "attempt to write" about the movement's dirty tricks. At least smtg Ahmet Sik's book "The Imam's Army"? You know the book about how Gulen Movement is infiltrating the Turkish police, bureaucracy, how they abuse their power set people up. How the Turkish police raided his office and tried to eradicate all copies of the book, how he said on his way to jail the now famous line “Whoever touches (them=Gulen movement) gets burnt”. Relevant, but ignored?

How about smtg about Hanefi Avcı? You know, the one that used to be a chief of police, the one who's put behind bars immediately after publishing his book on the movements' activities within the police force. This is no charitable organization. Criminals up top and brainwashed followers down bottom. Their choice of weapon is not guns and bombs, they use lies, brainwashing, abuse of religion, slander, setting up people who they feel are in their way. The claim of promoting "dialogue" is simply laughable.
Great peace.I am scholar who works on the topic, and couldnt summarize it better
Operating in 140 countries would be enough to prove the global success of Hizmetians. Berlinski's level of cynicism is too high. BTW The article has lack of broader look, contains a lot of malign data, misquoting and drowned in generalization. However I appreciate Claire's efforts of taking Gulen Movement as an important journalistic case. Keep watching the Hizmetians...
Excellent piece. A must read for anyone who wants to understand Turkey and Middle East. Thanks Claire!
Slavery is slavery is slavery, at all levels, from the unconscious in the Psyche to the rackets of Diabolical religiosity. Scientology cannot compare, except to share in the same paranoiac formulas. It is probably child's play to out any of those cemaat slaves: simply call them to their face a slave, nothing less.
This article is extremely biased and one-sided. I did not see any of the comments by the members of Gulen community. Seems only the detractors were allowed to relate their opinion. Besides, there is several wrong information ranging from not knowing the basic facts about Turkey to funny claims about a school who is actually not in operation any more.

Finally, most of the accusations about Fethulah Gulen are formed on the basis of conspiracy theories, suspicions, unverified rumors, etc. Ms. Bellinski's bias can also be seen on her imminent laughter about a guy from the Movement. I wonder if she laughs at the church congregation when they perform the supplication or the ritual or the people who do their job with a great concentration.
Just a repetitive summary of criticisms without any counter arguments. It is still unclear to me that a reclusive guy of 72 years old, suffering from various medical problems, is made the operator of thousands of schools including some hundred charter schools in the US. If we have 130 charter schools and only four five schools can be named as problematic, then we can comfortably say that the foes are picking up on the few bad samples and applying the same behavior to the whole group. Typically reductionist analysis.
http://so-calledgulencharterschools.blogspot.com/

http://gulenschools.org/

http://fethullahgulenhizmetmovement.blogspot.com/

http://gulen4universalpeace.blogspot.com/
I think the purpose of the people who are labeling successful charter schools as Gulen Charter Schools is to defame Fethullah Gulen and successful charter schools. As it was mentioned on CBS's 60 Minutes that nationwide Newsweek Magazine listed some of those two successful charter schools as miracle schools of the nation. They're combining those schools as Gulen Charter Schools, because they're successful. Those people who are actually against good and goodness picking Fethullah Gulen's name as a person to mention with those successful charter schools. Whoever they are, they don't like Fethullah Gulen because of his teachings and positive contribution to humanity in 21st century. In the other hand Turkish oriented people are not the only people operating charter schools. Why are those people picking only charter schools operated by Turkish origin professionals?

1- Are these schools or any other charter schools in the nation officially affiliated with Gulen? In their charter proposals, is there any such affiliation?

2- Do the school officials confirm any sort of official connection with Fethullah Gulen?

3- Is Fethullah Gulen a criminal? Is he a dangerous person? Can someone explain why he was granted permanent residency by the US authorities if he is dangerous?

http://so-calledgulencharterschools.blogspot.com/

http://gulenschools.org

http://fethullahgulenhizmetmovement.blogspot.com/

http://gulen4universalpeace.blogspot.com/
Long article! I read it through. Each and every paragraph was already published somewhere else before. What is the point of compiling these old pieces of news in one article and present it as fresh!
I expected to read something new but I was disappointed.