FBI Investigating Gulen Schools

Fethullah Gulen

Charter schools operated by the Turkish Gulen movement, which have been springing up across the US, are under investigation by the FBI and departments of Labor and Education, an in-depth report published by the Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday detailed.

The investigations are centered on whether some charter school employees are kicking back of their salaries to the Gulen movement, which is led by a Turkish exile Fathulah Gulen, an Islamist political figure, who is in crosshairs with Turkish Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan and has been living in Pennsylvania after being granted asylum by the US.

The federal probe also centers on the large number of H1B visas being requested for Gulen-run school teachers and staff, whereby local teachers are passed up for those imported from Turkey.

“The schools are funded with millions of taxpayer dollars. Truebright alone receives more than $3 million from the Philadelphia School District for its 348 pupils. Tansu Cidav, the acting chief executive officer, described it as a regular public school,” reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Gulen schools are among the nation’s largest users of the H1B visas. In 2009, the schools received government approvals for 684 visas – more than Google Inc. (440) but fewer than a technology powerhouse such as Intel Corp. (1,203),” added the Inquirer article.

Gulen runs charter schools in Ohio, California, Texas, Arizona, Utah and other states. Last year, the Los Angeles Unified School District granted a charter to the Gulen-affiliated Magnolia School in North Hollywood and portion of Birmingham High School in Van Nuys.

In 2010, a group of parents in Tucson, Arizona, appealed to the local school board with concerns that the charter school affiliated with the Gulen movement was “part of a confederation of learning institutions secretly linked to, and advancing, the cause of Turkish scholar and Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen,” according the Tucson Weekly.

Read the Philadelphia Inquirer article here.


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. Lisa Monroe said:

    My kids went to one of these Gulen managed schools and we were taken in by all the talk about Turkish scholars teaching our children. We knew and know nothing about Turkey, and their way of denialism, but I do know we could never get a straight answer on them about the school or about them. There was always something there we couldn’t put on finger on. They also have Turkish cooking classes for the parents and are big on introducing everyone to their culture which is center to their teaching. Frankly, don’t think their teachers were all that. My kids do just as well at a traditional public school and there is no advantage to these schools.

  2. Vince DiAlieto said:

    Americans you are not the only one suckered in by the Gulen Movement and promises of the best education in the world. In Turkey there are currently over 300,000 teachers who are unemployed victims of the Gulen Education system that is pushing out all non-Gulenist teachers -apparently this same thing is happening worldwide.
    The other factor is that the Gulen Movement are experts at twisting the media, public relations and marketing. Gulen’s empire (ext. $25 billion) holds media as part of his ownership: Fountain Publishing, Today’s Zaman, ERBU TV to name a few. They can and will either make someone’s career or destroy someone like a school district that refuses to expand their schools. They are politically entrenced via their many Gulen foundations/institutes that are layered around these schools that funnel and launder American Educational tax monies. There is always a Gulen Award or Honor given to some local academia, poltician or media and FREE trips to Turkey as well.
    Lastly the schools in Turkey are below standard, according to the last OCED ranking of 34 countries they are 32 just above Chile and Mexico. The winners are Finland and S. Korea. These Gulen worldwide schools have nothing to do with education but rather are the seeds for creating a new population of Gulen followers. Your money should not be spent on h1-b Visas, trips to Turkey, educating their uncredentialed teachers, and paying for the ridiculous Turkish Olympiads so American children can display their Turkish skills throughout the USA and in Turkey.
    With Gulen being mentioned on WikiLeaks and the arrest of over 60 Turkish Journalists 14 days ago who dare to speak out against Gulen, if America cannot turn the Gulenists around you will risk the same type of un-Democratic behavior.
    http://www.charterschoolwatchdog (read Teachers with Guns)

    Also please research Ex-FBI Turkish Translator Sibel Edmonds, Dr. Aland Mizell and Dr. Joshua Hendricks (who was a former paid speaker for the Gulen Movement)

    Good Luck America, take back your schools before it’s too late.

    • manooshag said:

      Vince, thanks – this is but another of many Turkish PLOYs, now via our educational system the obvious intrusion in the democratically free education systems within each of our 50 states. Unbelievably, our American citizens TAXES foot the bill for this mayhem. Imagine, the Philadelphia Inquirer states that there are 120 such schools in 20 states of the USA… plus a Truebright Science Academy in North Philadelphia and another in State College, PA. Further, Fethullah Gulen has received $3,000,000 (3 millions!!) from the Philadelphia School System District for just 348 pupils!! Too, not mentioned but another aspect of Turkish intrusion is their destructive actions against the Woodrow Wilson Memorial site and our national museum – this too in our capital city of Washington DC. Amazingly, Why have not the USA government, not the USA media have taken on this vile abuse of our own American president’s foundation… and our Smithsonian museums – in our capital city of Washington DC!! Turkeys invade our nation in so many ways… Just try ANY such actions from Americans against the nation of Turkey (which claims to be a democracy). For, Turkey is ONLY for Turks.
      P.S. Sadly, it is the USA government which has GAGGED Sibel Edmonds when she spoke to
      show that Turks, working in our own government offices, were ‘removing’ and ‘hiding’ any and all data which Turkeys chose to ‘eliminate’… Is USA government ‘protecting’ a Turkey? Why?

  3. Armen Kandaryan said:

    You American Armenians need to learn about Gulen, in Turkey his group is responsible for jailing over 50 journalists in the last month, their crime was they dared to speak out against the movement aka Hizmet or Cemaat. They created a fake group called Ergenekon to cast all the blame on them of the Christian murders and of Dink, which have nothing to do with the journalist except this is the way the Gulen Movement twists media to their benefit. The Gulen Movement owns Todays Zaman, Fountain Publishing, ERBU TV and a list of other papers here in Turkey.
    They have managed to take over every segment of our government except the military which is their last and current battle. I know some Gulen followers and they are interesting chaps, not the brightest light in the room nor is Gulen. Gulen’s education is to the 5th grade, but they have labeled him “turkish scholar” which is a joke. This is his owned media doing this.

  4. manooshag said:

    Charter schools are not needed in the USA. Our educational system, within each of the 50 states of the USA are to be supported and advanced… with teachers who are educated and prepared to teach our students – without ‘other’ interests (especially muslim) intruding upon our system of educating our youth.
    Turkish schools can learn from the USA education system – which democratically educate our youth – whereas in a Turkey their leaderships have control of what shall be taught in their system. Turkeys shall not have the right to intrude upon our any aspects of our democracy… Manooshag

  5. manooshag said:

    Charter schools are not needed in the USA. Our educational system, within each of the 50 states of the USA are to be supported and advanced… with teachers who are educated and prepared to teach our students – without ‘other’ interests (especially muslim) intruding upon our system of educating our youth.
    Turkish schools can learn from the USA education system – which democratically educate our youth – whereas in a Turkey their leaderships have control of what shall be taught in their system. Turkeys shall not have the right to intrude upon our any aspects of our democracy… Manooshag
    P.S. Are charter schools funded by the American taxpayers? What a nerve!!

  6. facts said:

    Turks in US and across Europe are building aggressively and coordinate “Turkish Mosques” and Islamic schools. They get all kind of help from “secular” Turkey!

    During and after Armenian Genocide Turks did destroy more than 2000 Armenian churches and other place of worships. The same “modern” and Turks in the past 60 years have build with support of so-called “secular” Turkish government more than 2500 Turkish mosques alone accrues Europe, beside this Turks are engaged in islamization of countries like Germany and Belgium (above all). A part of Societies in Europe have already “integrated” in Turkish culture –

    According to Turkish Erdoagn “assimilation is a crime against Humanity”. The same Turkey is proud of committed genocide against Armenian people as well destruction of other non Turkish folks groups including Christians…

  7. Tom Fields said:

    sounds like you Armenian Americans are very educated about the Gulen Movement and Turkey, more so than average Americans. To learn more, go to Charter School Scandals for the list of Gulen Charter Schools in the USA. Also watch some of the videos of their Turkish Olympiads they hold in the USA (teaching American children to sing, dance and recite poetry in Turkish) It will make your skin crawl that your tax money is going to Turkification. I lived near some Armenians when I was growing up, I am very sorry for your terrible history and sorry. Please don’t let this fool take over the education system, then no one will learn of your history (or true history)
    http://www.charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com (list of Gulen schools) warn others to take their kids OUT
    http://www.gulencharterschools.weebly.com facts and figures here of the Gulen Schools

  8. Tom Fields said:

    I will add just one of the many Turkish Olympiad links, this is the one in Texas. It makes me sick to see African and Mexican American children being Turkified like this, what about their cultures? Remember this is only 1 Turkish Olympiad these Gulen Charter Schools have 8 of these, paid for by your educational tax dollars that are laundered to the many Gulen NGOs that are layered around these schools. (Texas, Washington DC, SE -Florida, Cinncinati, Arizona, California, Missouri, Georgia) then the winners are flown to Turkey to compete in the big Turkish Olympiad for Turkish diplomats and President Gul.
    They watch with delight as children from over 100 countries are singing and dancing in Turkish “the language of love and peace”

    • Hratch Tchaghatzbanian said:

      Thanks for the link Tom. As Armenian Americans, we rely on fellow citizens to stand up for what’s right.. not just because their grandparents have suffered from genocide, but rather simply because it’s the moral position the US should take.

  9. Ara Esraelian said:

    My medz hayr always warned me about the Turk who would come to their home and act like he was there to help and be friends. He was the first one standing in line to take the possessions of people in my grandfather’s village as they were being forced out by bayonet. I find this so mindblowing that our country has allowed this to happen, and the more I read the more I find that sickens me, it is the Ottoman Empire takeover repeating itself. This group evidently has tried to get a school in Hawaii, they were rejected so they sent in their lobbying portion of the Gulen Movement from California (Pacifica Institute) and wined and dined the Hawaii state senate who later approved a Turkish resolution HCR 30 and 37 “a memorandum of understanding between Hawaii and Turkey for an exchange of Business and Culture”
    This group sounds like they are using all that educational money to funnel to the Turkish lobbying group. This writer in Hawaii, even has photos of them with a Hawaii Senator.

  10. P.J. Grant said:

    many sorrows for what you armanians have had to suffer at the hands of the ottoman turks and the further insults from the turkish government. this gulen guy gets around so does his many lobbying groups, he was also featured on WikiLeaks. lets hope that the feds follow through on this and not give into political correctness.

    This is not the original Wikileaks document! It’s a cache, made on 2011-03-18 03:24:40. For the original document check the original source:

  11. Libby F. said:

    My child also attended one of these Gulen Charter schools. At first the teachers were great. I loved the international flavor to the school. Eventually the good teachers (Turkish and American) left, and sometimes she had several new teachers throughout the year, many of which, couldn’t speak English. But the thing that finally made us leave the school, was this: We were told it was a very unique school started by Turkish scholars. Certainly the standard of living would be better here than in Turkey, so I thought nothing of it. They carefully hid the fact that there were other schools all over the country just like ours, and their ties to Gulen. When first confronted, the principal denied even knowing who Gulen was. Within days, he changed his story to “Of course, everyone in Turkey knows who he is and has been influenced by him.” Now they say whatever they think will save face, and be seen as acceptable.

  12. seneca said:

    Well good morning America!! But was not ‘the holy man of islam’ Mr. Gulen ‘the new dam’ against the rise of islamic fascism,wasnt he the saviour of all religions with the -one way street- tolerance and understanding crap. Well folks let me tell you something as an atheist and anarchist Turk: do you know whose signature is under the resident permit of Mr. Gulen?? No suprises there:Of course the former head of the middle east division of CIA.. So do you guys really think the US government did not have a clue about what Gulen’s real colors is?? Really??

  13. Sean O'Neill said:

    manooshag you are wrong. Our American Education system is set ona course to make our kids into idiots. I am not saying Gulen is good by any means – we do not need ANY International schools in our country. But Teacher Unions (all unions) have gotten out of hand and out grown their usefulness. They keep putting out things like Race To The Top and No Child Left Behind to make parents think these are great programs and will enrich our kids minds when in fact all they do is put false testing out there and dangle gifts for the teachers to accomplish something they are already being paid to do. School districts are not even aware of what is in the textbooks the kids are learning out of.
    You do not have to be a college graduate to educate your children and give them a wholesome educational experience.

  14. justin oliver said:

    Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival orginized by this group is a good example of what they are trying to do. They do promote peace and understanding between and among the nations. To say that the schools are only promoting Islam is an absolute lie because there are many teachers in these schools coming from a variety of different religious and cultural background. See the Midwest example here. http://horizonparents.blogspot.com . Only Ten percent of concept teachers are international and non-Christian.

  15. Ilyas said:

    I am a US citizen, born and raised, of Turkish descent and even though Turks and Armenians have disagreements on the genocide issue, as well as not liking each other very much, and I support the civil war thesis about what happened in 1915-1923, I think, we all as US citizens of all ethnic backgrounds and creeds needs to stop the Gulen Movement. They think they can full the world and be the defenders of pious “moderate” versions of Islam. They do not defend moderate Islam, infact they want to reinstate the Ottoman Caliphate. Facts about the Gulen Movement: 1) The amount of journailst jailed post-AKP vs pre-AKP is higher during the post-AKP area. 2) Womens rights have severly worsened during the post-AKP area. 3) Freedom of speech has gone down the drain since the AKP. 4) Honor killings have shot up since the rise of the AKP (you never ever heard about this stuff in Turkey before 2002). 5) Less and less women are getting jobs as lawyers, doctors, judges, politicians, CEOs and other (the rate for women in these fields are higher before 2002).
    6) The jobless rate has shot up thanks to the AKP. 7) More and more people in Turkey support Religious Extremeism, rather then Democracy and Secularism. (Trust me, I have seen a protest in Istanbul where people wave flags in support of Osama Bin Laden and if you think i am lying, I can prove it with a clip and this is no joke). 8) One of the leaders of the AKP, named Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which the AKP has obvious ties to the Gulen movement, has said “Democracy is a threat to humanity.”
    I have stated many facts about the evil Gulen movement. We need to get as many attorneys, Congressmen, Senators, and other people to totally destroy the Gulen movement once and for all. They try to fool the world with noble causes, such as strengthening the educational systems through charter schools, as well as interfaith dialogue centers, which serve as fronts to form the Gulen movement, which bankrolls the AKP, which wants to re-instate the Ottoman Caliphate. There needs to be some Congressmen and Senators who can grow some balls to expose the hypocrisy of the Gulen movement and it’s two faced twisted nature. The Gulen movement is more dangerous then Al-Qaida, Taliban, Hamas and Hezbollah and I am not lying.

    • lisa stepanyan said:

      Ilyas, I am curious you say you are of Turkish descent? Are you Turkic ethnicity? Many people living in what we call Republic of Turkey (ROT, est 1923) have Greek, Assyrian, ARmenian, and Kurdish bloodlines but were forced to “Turkify” their names, etc.,
      Since we are the indigenous people of Turkey and majority of ancient cathedrals, (st. hagia sofia) Topaki Palace were built by these groups, if is very likely your blood is mixed…As Turkish Attorney Fetiye Cetin found that her beloved grandmother was an Armenian orphan one of the 150,000 left parentless and raised by Kurds, Turks, Arabs (many were sold) or sent to orphanages.
      We may not agree on Turkey’s tag line on the Armenian genocide or their excuses for the genocide of other people throughout the world but I believe everyone agrees that Gulen is a danger to Turkey and to the world.
      In Turkey if you are not a Gulenists you cannot get the good jobs, they muscle out the non-Gulenists and place their own in. Which is happening in every country this miserable group infiltrates into.

  16. emma said:

    a lawsuit needs to be filed. one of these gulen schools opened in my neighborhood. there is something called seperation if church and state. my tax dollars are paying for their muslim agenda. in my neighborhood there is now a proislam billboard. i bet the gulen school used my tax dollars to fund that billboard.

  17. Marie said:

    Start here and pass on:
    This organization which operates 130 charter schools in the United States has been violating the civil rights of American teachers and administrators for the past eleven years by blatantly ignoring federal age, nationality, and gender equal opportunity laws. Further, their practices have supplanted American jobs by bringing in H1-B visa holders instead of hiring qualified and available American teachers and administrators, and all the while using American tax dollars to do so. The American tax payers are not only losing jobs, but are also required to pay for H1-B visa fees and in many instances graduate degrees for the foreign teachers and administrators.

    With unemployment rates still at an all time high, let’s ask our government officials why they are still allowing the influx of H1-B visa employees to take American jobs when the United States has a wealth of qualified and credentialed American teachers and administrators



  18. Pingback: US Tax Dollars Going Towards Mysterious Islamist-Connected Schools | www.independentsentinel.com

  19. Albert Kanzian said:

    Well I know the group from California. They have a lot of activities. The Turkish festival is supported by a lot of Armenians.

  20. Pingback: Dangerous Clinton-Tied Islamist in the U.S. You Haven’t Heard Much About | www.independentsentinel.com

Leave a Reply to Ilyas Cancel reply