Gulen's American Empire

Gulen's American Empire
Gulen Empire map from Turkish Newspaper. DISCLAIMER: If you find some videos are disabled this is the work of the Gulen censorship who have filed fake copyright infringement reports to UTUBE

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gulen Charter School Sexual Assault & Bribes

AND THE HALL OF SHAME AWARD GOES TO COSMOS FOUNDATION DBA Pelican Education dba Abramson Science and Technology - The Gulen Charter School in Louisana


Abramson Science and Technology, A Gulen Charter School Shame, Shame, Shame

Louisiana Department of Education
Post Office Box 94064 | Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9064 | 1-877-453-2721 | Fax: (225) 342-0193

Date: 7/15/2011
Contact: Rene' Greer, (225) 342-3600, Fax: (225) 342-0193


BATON ROUGE, La. - Today the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) announced it was launching a full investigation of Abramson Science and Technology Charter School in New Orleans as well as reviewing the agency's monitoring process related to this matter.  The investigation, officials said, is due to a report the agency received last night alleging a sexual incident between two students at the school and questioning whether these incidents were appropriately reported to authorities, on top of more than a year of allegations and problems previously identified at the school.

Acting State Superintendent Ollie S. Tyler issued the following note to members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education via e-mail this afternoon.

Dear Members of the Board:

I am writing to alert you about a serious issue involving Abramson Science & Technology Charter School, a Type 5 charter school in New Orleans.  As you may recall, Abramson was placed on contract probation last year due to certain legal and contractual issues and was placed under a Corrective Action Plan.  Related to these incidents was a possible attempt to bribe an LDOE employee.

Last night we became aware of another alleged incident involving two elementary school students that was possibly sexual in nature.  A former Abramson teacher claims to have reported the incident to school leadership and alleged that no action was taken.  In light of this new information, on top of the issues that have been discovered at this school throughout the past two school years, we are immediately commencing a full investigation of the school and re-evaluating our own monitoring processes within the LDOE and the RSD.  We have also referred the alleged bribery to the Inspector General's office for investigation.

Ensuring students' safety is our number-one priority.  Therefore, I am recommending that we invoke any and all authority we have under law to prevent this school from opening until all of these matters can be fully investigated.

Abramson, which serves almost 600 students, opened in the 2007-2008 school year and is operated by the non-profit Pelican Educational Foundation.

Records show glaring faults at school with ties to Turkish charter network
Published: Friday, July 15, 2011, 10:30 PM     Updated: Saturday, July 16, 2011, 6:19 AM
By Andrew Vanacore, The Times-Picayune
Inci Akpinar, the vice president of a company called Atlas Texas Construction & Trading, sat down with an official from the Louisiana Department of Education a little more than a year ago and made him an offer.
As the state official, Folwell Dunbar, recalled in a memo to department colleagues, Akpinar flattered him with "a number of compliments" before getting to the point: "I have twenty-five thousand dollars to fix this problem: twenty thousand for you and five for me."
At the time, Dunbar was investigating numerous complaints against Abramson Science & Technology Charter School in eastern New Orleans, which shares apparent ties to Akpinar's firm as well as charter schools in other states run by Turkish immigrants.
In fact, state auditors had already turned up startling deficiencies at Abramson. The records they kept of unannounced visits to the campus, as well as interviews with former teachers, paint a chaotic scene: classrooms without instructors for weeks and even months at a time, students who claimed their science fair projects had been done by teachers, a single special-needs instructor for a school of nearly 600.
Dunbar -- having declined to take money from Akpinar -- recommended more than a year ago that the state board of education yank Abramson's charter.
But the board ultimately stopped short of closing down the school, giving it a year to shape up under a "corrective action plan."
Until this Friday, the school was set to open its doors for another academic year because of a tweak to board policy that pushed back all charter renewals until later in the year.
But after questioning by the The Times-Picayune, acting State Superintendent of Education Ollie Tyler late Friday wrote to the state board asking it to prevent the school from opening in the fall, citing problems discovered during the original investigation and a new information about an incident between two young students that was possibly sexual in nature.
BESE agreed.
Tevfik Eski, the head of the nonprofit organization that runs Abramson, denied allegations about cheating in science fair competitions and outlined a number of steps the school has taken to bolster special education. He said the school has no association with Atlas Texas. Atlas officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But records of the state's audit, obtained by The Times-Picayune through a public information request, as well as first-hand accounts from teachers, offer a view inside a school that has drawn widespread concern in education circles around the city.
That an executive from Atlas Texas, a Houston-based contractor, would speak on the school's behalf points to the somewhat opaque connections that link Abramson with other schools and businesses founded by Turkish expatriates. Atlas has won numerous contracts in the past from a Texas-based school operator called the Cosmos Foundation.
Cosmos does not run Abramson, but it has a wide-ranging support contract with the Pelican Education Foundation, the local nonprofit that operates both Abramson and Kenilworth Science & Technology Charter School in Baton Rouge.
Among teachers who have spent time in the building, Abramson has earned something of a black-sheep reputation.
Many have wondered about the foreign instructors at the school who appear to be of Turkish origin. State records and interviews show some had trouble communicating in English, which has led to speculation that the school may be taking advantage of a visa program intended to bring highly skilled workers into the country.
Similar allegations have cropped up in other states where the Cosmos Foundation operates. The group runs a charter network called the Harmony Schools in Texas, where they've encountered unfounded accusations that they somehow promote Islamic extremism, largely because of an interest by some of the group's leaders in the movement begun by a Turkish religious scholar named Fethullah Gulen.
View full sizeAbramson teachers on a school-sponsored trip to Turkey received pamphlets, like this one, on the Gulen movement.
Both Cosmos and Pelican have disavowed any official religious links, though Abramson teachers on a school-sponsored trip to Turkey received pamphlets on the Gulen movement. The literature emphasizes Gulen's peaceful message and a commitment to serve "people regardless of faith."
Abramson opened back in 2007 on the site of the old Marion Abramson Senior High School along Read Boulevard.
Like many high schools before Hurricane Katrina, the old Abramson had struggled academically, finishing its last year in 2005 with a school performance score from the state of 31.2 -- far below what Louisiana considers "academically unacceptable."
The new Abramson, part of a revolutionary post-storm movement toward independent charter schools, was able to produce vastly improved results. Still operating out of a set of trailers where the old Abramson school building once stood, it notched a school performance score of 78 last year.
As the school's full name suggests, Abramson focuses on a science and math-heavy curriculum, and Pelican's website trumpets the success its students have had at science fairs around the state.
Like many of the charter schools that have sprung up in New Orleans since 2005, Abramson has welcomed young recruits from Teach for America, a group whose ranks in the city have swelled.

Mary Elise DeCoursey arrived at Abramson as a first-year TFA instructor in the fall of 2009. The school assigned her to teach 8th and 11th grade English courses along with a journalism elective.
But something odd happened around October, DeCoursey said: the teacher next door, who taught a Turkish language course, disappeared.
The instructor never came back but students continued to show up for the course, sitting unattended in the classroom day after day. Several times, DeCoursey said, she called down to the office and was told that someone would be up shortly. No one ever came, a pattern that she said persisted for months.
Meanwhile, the rumors about science projects had reached her as well. One of her students complained that she had finished her own science fair entry only to be handed a different project by school officials -- one "that could win," DeCoursey said.
Nor was there any apparent help for students with special needs, she said.
She was never unaware whether any of her students had the individualized education plans, or IEPs, that are required by federal law, and none of her students was ever pulled out of class for extra help. DeCoursey said the only time the school's special education instructor intervened in her class was after the school's principal asked her which students might be in danger of failing the state's LEAP test. Standardized test results are a major component of school performance scores, which ultimately determine whether a schools is allowed to continue taking in students.
Growing alarmed, DeCoursey and three other teachers who shared her concerns began keeping written records of what they saw, asking students to document similar instances of unethical behavior.
Finally, during a birthday get-together at the wine bar Delachaise, one of the teachers, Charm Baker, broke down in tears over conditions at the school, DeCoursey said. They decided that night to get in touch with the state.
In an email dated Feb. 2, 2010, and signed by DeCoursey, Baker and two others, they wrote to Kenneth Campell, then head of the state's charter office: "Though we are fully aware of the significant amount of autonomy given to charter schools, we are now concerned that this autonomy is being abused to the point that students are being forced to engage in unethical acts."
View full sizeEliot Kamenitz, The Times-PicayuneFour teachers at the Abramson Science & Technology Charter School reported a 'general feeling of fear' among the school's staff because of what appeared to be retaliation against teachers, parents and students who had spoken up about the school's practices.
They also reported a "general feeling of fear" among the school's staff because of what appeared to be retaliation against teachers, parents and students who had spoken up about the school's practices in the past.
Seeming to confirm those fears, the school fired Baker as the state's audit got under way that spring, according to DeCoursey and state records.
But the state investigation appeared to back up much of what the teachers had written in their note.
A team of at least seven people -- independent experts as well as officials from the department of education and the state-run Recovery School District -- visited the school and recorded their observations in written reports.
Though Abramson advertises a special focus on science and technology, state officials found lab materials "still boxed, with most of the instruments still packed and sealed" after two years sitting at the school.
Robert Daigle, an educational consultant who visited Abramson wrote, "It was the cleanest science equipment I had ever seen in my 21 years as a science teacher. I speculate lack of use kept them so clean. And this was in the science lab that all teachers go to for experiments."
Another outside expert who visited Abramson, Barbara Cassara, reported that several students confirmed they had done little or none of the work that went into their science projects: "One child indicated that her mother would not let her participate in the off-campus fair because she had not done the work herself. Another said the teacher did her brother's project."
A group of ninth-graders, asked at random how their grades were, all responded by saying they had straight A's or B's, and said they felt the state's standardized exams were "easy." Asked why, "they said that if you participated in the review, you would know what to do. They described practice on items that were very close to the items on the test."
Another group of students was "very vocal about their outrage over the firing of the 'best' teacher," later identified in the state record as "Mrs. Baker."
The school declined to give its reasons for firing Baker, citing a policy against discussing the conduct of its teachers.
The state audit also turned up a significant lack of resources for special-needs students.
Federal law requires that every student classified with a special need have an IEP, developed through observation and interviews.
Margaret Lang, executive director for the state department of education's intervention services, reported that all of the special-needs students at Abramson had IEP's that called for one hour-long session of special education instruction per week. "This would indicate that this is not an individual decision when all students have similar and very limited special education instruction," Lang wrote. The special ed coordinator told Lang that "instruction was limited because that was all she could do as the only special educator for the K-11 school."
There were also complaints from teachers and students about the difficulty of communicating with some of the foreign staff.
One group of students apparently grew "animated" as they told state auditors that there were "many teachers in the school who did a poor job of communicating material to them because of poor language skills and poor teaching skills." After an interview with one of the middle school math teachers, the state's audit notes, "The teacher has poor English skills and is very difficult to understand."
While the school employs foreign teachers, there is no evidence that Abramson or any other school associated with the Cosmos Foundation has ties to Islamic extremism.
Teachers who traveled to Turkey on an Abramson-sponsored trip brought back written materials about the Gulen Movement. But none of the teachers who spoke for this article described any trace of the movement's teachings in the curriculum at Abramson. And there is no mention of Gulen in records that came from the state.
One of the pamphlets brought back by an Abramson teacher describes the movement as "neither an Islamic nor a religious movement." Instead it "centers its works and efforts on high human values and the human person."
Still, Dunbar, the state's academic advisor for charter schools, described a series of bizarre encounters as he and others carried out the audit that suggest a network of associations at Abramson extending beyond Louisiana.
When his team made its initial unplanned visit to the school, they were told the high school students would be leaving for a field trip. But students "indicated that they did not know about the trip," Dunbar wrote, and "a few teachers said it was put together at the last minute. Team members suspect that it was done because of the review."
On a follow-up visit to the school, Dunbar was told that representatives from both the Cosmos Foundation and Atlas Texas had arrived and wanted to meet with him.
"They proceeded to shower me with compliments, to the extent that it made me feel uncomfortable," Dunbar wrote. Akpinar, the vice president from Atlas Texas, even contacted Dunbar after the meeting to see if they could get drinks that evening.
"I declined," he wrote.
After persistent requests, Dunbar said he agreed to meet her at the Starbucks on Magazine Street, where Akpinar offered $25,000 to help "fix this problem," Dunbar wrote. He recalled explaining that it would be a conflict of interest for a state official to take money from the school.
She responded that he would "only need to advise them," adding, "You are the only one who can help us."
Dunbar concluded in the same memo that the state board of education should revoke school's the charter. He suggested the state bring in another charter operator for the lower grades and disperse the high school students to other campuses.
"Later in the day I joked with my wife, 'I might need to enter a witness protection plan,'" Dunbar wrote. "In retrospect, I'm starting to think it's not all that funny."
A spokeswoman for the state education department said Dunbar reported the incident to the New Orleans Police Department, which couldn't find "hard evidence" to substantiate the incident.
Ultimately, the state decided to renew Abramson's charter for one year, contingent on the school carrying out a detailed corrective action plan. (A typical renewal lasts anywhere from two to 10 years.)
The school would have come up for review again this summer, but the state board of education altered its policy on all charter renewals this year. Instead of considering applications in the summer, the board will conduct reviews after school performance scores are calculated in October. The idea is to make sure the latest scores are available and, if necessary, give the state more time before the beginning of a new school year to find a different operator.
State officials have followed up with numerous site visits, and the school claims to have bulked up its special education staff.
But after Friday's sudden shut-down, it appears families will have to find a new school for their children, with little more than a month left until classes begin.
In recent interviews, several teachers who worked at Abramson this past year said problems have continued at the school, in particular around students with special needs.
Genevieve Redd, a first-year Teach for America recruit at Abramson this past year, described making several failed attempts to get help for a student she suspected of being abused, an account the school disputes.
Redd said she encountered a 5-year-old student from her kindergarten class in a school bathroom, poised in what appeared to be a sexual position with another student who had stripped naked.
But she said she hit a wall when she took the incident to the school's administration. She said the dean of students told her to give the child "the benefit of the doubt," while the principal remarked that "we all know he's goofy, anyway." She said they told her to throw away the page-long write-up she had prepared on the incident and simply log it as a minor classroom disturbance. The dean of students, she said, promised to handle contacting the child's parents and the authorities but never followed through.
When she caught her student pulling the same classmate into a supply closet, Redd said, the school's guidance counselor finally called Child & Family Services and the parents, but neither were aware of a previous incident.
The principal at the time, Cunyet Dockmen, has left the school. But the current principal, Andrea Estavan, refuted Redd's version of events, saying the school contacted the police and the child's parents immediately after the first incident. Estavan said the school decided not to renew Redd's contract because of poor classroom management, speculating that her allegations are retaliation.
Patrice Yarls, the dean of students, recalled a slightly different version of the incident. Yarls said that after questioning the students after the first encounter, the administration felt unsure of what had happened. She said the school did not call police after the first incident and could not remember whether parents had been contacted.
Redd claims that she left the school on amiable terms after Dockam explained that she would be let go because of budget cuts.
Andrew Vanacore can be reached at or 504.826.3304.

Folwell Dunbar, an HONEST American Politician

Tevfik Eski, the head of the nonprofit organization that runs Abramson Science & Technology Charter School, denied allegations about cheating in science fair competitions. This science fair at Abramson was photographed in January 2010.
Abramson teachers on a school-sponsored trip to Turkey received pamphlets, like this one, on the Gulen movement

Mary Elise DeCoursey, A BRAVE American Teacher

Four teachers at the Abramson Science & Technology Charter School reported a 'general feeling of fear' among the school's staff because of what appeared to be retaliation against teachers, parents and students who had spoken up about the school's practices

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gulen List of Schools and count by State

We continue to get requests for list of Gulen Schools in the USA, and we periodically post the link for an updated list.  Here is a few:


Gulen Schools Handbook For Parents And Teachers

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Gulen Charter Schools mentioned on Fox News TURKEY: Who Is Fethullah Gulen? - FoxNews 110627

Gateway Science Academy, A Gulen Charter School holds a press conference

Mayor Slay of St. Louis, Missouri was a recent guest at the Gulen Gateway Science Academy where a press conference regarding the approval of charter schools was held.  The Gulenists seize all opportunities to rub elbows with local power centers and appearances.

Reporters from local radio, print and television stations gathered at Gateway Science Academy of St. Louis for a press conference on April 21st, during which Mayor Francis Slay announced the opening of three new charter schools in the St. Louis Area. The Mayor greeted reporters from KSDK, KMOV, KWMU and the St. Louis Post Dispatch (INCLUDE LINKS) to advocate school choice for parents in the city of St. Louis. “It’s about quality choice for parents”, he said, adding praise for the accomplishments Gateway Science Academy has achieved since it’s opening in August of 2010. Gateway Science Academy is one of 21 charter schools operating in the St. Louis area. Mayor Slay looks to charter schools to stop the exodus of families from the city, stating St. Louis has seen 29,000 people leave the city since the 2000, according numbers from the U.S. Census. GSA hosted the event in the school lobby during a regular, busy class day for students. Parents, city representatives, press, and agents from universities listened attentively as representatives from the three new schools detailed their plans for success. After the press conference, Principal Cengiz Karatas took Mayor Slay and the media on a tour of the building, highlighting the strong learning environment GSA has established in such a short time.

A Typical Gulen Charter School and their marketing hype.......for more information on Gulen Politicians go to

Gateway Science Academy parents and students photographed in front of Mosque in Turkey for spring break 2011 trip to Turkey.


it looks like we have solved the mystery (see "Gee There They Go Again"). It appears that the guys have pegged Cengiz Karatas to take over the $75,000 a year "Administrator" job at HSA Cleveland. In other words, he's the guy that is getting sponsored for a Green Card because as hard as they tried -- they simply could not find a qualified English/Language Arts candidate to run the school. 

Check out Karatas' credentials that qualify him to run a school and/or to be an English teacher in Ohio. The guy has an expired "substitute license," to teach English and has a 1 year Alternative Administrative License - Principal (see his credentials below).
Sure that makes him "highly qualified," doesn't it?

The reality is that he is not even eligible for a "highly qualified" teaching license/status, let alone a Director position that pays $75,000 (less the Tuzuk money of course).

I just wonder how many of the
"really" qualified applicants were interviewed for the position -- especially because that is all part of the never-ending immigration scam.

But we do know a few factors that make him qualified for the position --  he's under 40, a male, and he's Turkish -- all of which make him "highly qualified" under the current "Turkish system," of choosing administrative candidates in their United States' schools.

How about requesting this guy's green card information from the INS and DOL (under the Freedom of Information Act), and request the names of  the American applicants that were interviewed  (if in fact any were)?

When are we going to do something about this blatant fraud? And when is our government going to put an end to these guy violating our laws and taking our jobs.
This is one flock that is tired of being fleeced -- bah - bah - bah!

Educator: Karatas, Cengiz (12/31/1973)
State ID: OH1469019
Credential History

Sort By: Credential (Ascending) Credential (Descending) Issue Date (Ascending) Issue Date (Descending) Status(Ascending) Status(Descending)

Per Page: 10 25 50 100

Credential: 1 Year Alternative Administrative License - Principal
Status: Issued
Effective Year: 2009
Issue Date: 12/22/2009
Effective Date: 07/01/2009
Expiration Date: 06/30/2010

Valid In: Horizon Science Acad Cleveland(133629)
Mail To: Horizon Science Acad Cleveland(133629)

   Teaching Fields:

      Principal Grades 5-12 (280300)
Issue Date: 12/22/2009
      Limited To 2 Renew (888002)

Issue Date: 12/22/2009
Credential: 5 Year Long Term Substitute License - Adolescence to Young Adult (7-12)
Status: Expired
Effective Year: 2004
Issue Date: 11/01/2004
Effective Date: 07/01/2004
Expiration Date: 06/30/2009

   Teaching Fields:
      Integrated Language Arts (050145)
Issue Date: 11/01/2004


Gulen Charter Schools, the gallery of 100% graduation rates

This is the other thing that the Gulen Charter Schools are trying to claim!!!

Gulen Charter Schools vs. Gulen "Inspired" Schools Hizmet what are you saying?

More of the mumbo-jumbo communication from the Gulen Movement.

They have even established a web site on the Gulen "inspired" schools vs. Gulen Charter Schools.  If there is no Gulen Charter Schools there can therefore be no "Gulen Inspired Schools"
Nice Try Guys, but it isn't working.
Are Gulen schools all secular?
Claims vs. evidence

July 4, 2011

In the American press, as well as in Europe and Australia, Gulen schools around the world have often been characterized as secular

Yet there is substantial evidence that at least some of them are providing religious education and indoctrination.

Of course, private schools of all denominations exist all over the world, so there would be nothing noteworthy in itself in the fact that the Gulen Movement runs religious schools, just as, for example, there are many Christian private schools in the US.  However, the specific point addressed here is that numerous statements made in the US media implying that Gulen schools are all secular are misleading.

This apparent disconnect between the reality and the impression that journalists, authors and academicians have of Gulen schools is disconcerting.  It leaves one wondering how deeply these individuals have actually researched these schools before writing about them, or whether the nature of Gulen schools has fundamentally changed in recent years, without any public admission to that effect.

Again, the issue addressed here is not religious education per se, rather it is lack of transparency, and inaccuracy.

Statements in the press and in academic publications asserting Gulen schools are secular

Professor Greg Barton, then Associate Professor in politics at Deakin University (currently a professor at Monash University) in paper entitled "The Gulen movement in the national context: parallels with Indonesia" Nov 8, 2005"
"One of the most surprising aspects of the schools is how completely secular they are. In every country in which they operate they follow local state curricula.  They teach no religious subjects and there is little about them, save for an emphasis on character and moral development, which could be found in any good school, and a degree of social-conservatism reflected in dress and cross-gender socializing, to mark them as schools supported by an Islamic movement.  Within Turkey and a number of other countries it would not be possible for the schools to have any religious content in their curricula.  In other countries such as Australia, however, where religious schools are an accepted element of a pluralist education system, there is nothing stopping the
hizmet schools from following the example of Islamic schools.  But in all cases the schools are committed to following a secular educational model."


The New Republic, Suzy Hansen, "The Global Imam" Nov 10, 2010

"His followers run nonprofit organizations that promote peace, tolerance, and interfaith dialogue, and Gulenist businessmen devote their resources to building secular schools."

"But it is not just Central Asia that hosts Gulen schools. They also exist in far-flung Muslim countries like Indonesia, Sudan, and Pakistan, as well as mostly non-Muslim countries like Mexico and Japan. In total, according to Ebaugh, Gulenists operate over 1,000 explicitly secular schools and universities in more than 100 countries."


Texas Monthly, "Head of the class," William Martin, August 2010

"Many of them have at least some ties to a broad-based movement in which well-educated, pious Muslims have established hundreds of the highest-performing secular schools in Turkey and the surrounding Turkic states."


PBS, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, "The Gulen Movement," Jan 21, 2011

"PROFESSOR HELEN EBAUGH (Dept. of Sociology, University of Houston; Author of “The Gulen Movement”): When Fethullah Gulen began preaching in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s in Turkey, his message was we don’t need more madrassas. We need schools that would promote science and math and secular subjects, and his contention was that one can be modern and one can be scientific and still be a good Muslim..."


From "The Theological Thought of Fethullah Gulen: Reconciling Science and Islam," Thesis, Erol Nazim Gulay, M.Phil in Oriental Studies/Modern Middle Eastern Studies, St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, May 2007

"While some of the activities of Gulen’s followers are secular – the network of modern, secular schools; the television and radio stations that downplay their religious motivations and broadcast an inclusive, universalistic viewpoint devoid of overt Islamic messages – the movement is founded on his theology and religious commentaries."

Evidence that at least some Gulen schools are not secular
Medresas (or madrasas) in Albania

From report "New Islamic actors after the Wahhabi intermezzo: Turkey’s return to the Muslim Balkans" by Kerem Oktem, European Studies Centre, University of Oxford, December 2010
"In what is a significant departure from the ethos of the Gulen movement—secular schools operated in the spirit of mission by good deeds and model behaviour—the Sema Foundation was requested to
take over the religious high schools of the Islamic community. The medresas had been established in the early 1990s with donations from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, yet these donors were gradually phased out.  //  When the medresas lost their sponsor in the mid-1990s, the serving Secretary General of the Community was seeking for ways to save these schools. The Turkish colleges of the Gülen Cemaat [Religious Community] were already well respected, so he convinced them to take over the first school in 1995. In 1998, the medresa of Kavaje was saved from a Wahhabi group and given into the care of the Gulen foundation. In 2005, the influential medresa of Tirana was given up by a Qatari foundation and placed into the custody of the Gulen community. And in 2010, the Cemaat also reconstructed the medresa in Korça, where it demolished and rebuilt the mosque first built by the Arabs (Kruja, 2010)."
Table 6 of this report lists 5 medresas operated by the Gulen Movement in Albania.

From a website "Islam in Albania," article entitled "The Gulen Movement in Albania: New Opportunities," by Besnik Sinani:
"In all the countries of the Balkans (and beyond) where the movement is active, it operates so-called colleges but no religious schools except in Albania, where
Sema Foundation, one of the many organizations that are part of the Gulen network, operates five madrasas. This is obviously a departure from the traditional activity of the Gulen movement. If we add to that the fact that members of the Gulen movement in Albania are running to a large extent the operations in the leadership of the Muslim Community of Albania (AMC), we can conclude that the movement, in the case of Albania, has departed from its policy of operating exclusively non-religious schools. As the head of a Muslim NGO that I interviewed in January 2010 told me, 'As far as we know, it is the first time in Albania that the Gulen Movement has done this thing.' "

Contrast this with the Jan 2011 statement of Helen Rose Ebaugh quoted earlier, that Gulen's message was "we don’t need more madrassas."

Gulen Movement's involvement in Albania's first Islamic University, opened April 2011

The Gulen Movement is involved with an Islamic University that just opened in Albania.  From Islamic News Daily, April 9, 2011:

"The first Islamic University in the history of Albania was inaugurated on Thursday in the suburbs of Tirana, the country’s capitol. ...  A representative of the Sema Foundation, one of the Albanian Islamic Community collaborators for the university, confirms that schools like this serve humanity."

Note that the Sema Foundation, or "Fondacioni Sema," is known to be a Gulenist organization running Gulen K-12 schools in Albania (reference:  Oktem report and Sinani article mentioned above).
Islamic Gulen school in Egypt

A document entitled "Title: Group Project Abroad Short Term Seminar for K-12 Teachers on Contemporary Islam and Muslim Communities in Egypt and Tanzania, Boston University and Harvard University, Overseas Project Itinerary," downloaded from a Harvard University website (May 2011), contains the following item:

"Day Thirteen - Education in Egypt - Tuesday 13 July
Topic: Meeting with educators teaching at an Islamic school, following the Fethuallah
Gulen system, most likely the Salahaldin International School" has a webpage with detailed information about the Islamic nature of the Salahaldin school.

In the same vein, an article about the Salahaldin school, shown on the website of the Interfaith Dialogue Center of New Jersey, a Gulenist organization, states:

"The school is affiliated with the international movement of widely known, liberal Islamic thinker Fethullah Gulen.  //  Islam stands out as the cornerstone of the school’s curriculum.  //  Quran sessions are a pillar of the school’s vision. All grade levels including kindergarten are expected to learn how to memorize and recite Quranic verses at least twice a week, according to Shimshek."

Islamic Gulen schools in South Africa

The website of notdeleted, which reports on the Gulen Movement in the Netherlands, has a page devoted to the Sama schools, which are run by the Gulen Movement in South Africa.  This page shows a picture with an advertisement by the Fountain Educational Trust (which runs the Sama schools) saying "Would you like to study at Southern Hemisphere's biggest Islamic complex?"

A paper by Yasien Mohamed, entitled "The educational theory of Fethullah Gulen and its practice in South Africa," and downloadable from Fethullah Gulen's website, states that

"The Fountain Education Trust (FET), also inspired by Gulen, also follow the state curriculum (Interview, K. Ozdemir, 31 May 2006), but they are in charge of the Islamic schools called the 'Sama' schools."
Gulen school in Maldives has three teachers for Islam

The website (accessed July 2011) of the Lale Youth International School, a Gulen school in the Maldives, has a roster of teacher names

This list includes 3 teachers whose job titles are given as:
1. Islam Teacher - Primary
2. Islam Teacher - Secondary
3. Quruan [sic] Teacher

Activities at the Turkish Hope School in Bangladesh

Probe News Magazine, a Bangladeshi publication, published an article entitled "At the Turkish Hope School," by Shafiq Rahman about the International Turkish Hope School, a Gulen school in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Here is an excerpt:

"International Turkish Hope School has a strong sense of social responsibility. It has stood besides the flood victims in their time of need, it has organised iftars during Ramadan, it has distributed meat during Eid and given warm clothes to the poor during winter. It played a praiseworthy role in the aftermath of Cyclone Sidr. It even appealed to aid organisations around the world for funds. It constructed a school for Sidr affected persons on Galachipa in Patukhali, with funds from Kimse Yok Mu or the Solidarity and Aid Association. The same year they sacrificed 169 cows during Eid-ul-Azha and distributed the meat among the cyclone victims."

Note that this quote is provided here simply as evidence of the Islamic orientation of this school.

Facebook pages associated with Gulen schools in Afghanistan and Turkey contain religious references

Many Gulen schools around the world have Facebook pages, including schools that do not have their own website.  The Facebook pages of some Gulen schools in Afghanistan and Turkey (accessed early 2011) were observed to have numerous explicit religious references, as well as references to Gulenist teachings and publications.  These pages display the school logo, and often there are repeated posts from someone using the school logo as an avatar.  While it might be argued that these pages are not "official," that is, are not officially acknowledged by the school administration, they are nevertheless evidence of a definite Islamic orientation of these schools.

One hour per week of official religious instruction in Turkey; Movement runs "a few" imam-hatip schools outside Turkey

The quote from Greg Barton given above "Within Turkey and a number of other countries it would not be possible for the schools to have any religious content in their curricula," can be contrasted with the following line from the book "Schooling Islam" by Robert Hefner and Muhammad Zaman, Princeton University Press, 2007, "In Turkey, the general curriculum for the network's schools prescribes one hour of religious instruction per week, ..."

This source continues: "...while in many other countries the schools do not offer any religious education at all.  With the exception of a few Iman-Hatip-type schools abroad, these institutions can thus hardly be considered Islamic schools in the strict sense."

Thus, the Hefner and Zaman book is saying that the Gulen Movement does run a few "Imam-Hatip-type schools" outside Turkey.  The location and names of these schools are not specified by the authors.  Imam-hatip schools are religious schools that were originally aimed at preparing students for a career as an imam, or preacher.

Gulen was sued in 2000 by parents who alleged their son was indoctrinated with fundamentalist ideas

A Rand Corporation report from 2004, "The Muslim world after 9/11" by Angel M. Rabasa, contains the following:
"Concerning the ideology, the values, and the intentions of Gulen’s movement and his impressive network of schools, the jury is still out. ... First on the list is the cultlike nature of his organization.  In its diffuse and secretive structure, it resembles other clandestine movements, having layers of membership and revealing only the most bland and superficial content to those on the margins.  The expanding network of schools, largely staffed and certainly directed by members of the organization, is gaining powerful influence over the next generation of the educated elite in all its operating countries.  In that connection, and given his purported modernism, it is noteworthy that Gulen establishes and supports boys’ schools almost exclusively.  Several other hints imply that there may be more to this movement than meets the eye.  In one instance, he has been the subject of a lawsuit by parents who sued Gulen for allegedly indoctrinating their son with fundamentalist ideas.  German Islam-expert Spuler-Stegemann concludes that while Gulen is considered to be a conservative in his Islamic values, but democratic, moderate, and willing to engage in dialogue, 'his actual intentions are not known.' "

A reference to this lawsuit can also be found in an archived page from 2000 of the Anadolu News Agency, now available on the website of the Hellenic Resources Network.  The page refers to a Sabah article; Sabah is a major Turkish newspaper currently controlled by the Gulen Movement, but back in 2000 it was in different hands and was apparently considered "liberal."  Here is the summary:
Arife Kaya, a mother brought a complaint against Fethullah Gulen, a sect leader and said that her son who studied in the schools of Fethullah Gulen started to say that 'it is a sin to shake the hands of a woman.' A case is pending before the State Security Court (DGM) against Fethullah Gulen, who is in the U.S."

We have not yet located the original Sabah article, or determined the outcome of this lawsuit.


What does all the above have to do with the Gulen Movement's activities in the United States?  One main point:
are apologists who write about the Gulen Movement attempting to provide accurate information to the public - or are they somehow complicit in an attempt to obscure the Movement's true goals?