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

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Horizon Parents Truth: Gulen Chicago corruption exposed by Chicago Sun Ti...

Horizon Parents Truth: Gulen Chicago corruption exposed by Chicago Sun Ti...: House Speaker and state Democratic Party chair Michael Madigan (left) shakes hands with Mustafa Demir, the mayor of Fatih district in Tur...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gulen Charter School in Louisana raided by FBI, documents and computers confiscated

Wednesday afternoon the story broke in Baton Rouge media that the Kenilworth Science & Technology School had been raided by the FBI. The FBI indicated that the raid, which evidently was conducted to gather material evidence in the form of documents and computers, was not a matter of public safety. As a result, it probably was not related to a report earlier this year that a teacher at the school was accused of having inappropriate pictures of children on his cell phone. Had those charges stuck, that would have been the second scandal of a sexual nature involving a Gulenist school in Louisiana. Abramson Science & Technology Charter School in New Orleans was shut down back in 2011 in the wake of a scandal that started as an investigation into sexual activity involving students at the school and evolved into a possible public bribery investigation.
 Abramson operated under the same charter organization that Kenilworth operates under: Pelican Educational Foundation. During the course of the investigation into Abramson, Pelican’s ties to the Gulenist movement were revealed. By now you’re wondering what the Gulenist movement is, no doubt. The Gulenist movement is a secretive, controversial Islamist movement founded by Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic scholar with a controversial history and a great many followers and admirers in both the Islamic and Western worlds. However, a close analysis of Gulen and his movement reveals what may very well be a disturbing threat, rather than the benign movement that many suppose. (Gulen fled Turkey for the US in 1998 and settled in a massive, fortified compound in rural Pennsylvania.) Gulen preaches peace on the one hand – while on the other hand, credible reports indicate that the Gulenists control the secret police and judicial bureaucracy in Turkey, both of which have been key to brutally suppressing recent pro-democracy protests there. But Gulen’s primary relevance to Americans comes from something quite peculiar – namely, the fact that his movement is associated with roughly 1,200 schools in numerous countries around the globe, including approximately 135 schools here in the USA.

The American Gulenist schools are mostly taxpayer-subsidized charter schools and there is much to be concerned about, both in terms of their goals and operations. And Americans – and in particular those Americans charged with credentialing these schools – know scant little about with whom they’re dealing. In reviewing the long-form literature on Fethullah Gulen, without exception, every single book about Gulen paints him in a positive, almost saint-like light. In order to fully grasp the man and his motivations, one has to read his own work – the most troubling and revealing of which is his 1998 book Prophet Muhammad as Commander. While much of the book details the life of Muhammad as a military commander and political leader, the opening sections of the book reveal more about the author than they reveal about Muhammad, about whom much is already known and documented. The first 37 pages of Prophet Muhammad as Commander contain revealing, troubling passages that provide a window on Fethullah Gulen’s views on Jihad and warfare. In Prophet Muhammad as Commander, Gulen explains Muslim hostility toward non-Muslims in a similar manner that most non-Muslims will find at least very curious: “For this reason, a Muslim’s enmity towards unbelievers is, in fact, in the form of pitying them.” Gulen ties this pity in with the concept of “compassion.” Unbelievers who deny that Allah is the only god and that Muhammad was his prophet are thought to be committing an “injustice.” Out of “compassion” for those unbelievers and to prevent them from committing further injustice, Muslims have enmity towards them and in some cases fight them as enemies.

Jihad as a concept fits in with justice. In fact, according to Gulen (page 20), Jihad is integral to justice: “God does not approve wrongdoing and disorder. He wills that human beings should live in peace and, accordingly, that justice should prevail amongst them. It is therefore incumbent upon those who believe in One God and worship Him faithfully to secure justice in the world. Islam calls this responsibility jihad.” Gulen then goes on to explain the various forms of jihad, including warfare. Again, on page 20, Gulen states the purpose of Jihad: “…to establish the supremacy of His religion and to make His Word prevail.” In the same section, Gulen then clearly articulates the aim of establishing a worldwide caliphate: “Besides the holy struggle, the principle of amr bi ‘l-ma’ruf wa nahy an al-munkar (enjoining the good and forbidding the evil) seeks to convey the Message of Islam to all human beings in the world and to establish a model Islamic community on a world-wide basis.”

Most ominously, Gulen makes a call in the book that reads an awful lot like a call for the Islamic world to acquire nuclear weaponry: “…believers should also equip themselves with the most sophisticated weaponry. Force has an important place in obtaining the desired result, so believers cannot be indifferent to it. Rather they must be much more advanced in science and technology than unbelievers so that they should not allow unbelievers to use ‘force’ for their selfish benefit. According to Islam, ‘right is might’; so, in order to prevent might from being right in the hands of unbelievers and oppressors, believers must be mightier than others.” “An Islamic state…should be able to secure peace and justice in the world and no power should have the courage to make corruption in any part of the earth. This will be possible when Muslims equip themselves with a strong belief and righteousness in all their affairs, and also with scientific knowledge and the most sophisticated technology.”

What does all this have to do with a charter school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana? Well, Gulen’s most significant foreign enterprise is his network of charter schools. As such, it is important for people to be aware of the philosophy of the man who started the movement. Gulenist Charter School Scandals The one overriding characteristic of Gulen charter schools here in America seems to be their propensity for scandal of all sorts. Here is a partial list of articles online dealing with these scandals. In reviewing this list, ask yourself: should taxpayer money be going to a foreign organization founded by an Islamist whose schools seem fraught with scandal?
1. Turkish-Gulen Charter Schools Under Federal Investigation The FBI, the Department of Education and the Department of Labor are reported to be investigating a systematic kick-back scheme used by the charter school employees to funnel money—taxpayer sourced money—to the Gulen movement. 2. Discrimination lawsuit filed against Truebright Science Academy Charter School in Pennsylvania Truebright is a Turkish-Gulen charter school. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in its 6 April 2013 online edition that a former English teacher at the school had filed a civil rights suit alleging the Turkish-run charter school discriminated against employees based on gender and national origin. In addition to the suit, at least nine Truebright staffers filed initial discrimination complaints with the EEOC. Truebright’s board, top administrators and 1/3 of its teachers are Turkish. Truebright is currently in a battle to renew its charter. The School Reform Commission voted not to renew Truebright’s charter on 18 different grounds, including poor academic performance and a lack of certified teachers. And the school is the defendant in a lawsuit long in coming.
3. Louisiana Gulen Charter School Scandal Abramson Science & Technology Charter School in eastern New Orleans was shut down by the state of Louisiana. Among the reasoning for the decision: (i) Turkish teachers who had trouble communicating in English; (ii) Students attending courses with no teachers; (iii) Possible improprieties involving standardized testing; (iv) Allegations of attempted public bribery by Turkish organizations of Louisiana Department of Education officials.
4. Lancaster, Pennsylvania school districts rejects Gulen Charter School application It is not necessarily noteworthy that a Gulen charter application would be opposed, or even rejected, but the reasons behind this rejection indicate oddities at best, namely errors cited in the application, including carelessness and numerous “cut and paste” segments from other charter school applications which had no relevance to the application at hand. A total lack of knowledge by the applicants of curriculum planning and a probably insufficient amount of lesson plans.(This would appear to border on fraud.) 5. Ohio Gulen Charter Schools Targeted by Department of Labor Investigation The federal investigation which we mentioned at the outset of this memorandum is not the only mention of Gulen charter schools as targets of federal investigation. In 2011, one of the sixteen Gulen charter schools in Ohio was reportedly targeted by the Department of Labor for its use of H1-B visas. The investigation had been ongoing since 2008. Auditors found some very unusual line item entries on the school administrator’s books, including fees paid to people living in Turkey and people never employed by the school. There was even an item listed as $13,000 for “illegal immigration fees.” Note also that the property owner of the schools, from which the schools lease property, is located in Turkey. That property owner gets $600,000 over 5 years of Ohio taxpayer money!
6. Peoria, Illinois Gulen Charter School Operator Denies Association with Gulen The operator of Quest Charter Academy in Peoria, Illinois, Engin Blackstone (aka Elgin Karatas), told CBS’ 60 Minutes that his school had no association with Fethullah Gulen. However, that may have been a lie. In this article, in the comments section, the spouse of a former Quest employee claims that her husband accompanied Blackstone/Karatas on a trip to visit personally with Gulen in Pennsylvania.
7. Massachusetts Gulen School Gets High Marks Despite Bad Data The Pioneer Charter School of Science won praise from state education officials. But an examination of the school’s actual performance told a different story: • Students with disabilities experienced a high attrition rate, possibly impacting test scores. • The overall attrition rate among students was unusually high. • $84,215 of the school’s annual budget went to legal and immigration-related fees. An interesting sidenote, while Pioneer was hiring foreign teachers to fill its needs, a Boston charter school (not a Turkish-Gulen school) had openings for 58 teachers and received 4,100 applicants! • Only 56.7% of Pioneer’s teachers were licensed in their teaching assignment. By comparison, in local public schools, 99.5% of teachers were licensed and statewide in Massachusetts, the figure was 97.5%. 8. Loudon County, Virginia School Board Turns Down Charter for Gulen School This received a great deal of publicity. Again, that the charter was denied is not the story. The reasons why the charter was denied is the story: • Significant gaps in academic and operational plans submitted by the applicants: • Loose curriculum • Questionable financial assumptions • Inadequate transportation plan The Loudon school was going to be modeled after a Gulen school in Anne Arundel County that had a troubled past with questionable management practices, including financial ones. In fact the school ended up in a lawsuit with the school board over its charter. We could easily supply a dozen more examples of Gulen schools with sketchy – or worse – administrative, ethical and academic issues. The movement has a very ugly record of performance as a charter school operator, so much so that since the Gulen movement is the largest operator of charter schools in America the repeated instances of scandal threaten the charter school movement. That’s a shame – charters in New Orleans have shown great potential for educational improvement thanks to their record in New Orleans, but the teachers’ unions and others invested in the educational status quo are seeking any angle to derail their progress. And the never-ending string of scandals surrounding Gulen schools is just such an angle.

The Louisiana Connection And Wednesday’s FBI Raid One recurring theme in all Gulenist schools is their use of the H1-B visa program to import male teachers from Turkey to teach at the schools. This activity has gotten the movement accused of discrimination, and worse. In many cases American teachers have lost out on jobs, only to find out that the Turkish aliens brought in to teach in their place could barely speak English. Further, allegations have been made that what’s really going on with all the H1-B visa recipients brought in as teachers in Gulen schools is an intricate fleecing of taxpayers, which works like this: the going rate for charter school teachers in a given community might be, for example, $40,000 – and the state funding for a charter school would reflect salaries of that size. But in Turkey, a $40,000 salary would be considered a king’s ransom – per capita income in that country was just $15,200 last year. Therefore, the Gulen schools won’t encounter much resistance when it tells teachers it offers to import from Turkey that they’ll have to kick back a huge portion of their taxpayer-funded income to the Gulen movement – and thus that’s exactly, it’s alleged, what happens.
This caught the attention of State Representative Cameron Henry in the 2013 legislative session when he filed a bill that would have limited the number of employees hired by Louisiana state-funded charter schools who were in the country on H1-B visas. Henry’s legislation would have gotten right to the heart of the matter – with a very reasonable restriction that no more than 3.5 percent of the school’s employees be H1-B visa recipients (or 1 in 29), and that the people or groups submitting requests to start charter schools be American citizens. Unfortunately, Henry’s bill hit hard where it hurt for some powerful, politically connected people in Louisiana.

It seems that the number one donor to the Louisiana Republican Party in 2012 was none other than a Gulenist organization out of Texas. Kemal Oksuz, president of the Turquoise Council, a Texas-based group closely related to the Gulenist movement and the Harmony charter schools in that state, donated $83,000 to the state GOP, making him its largest donor during 2012. I am not making an accusation that this donation bought the Gulen movement any special treatment by the state GOP, or the Jindal administration. In fact, members of that administration told supporters of the Henry bill that they were in favor of it. But the charter school industry itself, which has stood by silently as this foreign influence in US education spawns scandal after scandal, didn’t share that position. In Louisiana the industry went even further, defending Kenilworth and Pelican despite the prior scandal involving Abramson. This took the form of hiring high-priced, politically-connected lobbyists to label Henry’s bill “racist” and “xenophobic.” And the bill was killed in the House Education Committee after a host of parents with children in charter schools testified against it. This followed an interesting bit of romance the Gulen movement attempted within the state legislature the Hayride was able to expose. It’s worth mentioning that the Executive Director of the Louisiana Charter Schools Association is Caroline Roemer Shirley, the daughter of the former governor. Shirley’s brother is Chas Roemer – the president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Earlier this year, BESE granted a five-year extension of Kenilworth’s charter – a decision which, in light of the FBI’s visit to the school on Wednesday, doesn’t look like the wisest BESE could have made. The question is, does the charter school industry know about all of these disturbing details surrounding the Gulenist movement and its charter schools and choose to look the other way, or are they simply ignorant as to the facts? With the FBI raid a new chapter in this saga has opened in Louisiana – and the charter school industry and lobbyists won’t be able to run interference for the Islamists any more. For many of us who are in favor of school choice and charter schools, the Kenilworth-Gulen debacle is a disaster on two levels: first, granting charters and dispensing taxpayer dollars to an Islamist movement with such a shady history is outrageous and dangerous in its own right. And second, there will be real damage from this scandal – damage those who are comfortable trapping disadvantaged children in lousy public schools will use to their advantage. - See more at: KEMAL OKSUZ AND THE TURQUOISE COUNCIL

Monday, November 18, 2013

Proposed Gulen Charter School in Maine fails despite the Gulenists honoring Govenor Paul LaPage

November 13

Speakers point to business and education ties and potential as the governor and two others receive awards.

SOUTH PORTLAND — To expand its economy, Maine must welcome more immigrants, Gov. Paul LePage said Tuesday, praising a new Turkish cultural organization for its work in the state.


Gov. Paul LePage gives a speech at the Sable Oaks Marriott in South Portland Tuesday after accepting a leadership award.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Eyup Sener, left, president of the Turkish Cultural Center Maine, presents Gov. Paul LePage with a traditional Turkish plate after LePage was honored with a leadership award at an annual Friendship Dinner held by the Turkish Cultural Center at the Sable Oaks Marriott in South Portland Tuesday.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

 “It’s time that we here in Maine appreciate and work with other countries to improve our economy,” LePage said as he accepted a leadership award from the Turkish Cultural Center Maine at its first Friendship Dinner, at the Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks.

“It’s important for Maine to grow,” the governor said. “We need to invite (immigrants) to come and live among us.”

Also honored were University of Maine professor Habib Dagher, who heads the school’s Offshore Wind Laboratory, and Maine Deputy Attorney General and Augusta Mayor William Stokes.

“We strongly believe that the friendship and alliance between the United States and Turkey will significantly contribute to the global peace,” said Eyup Sener, president of the Turkish Cultural Center Maine and the New England director of the Council of Turkic American Associations.

The Turkish Cultural Center has existed for only about two years, he said. About 300 people from Turkey are living in Maine, although if Turkic people from many countries in southeastern Europe are counted, that number climbs to about 2,500, Sener said.

Turkey is Maine’s 11th-largest international export destination. According to a U.S. Census report, $11 million worth of goods, ranging from dairy cattle to wood products, were shipped from Maine to Turkey in 2010 to 2011.

Several speakers at Tuesday’s event emphasized the potential for business and educational ties, while spreading a message of peace. Stokes said Augusta is in the final stages of establishing a sister-city relationship with Uskudar, a section or borough of Istanbul.

Several state legislators who attended the dinner have gone on one of the three trips the Turkish Cultural Center has organized for lawmakers to visit Turkey. There also are educational ties between Maine and Turkey.

Sener said his group organized a trip to Turkey this summer for officials from the University of Maine System, and an educational exchange agreement has been signed with officials at the University of Maine at Augusta.

At the K-12 level, a Turkish group is trying to open a charter school in Maine. It would be part of a network of 800 schools operated internationally by followers of a Turkish imam, Fethullah Gulen. The group’s application for a charter school in Bangor was denied in early 2013, and the group has applied again this fall, for a school in the Lewiston area.

Followers of Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, have been involved in starting at least 120 charter schools in 26 states, according to investigations by The New York Times, “60 Minutes,” USA Today and other news organizations. The schools are often top performers and have an entirely secular curriculum, but they have drawn criticism for their lack of transparency, their hiring and financial practices and concerns about their motivation, which experts say has as much to do with shaping the evolution of Turkey as it does with educating young Americans.

A short film on Gulen and his mission was shown at Tuesday’s dinner.

A key organization in Gulen’s network, the New York-based Council of Turkic American Associations, arranged for the Maine legislators’ subsidized trips to Turkey and asked Le- Page to issue an executive order declaring April 3, 2012, the first Turkish Cultural Day in Maine.

Last summer, state Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, Rep. Karen Kusiak, D-Fairfield, and Rep. Dennis Keschl, R-Belgrade, visited Turkey. The three comprise the advisory board for the Turkish Cultural Center Maine.

Katz said Tuesday that he hopes Maine can attract Turkish students to the state university system. He noted that Maine has an aging population that is not very diverse.

“The only way to change that is to become a place that welcomes everyone,” he said.

Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, also said he hopes the ties to Turkey will stimulate trade.

“Maine must be more welcoming,” he said. “There’s no doubt that Maine’s future rests on in-migration.”

Keschl also went on a trip in 2012, along with Sen. Joseph Brannigan, D-Portland; Rep. Jane Knapp, R-Gorham; and Rachel Talbot Ross, president of the NAACP’s Portland branch. Keschl has said that officials from the Council of Turkic American Associations were up front about their ties to Gulen when he questioned them directly.

The council is the regional affiliate of the Washington, D.C.-based Turkic American Alliance, the umbrella organization for the Gulen movement in the United States.

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Teacher at Gulen Charter School in Baton Rouge, Louisana questioned for lewed photos

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- An investigation continues into claims that a male teacher at Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School in Baton Rouge asked girls to take pictures of their genitalia and send the photos to him.
Baton Rouge police have opened a criminal investigation into claims that an instructor at Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School has been soliciting students to send him cellphone photographs of their genitalia, according to court filings.
The inquiry began May 9 after a counselor contacted the Baton Rouge Police Department and reported that Darrion Buckles had “propositioned” a 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl during gym class, the filings show. Buckles, who has not been arrested, allegedly asked the students to send him the images via text message.
Investigators recently searched Buckles’ cellphone and found several close-up photographs and a video showing a female’s genitalia, according to the documents, though it was not immediately clear whether the female was a juvenile.
Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a police spokesman, confirmed the ongoing investigation Friday but said he could not comment further. Calls to Buckles’ home were not answered.
Mark Lambert, whose public relations firm represents Kenilworth, refused to comment on the investigation and would not say whether Buckles is still employed at the school. “We’re not going to say anything,” Lambert said.
The day after the counselor reported the girls’ claims, a detective interviewed the 15-year-old girl, who claimed Buckles had given her keys to the locker room and told her to go in there to take the photographs with her cellphone.
“The 15-year-old victim refused to comply with the defendant’s instructions and proceeded to a different class,” Detective Jonathan Medine wrote in an affidavit for a search warrant.
Medine also interviewed the 14-year-old girl, who said she had been asked by Buckles before and after Christmas break to send him a photograph of her genitalia. The detective learned in interviews “that there were possibly other juvenile female students of the school who have been approached by the defendant and asked to send photographs of their (genitals) to him,” the affidavit says.
The detective also approached Buckles, who signed a voluntary consent for the officer to search his cellphone. While the face of the female depicted in the video was not visible, Medine noted, “she was wearing a purple shirt, which is consistent with the school uniform of Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School.”
Investigators with the Baton Rouge Police Department and East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office searched Buckles’ home at 6648 Cameren Oaks Drive about 10:30 p.m. May 10 and seized a USB flash drive, two iPads and a laptop, according to court records. No additional details were available Friday afternoon.

Gulen Movement tries for a school in Maine, same story...Turkish Culture Center, dialog dinners, trips to Turkey, application for school

Maine Legislatures visit Turkey, (SURPRISE)
Turkish Cultural Center of Maine in collaboration with the Council of Turkic American Associations organized an intercultural trip to Turkey for State Legislators from Maine.
Maine State Senator Roger Katz, State Representatives Karen Kusiak, and Dennis Lee Keschl were in Turkey for an unofficial visit. During their trip to Turkey, they visited Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Trabzon. Their trip to Trabzon had a special meaning since KARGID (Association of Turkish Businessmen of the Black Sea) personally invited the State legislators.
As Senator Katz pointed out, the main purpose of the trip was to develop economic, educational, and cultural relations between Turkey and the US. Throughout their trip, they had a chance to visit various economic and educational institutions that specialize in Turkey-US relations. Sen. Katz pointed out that Turkey and the US have close relations with each other because of the mutual history and by having these kind of trips they are taking those relations to another higher level. Due to their mutual history, Sen. Katz pointed out that Turkey and the US have close relations with each other; therefore, by having these kinds of trips, they take those relations to a higher level

March 11

But Maine's commission rejected the Bangor plan over financial issues, its chairwoman says.

A proposed charter school to be based in Bangor is tied into an informal worldwide network of religious, cultural and education institutions operated by followers of a controversial and reclusive Turkish imam, Fethullah Gulen.

The Queen City Academy Charter School was one of four proposed taxpayer-financed charter schools whose applications were denied last month by the state charter school commission, but the school intends to reapply at a future date.

Followers of Gulen, who lives in exile on a secluded compound in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, have been involved in starting at least 120 charter schools in 26 states, according to investigations by The New York Times, "60 Minutes," USA Today and other news organizations. Their schools are often top performers and have an entirely secular curriculum, but they have drawn criticism for their lack of transparency, their hiring and financial practices, and concerns about their ultimate motivation, which experts say has as much to do with shaping the evolution of Turkey as it does with educating young Americans.

Gulen is an intriguing figure, a voice for moderate Islam, an opponent of terrorism and a champion of the impressive cultural, educational and scientific legacy of the Ottoman Empire, which collapsed in the aftermath of World War I and spawned the modern states of Turkey, the Balkans and much of Central Asia and the Middle East.

But his sprawling worldwide network of followers is also the subject of concern within the U.S. diplomatic community; a feared and powerful force in Turkey; and the target of investigations into the possible abuse of U.S. visa programs and the taxpayer money that flows into the charter schools they have founded. The movement's charter schools have been criticized in other states for their founders' evasiveness about the philosophical and institutional links they have to what is known in Turkey as Gulenism.

"They claim that these charter schools are independent and have no connection to the Gulen movement, and I said to them: 'That's baloney,' " said William Martin, senior fellow in religion and public policy at Baker Institute of Rice University in Texas, where Gulen followers have set up dozens of charter schools.

Martin has followed the movement for years, traveled to Turkey at their expense, and counts its leaders there as friends. "I say to them: 'Look, there's nothing wrong with your saying that you are admirers and followers of Mr. Gulen, and to say this is what he stands for and this is what you stand for,' but they say that their lawyers have said they shouldn't be open about it."


The central figure behind the proposed Bangor charter school, construction company owner Murat Kilic of Revere, Mass., deflects questions about ties to Gulen as unimportant.

"Individuals might be inspired by him, but what their background is and what they are inspired by, I think that's a little bit irrelevant," said Kilic, who helped found several Gulen-linked organizations in the Bay State. "Yes, I have read a few books of Mr. Gulen and met with him two times, but I have also met (former President) Clinton. At the end of the day, it's how the board carries forth the mission of the charter school that's important."

Over the past year, Gulen's followers have been active in Maine on several fronts. A key organization in the Gulen network -- the New York-based Council of Turkic American Associations -- organized a subsidized nine-day trip to Turkey for three state legislators last summer and persuaded Gov. Paul LePage to issue an executive order declaring April 3, 2012, to be the first annual Turkish Cultural Day in Maine.


Gulen Charter School Truebright Science Academy (PA) ordered CLOSED by School Board

Despite protests by the Gulen Marketing (with T Shirts, Signs, protestors bussed into the school board meetings) the School board ordered in October 2013 to not renew the Gulen Managed Truebright Science Academy in Gulen's backyard of Pennsylvania which join new application failures of (Young Entepreneur Academy in Lancaster and Allentown Science Academy)  Sounds like Pennsylvania doesn't want the Gulenists or their schools, Truebright  had been riddled with poor academic  performance and discrimination lawsuits filed by American staff.  The Gulenists have hired an attorney to try and fight this closure at the state level,. but lets see how far their money gets them when they have no community support except for what is paid for. 

The School Reform Commission voted unanimously Thursday night not to renew the charters of Community Academy and Truebright Science Academy Charter School. Both remain open pending expected appeals to a state board.

All four commissioners present voted to terminate the charters. SRC Chair Pedro Ramos was not in attendance.

Both schools have been in bitter battles with the District.

The commission had previously voted to start the non-renewal process at both schools. Thursday's SRC action followed months of hearings in which Truebright and Community Academy got to present a case for why they should stay open.

Community Academy is the oldest charter in Philadelphia, and grew out of a school that started more than 30 years ago. Originally a high school that operated under contract with the District, it was founded to serve near-dropouts. After becoming a charter it expanded to a K-12 school.

Grounds for the non-renewal include academic underperformance and a questionable financial history, which founder and CEO Joseph Proietta has vociferously disputed.

When the non-renewal process started with a vote by the SRC in January, Proietta vowed a long legal fight. He was not present Thursday night. He has been in court with the SRC since 2011, when only two of the four sitting SRC members voted to renew the charter, which the school contends was a majority.

The resolution adopted Thursday night said that if a court determines that the charter was renewed through that vote, the SRC now intends for the charter to be revoked.

Truebright has been facing closure since an initial non-renewal vote by the SRC 18 months ago.

A contingent from Truebright was present. Two teachers and the school's attorney, Brian Reinhouser, disputed the reasons for terminating the school's charter.

“As a faculty member I have never felt as valued as I do at Truebright,” said teacher Nicole Thuestad.

The school intends to appeal to the state Charter Appeal Board (CAB).

"Truebright will remain in operation and continue to enroll new students up to and beyond our vindication at CAB," said a statement from the charter's board.

He said that other schools with similar or even worse records have been allowed to stay open.

"Truebright is being treated differently," he said. Truebright is one of more than 130 charter schools that have been linked to a controversial Turkish imam. Many of its board and staff are Turkish.

Commissioner Joseph Dworetzky countered that even if it is true that charters of comparable performance have been renewed,"we would not compound that error. Our job in each case is to make the best call for each school. ... If we made errors in the past, that doesn’t mean we are bound to make them in the future."


By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: May 14, 2013

A former English teacher from Truebright Science Academy Charter School who alleged the North Philadelphia school discriminated against her on the basis of national origin and gender has reached a settlement in her civil rights suit.

U.S. District Court records show that Regenna A. Jalon, a former head of Truebright's English department, and the charter school ended the suit last Friday because of the settlement.

Jalon, who worked at Truebright for four years, alleged in a suit filed in February that the school had engaged in a pattern of hiring, promoting, and paying less-qualified Turkish nationals more than American-born educators who were certified and had more experience.

Terms were not disclosed.

Neither Jalon's attorneys nor Truebright's lawyers returned calls or responded to e-mails Monday seeking comment. Jalon had sought $150,000.

Truebright had denied Jalon's allegations.

She was one of at least nine Truebright staffers who filed discrimination complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2011. She filed her suit after the EEOC issued a letter in January saying she could proceed with a suit.

Truebright is one of more than 130 charter schools across the country linked to Fethullah Gulen, a controversial Turkish imam who lives in the Poconos.

Truebright's board, top administrators, and a third of its teachers are Turkish. Many are working in the United States on nonimmigrant visas.

Truebright officials have said the school has no ties to Gulen.

In her suit, Jalon had contended Truebright engaged in "a concerted effort to deprive" non-Turkish staffers of the ability to earn as much as the Turkish male employees.

She resigned in late November.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gulen Charter Schools update, closed, proposed openings...

  • 2012-2013: 140 schools in 26 states (59,953 students)
  • 2011-2012: 136 schools in 26 states (51,950 students)
  • 2010-2011: 126 schools in 25 states (44,727 students)


Closed or control transferred to another entity at the end of 2012-2013 (five schools):


  • California (1): Pacific Technology School – Orangevale (closed)
  • Florida (2): Sweetwater Branch Academy and Sweetwater Branch Academy Elementary (closed because of poor school grades and financial trouble)
  • Maryland (1): Baltimore IT Academy (indicators that control has been transferred: staff now using email instead of; website used to be but is now
  • Minnesota (1): Minnesota School of Science (closed)



School replaced (one school)


  • Arizona (1): Sonoran Science Academy – Peoria (17667 N 91st Ave., Peoria) has replaced Sonoran Science Academy – Phoenix Metro (2645 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix) on the Sonoran Schools website. Webpage for SSA-Phoenix Metro redirects to SSA-Peoria, a new location 30 mi. away.



New schools (12 schools)


Florida (2)

  • Discovery Academy of Science (1380 Pinehurst Rd., Dunedin)
  • River City Science Academy – Innovation (3251 Newell Blvd., Jacksonville)

Illinois (2)

  • Horizon Science Academy Belmont (5035 W. North Ave., Chicago)
  • Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park (2245 W. Pershing Rd., Chicago)

Indiana (1)

  • Indiana Math & Science Academy – South (2710 Bethel Ave., Indianapolis)

Massachusetts (1)

  • Pioneer Charter School of Science II (planned for Saugus; using temporary location in Everett)

Missouri (1)

  • Gateway Science Academy – South (6651 Gravois Ave., St. Louis)

New Jersey (1)

  • Paterson Arts and Sciences Charter School (151 East 33rd St., Paterson)

New York (1)

  • Utica Academy of Science Charter School (1214 Lincoln Ave., Utica)

South Carolina (1)

  • Greenville Renewable Energy Education ("GREEN") Charter School (1440 Pelham Rd., Greenville)

Texas (2)

  • Harmony School of Exploration (9305 W. Sam Houston Parkway South, Houston)
  • Harmony School of Innovation – Euless (701 S. Industrial Blvd, Suite 105, Euless)


Known Gulen charter schools in the works as of 9/14/2013 (eight)


Connecticut (1)

  • Connecticut Academy of Math and Science: most recent known activity was in January 2013 when a Letter of Intent was submitted to the Connecticut Board of Education

Florida (1)

  • Capital City Charter Science Academy: most recent known activity was in August 2013 when an application was submitted to Leon County Schools

Maine (1)

  • Lewiston-Auburn Academy Charter School: most recent known activity was in September 2013 when a Letter of Intent was submitted to the Maine Charter School Commission

New York (1)

  • Westchester Academy of Science Charter School: most recent known activity was in February 2013 when the Letter of Intent was accepted and the operator was invited to submit its full application

Pennsylvania (4)

  • Allentown Engineering Academy Charter School: most recent known activity was in February 2013 when the application was rejected by the Allentown School Board
  • Erie Biosciences Academy Charter School: most recent known activity was in February 2013 when the application was rejected by the Millcreek School Board. There were indications that the founders might appeal.
  • Young Scholars of McKeesport Charter School: most recent known activity was in March 2013 when the application was rejected by the McKeesport Area School Board. The founders stated that they would appeal.
  • Academy of Business & Entrepreneurship Charter School: most recent known activity was in September 2013 when a Letter of Intent was submitted to the School District of Lancaster (SDL). The SDL school board had rejected the charter in March 2013.


For additional details about these schools and other past attempts, see Proposed Gulen charter schools, a page by CASILIPS.