Sunday, July 17, 2016

Turkish scholar allegedly behind coup also accused of running Texas charter schools | Dallas Morning News

Turkish scholar allegedly behind coup also accused of running Texas charter schools | Dallas Morning News:

Turkish scholar allegedly behind coup also accused of running Texas charter schools

The man allegedly behind Turkey's failed coup is an Islamic scholar who's also been accused of ties to Texas' largest charter school network, which itself is facing allegations of discrimination, self-dealing and misspending.
The Dallas Morning News reported in May that the Republic of Turkey accused Fethullah Gulen and his associates of being behind Harmony Public Schools. The nation's leaders even hired a law firm to ask the Texas Education Agency to launch an investigation into the charter schools. Rep. Dan Flynn also asked the Texas Attorney General's Office to investigate the claims in a letter sent Wednesday, The Texas Tribune reports.
Gulen followers have opened many private schools around the globe, including more than 160 science, math and technology-focused public charter schools with different names in numerous states around the U.S., according to Sharon Higgins, an independent researcher on the Gulen movement
These schools deny any relationship to Gulen -- who is said to adhere to a moderate form of Islam -- and the movement denies any relationship to the schools.
But Higgins, who has written extensively about the movement, said it's common for officials at the charter schools to deny any connection but that the Gulen-inspired network is one of the biggest in the U.S.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that the coup attempt on Friday was the work of army officers who are followers of Gulen, who had once been an ally but whose movement has become critical of the increasingly authoritarian regime. 
The Gulen movement denied involvement in the coup, but Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday was quoted as saying the United States would support investigations to determine who instigated the attempted coup and where its support originates. He said he anticipates questions will be raised about Gulen.
Gulen told reporters at his Pennsylvania compound he knows only a "minute fraction" of his legions of sympathizers in Turkey, so he cannot speak to their "potential involvement" in the attempted coup.
"You can think about many motivations of people who staged this coup. They could be sympathizers of the opposition party. They could be sympathizers of the nationalist party. It could be anything," Gulen, who has lived in the U.S. for more than 15 years, said through an interpreter.
Gulen has maintained influence in Turkey through followers in the judiciary and police. Turkish media reported Saturday that 2,745 judges had been removed because of suspicions they have links to the Gulen movement.
Harmony schools, part of the largest charter network in Texas, have won millions of dollars in grants from the U.S. government and are among the highest-achieving in Turkish scholar allegedly behind coup also accused of running Texas charter schools | Dallas Morning News:

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