U.S. “Fethullahci” charter schools



    This is a list of 97 publicly-funded charter schools which are likely to be missionary schools started by followers of Fetullah Gülen, a controversial Turkish imam currently living in Pennsylvania. The operation of these schools is discreet and amorphous. There is no formal, visible umbrella organization that officially links them together in the way that is typical with very large EMOs like Imagine, White Hat, or KIPP.

    As you search through the content on the schools’ Web sites, you will notice there are
    extremely strong visual similarities with a subset of these supposedly-unrelated schools on their Web site designs and school logos (overlapping ellipses).Most importantly, the Gülen-connected schools always share the same following characteristics:
    • Emphasis on math, science, computers and robotics
    • Turkish language offered as a subject
    • Turkish student clubs
    • High student participation in regional Turkish Olympiads and other competitions
    • Annual spring and/or summer trips to Europe which always include a visit to Turkey
    • Promotion of summer programs in Turkey
    • Large number of male Turkish teachers
    • Administrative staff and founders who are nearly exclusively Turkish

    Similar school features are described in "Central Asia: Fetullah Gülen's Missionary Schools" by Bayram Balci (2002). This piece was published in a newsletter produced by the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) at Leiden University (Netherlands).

    Here are some excerpts:

    • “The movement obtains much of its support from young urban men, especially doctors, academics and other professionals.”
    • “These schools can be said to focus on modem [robotics] and scientific education. Religious matters are completely absent from their curricula.”
    • “The movement's schools are managed by Turkish and national administrators and teachers.”

    As far as the religious mission of the schools goes, Balci further explains:
    • “His [Gülen's] community, or cemaat, is designated as the Fethullahci movement, alhough [sic] its members do not appreciate this term. Basically, Fethullah Gülen's ideas serve to accomplish three intellectual goals: the islamization of the Turkish nationalist ideology; the turkification of Islam; and the Islamization of modernity.”
    • “No one knows exactly the size of Gülen's enormous community of followers and sympathizers, but most agree on an average es­timate of 3 million members…The movement has grown in part by sponsoring student dormitories, summer camps, colleges, universities, classrooms and communication organizations.”
    • “…Nurcu missionaries never openly or directly proselytize.”
    • “Their hocaefendi, or "respected lord", Gülen advocates two main ways of spreading Islam, tebligh and temsil.”
    • “They are not allowed to pronounce the name of Gülen or Nursi, nor are they permitted to spread Nurcu literature, at least not openly.”
    • “…the most important aim of the cemaat is to spread the message without expressing it directly.”

    For more extensive information, read “Fethullah Gülen’s Missionary Schools in Central Asia and their Role in the Spreading of Turkism and Islam,” Balci’s 27-page article which appeared in Religion, State & Society (Vol. 31, No. 2, 2003).

    In the United States it is is not legal to use public funds to support charter schools which are established to directly or indirectly embed religious messages into the minds of American children.

    However, it is perfectly permissible to operate private religious schools, and this is what Gülen’s followers should have chosen to do.
    ARIZONA (6)

    Operated by Daisy Education Corporation (no Web site, seems to dba Sonoran Science Academy schools)

    ARKANSAS (2)



    Operated by Magnolia Schools (12)

    Operated by Willow Education (1)

    COLORADO (1)

    Operated by LSE, Inc. (Lotus School of Excellence)

    FLORIDA (4)

    GEORGIA (2)

    ILLINOIS (2)

    Operated by Concept Schools, Inc.

    INDIANA (2)

    Operated by Concept Schools, Inc.


    Operated by Pelican Educational Foundation

    MARYLAND (1)


    MICHIGAN (1)

    MISSOURI (2)

    NEVADA (4)

    NEW JERSEY (2)

    OHIO (16)

    Operated by Concept Schools, Inc.

    OKLAHOMA (3)

    Operated by the Sky Foundation (no Web site)


    TEXAS (31)

    Operated by the Cosmos Foundation - 27 schools (no Web site, seems to be dba Harmony Public Schools)

    Operated by Riverwalk Education Foundation, Inc. - 4 schools (no Web site, seems to dba SST Schools)

    UTAH (1)


    Other non-charter schools which are likely to be connected:

    *These schools waive summer program tuition and registration fees for Harmony and SST (School of Science & Technology) students.


    Anonymous said...

    This is offensive, racist crap, copied straight from the pages of Michael Savage's Blog:


    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Anonymous: Good try, but your argument will not hold water.

    Yes, it is true that xenophobes and messianics picked up on this phenomenon first, and this is because of their obsession with Islamic terrorism and/or all things Muslim.

    Sorry, but I do not fall into either of those categories. You need to extend the range of your reading.

    For starters, may I suggest the Balci piece?

    Anonymous said...

    I think this is racist, offensive garbage. You think it isn't. We obviously disagree.

    Your "research" looks to be limited to copying and pasting stuff from Michael Savage's Website, and copying and pasting from a few obscure papers from someone's newsletter in the Netherlands written 8 years ago.

    What you are doing isn't journalism, it is the worst aspect of blogging,

    "are likely to be missionary schools started by followers of Fetullah Gülen"

    Likely? No proof, but that doesn't stop you ... heck, they all have TURKISH people working at the school -- so therefore, they are followers of Gulen?

    Take everything you copy and paste from google about scandals in charter schools, and you could find just as many (if not more)similar "shenanigans and incidents" in Public Schools.

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Interesting, but quite uninformed and naïve outlook. You have no knowledge of the extent of my research, and I'm quite sure you have done absolutely none yourself.

    Yes, we'll have to agree to disagree.

    The Perimeter Primate said...


    This is from Today's Zaman," a worldwide daily Nurcu newspaper:

    "Why is Fethullah Gülen in Texas?"

    We are at the Turkish Olympiads in Houston, Texas, sponsored by the Cosmos foundation, a nonprofit organization that the Fethullah Gülen movement is involved in.

    We have become somewhat familiar with hearing children from various parts of the world and different languages speak Turkish. But it was both interesting and impressive to see the same thing in Houston, a city located 10,000 kilometers from Turkey. As students participated in the competition, parents watched with joy and excitement and applauded their children as they sang songs and poems in Turkish. There were Americans from all walks of life -- black, white, Hispanic and Asian -- and for each there was a new image of Turkey developing in their mind. County Judge Ed Emmett expressed this, saying: "Many years ago I had heard of Turkey from a waiter. But now I know Turkey and many Turks. These types of activities foster the development a multicultural society in America."

    04 March 2009, Wednesday
    We have become somewhat familiar with hearing children from various parts of the world and different languages speak Turkish. But it was both interesting and impressive to see the same thing in Houston, a city located 10,000 kilometers from Turkey. As students participated in the competition, parents watched with joy and excitement and applauded their children as they sang songs and poems in Turkish. There were Americans from all walks of life -- black, white, Hispanic and Asian -- and for each there was a new image of Turkey developing in their mind. County Judge Ed Emmett expressed this, saying: "Many years ago I had heard of Turkey from a waiter. But now I know Turkey and many Turks. These types of activities foster the development a multicultural society in America."

    04 March 2009, Wednesday


    From http://www.amerasianworld.com/islam_in_kazakhstan.php

    "Nurcus are Turkish Muslims who follow the teachings of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and/or Fetullah Gulen (there are more than one group of Nurcus in Turkey)."


    For an explanation of the role of Zaman, see the fifth page of the Balci report mentioned in this posting @ http://tinyurl.com/275me99.

    Anonymous said...

    First of all Gulen is worth over $52 Billion, not bad for a guy that only has a 12 grade education but an expanded education in Islam.

    Gulen has made his fortune in Media, Education, Healthcare, Isurance and banking (surpise-surprise) The Gulen movement is VERY well connected to the US Government and officials. Also to lucrative Turkish defense contracts with Raytheon, Boeing, Gates, Dell and more.. WHO ALL ironically support the schools (God they love that donation money from sucker Americans)

    Gulens schools are under a layer of foundations and institutes for example his Texas - Harmony Science Schools are under Raindrop Turkish House and Cosmos Foundation, all are under the mother of all Gulen Lobbying groups in Washington RUMI forum.
    Money in, money out.

    Pacifica Institute in California oversees the Magnolia Science, Coral Academy and Bay Area Technology Schools. Accord Institute and MERF-Magnolia Education and Research Foundation is also involved.

    The Turkish people that are part of Gulen will come on here and say "you cannot prove it" or it is "conspiracy theories"

    Follow the money my friends. go to www.guidestar.com to look up their 990 tax returns for free.

    They ALL boast of the highest test scores and awards. 90% of the awards are contests sponsored by a Gulen Institute like Pacifica that sponsors the Turkish Olympaid.
    Go to Utube to see tapings of American kids dancing, speaking and singing in Turkish. Then the BIG trip at the end of the year when the kids get to go to Turkey (although the schools erronously call it a trip to Europe) for the big "Dog and "Pony" show for the Turkish citizens.

    For those Gulen followers above, that post the smoke and mirrors all over the Internet. This isn't about racisim it is about Turkification, and trying to win the hearts and minds of children. Ironically, cults/Hitler et al start with youth this is Creeping Jihad. Get into the Education, Media, Government and Corporations...guess what Gulen has.
    Also these schools are largely staffed with Turkish men with questionable teaching credentials

    They are brought in to the USA by a Gulen Institute under a HB-1 Visa then the poor bastards are paid peanuts because (you guessed it) 40% of their salary is paid to the one of the many Insitutes or Foundations. The are busy little institutes with all their parties and receptions / all those free trips to Turkey given to politicans.
    Life is Good in the Gulen Cult.

    Anonymous said...

    Remember Gulen owns Zaman publication so it will be all pro Zaman. Go to the Turkish News papers and to Gulen's own websites.

    Also Check the individual web sites of the schools and you will see that each one teaches turkish and has a Turkish american club- even in Arizona NOT A NATIVE AMERICAN CLUB BUT A TURKISH CLUB. Some of those are right on a US military base - remember about Raytheon, Boeing. and the large Turkish Defense Contracts. Follow the money, always follow the money.

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Yes, Anonymous. My knowledge is catching up to yours. The lower wages that the teachers can expect to be paid are described in the Balci piece:

    "...the Turkish government's cultural and educational efforts in Central Asia are nothing compared with the educational network of the cemaat. The state has to pay each teacher between US $600 and US $1000 a month, but cemaat members agree to work for US $500 or as little as US $200 a month everywhere in Asia: as missionaries they have more motivation than state employees."

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Report in Gulen's Zaman about Nurcu high schools in Kyrgyzstan competing in Turkish Language Olympics semifinals.

    Sebat is the company running the schools there. View the list of schools in the left hand bar.


    What I wonder is if the translated names of the schools would relate to the names used in the U.S.

    Anonymous said...

    I find it very intresting to those who posted that this is a racist publication with out doing there own research first. This is not a racist publication when in fact most of these schools are Racist and sexist themselves. The majoroty of these school only have Turkish men running the schools from the Vice Princapal all the way up to the board of directors. When there is an opening for these positions they bring another Turkish man to fill that position. Theyu do not hire from the outside or promote women into these positions. The may not be teaching Islam to these kids but in deeds and paractice they are. It is Islamic in there intentions. Gulens brand of Islam. By action what are they teaching the kids with there examples?
    check out charterschoolwatchdog.com
    for more information. These schools are not safe.

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    The first ever charter school has been proposed for Binghamton, NY, and is likely to be a Gulen missionary school (73 mi. south of Syracuse): http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20100513/NEWS01/5130392/Local-group-proposes-Binghamton-charter-school

    The Syracuse Academy of Science wants to expand: http://www.9wsyr.com/news/local/story/Academy-of-Science-expands-while-other-schools/fQpjxideMkurg1QS--n34w.cspx

    Dean of Students Linda Spencer is
    the public face. Students participated in the 2008 Turkish Language Olympics in NJ

    Ebru is the Gulen TV station.

    Hakki Karaman was the Syracuse Academy principal in 2009.

    He's now showing up as principal for Magnolia 3.


    The Syracuse school teaches Turkish but the website doesn't display the typical trips to Turkey. Instead they went to Japan. Maybe it's a hybrid school. A lot of its pages are incomplete. http://www.sascs.org/

    In the Syracuse area is a Gulen-type Turkish Cultural Center in Syracuse.



    The Syracuse Academy of Science will bring students back to the classrooms of the former Sacred Heart School, which the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse closed in 2002.

    The move signals a change from when Bishop James Moynihan determined in 2002 that Catholic schools that closed because of low enrollment or financial difficulties, as Sacred Heart School did, should not lease their buildings to charter schools...

    Cataldo said he didn't know the amount of the lease, and Hakki Karaman, the school's director, wouldn't release it without board consent...

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Operations Manager at Syracuse A.S. = Mustafa Coban from Siverek, Turkey attended Harran Ünüversitesi

    Letter from NY State Ed. Dept. Charter School Office to Fehmi Damkaci (Organic Chemistry dept. SUNY Oswego) approving expansion of Syracuse Academy of Science


    Tolga Hayali of the Syracuse Academy of Science Charter School signed agreement w/SUNY Oswego for students to study on campus, facilitate by Dr. Fehmi Damkaci, assistant professor of chemistry at Oswego.

    Tolga Hayali comes up in connection w/Horizon Science Academy in Cleveland



    Tolga Hayali also comes up on Gulen's website in a Turkish piece. The article also contains references to Pioneer Science Academy.




    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Making the move in NY state
    Binghamton Academy of Science Charter School
    Brentwood Academy of Science Charter School
    City Academy of Science
    Westchester Academy of Science Charter School
    Re City Academy of Science, see also http://forumnewsgroup.blogspot.com/2009/07/charter-school-proposal-gets-tepid.html

    "… The group was supposed to present details about the plan at a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday night, but representatives skipped the scheduled meeting. That left council members and residents with outstanding questions, including where the school would be located.

    The phone number listed on the application for the group’s contact, Furkan Kosar, has been disconnected…"

    Anonymous said...

    This piece seems quite interesting. But, there has to be something wrong with the expression by a commnentor that Gulen Institute sponsored all these teachers' H1B's. And worse, the author seems to agree with that comment. However, if you check the institute's website, it says that they were founded in 2007, which is much later than most of the charter schools mentioned in the list. So, this reveals the fact that the authors' (and that specific commnetor's) reseach seems dubious. Just a thought...

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Anonymous: This is all rapidly unfolding it is certain that there will be blind alleys and missteps, but a definite theme is emerging. I invite you to join in on the research fun and send me a report.

    Here's a useful tool:


    Also, this Tim Stellar article might interest you:


    The Perimeter Primate said...

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (excerpts)

    The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). It allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. If a foreign worker in H-1B status quits or is dismissed from the sponsoring employer, the worker can apply for a change of status to another non-immigrant status, find another employer (subject to application for adjustment of status and/or change of visa), or must leave the US.....

    Duration of stay:
    The duration of stay is three years, extendable to six.

    Employer attestations to protect U.S. workers:
    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is responsible for ensuring that foreign workers do not displace or adversely affect wages or working conditions of U.S. workers.

    The Department of Labor states that the H-1B employer must first advertise the position at the workplace and the employer's office before hiring an H-1B non-immigrant pursuant to the H-1B visa approval.

    Spouses cannot work:
    H-1B's spouse who generally come on H-4 (dependent visa) cannot work in the United States.[39]

    Hidden costs and risks for employers:
    Although, lower wages do not necessarily mean lower costs for employers. The costs for a company to apply for an H-1B visa can be significant, and it varies between $1,440 and $3,000[33], depending on the attorney's fees(if used), the number of employees in the company, and if a faster premium service is paid, without including the cost of a possible trip to the border of the country of origin, nor the renewal costs.

    Recent changes to U.S. law:
    On Feb. 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“stimulus bill”), Public Law 111-5 [51]. Section 1661 of the ARRA incorporates the Employ American Workers Act (“EAWA”) by Senators Sanders (I-Vt.) and Grassley (R-Iowa) to limit certain banks and other financial institutions from hiring H-1B workers unless they had offered positions to equally- or better-qualified US workers, and to prevent banks from hiring H-1B workers in occupations they had laid off US workers from. These restrictions include:

    1. The employer must, prior to filing the H-1B petition, take good-faith steps to recruit U.S. workers for the position for which the H-1B worker is sought, offering a wage at least as high as what the law requires for the H-1B worker. The employer must also attest that, in connection with this recruitment, it has offered the job to any U.S. worker who applies who is equally or better qualified for the position.

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Please consider the above in relation to the Gulen schools when reading this article:


    THE NEW YORK TIMES, May 19, 2010

    "Teachers Facing Weakest Market in Years"

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Notice the graph for the Cosmos Foundation dba Harmony Science Academy here: http://www.myvisajobs.com/Company.aspx?ID=131451

    H1B Visa applications

    Busiest H1B Visa Contact: Dr. Ibrahim Sel, Superintendent

    H1B Visa 2001-2010 = 1,136
    H1B Denied 2001-2010 = 1
    Green Card 2000-2010 = 21
    Total Visa Petitions = 1,157

    Total number of Texas schools operated by Cosmos during 2009-2010 = 25

    QUESTION: What is the time line for the openings of the Texas schools?

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Now it’s time to use your brain.

    Every single one of these schools is teaching Turkish to students. But as a world language, Turkish ranks far down the list in terms of numbers of people speaking it around the world.

    Here is the order according to http://www.krysstal.com/spoken.html

    Farsi (Persian)

    And then at long last there is Turkish.

    Some websites list the order a bit differently, but Turkish never makes it higher than 15th.

    The Turkish administrators running the schools promote Turkish as a useful world language, but its frequency belies that fact. Mandarin, Russian, French, Japanese and Korean would ALL BE MORE USEFUL FOR STUDENTS TO LEARN THAN TURKISH!!!

    If you haven't yet been convinced that what is going on at these school is really, really ODD, doesn’t this language issue strike you as a little off track?

    Of course, the point of these schools is NOT to give students a broad exposure to useful languages. The point is to “Turkify” American students and to infect Americans with as-much-as-possible Turkish love.

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Lessons for his followers are contained in Gulen's book, "Pearls of Wisdom."


    From Chapter 16, "Keeping Secrets":

    Guarding a secret is the same as guarding one's chastity. Those who keep a secret, whether personal or a friend's, keep themselves chaste. Conversely, those who spread secrets damage their honor and reputation by leaving them unguarded.

    If you want to tell someone a secret, be sure that you could trust him or her with your honor. He or she must be as meticulous about keeping your secret as he or she would be about his or her own honor. An unreliable person, one who is ignorant of the value of chastity, should not be entrusted with keeping your secret...

    There are secrets related to the person, the family, and the nation. By disclosing a personal secret, you are interfering with a person's honor; by disclosing a family secret, you are interfering with the family's honor; and by disclosing a national secret, you are interfering with the nation's honor. A secret is a power only as long as it stays with its owner, but is a weapon that may be used against its owner if it passes into the hands of others. This is the meaning of one of our traditional sayings: "The secret is your slave, but you become its slave if you disclose it."

    The details of many important affairs can be protected only if they are kept secret. Often enough, when the involved parties do not keep certain matters secret, no progress is achieved. In addition, serious risks might confront those who are involved, particularly if the matter concerns delicate issues of national life and its continuation.

    If a state cannot protect its secrets from its enemies, it cannot develop. If an army reveals its strategy to its antagonists, it cannot attain victory. If key workers are won over by the competitors, their employers cannot succeed.

    Explain what you must, but never give away all of your secrets. Those who freely publicize the secrets of their hearts drag themselves and their nation toward an inevitable downfall.

    Anonymous said...

    Gulen movement participants have founded a number of institutions across the world which promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue activities. During the 1990s he began to advocate interreligious tolerance and dialogue. He personally met with leaders of other religions, including Pope John Paul II, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos, and Israeli Sephardic Head Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron.
    Fethullah Gulen
    Fethullah Gulen

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    Anonymous above:

    That's all fine and I respect the fact that you feel Gulen needs to be praised. I don't have a problem with that.

    My problem is with the sneakiness re the charter school network and the fact that

    1. Hizmet Movement followers are operating U.S. charter schools with taxpayer dollars

    2. They won't be up-front and transparent about what they are doing, which suggests, to me, that something unclean is occurring.

    3. Prospective and current parents of the children are not being fully informed about any of this.

    Myth said...

    Some say Gulen Inspired Schools are the best schools around, and some say Gulen Inspired Schools cannot be that good without support from global powers. Find out the facts from above links.

    Anonymous said...

    i think those schools are awesome. they establish peace dialoge and tolerance. every one is respectful and kind to each other in those charter schools. i prefer it to any other schools. its great. you guys who says its bad are only jealous of it because you cannot do it. its perfect.

    The Perimeter Primate said...

    EVERYONE MUST WATCH THESE VIDEOS BY YouTube user robertmike57 @ http://www.youtube.com/user/robertmike57

    March 30, 2011: Fethullah Gulen Public Schools Rip Off Taxpayers w/ H1-B Visas

    Fetullah Gulen Charter School racket is only beginning to get the scrutiny it deserves. Inferior public education is what you can expect to find in Gulen schools. Trashing discrimination and disability laws, keeping confidential the Turkish staff being shuffled around in the Gulen Charter School system is but a sample of how these thugs operate. I can't cover it all in a 5 minute video, so there will be a series of videos.

    Apr 5, 2011: Fethullah Gulen: Imam w/ Creationism Taught As Fact in Charter Schools

    The Gulen movement and the public schools they are running are cheating America in every manner they can get away with. Whatever flaws public schools have, the Gulen Public schools are far worse.

    Note: I have attempted to contact Gulen employees regarding the Times Magazine article Creationism has been taught as fact, but with no response. I am quite frustrated that I can find no Biology teachers in any Gulen Caherter Schools, Gulen Schools invariably keep their teacher rosters private.

    Apr 10, 2011: Fethullah Gulen's Makara: Burn Books, Jail Journalists but Claim Seeking Peace

    Part 1 of a series of videos of the Gulen Charter Schools in Indiana.

    Note; the Peace Learning Center is located in Indiana, not Illinois.

    Apr 10, 2011: Islam Gulen Bought: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels & Mayor Greg Ballard

    Gulen Movement in Indiana Part 2: An examination of of how The Holy Dove Foundation has undermined and corrupted public education in Indiana.

    Apr 13, 2011: Ways Gulen & Imagine Charter Schools Are Destroying Public Education

    Part 3 of the Failure of Charter Schools in Indiana.

    A bigger scumbag grifter than Fethullah Gulen is Dennis Bakke of Imagine Schools. This video doesn't really give him enough credit for being a fucking maggot. More information is found here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/01/14/825051/-Rachel-Maddow-meet-Dennis-Bakke-of-Imagine-Schools

    Apr 14, 2011: Fethullah Gulen: Turkey Ethnic Cleansing & Art Pillage of Cyprus= No Peace


    Few Americans today know about how Turkey destroyed Christian churches and ethnically cleansed Northern Cyprus of Greek Cypriots. I was able to view the Kankaria mosaics in Indianapolis in 1990, well aware of the reason I was able to view these early Christian mosaics was due to Turkey allowing the rape of Cyprus art on the same systemic scale the Nazis plundered art in the lands they conquered.

    Today, Turkey continues to illegally occupy Northern Cyprus with a puppet state recognized by no other country except Turkey. Fethullah Gulen has had an opportunity to use his group toward resolving a unified Cyprus. So Gulen betrays his Islam supremacy roots, doing nothing to bring a unified Cyprus, just repatriations and a removal of the people Turkey placed in Northern Cyprus.