This blog is dedicated to the politicians who are the enablers of the Gulen Movement and their "front groups." From Gulen Schools to Gulen's Interfaith Groups, these politicians knowingly or sometimes naively have accepted campaign contributions, honors(snicker, giggles) or the famous FREE trips to Turkey. Thanks to all of you for submitting, lets put the message out to Politicians, if you sell out Americans we will vote you out.
Corrupt Politicians and Tools of the Gulen Movement
Disclaimer: if some videos are disabled this is the work of the Gulen censorship which has filed fake copyright infringement complaints to UTUBE.
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.
Paul LePage gives a speech at the Sable Oaks Marriott in South Portland Tuesday
after accepting a leadership award.
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.
“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
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
“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
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
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
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 at:email@example.com
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North Dakota legislators get more than they bargained for
The Gulen lobbying
force is working in overdrive, drumming up as many easily bought off American
politicians as they can find for summer trips to Turkey. The latest pilgrims to
make headlines are a group of seven freeloading legislators from North Dakota.
Apparently, like the group from Michigan, this collection of political tourists
got caught in the Turkish protests while riding a bus into the eye of the
anti-government protests. But this time the protesters got a little more up
close and personal with the Americans than their predecessors.
According to North Dakota Representative Corey Mock, the bus trip was a little
like an amusement park roller coaster complete with sticks, mallets, rocks –
and of course threatening protesters. The protesters attacked the bus, rocking
it while trying to pry open the windows. I suspect that this wet your pants
change in the itinerary might have given the politicians time to pause about
their decision to sign up for a trip on the Gulen express.
One politician on the bus, Rep. Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks), was quoted as
saying, “As the bus pulled away, there was nothing but disbelief.” I get the
“disbelief” component – but on my end its disbelief on how incredibly naïve and
shameful these political parasites are. Instead of merely planting their butts
on a bus tour sponsored by Gulen, they might done a bit of pre-trip research on
Gulen’s cult, its insidious movement, and how their tourist trip plays
perfectly into Gulen’s master plan to further corrupt the American government
by proxy of its campaign contributions and “free trips to Turkey.”
The bus rock and rollers on the trip were Rep. Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks), Rep.
Ben Hanson (D-West Fargo), Rep. Lawrence Klemin (R-Bismarck), Rep. Lois Delmore
(D-Grand Forks), Sen. Phil Murphy (D-Portland), Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand
Forks), and Sen. David O’Connell (D-Lansford). That’s an awful lot of state
politicians on a bus tour in Turkey -- politicians who should have instead been
in their offices in North Dakota doing the jobs that their constituents were
paying them to do. I wonder how thrilled the taxpayers in North Dakota would be
if they knew that the politicians that they voted for were too busy indulging
in Gulen-related propaganda in Turkey to actually perform their North Dakota
It get’s more than tiresome to hear about how American politicians have this
deep-rooted desire to establish “friendly” relations with Turkey by means of
free trips, sponsored by Gulen’s cronies. I wonder why they feel the need to
visit Turkey -- why not take a few trips to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, or North
Korea --- where there just might be a more compelling case for “friendship?”
While these guys and gals are stuffing their faces with free baklava in Turkey,
there are certainly more relevant and exponential world issues that more
directly affect their constituents at home – like American soldiers coming home
from the Middle East missing both limbs and livelihoods.
Call me old fashioned, but I am of the mind that you take care of your own
before you spread your resources and goodwill to causes (and in this specific
case, the Gulenists), that are only out to exploit and manipulate the United
States’ taxpayers. How many rocking buses pelted with sticks and stones do the
American politicians needs to experience before the finally figure out that
they are being played like a keman, and that the Gulenists are the ones
fine-tuning the politicians' strings.
Below are a couple of stories about the North Dakota legislators’ trip to
I recently wrote a post about a trip to Turkey taken by a number of North
Dakota legislators paid for by a group called the Turkish American Federation
of the Midwest. In speaking with some legislators who didn’t take they trip,
they told me that it was organized through what some described as an odd email
that many thought was a scam. I decided to dig into the matter a little
further, and I found some disturbing facts.
The TAFM, it turns out, is
a front group for the Gülen movement, a “transnational religious and
social movement led by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.” It’s an
Islamic network and has gained some praise as being a more moderate alternative
to other global Muslim groups, but has also been criticized for encouraging
members to turn away from society to practice a fundamentalist sort of Islam.
In fact, the group has been described as a cult in leaked US diplomatic cables: “When we asked Valeria
Heuberger, an Austrian expert on Islam, if the Gulenists have a hidden agenda,
she replied, ‘Yes, they do have a hidden agenda, but I don’t think it is a
radical agenda. Their agenda is simply to further the ego of their leader, the
same as any cult.’”
It has also been criticized for its attitudes toward women, enforcing gender segregation
within the group and with many of its members wearing clothing that doesn’t not
expose any part of a woman’s arms or legs.
The group is “feared” in Turkey, according to some. “You know we have
confronted real fear about this movement, particularly when we’ve tried to get
critics to give us an interview,” CBS News’ Leslie Stahl asked America reporter Andrew Finkel,
who has been working in Turkey for 25 years, in a 2012 interview about the
movement’s charter schools in the US. “What are they afraid of?”
“There’s a fear of reprisal,” he answered. “I mean, it is the case that two or
three people who’ve written books highly critical of the Gulen movement are now
Finkel also described the Gülen movement as a “cult of personality.”
The group’s founder, Fethullah Gülen, currently lives in the United States
rather than Turkey because “if he were to come back, then there would be such a
brouhaha,” according to Finkel, “because it seems his followers have taken over
key positions in the Turkish government and the police.”
The 2008 RAND report explained that a “web of organizations propagates Gulen’s
vision of Islam.” This web is an enormous and expanding global network which
includes over 300 organizations in the United States. It takes an informed eye
to detect their connection to the Gulen movement. Gulen’s followers began to
establish their organizations in the US around the time Fethullah Gulen arrived
in Pennsylvania. Now fourteen years later, approximately 180 Gulenist Turkish
cultural, interfaith dialogue, and business organizations are operating in
nearly every state and 135 charter schools are operating in 26 states
One of the groups established was the TAFM, which paid the way for the North
Dakota legislators who visited Turkey. Which has me wondering, how many of
those legislators knew who was really backing their trip? Were they aware of
their sponsor;s connections to the controversial Gülen movement? To be fair,
the Gülenists are also praised by many for being a relatively moderate Islamic
group which does a lot to promote education.
But the group also faces serious accusations about attempts to undermine
secular government in Turkey, and using some very thuggish tactics to do it.
Did these legislators even care about who was paying their way to Turkey, or
did they just jump at the opportunity for a free trip regardless of who paid
for it? And what is the Gülen movement’s interest in flying a bunch of North
Dakota legislators to Turkey, anyway?
I don’t think we can accuse any of these legislators of being a part of some
plot by a shadowy Islamic group. A simpler explanation is that they were merely
dupes. At best, these legislators who accepted the invitation for this trip
exercised some poor judgment. At worst, they were used by a not-so-democratic,
cult-like group to help bolster their image and reputation as they seek to
cement political control in Turkey.
The legislators who went on the trip were Rep. Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks), Rep.
Ben Hanson (D-West Fargo), Rep. Lawrence Klemin (R-Bismarck), Rep. Lois Delmore
(D-Grand Forks), Sen. Phil Murphy (D-Portland), Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand
Forks), and Sen. David O’Connell (D-Lansford).
Perhaps they owe North Dakota voters an explanation for just what they were
doing in Turkey.
Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for
the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the
Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington
Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named
Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for
several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the
North Dakota Policy Council.
http://www.kvrr.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20815&Itemid=57ND Legislators Experience Protests In Turkey by Lezlie Johnson, Reporter
June 13, 2013
A goodwill trip turned into something more than a group of North Dakota
legislators bargained for,
landing smack dab in the middle of a massive anti–government protest in Turkey.
Officers fire water cannons and tear gas into a crowd of demonstrators.
Over a 3–day period of an increasingly raging protest, 7 North Dakota lawmakers
experienced some of the violence first–hand, starting in Istanbul.
"As we turned the corner we had seen water cannons pushing people out of
the park, people were being sprayed before our very eyes," Representative
Corey Mock said.
As the protest progressed, Mock took photos and video of his experience.
Although the protest started out peaceful, when the group traveled to Izmir,
their trip, which was aimed to develop deeper relationships between countries,
now became increasingly stressful.
"When our bus had pulled into the intersection and we had seen over
1–thousand people waving flags,
chanting, protesting, swarming vehicles, that's when the anxiety went to a new
level," Mock said.
As protesters took over the bus in front of the group, they realized just how
serious this could get, especially once protesters started moving towards their
"There were some who were a little more aggressive in their actions, the
bus was rocked, hit, they had mallets and sticks.
So there was a lot of unique reaction from the protesters geared toward traffic
on the streets," Mock said.
Mock says although the protesters were not anti–American, there were moments of
uncertainty as they tried to flip the bus.
"There were some gasps. Startling reactions especially as the bus rocked
from side to side,
people were trying to climb into the bus, pry open the windows, so that whole
feeling of everyone crowding in towards the middle,
it happened pretty quickly" Mock said.
No one was hurt, and the whole experience lasted about one minute because of
the bus driver's quick reaction.
As the bus pulled away, there was nothing but disbelief.
"A lot of looks around the bus of astonishment, like wow did that just
happen and wondering,
I wonder what's happening to the people behind us and then I hope this isn't
going to happen again," Mock said.
Now Mock holds a flag he brought back from Turkey just like the ones protesters
and says it will be an everyday reminder of what the group experienced
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Who's providing
free foreign trips to state lawmakers -- and what do they want?
A group of Tennessee legislators will
soon be packing their bags and heading overseas for what most Tennesseans would
consider an exotic trip.
But those lawmakers will not be picking
up the tab -- and few seemed to know anything about the group that is.
In the waning days of this year's
legislative session, lawmakers debated whether proposed changes to the state's
campaign finance laws would open the door to foreign influence.
"If you want to know who
contributes to my campaign, it's as easy as the click of the mouse," said
Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, a Smith County Republican.
Still, what you won't find online --
and what Weaver did not mention -- is that, in late May, a select group of
state lawmakers will be jetting off for a 12-day, all-expenses paid trip, landing
first in Azerbaijan, then heading a few days later to nearby Turkey.
Both groups have ties to a movement
headed by a moderate Muslim imam named Fethullah Gulen.
"You have accepted the invitation
to go on the trip?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Rep. Mark
"I would like to look into going
on that, yes," the Memphis Republican answered.
"Why is that?"
"Because it's an educational
White is one of the nine lawmakers who
have accepted the invitation to go on the trip.
Others, according to a list provided to
NewsChannel 5, are: Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville; Sen. Brian Kelsey,
R-Germantown; Rep. Vance Dennis, R-Savannah; Rep. Roger Kane, R-Knoxville; Rep.
Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis; Rep. Joe Towns, D-Memphis; Rep. Johnnie Turner,
D-Memphis; and Terri Lynn Weaver.
Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons has
also agreed to go, as has his assistant commissioner David Purkey.
"Does it matter to you who is
paying for this trip?" we asked White.
"Yeah, we'll find that out,"
he answered on the last day of the legislative session. "Like I say, I
just have not had a chance to -- we've been so busy in session -- just haven't
had a chance to look into that yet."
Fethullah Gulen has generally drawn
praise for his moderate religious views and his message of tolerance.
As 60 Minutes reported last
year, the movement is also behind a secular network of science and
math charter schools that began in Turkey and has now spread to the U.S.
One of those is in Memphis.
In fact, our NewsChannel 5
investigation discovered that the president of the Turkish American Chamber,
Ayhan Korucu, is also the president of a Gulen school, the Fulton Science
Academy, in Atlanta.
And the president of the Turquoise
Council, Kemal Oksuz, is -- according to the New York Times -- a principal in a company that has built
Gulen schools in the U.S. Oksuz also has served as chairman of the Gulen
Institute and was interviewed for a PBS story on the imam.
The trip comes at a time that some
lawmakers, like White, are pushing legislation to make it easier for charter
schools to get approval to open across the state.
"You're telling me something that
I haven't heard before," White said.
"Should you have asked who was
providing the funding before you accepted?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked.
"Well," the lawmaker
answered, "it's been done for so many years I didn't see any problem with
House Education Committee Chairman
Harry Brooks, a Knoxville Republican who has been helping to coordinate the
upcoming trip, keeps in his office mementos from both Azerbaijan and Turkey
from a trip he accepted last year.
Brooks said that there were five
Tennessee lawmakers on that trip.
Other lawmakers, according to Brooks,
were: Sen. Reginald Tate, D-Memphis; Rep. Joe Armstrong, R-Knoxville; Rep. Josh
Evans, R-Greenbrier; and Rep. Gary Odom, D-Nashville.
It was trip that Brooks described as
part economic development, part goodwill.
"What we gain is, one, an
understanding of a society that wants to be a friend to this country," he
But Brooks insisted that charter
schools were never discussed.
"That has never been an item of
discussion," he said.
And Tennessee isn't alone in getting
attention from the Turkish groups.
But even if the ultimate goal is to
curry favor with lawmakers, Brooks still doesn't see a problem.
"If you're a legislator in the
state of Tennessee and if you don't have the courage to vote your conviction --
whether someone has given you a donation or not -- you don't need to be down
here -- simple fact," he said.
One of those invitees, Rep. Johnnie
Turner, insisted that she is a staunch charter school opponent.
Under Tennessee law, if the hosts had
hired lobbyists, these trips would be illegal.
But, as is, they are entirely legal --
and no one has to disclose them to the public.
Late Monday, NewsChannel 5 Investigates heard from Kemal Oksuz -- and he put
the cost at close to $4,000 a person. He said lawmakers from several states
were being invited.
Still, Oksuz insisted the goal is about
establishing opportunities for partnerships, not about charter schools.
June 9th, 2013 5:40 pm byTom Humphrey, Knoxville News Sentinel
NASHVILLE — Tennessee state legislators found themselves in the middle of Turkish protesters at one point during a 10-day tour of Turkey and Azerbaijan that ended last week, according to state Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville.
“They were really a lot like the Occupy Wall Street crowd, or Occupy Nashville,” said Campfield, adding that he had talked with several of the protesters, who were in a peaceful mode when encountered by the Tennesseans in Istanbul.
“They had the same type of arguments” in complaints about capitalism, interrelated with what the protestors saw as unwarranted development of a city park, said Campfield, one of several legislators making the trip sponsored by the Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeast.
The Knoxville News Sentinel has the rest of the story. - See more at: http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/article/108489/tenn-lawmakers-encounter-turkish-protesters#sthash.ReXir3L0.dpuf
Last updated Nov 5, 2013 This page is incomplete; more entries will be added.
On June 4, 2010, a Wall Street Journal article about Fethullah Gulen stated: "An English-language Turkish newspaper reported that Mr. Gulen has told his followers they couldn't visit him on his Poconos estate if they didn't first donate to their local congressman. Mr. Gulen denies making the remark." Despite Mr. Gulen's denials, Gulenist individuals do indeed make a remarkable number of political contributions. A sampling is given below. See this page specifically for Texas. Notes: table may be wider than your browser page, so scroll to right to view all columns. Numbers in parenthesis are negative. Do not assume that seemingly duplicate entries are errors; on some occasions Gulenists have made two contributions of the same amount to the same candidate on the same day. This list includes both federal and state elections. Total of the above so far (and this is far from complete - expect updates shortly) $1,412,010
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
LATER THE GULENISTS TRIED TO OPEN A SCHOOL IN MAINE AND IT WAS