I had a chance to talk with some of the congressmen and senators who participated at the reception. I asked Ms. Gabrielle Giffords, representative from Arizona’s 8th. District, why she chose to come to a Turkic community gathering, considering that there is a very tiny Turkic community in her district. Gifford turned and pointed out a young Turkish man who was standing next to her. According to the congresswoman, that young Turkish man had visited Gifford's district office several times recently and finally persuaded her to show up for the reception "even though I do not like to go such events," Gifford said, before responding my question and telling me that she never heard of Fethullah Gülen.Recently I saw my own Congresswoman on a video of one of these gatherings in Chicago, and I just wonder. Does it work the same way? Does a young guy just keep showing up at the office until he gets you to a "dialogue" or an awards ceremony?
How does it progress from there, I wonder. How does it go from a cameo at a reception to boarding a plane for Turkey with people you don't know very well but who are lately everywhere you go? And then the almost inevitable award? I wonder if anyone ever walks away from the podium wondering what they're all doing there.
Meanwhile it's all rather complex abroad.
There's no analogous situation here in the States; there's no other organization on this scale with this many secret entanglements and a membership that claims to have no formal connections to each other. Oh yeah, and 147 charter schools.