Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Extradition Request Coming.....

Charlie Rose talked for almost an hour with the Turkish prime minister yesterday. A couple years ago, I wouldn't have given it ten seconds of thought, but now that I understand the relationship between events in Turkey and almost 150 American charter schools, I find it fascinating, and like a skier going down the same mountain slope over and over, I've started to understand the topography in a much more personal way. Here's the interview; our national guest Mr. Gulen comes up right away, then again at about 11 minutes--- the timer is very difficult to use.)

(The video may take a moment to load; I've never seen embed codes like Charlie Rose's. If it doesn't work, the video is here.)

Charlie Rose comes right out and asks about the parallel state issue. It's all probably incomprehensible to people not studying it every day, but Erdogan refers to the Gulenist's actions in Turkey as "a civilian coup." I myself have documented the baby steps of a cognate behavior here in the United States--- a relentless and successful influence-seeking operation that is unlike any other lobbying effort of which I'm aware.

There's a lot going on in the interview, but let me cut to the chase of this post: the prime minister of Turkey has started telling reporters that he intends to seek the extradition from the United States of Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the supersecretive transnational social/religious/political movement whose community of followers are deeply interconnected between the various pro-Gulenist organizations, and the charter schools, including the ones in Chicago.

I have shown time and time again that it is impossible and foolish to try to accept facile assertions that there is a difference between the American branch of the Gulen Movement and the charter schools run by people in that community. And I'm talking about the leadership of the charter schools, and quite probably the H-1B visa-based employees, not the American teachers. The American teachers are generally clueless about the connection and largely incurious, although we have talked to a number of them who are just glad to have a job and perfectly content not to ask questions. One individual I spoke to in one of the Chicago schools spoke to me in such a whispered tone of voice that I felt like I was jeopardizing her position by being seen with her. I recognize that the leaders of these charter schools continue to maintain that there is no relationship.

Here's a bit of the report in Bloomberg.
Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers should be expelled or handed over to Turkish authorities, Erdogan said in an interview with the “Charlie Rose” program, to be broadcast today on Bloomberg TV. He told reporters in Ankara that Turkey would begin taking legal steps to seek Gulen’s extradition, NTV television reported.

“It’s sad for us to see such a group can exist in the U.S.,” Erdogan said. Turkey has “expectations from our model partner.”
NYT coverage is here. 

What would the press do if the leader -- even just the "spiritual leader"-- of any other charter school chain were under threat of extradition by the prime minister of a foreign nation? Can it be that the press is almost silent on this issue because the research is a tiny bit difficult? I've begun to think so.

Will the extradition request meet legal requirements? Who knows? My own theory is that the whole thing is a cluster. It appears to me that some agency here glommed onto Mr. Gulen as a counterweight to Mr. Erdogan as part of some larger geopolitical game; however, as we've seen, the State Department had no idea why suddenly all the young Gulenists were suddenly coming to the US for no reason whatsoever.

As (visa)applicants, Gulenists are almost uniformly evasive about their purpose of travel and their relationships to Gulen, raising questions among Consular officers. Our unease is also shared by secular segments of Turkish society.

Fast forward to 2014, and the State Department spokesperson in Washington is suddenly telling us to "forget about the man in Pennsylvania."

Sorry, can't do it. You may have let him in, but something tells me you didn't plan on involving something like 60,000 American kids.

I am not here to prop up Mr. Erdogan; I think he's an authoritarian enigma who has been very clear in the past about his views on democracy and less clear now. As for his former ally Mr. Gulen, I continue to read the Pearls of Wisdom and other texts to see if I can deduce anything beyond what is already known. Here's the pearl I thought about today.
But more on that in another post.  It isn't my place to advise the Turkish people on what to do with their country, but it seems clear to me that these two men, Mr. Gulen and Mr. Erdogan, are fighting a battle for which we have no analogies here in the States, which may be why it has yet to penetrate the imagination of anyone besides Charlie Rose. Take this, for example. What in the heck do we have here in the States that compares with that? These two men are fighting for control of an economy and a religious/cultural identity, and probably all the spoils that go along with the control of those two things.

It just so happened that the black hole that is the public charter school sector in the US happened to be available at the right moment in history.

Much, much more later.

New to the topic? Please see some of my previous posts.

1 comment:

  1. "Forget about that wizard behind the curtain" that won't happen, many of us have been chasing down and researching everything we could for over 4 years. Our voices are paying off and this incestuous relationship between Gulen and Erdogan is about to get more dangerous. IMO, Gulen and the CIA Gladio B program is done and it is designed that Gulen takes down Erdogan and vice versa. Thereby the US state department, Graham Fuller et al don't have dirty hands. It will be just two nutcase power hungry pashas giving each other Ottoman Slaps and Falaka torture. The only way the Turkish people will win is if they kick out the US Military and control of NATO on their country. Otherwise the next leader will be more of the same. In 4 short weeks, over 2,000 kids from over 130 countries that attend Gulen Turkish Schools will be arriving in Turkey.
    The occasion is for the 12th Annual Turkish Olympiads, approximately 700 will be American children from their operations in the USA. Last year it was attended by over 80,000 in a stadium.
    Tim, is a perfect storm brewing? Being that Gulen and Erdogan are at each others throats and it is slowly turning violent (given Erdogan's connection to the Muslim Brotherhood and the facilitation of the terrorists invasion of Libya, Egypt and Syria) Could the 12th Annual Turkish Olympiad turn into a international event?

    I am not into conspiracy theories but the risk is high, as well as the tensions. For all we know it could be the Gulenists that create a disaster to gain sympathy from the world or it could be Putin's turn to embarrass Turkey with a international disaster or then again Erdogan could create a disaster to validate that Gulen is a terrorist and danger to the world (of course Erdogan would be looking in the mirror as well)

    Welcome to the Turkish Soap Opera, it will be filled with twists, turns and drama. The Turks LOVE Drama and are Drama Queens. Drink a glass of Raki and watch it all unfold. http://www.gulenturkisholympaid.blogspot.com