Monday, September 5, 2011

Young Scholars say they don't follow Gulen principles

Sunday, September 04, 2011
The Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Times in recent reports state that there are about 120 Turkish charter schools in 25 states.
The Philadelphia Inquirer in March reported that federal agencies, including the FBI and Department of Labor and Education, are investigating whether Turkish charter school employees are giving back part of their salaries to a Muslim movement led by Fethullah Gulen, an influential Islamic political figure who is living in self-imposed exile in the Poconos.
Mr. Gulen is founder of the Gulen Movement, which is based on a principle known as "hizmet" or service to the common good. He came to the U.S. in 1998 and as part of his legal argument for attaining a green card, he said the principles of the Gulen movement are the foundations for hundreds of schools established in North America, Europe and Asia.
Melih Demirkan, board president of the Young Scholars of Western Pennsylvania charter school, said Mr. Gulen is "a well-known figure in Turkey, but we can't impose his teachings." He said that no money from the school would be diverted to Mr. Gulen's movement.
Levent Kaya, CEO of the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School, said that his school is multicultural, not Turkish. "It's not my position to ask about staff nationalities or backgrounds," he said.

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