For Gulen charter school parents and teachers, and for concerned community members
by C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S. - Citizens Against Special Interest Lobbying in Public Schools CASILIPS on Twitter, Slideshare
Note that this website has two companion websites: Gulen Charter Schools and Gulen in the International Press
We're assuming you've arrived at this website because you are a parent or teacher at a Gulen charter school. You've somehow found out about allegations that your school is associated with a Turkish Muslim preacher and leader called Fethullah Gulen, or with the Gulen Movement (the name given to his network of followers around the world).
Or, perhaps you are a concerned community member, who has heard about the rapidly growing chain of Gulen charter schools, now numbering 140 and operating in 26 states in the US.
You might also be someone who has been invited to travel to Turkey on a trip that, you've been told, is supposed to increase cultural understanding.
Whatever your reason for coming here, we assume you would like more facts about the Gulen Movement, why it is here in the United States, and what its goals are.
There is a large amount of conflicting information on the internet about Gulen and his schools. The Gulen Movement itself has many websites, and they will not give you accurate information. This is why we've put together this site as a place for you to get started in your research. We hope you find it helpful.
The Gulen Movement is secretive. Its activities and methods are complicated, intentionally obscure, in a constant state of flux, and difficult to grasp. However, the essence of this Movement can be summed up in a single sentence, written by researcher Aydin Ozipek in his 2009 thesis. Ozipek attended Gulen schools in Turkey, and had extensive direct contact with the movement. He wrote:
“...the primary objective of the Gulen Movement is to increase its share of power.”
This is the common thread running through all the information collected here.
It is also the underlying reason for all concerns about this Movement. History has shown that when an individual or group is concerned with acquiring power above all else, it does not serve society well.
About C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S.: This site is run with volunteer effort of citizens who became concerned about the growing influence of a secretive foreign movement in our public education system. C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S. does not receive funding or material support from any other organization or individual. We are opposed to any special interest group using publicly-funded schools to further its own agenda; these concerns range from Channel One, to "donations" of products to schools intended primarily to get schoolchildren hooked on particular brands, to the efforts of certain groups to inject their ideology into textbooks. We also oppose government-funded vouchers for any religious or religiously-affiliated schools (regardless of which religion) on the same grounds. Other concerns of C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S. include cases of bias and inaccuracy in media coverage of education issues, and special interest groups' efforts to corrupt academia and produce pseudo-academic, intentionally misleading "studies" to promote their interests (cf. "Merchants of Doubt" by Oreskes & Conway).
We are currently focused on the Gulen charter schools because we believe they constitute one of the most egregious abuses of our public education system for business/political interests. We also feel this issue merits special attention because it has not been thoroughly covered in the mainstream media, because it is such a singular, complex phenomenon that many people are still in denial about it, and because the Gulen Movement is engaged in an intense public relations campaign to cover up the facts. In the course of investigating the Gulen charter schools, we came to see that the issue cannot be decoupled from either the Gulen Movement's activities in the U.S., Turkey and the rest of the world, or from Turkish politics. Because the Gulen Movement is using unethical tactics in an attempt to silence its critics both in the United States and in Turkey, we have developed an interest in attacks on freedom of the press in Turkey (including the arrests of many journalists and authors, some of whom wrote about Gulen) and the role of the Movement in increasing repression in Turkish society.