Erdogan criticises US funding Gulen schools

Erdogan says United States supports Gulen Movement via movement’s schools in US by letting them receive charter school funding

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late on Thursday the United States has been supporting the Gulen Movement by subsidising its schools in the US, helping it remain strong.

Erdogan’s comments came during a TV programme on Turkey’s A Haber news channel.

“Parallel state [the Gulen Movement] has between 160-170 schools in different parts of the US,” said Erdoğan, adding the schools have been receiving monetary support from the US government.

The Gulen Movement, which is led by Fethullah Gulen - a US based preacher of Turkish origin- is accused by the Turkish government of establishing and leading a “parallel state,” composed of a network of followers who have allegedly infiltrated the judiciary, police force, and other state agencies to control these institutions.

Stating that the US had placed Fethullah Gulen in Pennsylvania at a 400-acres residence after he fled Turkey in 1999, Erdogan said the US has still been aiding him by providing money although Turkey took all necessary steps to prevent it.

Fethullah Gulen’s schools in the US are accepted as charter schools which receive state funding based on a formula for each child enrolled in the school, according to the Charter Schools Act of 1992.

Turkish government has been warning states and governments across the world against the Gulen Movement’s activities in their countries, requesting cooperation since Turkey’s Security Council (MGK) defined the Gulen movement as one of the biggest threats to the state in its meeting on Oct. 30, 2014.