Gulen Schools Worldwide

Gulen Schools Worldwide
Restore the Ottoman Caliphate. Disclaimer: if some videos are down this is the result of Gulen censorship which filed a fake copyright infringement to UTUBE.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gulen Schools Worldwide, last remaining Gulen Turkish school in Turkmenistan closed on Presidential order

This blog wrote about the article that appeared 3 years ago closing down all the Gulen Turkish schools in Turkmenistan but one.  http://www.eurasianet.org/node/64079




On Monday, August 18 the last remaining Turkish Gulen school in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan has been closed.  http://www.chrono-tm.org/en/2014/08/officials-close-down-turkish-school-in-ashgabat/

The Turkish school which operated pursuant to Turkmen-Turkish agreements has been closed down in Ashgabat. Among its students were children of Turkish diplomats, entrepreneurs and builders as well as local children. It had been announced earlier that, starting from the upcoming academic year, Turkmen children would no longer be admitted into the school.
The parents of the now former students put together an address below and asked us to publish it on our website. They are hoping that the Turkmen authorities will change their minds and allow the children to finish their schooling.
Dear editorial board,
A sad story about the only remaining Turkish school in Turkmenistan has reached its closing stage. A series of events in April and May of 2014 was the logical ending and a bad outlook for over 2000 Turkish and Turkmen children who were following a course of studies in the school, making plans for the future and cherishing hopes. In an instant these dreams were ruined by Turkmen officials. Although there were some warnings and signs of a negative outcome, nobody thought that the situation would be so neglected in our society.
Let’s do away with lyricism and move to some facts.
On 13 August the school students holding Turkmen citizenship were informed that their documents, pursuant to instructions (which nobody had seen in written form), were handed over from the municipal education authority to the local school №57 on which premises the Turkish school operated. In other words, from the very opening of the Turkish school in Turkmenistan half of the classrooms and facilities of the local school №57 were handed over to the Turkish school. During their presence of about 20 years and with the help of sponsors, primarily Turkish construction companies, the Turks have introduced high standards in the school: they renovated the interior of the school, installed sunshades, built children’s playgrounds, basketball and volleyball fields, a football stadium, a canteen and other facilities. Classes were supplied with state-of-the-art equipment and furniture, heating and air conditioning systems etc.
According to the Turkish administration, the school was closed down unilaterally by the Turkmen side, without any explanation, which is quite common in Turkmenistan. Officials from the Ministry of Education provide no comment and refer to the Presidential order, which none of the officials have seen. However, it is reiterated that locals should study in local schools. Yet, when responding to comments that this regulation is not envisaged in the law on education, the officials simply nod their heads and shrug their shoulders. There should be some legal justification of these actions. If it is not available, it can be treated as lawlessness and arbitrariness, right!?
The school was opened pursuant to intergovernmental agreements and functioned for about 20 years. The situation reminds us of Turkmenistan’s unilateral withdrawal from similar treaties on dual citizenship with the Russian Federation in 1993. As a result, tens of thousands of ordinary people were negatively affected. It seems that we are trying to isolate ourselves from the entire civilized world and at the same time rescinding agreements which had been initially signed by us at the highest level. This is very weird conduct despite our efforts to position our country in the world arena as a reliable partner which keeps promises and complies with agreements. However, as practice shows, the situation is quite the opposite.
Let’s go back to our topic.
Over 1000 Turkmen children of all age groups, now the former students of the Turkish school, may continue their education in school 57 (it is solely a Turkmen school which has no Russian classes) or transfer to other Ashgabat schools where they will be admitted. However, they cannot be admitted to all schools as classes are fully booked. The female principal of school 57 is shocked as she has no idea how to accommodate over 1000 children since there are already 45 to 50 in each class. All the same, many parents are transferring their children to other schools – either to the one which is closest in the neighborhood or the one which they consider more or less suitable.
The curriculum in the Turkish school varies significantly from the local curriculum. It should be noted that it is not easy to arrange a transfer as some dishonest and unscrupulous principals of other schools are taking advantage of the difficult situation which the “evicted” students are confronted with, and quote their fees to parents. They charge 500 dollars and more based on principals’ yearnings. The officials from the municipal education board and the ministry of Education have literally washed their hands and offer no assistance in accommodating the “evicted” children. Because the documents were handed over to school 57, they believe that all the children have been placed. However all of them without exception are rubbing their hands in expectation of the school principals bringing them their share in cash.
There is an impression that everything is done deliberately to yield as much cash as possible from this absurd situation. Generally speaking, everything is logical and sadly predictable in the society where “the epoch of power and happiness” reigns.
If Turkish children and their parents are still hoping that a positive decision to reopen the school will be made under the pressure of their government (the Turkish authorities are aware of the situation), local children have nothing and nobody to rely on except themselves and their parents. Their own state has ousted them from the school in which they were officially enrolled and hoped to further their education in Turkey. Now their home country has given up on them and their children’s dreams. What can one think of the authorities in this situation?
The parents were informed that “locals should study in local schools”. Then a reasonable question arises of why the Russian school with a similar status is not closed down. Why do officials stay away from the international American school which is a private, not public, educational institution? Perhaps Russia might stop buying our gas, for instance? And America can simply threaten us and show its “iron” fist?
It appears that, in the case of the Turkish school shutdown, local officials decided to take advantage of the fact that everybody is busy with the Presidential election in Turkey and strike a wicked blow on the most holy thing – children. God will never forgive them for what they have done.
If they decided to remove local children from the school, which is a gross violation of article 38 of Turkmenistan’s Constitution and the law on education, why close the entire school, even for Turkish children? Why put ourselves in another embarrassing situation in front of the international community?!
Now everybody is relying on Erdogan who will officially assume office as the President on 28 August and will definitely make an effort to resolve the issue.
Needless to say, as a result of this outrageous situation everybody, especially children, are completely hopeless and bewildered. We would like to ask the officials from the Ministry of Education and others what local students, who studied in this school for 6 to 10 years, should now do. How will they start a course of studies in local schools based on local curriculum and standards? The question itself sounds mockingly absurd.
After this incident how can we discuss positive moves, reforms and democratization of the Turkmen society, even of the rights of the child provided for in the Constitution, which were grossly violated and trampled by their own authorities? And what about the non-existent rights of the adult population? We only have our duties to perform, whereas “selected” individuals have rights in our country.
 
 

Gulen Schools what future in Central Asia and Caucasus area countries

http://carnegieendowment.org/2014/07/02/what-future-for-fethullah-g%C3%BClen-movement-in-central-asia-and-Caucasus

Following the end of the Soviet Union, the Gülen movement developed a dynamic educational network in Central Asia and the Caucasus, with that region offering Turkey its strongest base of soft power. The AKP government’s support for these schools, and the informal alliance between Gülen and the AKP since 2002, was beneficial to both parties. The collapse of this mutual cooperation last December and the war Erdoğan has declared on what he calls the “parallel structure” raise the question of the movement’s future in Turkey and abroad, but most importantly in Central Asia and the Caucasus, which have played a crucial role in the Gülen movement’s international strategy.
BACKGROUND: When the Soviet bloc collapsed in 1990 and Turkey wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to create strong relations with the new republics of the former Soviet Union as well as with the Balkan countries, the Gülen movement was the first organization to adapt itself to this new situation. In the Caucasus (especially in Azerbaijan and Georgia) and in all Central Asian republics, the Gülen movement, supported by various Turkish business associations, opened dozens of schools. The priority of these schools has been to provide a modern and secular education in accordance with local norms, while also providing religious education as extracurricular activities. Nevertheless, having noted the hostility of local authorities to any kind of Islamic proselytism, the Gülen movement followers ended any kind of religious activism and adhered to the official curricula in every country.
Except in Uzbekistan, where all schools were closed in 2000 – more because of the general deterioration of Turkish-Uzbek relations than because of the schools’ activities, and in Turkmenistan – where in 2011 the majority of schools were seized by Turkmen state – there are currently many educational and business establishments across the Caucasus and Central Asia managed by people known for their adhesion to or sympathies with Fethullah Gülen. In Georgia, there are five schools and one university, in Azerbaijan one university and several schools, in Kazakhstan one university and thirty schools, in Kyrgyzstan one university and ten schools and in Tajikistan around five schools.

Between 1991 and 2002, the attitude of Turkish diplomacy toward theses schools was ambiguous. Some ardent Kemalist Turkish ambassadors were embarrassed by the activism of the Gülen movement in the post-Soviet area where Turkey sought to establish a strong influence. But despite this sentiment, the general Turkish line was pragmatic. Indeed, encouraged by Turgut Özal’s liberal views, Turkish diplomacy offered symbolic support for the activities of the schools, by attending the schools' social events or graduation ceremonies. When the AKP came to power, support from the Turkish state became more visible, for both ideological and strategic reasons. At the same time, the AKP’s ascent to power in Turkey and its alliance with Gülen initially gave rise to concerns among the secular former Soviet elites, who worried about the possible emergence in their countries of a similar conservative power for which the Gülen schools could be the catalyst. However, the quality education offered by these schools convinced local authorities to allow the Gülen schools, with the exception of Turkmenistan where the government has gradually limited the number of schools.

IMPLICATIONS: The AKP and the Gülen movement have promoted the same ideas and objectives in Turkey for many years. They had the same social base and used to defend the same values. Yet the minor differences that existed gradually became more important and provoked a split between them. The real reasons for the split are still unclear, but it seems that the Gülen movement increased its distance to the Turkish Prime Minister in order not to be compromised by his increasing authoritarianism, and even went on to criticize him. In turn, Erdogan has accused the Gülen movement of posing an obstacle to his “reign” as its members became a political force in the country. This divorce looks like a natural and inevitable separation between two groups that were unified through their opposition to a common enemy: the Kemalist establishment and its supporters in the Turkish military. Indeed, the Turkish Army’s gradual retreat from politics thanks to the efforts of the Gülen-Erdoğan alliance has removed the raison d’être of the alliance. Whatever the reasons for the split, the ruling elites in Central Asia and the Caucasus have noted the political fight between these two major forces in Turkey, and the Turkish Prime Minister’s determination to eradicate this “parallel structure” entrenched in the state.
Turning talk into action, the Prime Minister paid a visit to Azerbaijan less than one week after the Turkish local elections won by his party and started his attack on the Gülen movement. Thanks not only to his pressure but also because Azerbaijani authorities had their own interest in doing so, the schools were placed under the control of SOCAR, the Azerbaijani State Oil Company. At the same time, some important movement figures were deported from Azerbaijan to Turkey.
In Central Asia, the campaign against the Gülen movement has not yet begun. It will be interesting to see if the Turkish government will seek to export the witch-hunt used against the movement in Turkey to Central Asia. It is still too early to assess the precise impact of the war between Gülen and Erdoğan in Central Asia. However, what happened in Turkey will constitute a turning point for the movement abroad as well.
Undoubtedly, Erdogan’s authoritarian ways since the beginning of his third term are evident to observers in Central Asia and all these regimes know that what happened in Turkey is most of all a Turkish domestic issue. Hence, few Central Asian regimes have commented on the struggle between the government and its former ally. However, a new period of fear and anxiety likely awaits the Gülen movement in the entire region. First of all, the Gülen movement is losing one of its key allies. The cooperation between the schools and Turkish diplomacy contributed to the movement’s positive image. In these countries, it is always reassuring to have a state guarantee behind every civil society movement. In other words, the good relations between the government and the Gülen movement in Turkey had provided the movement with a respectable image in Central Asia.
Secondly, and most worrisome for the future of Gülen schools worldwide, the events in Turkey revealed some hidden aspects of the hizmet movement. For years, the movement’s promoters have portrayed themselves as a non-political organization, working for better education and for peace and dialogue among cultures and faiths around the world. After what happened in Turkey, it will be difficult for them to continue claiming apolitical intentions.
Last but not least, although vehemently denied by its representatives, the political crisis in Turkey showed that the Gülen movement has resorted to infiltration of the state structures, the justice system and police, in order to defend itself. In Central Asia and the Caucasus, local authorities will inevitably ask if the Gülen movement will not resort to similar infiltration to reinforce its power in their countries. Yet it is unlikely that the movement will be capable of attaining the same power and influence in those countries for at least one reason. In Turkey, representatives of the Gülen movement managed to infiltrate the police and judiciary because they obtained help and encouragement to do so from the AKP government. In Central Asia and the Caucasus, no regime is likely to allow them a similar influence in the structure of the state. Moreover, whereas in Turkey the movement is rooted in society, in the former Soviet Union it still is to a large extent a Turkish diaspora phenomenon, though it has over time recruited many locals.
CONCLUSIONS: The end of the coalition between Erdoğan and Gülen is a turning point in Turkish politics and Turkish soft power in post-Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus. Whether the movement should be conceived as an opponent to corruption and authoritarianism in Turkey, as it members profess, or a parallel organization infiltrating state structures and working according to its own agenda, as the Turkish Prime Minister claims, Erdogan’s declaration of war on the Gülen movement will have a serious impact on the image and credibility of both parties in Central Asia and the Caucasus. However, although weakened in this region, the Gülen movement has until now limited the damage. The quality of its educational institutions and the fact that many local elites have their children in these schools helps the Gülen movement maintain its position in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Moreover, until now, some of the current regimes have worried about the alliance between these two Turkish Islamic forces, fearing that the Gülen movement could in the long term encourage the development of conservative governments similar to the AKP in the region. Although the split between Erdoğan and Gülen will reconcile these concerns, they will at the same time strengthen their control of the movement in Central Asia to prevent state infiltration.
This article was originally published by the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst.

End of document

About the Middle East Program

The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.
 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pakistan Gulen Turkish School in court for Tuition discrimination

ISLAMABAD: A court has sought explanation from private educational institutes’ watchdog and a private school for adopting discriminatory fee structure and directed the school administration to allow the student to attend classes till further orders. The Islamabad High Court on a petition on Thursday summoned officials of the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) and the management of Pak-Turk International School on October 10 for adopting a discriminatory fee structure. The petition has been filed by Dr Kamranullah Khan against the school’s Chak Shahzad campus management for refusing to implement PEIRA’s directive to adopt a uniform fee structure which according to him is discriminatory. According to the complainant, the school charged Rs11,760 as monthly fee from his son, a third grader, compared to Rs6,500 some of his class fellows are asked to pay. He stated that he asked the school management to rationalize the fee structure which they refused. Dr Khan complained to PEIRA who ruled in his favour and directed the school management to implement a uniform fee structure. The directives of the regulatory authority were not only defied by the school management, his son was barred from entering the school premises. Despite receiving PEIRA’s directives, the school administration harassed my son when he went to school on September 5 after summer vacation. Without intimating the parents, they forced the boy to wait at the gate for seven hours in scorching heat without providing water or food, the applicants stated. “The school threatened me of dire consequences if I made further demands to curtail the fee,” alleged Khan who approached the Chak Shahzad Police Station to lodge a complaint against the school management and subsequently moved the court. The applicant has contended that many of his son’s class fellows pay Rs5,000 to Rs6,500 per month but he pays a higher fee for his son, which is unjust and discriminatory. He said when his son was admitted to the school last year in grade two, he was charged Rs10,500. After one year, the fee was increased to Rs11,760, an increment of 12 per cent. When the school management was contacted to get their version, they rejected the allegations, claiming that the complainant had tried to pressurise them to reduce his son’s fee. They contended that the petitioner had signed a form agreeing to all the terms and conditions. He applied for a fee concession and he was given Rs3,500 reduction. But he tried to have the fee waived off and used abusive language when he met the school principal along with his wife. On the charge of disallowing the student to enter the school premises, they said the boy was allowed to enter the school premises after the parents dropped him off and sat in a classroom. An official said that the school management gives scholarships to over 200 deserving students. Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2012.