This is essentially a two-part post having to do with separate developments relative to Turkish Imam Fethullah Gulen.
First, set your DVR for this week’s installment of 60 Minutes as Leslie Stahl will be doing a feature on Gulen.
Via Donna Garner at Education News:
I do not know whether this Sunday’s 60 Minutes TV show with Lesley Stahl will contain honest reporting on the Turkish-Gulen Charter Schools or not, but hopefully it will. One thing that gives me hope is that the Gulenists are worried; this tells me that their usual propaganda techniques and obfuscation may not have worked with 60 Minutes.
Dr. Soner Tarim is the ONLY superintendent of the huge network of 36 Turkish-Gulen-Cosmos Foundation-Harmony Schools in Texas. These charter schools in Texas are supported with our tax dollars. Dr. Tarim sent out an e-mail blast to his supporters warning them about this 60 Minutes show and telling them that he refused to be interviewed for it.
Taxpayers should be very suspicious that Dr. Tarim has refused to make himself accessible to the press. Neither does Dr. Soner Tarim make himself accessible to the parents of the children in these schools.
I have had a number of parents write to me complaining that they have tried to contact their child’s school superintendent (Dr. Tarim) and could not get through to him.
Here is a preview of that 60 Minutes segment:
This story very well could lead to legitimate questions being posed to current Democratic Congressman Bob Filner, who is currently running for Mayor of San Diego; he appears to have a disturbingly cozy relationship with the Gulenists and is to some degree beholden to them.
Via the San Diego Reader:
Just in time for the final stretch of San Diego’s race for mayor, the CBS news magazine Sixty Minutes is airing a report this coming Sunday about a controversial Turkish spiritual leader, followers of whom, records show, have contributed money to the mayoral campaign of Democratic congressman Bob Filner.
The Muslim scholar, Fethullah Gulen, leads a worldwide movement that has been heavily involved in creating high-tech charter schools around the world and has both backers and detractors.
As we reported in March of last year, Filner visited Turkey in late December 2010, courtesy of a non-profit corporation called the Pacifica Institute:
“Highlights, according to the itinerary, included a stop at Topkapi Palace, lunch at Sultan Ahmet Square, a visit to the Karakoy Jewish Foundation Museum, capturing ‘700 years of amiable relations between Jews and Turks,’ and a December 25 shopping tour of the Grand Bazaar, ‘one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 1200 shops.… Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather coats, gold jewelry and the like.'”
Filner took another tour paid for by Pacifica, this one with stops in Istanbul and northern Iraq, in April 2011, according to a travel disclosure he filed with the House a year ago this month.
That trip was said to be worth a total of $3,700, the filing said.
Here is Filner (did I mention he’s a DEMOCRAT) at a 2011 ribbon-cutting for the Turkic American Alliance in Washington (Video at San Diego Reader):
Here is a recent appearance by Filner on local San Diego affiliate CBS 8. In case you’re curious, there were no questions about his ties to Gulen:
Ben Barrack is a talk show host and author of the upcoming book, Unsung Davids