Corrupt Politicians and Tools of the Gulen Movement

Corrupt Politicians and Tools of the Gulen Movement
Disclaimer: if some videos are disabled this is the work of the Gulen censorship which has filed fake copyright infringement complaints to UTUBE.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gulen Turkish Movement Buys US influence HOUSTON — The secretive religious and political movement inspired by the Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen has become a potent, and surprising, force in a set of obscure races for the House of Representatives, as Gülen sympathizers around the country donate tens of thousands of dollars to an overlapping set of candidates. The movement, whose leader draws intense interest from Washington to Ankara from his compound in rural Pennsylvania, has long involved itself in American life, organizing in particular around a group of charter schools and Turkish community institutions. Started in Turkey as a moderate Islamic movement in the secular 1960s and 1970s, the movement — also known as Hizmet, roughly meaning “service” in Turkish — runs schools, businesses, and media outlets around the world. There is no formal membership: Affiliates say they are “inspired” by Gülen and many groups aligned with him deny any official affiliation. But the movement’s agenda, in Turkey, has clarified in recent months. Gülen — who left Turkey for the Poconos in 1999 following charges that he was attempting to undermine the Turkish state — broke bitterly with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year over a corruption investigation that has rocked Erdogan’s party and that the prime minister has blamed on Gülen and his followers. Here in the United States, meanwhile, Gülen’s allies have been stepping up their involvement in U.S. politics, emerging as a force in districts from South Texas to South Brooklyn. Liberal Democrats like Yvette Clarke, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Al Green, and conservative Republicans like Ted Poe and Pete Olson have all benefitted from donors affiliated with Gülen in one way or another. Leaders in the movement deny that there is any top-down organization of the donations (or, indeed, that the Gülen movement has any organization at all), but the patterns of giving suggest some level of coordination in a community beginning to flex its political muscle. Gülen himself reportedly told followers in 2010 that they could only visit him in the Poconos if they donated to their local congressman, according to the Wall Street Journal, though Gülen has denied the comment. The donations, taken together, comprise significant totals for some U.S. House members in relatively safe seats. For instance, people connected to the Gülen-inspired charter schools donated $23,000 to Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in October 2013 — a large sum considering Jackson Lee has raised just more than $130,000 this cycle in individual contributions, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission. The state of Texas is home to Harmony Public Schools, the Gülen-inspired network of charter schools that have inspired some controversy; the Harmony schools, and other Gülen-related educational institutions around the country, have been accused of abusing foreign worker visas and of using taxpayer money to favor Turkish businesses over others. And Houston and its southwest suburbs are a hub for the movement in the U.S. Many Turkish immigrants who live there work for Harmony or for other organizations with ties to the Gülen movement, such as the Texas Gulf Foundation, the Raindrop Foundation, or North American University, a relatively new STEM-focused school that sits on the side of a desolate highway in north Houston. Other Houstonites affiliated with Gülen groups gave to Rep. Henry Cuellar, Rep. Pete Olson, Rep. Ted Poe, Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine, and others. Though bundling political donations is common, Gülen-affiliated Houstonites said there was no top-down coordination of the donations. For instance, Metin Ekren, a Harmony educator who gave $2,000 to Sheila Jackson Lee in 2012 and $1,500 to her in 2013, said that Harmony did not tell its employees to donate. Ekren said he and “friends in the office” discuss such things, but that “usually Sheila Jackson Lee has a kind of donation meeting” and that’s how he had donated. He said he gives to other Democrats as well, though records show he has mostly given to Republicans, including Poe, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker. Erdal Caglar, Harmony’s chief financial officer, gave $1,500 to Jackson Lee in October 2013 at a fundraiser, he said. “She has been always a supporter of our schools,” Caglar said. “She has attended all major events that Harmony organized. And she expressed — you know, Harmony’s STEM, and she’s supporting STEM education.” Caglar said that Jackson Lee was helping Harmony’s effort to open a charter school in Washington, D.C. “As an educator, we support whoever supports our mission and vision and supports our activities,” Caglar said. Jackson Lee has taken an interest in charter schools recently, appearing at a school choice rally with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in January. Her campaign manager did not return requests for comment. Gülen sympathizers in Brooklyn, N.Y., have also begun to involve themselves in American political life, according to publicly available campaign finance documents from the last two election cycles. Many of New York’s Gülenist donors are based in Sheepshead Bay, a working-class neighborhood on the southern edge of Brooklyn that is home to a tight-knit Turkish community. Several members of the community said the Gülen movement operates out of the local branch of the Turkish Cultural Center, and that it counts many prosperous business owners as sympathizers. (An official from the center told BuzzFeed that many of the center’s organizers are “inspired” by Gülen, but that the organization itself is independent from him). Several local Gülen sympathizers told BuzzFeed that they feel attracted to the movement because of its tolerant religious ideas and its center-right, pro-business politics. Many of them have donated sums to the same U.S. politicians — including Rep. Yvette Clarke and Rep. Ed Towns, both New York Democrats, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas. Nonetheless, several Gülen supporters said that the movement played little role in their decision to give money to candidates. “We want to show the American people that Turkish-Americans care,” said Gokhan Karakollukcu, the owner of the Rocca Café on Emmons Avenue and a frequent donor to Clarke. When asked whether people affiliated with the movement had ever tried to influence his giving, Karakollukcu insisted that he had made his own choices and donated his own money. He likes Clarke, Karakollukcu said, because his wife is Jamaican and the congresswoman “does a lot for Caribbean issues.” Selahattin Karakus, who owns and operates Masal Café, said that he has donated to both Democratic and Republican candidates. When asked to name a Republican to whom he had donated, Karakus was unable to remember any of their names. When asked why he had decided to donate to Cuellar, a Democrat who represents a district in Texas several thousand miles away, Karakus said that he had “friends” in Texas and that he wanted to support candidates with strong pro-immigrant stances. (Cuellar introduced a bill with Republican Sen. John Cornyn that would allow the expedited deportation of the tens of thousand of undocumented minors who have recently arrived in the United States). Karakus also said that he supports the movement and that he regularly attends holiday dinners at the Turkish Cultural Center. He said that many of his political choices had emerged from discussions at the center, but was quick to add that nobody had forced him to donate to anyone and that he had only been given “advice” and “suggestions.” The money he donated, he said, was his own. The Gülen movement “doesn’t have any money to give anyone,” he said. “We have to give them money.” Officials at the Turkish Cultural Center in Sheepshead Bay echoed Karakus’ statements, telling BuzzFeed that they do not endorse candidates, solicit donations, or engage in any kind of political fundraising. “We are a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization,” said Suleyman Aydogan, the vice president of the Brooklyn branch of the center. “That would be illegal.” But Aydogan, who said he supports the movement and has personally met Gülen, also said that he has done fundraising for New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and for Sheepshead Bay Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz. He said that his role in the Turkish Cultural Center, his sympathies for Gülen, and his work as a political fundraiser were completely separate from one another. When asked whether the Turkish Cultural Center does any kind of political work, Aydogan said that it extends to inviting politicians to speak at dinners and other events. He suggested that donors might have met politicians at these dinners, or perhaps at the convention that the Turkic American Alliance, the center’s parent organization, holds every year in Washington, D.C. “We invite everyone, but not everyone shows up,” Aydogan said. “That’s how we know who supports the Turkish community.” Spokespeople for the members of Congress who have been on the receiving end of Gülenist largesse said they weren’t aware of any connection between their members and the movement. Cuellar, for example, is one of the main beneficiaries of Gülen-affiliated money, receiving donations from nearly 30 people connected to the movement in the 2014 election cycle. Cuellar has taken an interest in Turkish affairs and is a member of the Caucus on U.S.–Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans. Donations from people connected to the Gülen movement to Cuellar came not only from Texas, but also New York and Illinois. Cuellar’s campaign manager said that the campaign wasn’t aware of any particular fundraising efforts targeting the Gülen movement. “I’m not aware of a specific effort that we made” with the group, Cuellar’s campaign manager Colin Strothers said. “We raise hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and it comes from all over the place. We notice every check and every online donation that we get.” Strothers said these kinds of donations typically come from fundraising events where “we show up and they’ve invited friends and co-workers and peers and things like that.” A spokesman for Olson, who raised thousands from several people connected to the movement in September 2013, has appeared at events for the Turkic American Alliance and the Gülen Institute, and whose chief of staff traveled to Istanbul and Ankara on the Turkic American Alliance’s dime last year, said Olson had no particular connection to the movement. “Congressman Olson is honored to represent one of the most ethnically diverse counties in America,” said his campaign consultant Chris Homan. “As such, he meets with people to discuss free trade, improving economic relationships between Texas and overseas markets, and strengthening U.S. partnerships with nations who share our national security concerns. His commitment to stronger economies and stronger democracies has earned him broad support from across the district. We are not aware of any connection to the groups you mentioned.” The Turkic American Alliance, the umbrella group that encompasses a number of U.S.-based Gülenist organizations, held a plush iftar dinner attended by lawmakers and their staffs on Capitol Hill last week. Green, Jackson Lee, and Clarke, as well as Reps. Andre Carson and Joe Garcia attended. Attendees filled about two-thirds of the Cannon Caucus Room; when a reporter arrived, staff asked her to sit near the front since it was looking a little thin. Members of Congress spoke, and then a video about Ramadan played before the breaking of the fast with soup and fried fish at sunset. Faruk Taban, the president of the alliance, told BuzzFeed in an interview that his organization does not organize members of its groups for political donations. “We don’t do that kind of stuff, we’re a 501©(3),” Taban said. Their focus is more on building relationships with members of Congress by, for example, taking them on paid trips to Turkey and Azerbaijan; the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians and the Council of Turkic American Associations, both TAA member groups, have taken members including Cuellar, Clarke, Jackson Lee, Poe, and Rep. Steve Stockman on such trips in the past two years. Taban is planning another trip to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in September. Taban attributed the clusters of donations to the tight-knit nature of the immigrant communities they come from. “Like any diaspora communities they have strong ties among them,” he said. “So if anything happens, it’s word of mouth; they have friends and go to the same ethnic restaurants, they shop at the same ethnic restaurants.” The movement’s involvement in U.S. politics, he said, began in 2007, when Turkish immigrants lobbied to squash an Armenian genocide recognition bill. “After that it’s kind of got the momentum,” he said. The major Gülen organizations, he said, play a role in helping people from local communities get involved in DC, but that’s it. Gülen himself is “a very shy person” and is not personally involved in asking his followers to contribute, Taban said. Asked how young teachers at the charter schools could afford to give maximum donations in congressional races, Taban said, “Turkish people are very generous” and that “a lot of business people in the community reach out to other people.” The alliance, he said, is more focused on state legislatures. And Taban “doesn’t necessarily see the correlation” between the political strife in Turkey and the political giving in the U.S. But in “all kind of activities we are growing,” Taban said. “The scope and the size and everything else, we try to do more.”

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gulen Azerbaijan lobbying in Tennessee backfires

Rep. Joe Towns "Just a coincidence I received $10,000 from Azerbaijan lobbying and
then shortly after tries to pass a resolution in Tennessee about Azerbaijan.

by Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A lawmaker's $10,000 campaign contribution and a resolution he introduced this year in the legislature are reviving questions about foreign influences on Tennessee's Capitol Hill.

Last year, NewsChannel 5 Investigates first revealed how advocates for foreign countries were taking your lawmakers on expensive junkets.

Now, we've discovered a case of mysterious donors handing out money for a legislative campaign.

During a hurried legislative session dominated by all sorts of contentious issues, state Rep. Joe Towns found time to introduce a House resolution -- HR 145 -- calling for national support for the country of Azerbaijan.

"Let me tell you where it came from -- it actually came from friends that I know that are from Azerbaijan," the Memphis Democrat told NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

An oil-rich, predominantly Muslim country -- where Eastern Europe meets western Asia -- Azerbaijan has been involved in a decades-old dispute with the predominantly Christian country of Armenia over territory that both countries claim.

Towns said he agreed to introduce the resolution because Azerbaijan is a U.S. ally.

"You did not just come up with this one your own?" we asked.

"No, no, no," Towns answered.

"And you knew nothing about the conflict between these two countries?"

"No, I did not."

But Armenian immigrant Barry Barsoumian said, "Those brutal people, they are trying to change history by going around different states in the United States passing resolutions."

Barsoumian discovered Towns' resolution and could not believe anyone would ask a Tennessee lawmaker to help a country known for its human rights abuses and whose leader is seen as one of the world's most corrupt.

"I asked him if it was Azerbaijani Embassy. He denied it," Barsoumian recalled. "But he wouldn't name or tell me what organization was behind it."

But NewsChannel 5 Investigates looked at Towns' campaign reports and discovered he introduced the resolution just two weeks after he got a total of $10,000 in campaign contributions from people out of Texas with ties to the Azerbaijani community.

"This one was probably in Texas, Houston," Towns said, looking at his campaign disclosure.

"You had a fundraiser in Houston?" we asked.

"Uh-huh. I've had fundraisers in other places before. That's true."

"Who hosted that fundraiser?"

"Well, my friends. Friends of mine."

NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked, "Who in particular?"

"Well, I don't want to get involved in their names because this is about me," Towns answered. "I don't want to talk about their names and who they were."

Still, our investigation discovered that a Turkish-Azerbaijani cultural center in Houston appears to be the common connection for all seven of the contributors, who reportedly gave either $1,000 or $1,500 each to Towns' campaign.

"Did the people who gave you the $10,000 ask you to introduce this resolution?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Towns.

"No, they didn't. Did not," he responded.

"It's purely coincidental?"

"Oh, of course."

But Barsoumian called it "suspicious [that] somebody in Tennessee would introduce a bill for Azerbaijan and then those organizations funnel money to his campaign."

One of the contributors listed on Towns' campaign report as having given a thousand dollars first told us, "That's wrong information. I don't know anyone from Tennessee."

Later he changed his story, saying "I remember something like that. I never met him. I did it through my friends, my community."

Adding to the mystery: almost a third of the money supposedly came from two people who live in an apartment in one of Houston's roughest neighborhoods.

In fact, we identified $13,000 in contributions in the last two years to various candidates around the country from just one low-rent apartment.

So we went back to Representative Towns.

"Does that strike you as odd?" we asked.

"See, in order for me to know that," he responded, "I would have to know the lay of the land down there, the people. I don't know. I don't know."

But when Towns' resolution came up in committee, members of the Armenian community had already lobbied other lawmakers to kill the bill.

The resolution never even got a vote -- a strange end to what some consider a strange piece of legislation.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Towns, "You attend a fundraiser and then suddenly you are introducing this resolution. Do you understand why someone might be suspicious?"

"I can't deal with people's suspicion," he said. "I don't address their suspicion. The fact is that it happens all the time."

Some of the contributors appear to have connections to groups who've taken Tennessee officials on free trips to Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Towns was supposed to go on one of those trips last year, but he wasn't able to go.

Still, he did sponsor another House resolution that essentially accused Armenia of war crimes.

That resolution actually passed the House on a 93-0 vote.

So why would Azerbaijan care about what the Tennessee House thinks about world affairs?

It appears to be part of an orchestrated PR campaign to show that world opinion is on their side.

Towns said that he hopes it leads to better understanding of all the countries in that region.


Related story:
Turkish Groups Offer Free Foreign Trips For Lawmakers

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gulen Schools in Azerbaijan ordered closed - All that Azerbaijan lobbying a waste of money

Gulen started his schools in the oil rich country of Azerbaijan some 20 years ago.  More correctly we should say the CIA Gladio B operation used the Gulen schools to infiltrate the politics, oil, education of Azerbaijan.  This was to gain a strong foothold in the Central Asia and Caucaus countries to destabilize the interests of Russia and China.  President Aliyev isn't so much about being anti-Gulen as he is CIA and their terrorism sponsored thirst for oil.  3 days before ISIS invaded Iraq, the Gulen Turkish schools were vacated.  More on that later. 

Azerbaijan's government-run energy company has announced that private schools formerly run by a movement led by U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen have been closed down.

From February to April, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) took over dozens of private high schools, university exam preparation centers and universities run by a Turkish education company called Çağ Ögretim which is allegedly linked with the Gülen movement.
SOCAR announced June 18 that it decided to close these schools, which had been operated by the company now known as Azerbaijan International Education Center, due to high maintenance costs and difficulties in project management.

Turkish government accuses Gülen-led 'Hizmet' (Service) movement of forming a shadow structure within the Turkish state and of plotting to topple the government.

In March, Azeri media reported that Azerbaijan sacked Elnur Aslanov, head of President İlham Aliyev's Political Analysis and Information Department, accusing him of having links with the movement.

Newspapers had said Gülen's network had also infiltrated state institutions in Azerbaijan and found cohorts among some politicians.



From Turkish Press


From Haberler news





·         Daily Sabah

·         Updated : 19.06.2014 14:55:07


Schools and educational institutions affiliated with the Gülen Movement in Azerbaijan have been closed due to numerous reasons including additional costs, financial problems and management issues.

The closure was announced by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) which has in the past year acquired schools owned by the Gülen Movement called Çağ Öğretim İşletme (Çağ Educational Enterprise). The Azerbaijani International Education Center (UEM) had a meeting and decided that the operation of schools would be a financial burden for them.

Thirteen branches of prep schools, 10 high schools, one gymnasium and Kafkas University used to be a part of the Çağ Educational Enterprise. SOCAR has said that the institutions will continue their operations until the exams for higher education institutions are finalized. Moreover, it was stated that the students and staff at these institutions would be transferred to other schools and institutions until the upcoming school year.

A letter leaked online earlier this month revealed Gülenists' financial power and influence in Azerbaijan. In the letter, a follower presented a "financial report" of the movement's activities in Azerbaijan for 2013 to the movement's U.S.-based leader Fethullah Gülen.

The report shows that the movement controls assets of over $2 million (TL 4.28 million) in the country and "presented gifts to influential people in Azerbaijan" worth $732,000, implying bribery, as well as expenses for "friends in state agencies." The letter states that the movement has trouble transferring finances to Turkey "for obvious reasons," possibly referring to the fallout between the government and the movement, and asks for Gülen's advice on the matter.

The Gülen Movement is an influential group that evolved from a religious congregation to a network of followers united by anti-government ambitions. It operates schools in numerous countries around the world, including Azerbaijan. Following the Dec. 17 operation, during which Gülenists launched a campaign against the government under the guise of a graft probe, the government moved to purge members of the organization in state and government agencies.

According to unconfirmed media reports, the administration in Azerbaijan, which maintains close ties with Turkey, allegedly sacked a senior presidential adviser to President Ilham Aliyev over his ties to Gülenists and launched a probe into the activities of Gülenists in Azerbaijan. Currently there is a case investigating the Gülen Movement's involvement in the infiltration of state institutions and media sources claim witnesses pour in to the courts to give testimony about their experience.

It is expressed that a number of witnesses, some of whom are senior police chiefs and military officers of the Turkish Armed Forces request to remain anonymous and they give crucial information about the movement's connections with public services and institutions. Three prosecutors in the Counter terrorism Department collect and record the information and files given by witnesses while some claim Fethullah Gülen who is the leader of the movement could be facing extradition charges in the case that he is convicted


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gulen Golden Boy Bilal Eksili with all the political schmoozing cannot save the day

Gulenist Bilal Eksili, was a founder of the Indiana Math and Science Academies. There are 3 in Indiana, 1 of which was DENIED but some 2 months later Indiana Lawmakers took a very expensive trip to Turkey.  Upon their return back from Turkey they reversed the early decision made at the local county schools to open a 3rd Indiana Math and Science Academy. 
Bilal Eksili was also the leader of the local Gulen interfaith dialogue group called Holy Dove Institute, where such notables as ex Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels attended, and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (who also attended the Turkish Festival)
Holy Dove Institute was recently renamed to Niagara Foundation which is the name of their mother ship lobbying group out of Chicago.  They make no effort to hide the fact they are followers of exiled Imam Mohammed Fethullah Gulen.  In fact Gulen is the Honorary President of Niagara Foundation, since he is under house arrest in exile at the "Golden Generation" retreat in Saylorsburg, PA, must be giving direction to his flock by e mails. 

Here is Gulen Golden Boy Bilal Eksili with Mayor Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Politicians beware of Gulen political schmoozers photo bombing you at next event

Yes it is true the Gulen Movement under their numerious groups like Turkic American Alliance, Turquoise Council, Raindrop Turkish House, Niagara Foundation, Mosiac Foundation, Pacifica Institute, Rumi and many more will rope in politicians.  They rope in politicians under the guise of "friendship or dialogue" dinners or give them awards for generic titles like "peace" "scholarship" "friendship" etc.,
The Gulenists have also been known to spend as much as $36,000 a plate to attend political events and then will "photo bomb" a politician or someone well known to appear as though they are endorsed by that unsuspecting person.  
Here are some of the Gulen neck and brains of political, social lobbying for Gulen and Turkey.  Not only do they lobby for Turkey but for other Turkic countries like Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, etc., 

Hakan Berberoglu
Soner Tarim
Kemal Oskuz
Bilal Eksili
Faruk Taban
Oskur Yilidiz
Salim Ucan
Sadat Duman
Alp Aslandogan
Emre Celik

Faruk Taban loves himself so much he even has a personal web site, he is the President of the Turkis American Alliance

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Even Indiana Politicians couldn't save the Gulen charter School from being raided by the FBI despite Bilal Eksili

Gulenist Bilal Eksili with Senator richerd Lugar. 

Gulenist Bilal Eksili with former governor Mitch Daniels
Gulenist Bilal Eksili with former governor Mitch Daniels


 Gulen's activities in Indiana have been largely carried out by the Niagara Foundation, formerly known as the Holy Dove Foundation. Gulen's front person in Indiana is Bilal Eksili, a Turkish immigrant who has a far closer relationship with many of Indiana's top political leaders than most long-time political activists of either political party.

Eksili sits on the board of trustees for Indianapolis' Math & Science Academy, a publicly-funded charter school he was instrumental in establishing. Eksili ran Indiana's chapter of the Niagara Foundation until last year when he became the Vice President of the Turkish American Federation of Midwest, another Gulen-funded organization. Despite efforts at one time by the FBI to kick Gulen out of the United States, FBI Director Robert Mueller presented to Eksili's organization the 2008 Community Leadership Award.

Eksili, who has made large campaign donations to several Hoosier public officials, including Gov. Mike Pence and U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, has hosted numerous lunches, dinners and other events on behalf of the Niagara Foundation at which many of Indiana's top political, business, education, religious and community leaders have participated. He also solicits public officials and other leaders to accompany him on all-expense paid trips to Turkey. Advance Indiana obtained an e-mail solicitation that Eksili sent out in 2011 to persons who he sought to accompany him on a trip to Turkey. The following is a partial text of that e-mail, boasting about the number of influential persons who have accompanied him on past trips to Turkey:
  • You are cordially invited to join our Inter-Cultural Friendship Trip to Turkey.   Every guest is responsible only for purchasing his/her Indianapolis - Istanbul airfare.  We will cover all travel, lodging and food costs in Turkey. Your spouse is also invited.  
    Other than our regular tour program, we will be welcomed by the Turkish academics, media members, government officials and by the leading businessmen of Turkey. In each city we will have a chance to have dinner with local families at their residents too. 
    The Niagara Foundation (formerly known as Holy Dove Foundation) is a Non-profit foundation and aims to forge bonds of lasting friendship between Hoosiers and Turkish people by identifying what it is we have in common, by learning to appreciate and honor our differences, and by collaborating on mutually beneficial projects.   
    In 3 years over 400 leaders from Indiana including many State Senators, Representatives, academics, media members  and leading businessmen have experienced this life changing opportunity and they all came back with remarkable memories.
    We believe what makes Turkey particularly attractive as a travel destination is the fact that it has historically been one of the most interesting meeting places of different civilizations, not to mention its marvelous natural beauties, warm hospitality and world famous cuisine, which attracts  approximately 25 million of foreign tourists every year.  
    The dates will be as follows: June 8th – 19th, and June 19th – 29th. Attached you can find sample itinerary and also you can visit our webpage for further information. Our webpage is ,  
    Some of the Previous Travelers:Senator Brandt Hershman, Senator Vi Simpson, Senator Jim Arnold, Senator Karen Tallian, Senator Jim Lewis, Representative Linda Lawson, Representative Vernon Smith, Kevin Rader Channel13 . . . Sherrie Bossung Eli Lilly, Julie Dewitt . . . Jason Kloth Teach for America, Jason Dombkowski Chief of Police Dept in West Lafayette, Tom Harton IBJ, Roland Dorson President of Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Donald Knebel B&T Law, Bobby Fong President of Butler University, Scott Appleby Director of Kroc Institute at Notre Dame, Patrick & Melissa Mason Notre Dame, Barbara Lockwood Notre Dame, Kent Millard, St. Luke’s United Meth. Church, Dennis & Sandy Sasso, Beth El-Zedeck Synagogue, Suellen Reed, former Superintendent of Public Education, Judy O’Bannon WFYI, Lewis Galloway Second Presbyterian Church, Kevin Armstrong North Meridian United Meth. Church, Bonnie Maurer Printing Editor of IBJ, Virgil Madden Lt. Governor’s Policy Advisor, Chris Crabtree Lt. Governor’s Chief of Staff, Pierre Atlas Marian University, Sylvia Payne IUPUI, Bill Plater IUPUI, Dwight Burlingame Philanthropy Center, Gary Roberts IUPUI, Nancy Chism IUPUI, Grady Chism IUPUI, Valerie Eickmeier IUPUI, Laurie and Bill Schneider IUPUI, Darrel Bailey IUPUI.
    The list of prominent Hoosiers participating in Gulen-funded trips to Turkey is astonishing to say the least. It's not surprising that so many politicians would jump at the opportunity to take part in an overseas junket to Turkey, but many people will be shocked that top media representatives, business, religious and community leaders took advantage of the free trips as well. Advance Indiana obtained a sample itinerary for one of the Gulen-sponsored trips, which included stops at a mosque, the Turkish parliament, Turkey's largest TV station and newspaper controlled by Gulen, meetings with government and media officials loyal to Gulen, and dinners in the homes of Gulen followers, along with plenty of time allotted for typical tourist trappings including shopping, boating, swimming and other leisure-related activities.

    In February, Advance Indiana exclusively reported that another prominent Turkish immigrant, businessman Ersal Ozdemir, was accompanying Indiana Commerce Secretary Victor Smith on a four-day trade mission to Turkey during which Smith was planning to attend the Young President's Organization Global Leadership Summit in Istanbul at which Smith was presenting. YPO is an exclusive organization first established by the CIA back in the 1950s, which counts Ozdemir among its members. An IEDC spokesperson told Advance Indiana that Ozdemir accompanied Smith and IEDC officials on the trip to "introduce IEDC staff to leaders in the Turkish business community."

    Advance Indiana has previously reported on the meteoric rise of Ozdemir in Indiana during the relatively short time he has lived here. Ozdemir has scored numerous government construction contracts from state and local governments and won tens of millions of dollars in government handouts for his private development projects after emerging as one of the state's largest individual campaign contributors. Ozdemir exerts enormous influence over Mayor Greg Ballard and the Marion County Republican Party, which houses its offices in a building owned by Ozdemir, as well as Carmel Mayor James Brainard. Ozdemir also recently announced that he had landed a professional soccer team franchise for Indianapolis. Speculation now abounds that the CIB, with Mayor Ballard's backing, will build or at least subsidize a new soccer stadium for Ozdemir's soccer franchise