Letter From Gülen Whistleblower – OpEd


As part of our investigation into the activities taking place at Fethullah Gülen’s numerous U.S. charter schools, we have come into contact with dozens of whistleblowers willing to come forward and share the facts of their experiences. This one that we have received in the past few days from New York makes for astonishing, shocking reading of the alternate reality that exists at these schools. His/her name has been removed to protect their identity from reprisal.

The message follows:

Well, I will start with this…I am an American-certified teacher in NY who was employed at a Turkish run charter school in XXXXXXXX, NY for X years. The claims of Amsterdam are without a doubt true. Over half of our staff were Turkish men and women with no teaching certification, administrative degrees, or counseling credentials. They all made more money than the American teachers. Within the X years I worked there, over 100 teachers had come and gone. If they were Turkish they were either promoted or moved to another school within the affiliation. If they were American, they were either fired for asking too many questions, or resigned to work in a “real school” to make the money they deserved. We worked in fear of losing our jobs every single year with no protection of a union. We worked on a one-year contract every year regardless of experience or loyalty. If anyone ever spoke up about discrepancies, they were written up promptly, and it was used against them as reason for removal.

I can personally verify that these schools are absolutely used to launder money to the Gulen movement. They target underprivileged, low-income neighborhoods, and exploit the situation. They brainwash parents into believing that they are “saving” their kids by keeping them safe and giving them a first-class education. That’s kind of hard to do when the students can’t even understand half of their teachers and are taking classes with non-qualified adults. The schools also claim to only choose students through a “lottery”, meanwhile making sure that any foreign student gets accepted right away. And if they and their parents don’t speak English, all the better. As long as they get the money for each student from the state. They glorify science competitions and taking trips abroad but only allow select students (mostly foreign) to attend these events. They bully teachers into taking trips to Turkey as well.

Any maintenance that is done to the old buildings that they “rent” never is done with permits or reputable contractors. The “rent” for the buildings is paid to their own Turkish foundations that buy the buildings, so in effect they are paying themselves.

These people rape our society, exploit our youth, steal money, buy politicians, and are seemingly untouchable because if there is ever anything that comes up about the individuals, the conglomerate just ships them home or transfers them to another part of the country to work in another charter school.

Something needs to be done because these people are criminals.

As I said, I was there for X years and couldn’t stand the injustices anymore so I did resign last year and got a new job at a normal public school.

Please get in touch with me if I can help you shed more light on the issue and I also can get my former colleagues to help as well.


P.S. Almost half our staff was foreign and most of those were Turkish. I don’t possess hard evidence of donations to Gulen but that was definitely the belief of the American staff and definitely made sense why most of the Turkish teachers/administrators made way more money than American teachers, even though they didn’t have certifications. Also one of my colleagues took a picture in an “off-limits” room for American staff (basically a Muslim prayer room) of literature about Gulen. I was close with custodial staff over the years as well that verified shady construction projects with no permits or hiring of foreign based companies. Almost all of the technology/databases used in the school was also purchased from foreign-based interest companies.

Robert Amsterdam

Robert Amsterdam is an international lawyer and founding partner of the law firm Amsterdam & Peroff.

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