This Is How You Talk About The Gulen-Linked Charters
I'm trying to think of a place where he got it wrong, but I can't. He's basically right. We are now at a point where the conflict between Erdogan and Gulen is playing out in the board meetings of American public school districts. It seems pretty likely to me that when Gulenists move on a community in the future, the Turkish government is going to send in lawyers.
While I don't care for the Turkish government, and I don't wish it success in its clampdown on Turkish society general and the Gulen Movement in particular, I'm okay with the exposure here in the States. I frankly think we'd be lucky if this conflict plays out in boardrooms rather than on the street; Erdogan and Gulen are powerful men with many enemies.
I think you can legitimately critique some of the details of Mr. Zeltzer's short speech; for example, I don't think Gulen is running the various charter school networks. It doesn't work that way. But he's definitely surrounded by the men who are, and he's absolutely the center of gravity for the universe in which these men operate.
If you read the scholarly work on this Movement, you find that people are pretty much in agreement that there are various levels of connection to the inner circle; it's helpful to think of them as concentric circles, which by the way are also a good model for Gulen's basic conception of Islam.
These people the Gulenists have hired to run this particular charter network are almost certainly not part of any of circle of participation in or sympathy with the hizmet. What they are is useful people, probably basically incurious about the nature of their employers' participation in a transnational, sect-based political/business movement. In that sense, they are different from others who are recruited and become true believers.
I've written far too much about how the Gulen private schools and also the Gulen-linked charter schools are not a just a profit stream for the Gulen Movement, but that they are also TBFURMAN: This Is How You Talk About The Gulen-Linked Charters: