This week during a press conference held in Istanbul, Turkey, lawyer Robert Amsterdam announced the launch of the Turkish version of his 600+ page investigation into the US charter school network of Fethullah Gülen, Empire of Deceit.
The book, which reveals unprecedented public record evidence and whistleblower testimony outlining a pattern of scams and financial misconduct at more than 200 charter schools linked to Gülen, will now be for sale across a national selection of Turkish bookstores.
Yabancı hukuk şirketinden FETÖ kitabı pic.twitter.com/fgrVqDuEBp
— A Haber (@tvahaber) March 28, 2018
The Anadolu Agency covered the book launch press conference featuring Mr. Amsterdam, a translation of which can be read below:
The dark side of FETÖ’s US school network is published in a book
Senior Partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP, Robert Amsterdam’s book which focuses on FETÖ activities, “Empire of Deceit: An Investigation of the Gülen School Network” is published in Turkish.
“Empire of Deceit: An Investigation of the Gülen Charter School Network”, written by Robert Amsterdam, a senior partner of independent law firm Amsterdam & Partners, which investigates FETÖ’s international activities in behalf of Turkish Republic, was published in Turkish.
In the press conference held in Çırağan Palace, Robert Amsterdam said that FETÖ came to this point because it is being supported by US.
Indicating that Republicans in US lead to decrease in power of federal government and concentration on state governments, Amsterdam continued:
“When public education comes into question, the school network starts this way. Local governments get support, everything to improve capitalism is being made. Then governments finance private schools. Especially in some neighborhoods, schools serving specific purposes are being supported. There is a continuous tension concerning the constitution in US. This tension is between government rights and state rights. Gülen placed this network in exact right time, in right states. In states like Utah, Indiana where a foreigner can most hardly hold on, it works with an incredible precision. Through the progress of their cultural associations, it develops certain cultural structures. As a result of this, it opens the way with sponsorship visits, political donations. Then their cultural associations make way of opening the school network.”
Amsterdam said FETÖ head Fetullah Gülen never accepts that these schools belong to him, that’s why these schools in US are believed to be independent schools, and that the book shows these schools belong to FETÖ.
“Education is not the purpose of FETÖ”
Stating that FETÖ’s aim is not to provide education, Amsterdam said “It’s an extremely centralist, illegal organization which was started in order to launder a huge amount of money in US, bring it to political candidates and make people earn impunity. Gülen is a very serious security issue. He does it in such a secretive way that it is very hard to prove his working method, functioning.”
Amsterdam explained how they uncovered the truth behind schools with research teams they established in several states and that the truth they found was an organization working as individuals, companies, cultural organizations engaged within each other.
Amsterdam said that the second book will focus on how the money they collected is being turned into political donations.
“FETÖ is working hard to legitimate itself”
Saying that schools mostly can’t educate properly, Amsterdam continued:
“Whenever there is an important regulator he faces, he brings that person to his operation. They do this by paying much more they earn in government sector. FETÖ is working hard to legitimate itself. If it wants to enter a state in a sort of way, they give politicians rewards, medals alongside cultural associations. Then politicians support founding of this school network. The structure Gülen created is like his own ecosystem. All his activities continue smoothly. There is a Turkish executive in every Gülen school. Money passes through them. Every person in these schools who touch the money is Turkish. The staff does not work like a staff who receives public finance, they work as they please.”
Stating that his book unveils the unethical approach, fraud, crime story and fake formation of FETÖ, Amsterdam said “We will have a campaign in the upcoming elections. We will use ‘Gulen Money’ hashtag and reveal those who received money from them.”
Saying 25,000 copies of English version of the book were downloaded by American parents and educators, Amsterdam added meetings in 9 states were requested.
“We are talking about 200 schools in US. This means 80,000 students. Students in US are being accepted to schools even now, to be a part of the culture, to join them. It’s an organization which many people in US must be concerned about. I think that we are at the beginning of this process.” Amsterdam said.
“FETÖ is an international crime organization which has to be stopped”
Stating many organization members contacted them and presented evidences, statements after the book was published, Amsterdam said “People from banking and education communities also contacted us, they wanted to clarify some information. Especially educators and politicians realised efforts to exploit the generosity of US and determine political functioning errors.”
Informing second book will investigate where the income earned from the school network goes and the impact at state level, Amsterdam stated “This book leaves no doubt on how illegal, stealing, deceiving Gulen organization is. The organisation, by it’s nature, is not a political one, and Gulen is not a politician, besides he does not answer to someone, he is not a chosen person. He is a nontransparent group leader. He conducts extremely dangerous activities. It is an international crime organisation that has to be stopped, their operators must definitely appear before law.”
“We saw the structure behind as we dug deeper”
Indicating FETÖ head Fetullah Gülen is conducting a serious PR work, Amsterdam added:
“I think Gulen has a connection with agencies in US. This was an incident that opened my eyes. It is a serious threat and a threat that governments like Germany smoothed over the cracks. We started it all as an investigation, yet as we dug deeper, we saw that there is an incredible infrastructure behind the organization. Gulen does not only attack the state, he also attacks every individual in society, every individual that is a threat to him. I was warned many times, they said ‘Gülen will destroy your reputation.’ We saw that Turkey is going through a tough struggle. Turkey is facing a tough and determined enemy. Organization is conducting incredibly professional lobby activities in metropolitans.
“Gulen Organization is a mafia organization”
Responding to a question about crimes FETÖ head committed, Amsterdam said “I think Gulen organization (FETÖ) is a mafia organization. If you want to work against mafia, only way is to disclose them starting from the bottom to the top. Calling Gülen a “terrorist organization” won’t bring you anywhere in US. If you call someone a “terrorist organization”, you will make it a political issue. I too believe that they are a terrorist organization. Yet it is quite hard to have a punitive act and make them found guilty by calling them a terrorist organization in US. The threat Gulen poses both to Turkey and US is so large that it should be disclosed in both public eyes and political aspect.”
Consisting of an extensive investigation, examination and analysis of public records on administration of massive charter school network of FETÖ head Fetullah Gülen in US, “Empire of Deceit: An investigation of the Gülen School Network” is 664 pages. All the information in the book was organized, examined and reported by American lawyers, researchers and educators.
The book uncovers the irregularities of Fethullah Gülen’s charter schools in US, with objective evidences and statements of eyewitnesses.