Canadian international lawyer Robert Amsterdam unveiled his second book on the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and how it defrauds the US education system and taxpayers to fund its network of charter schools in the country during a presentation Thursday at a hotel in Istanbul.
In “Empire Of Deceit: Vol II: Web of Influence,” Amsterdam sheds light on the organization of the FETO-affiliated schools in the US and the corruption surrounding them, including financial violations and misconduct.
“It is absolutely without doubt clear that not only have the Gulen schools served as the vital source of funding for the Gulen organization and FETO but that the corruption of US procurement is widespread,” said Amsterdam, referring to FETO’s US-based leader Fetullah Gulen, who the Turkish government blames for orchestrating a failed coup attempt in Türkiye on July 15, 2016 in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.
“We are talking about what we estimate to be $4 billion… going into FETO’s coffers as a result of the public funding and taxpayer funding of the now 250 FETO schools throughout the US,” added Amsterdam, who is the owner of the law firm Amsterdam & Partners (LLP).
“Let me just say that the Gulen schools are like a vital organ for the organization. This is both economically important and organizationally. We are talking about an estimated $4 billion economy. The economy in these schools is more like the American economy. It goes out of the pockets of taxpayers and 250 schools are financed with this money. These deceptions of FETO are included in the 700-page book,” he added.
Amsterdam said the schools, which pledge allegiance to Gulen, were established and strengthened thanks to connections with influential foundations like the Rumi Forum, whose meetings have been attended by major American political figures including Hillary Clinton, which enabled the FETO affiliates to develop strong relations with the politicians there while the American public were not aware of such an organization’s close ties with the terror group.
But FETO’s operations in the US are no longer smooth since the US Department of Education took a look at Amsterdam’s first book, “Empire of Deceit: An Investigation of the Gulen Charter School Network,” and now FETO must be transparent in its actions, including real estate contracts through which it generates revenue by increasing its costs, according to Amsterdam.
Another highlight of his speech at the presentation were the relations between FETO and Enes Kanter, a former NBA basketball player and the self-styled “adopted” son of FETO leader Gulen who now gives lectures in the US community on human rights while developing deep ties with American politicians.
“A human-rights activist (that is) self-appointed, a critic of Turkey, but a man whose Gulenist credentials never seem to come out in the American press. He lectures the Republican Party. He has his own meetings in Congress. And no one in the Republican Party has taken the time to ask this foreign policy genius about his relationship to the Gulen organization,” he said.
Something “very interesting” came up as Amsterdam’s firm was investigating the ties of Kanter’s foundation – the Enes Kanter Freedom Foundation – with other establishments in the US as it just happens that this foundation occupied the same address with a company called Arlington Strategic Supplies and Manufacturing LLC.
“This man (Kanter), who is parading as a human rights figure, has a lot to explain in terms of his relationship to Gulen…the very nature of the human rights he is attempting to defend. Because at the end of the day, you cannot be a cult member and be an advocate for human rights, because the very nature of this cult is to deny essential freedoms for non-believers,” he said.
Moreover, the FETO charter schools in the US charge US taxpayers for education while favoring white children and discriminating against Black and minority-linked children, he said, underlining that this approach fully contradicted with US principles.
Likening the terrorist organization to a “cancer,” he said FETO also posed a threat to US security. The group is a complex mafia-like entity stealing from even the poorest people and is a foreign policy problem.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the Turkish state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions; particularly the military, police and judiciary.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas