The U.S. state of Alabama shut down a controversial charter school affiliated with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) two months before its opening, citing a failure to meet conditions.
The Alabama Public Charter School Commission voted to revoke Woodland Prep's charter, initially approved in May 2018, for failing to meet conditions of pre-opening, a lack of adherence to generally accepted financial standards and failing to establish community support for the school, according to the local Al.com news outlet.
The first charter revoked by the commission has links to criminal cult leader Fetullah Gülen, a fugitive terrorist wanted by Turkey for his role behind a deadly military coup attempt in July 2016.
Gülen, who arrived in the United States in 1999, currently lives in a luxurious retreat in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania in self-imposed exile. He never leaves the well-guarded compound but often gives interviews to foreign media.
In a statement sent to the news outlet, Alabama Education Association President Sherry Tucker said: "AEA has consistently said we support good charter schools. Woodland Prep was not going to be a good charter school."
AEA Associate Executive Director Theron Stokes hailed the decision.
''I hope this case serves as a warning shot to out-of-state corporate interests who may be looking to Alabama to make money in the charter school business,'' Stokes said, accusing Woodland Prep of planning a ''money-grabbing scheme.''
In early August, the AEA filed a lawsuit against Soner Tarım, a Texas-based member of FETÖ who was seeking to open Woodland Prep charter school in rural southwest Alabama.
According to one of the local reports back then, Tarım was to make more than $300,000 if the charter plan went through, making him the highest-paid official in the poverty-stricken county.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured in less than 12 hours.
Turkey also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
FETÖ has a considerable presence internationally, particularly in the U.S., including private schools that serve as a revenue stream for the terror group.
The colossal school network run by FETÖ around the world, from Central Asia to Africa and from Europe to America, is one of the primary businesses of the terror group. In African countries with more arbitrary legal structures or in Western ones with strictly institutionalized law, the education business has been a lucrative gateway to build an economic powerhouse for FETÖ and its profiteering businessmen. The economic value of the terror group, which has been nurtured with a transnational network of trading companies and businesses, was estimated to be around $25 billion in 2012.
Looking at the latest situation of the FETÖ activity in the U.S., it is still very active in many different fields in many states with their hidden agenda. FETÖ operates over 173 charter schools that enroll over 85,000 students in 26 states.
Texas is the U.S. state harboring the largest number of FETÖ-linked chartered schools. In the Lone Star State, as it is known, the Harmony Public Schools group is the largest FETÖ charter network, currently operating 57 schools, while an additional six schools are run under the name of the School of Science and Technology (SST).
These charter schools are used as a tool to siphon federal funds, namely the American taxpayers' money. Tarım announced on Twitter last year that the Texas Education Agency had granted Harmony $1.75 million as part of the agency's 2019-20 Principal Preparation Grant.
FETÖ has some 312 educational facilities in the U.S. and receives almost $600 million per year for these schools.
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