Deciphering a network of vicious bloggers aiming at charter schools, calling them Gulen Charter Schools aka Fethullah Gulen charter schools.
If you are on my website, there is a good chance you’ve already come across a Goose network website, viciously pumping its own agenda, misinforming public about Gulen and the charter schools in the country. You already know their point of view and the lies hidden within, and I appreciate you visiting my website for true information, backed with facts and not goose feathers. I keep it real here, with facts, real people, real stories. There is No honking or quacking here - a merit of Goose Network.
These days I am very sluggish, because I have been copying from Dr. Kurt. He is doing such an amazing job that I do not need to chase the geese. He has absolutely turned into a skillful goose hunter. Keep up the good work Doc!
In my last article, I said “This will be the last article (for now) on Donna Garner.” Fortunately, I had put the words “for now”, because she has lately written the worst article ever she could write on current Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen, whose name is arbitrarily used within the newly-coined concept of Gulen Charter Schools.
Embellished with so-called fact and figures, this article, entitled “Gulen-Led Coup: Turkey Falls to Islamists”, is one of the most biased, prejudiced and misinformed articles I have ever read about Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Gulen. Since the number of experts on Turkey is very scarce here in the US, those articles, like the previous ones by Donna Garner, don’t generate the rightful reaction it should, because most people are not even aware of the wrong information within these articles. The number of mistakes in this latest article far exceeds the ones in Garner’s previous articles. Despite citing several sources, Garner’s some of claims cannot be found in these sources. It seems to me that Garner has made certain deductions out of some sources, but what is going on inside her mind is a mystery, because to come up with such conclusions out of those sources require a different sort of processing in the brain!
To make long story short, let’s begin our journey on a claim-answer format (my favorite) as usual:
Claim: Erdogan’s own choice for commander has now been put in charge of the Turkish military.
Answer: I do not think that Garner knows any of the Turkish military practice or tradition. Established practices in Turkish military have been in use for a long time. For example, it is widely known that the prospective commanders in the army have already been determined until 2020 which means that Erdogan cannot put someone that he wishes. Besides, even in this situation, many journalists and columnists are saying that there are newly promoted commanders that Erdogan is not on good terms with. If a general stands on line, he will not let his soon-to-be promotion captured by another general.
Claim: Turkey’s ruling party is the AKP led by Prime Minister Erdogan. He is a Muslim, believes in Sharia law… Erdogan was elected in 2003 and was recently re-elected in June 2011 because working in clandestine operations with the Gulenists, he has been able to control and coerce the Turkish masses through fear.
Answer: There are zillion points that I need to make on this funny claim. Let me put in a subtle way by dissecting her sentences:
- He (Erdogan) is a Muslim, believes in Sharia law.
- Being a Muslim means believing in Sharia law, right? Can we make a generalization here? Do all Muslims believe in Sharia? Are belief in Sharia (or appreciating it) and its adoption as a regime within a specific country the same things? Of course not. They are different from each other, like apples and oranges. A Muslim can still lead a religious life without observing Sharia in the sense of a regime. As for Erdogan, he is a pro-EU (European Union) person and his party (AKP) has made the most reforms en route to the EU. Does a follower of Sharia make such reforms in order to make his country join the EU? Garner becomes funnier day by day.
- …Erdogan was elected in 2003 and was recently re-elected in June 2011…
- Donna Garner skips an election here. Erdogan was re-elected in 2007 with more popular vote than in 2003. 2011 election marks Erdogan’s third term in the Office. Moreover, when his party came to power in 2003, Erdogan was not a Member of Parliament (MP) because of the legal punishment he received in 1999. Upon the agreement of the main opposition party, Erdogan was subsequently nominated as a candidate and then he was elected as an MP in a mini-election that was hold in one city.
- [B]ecause working in clandestine operations with the Gulenists, he (Erdogan) has been able to control and coerce the Turkish masses through fear.
- This is the funniest but at the same time the most ignorant one by Donna Garner, who claims that Erdogan was re-elected because he had been able to control and coerce the Turkish society! That is pretty ridiculous, because Garner gives the readers the impression that Erdogan and his party (AKP) wins the elections through oppressing the masses as though there was no democracy and free elections in Turkey at all. Erdogan won the last election in a landslide with almost 50% of the popular votes. Unlike the United States where there are two major political parties, there were three major and 12 minor political parties and plus the independent candidates in the election. Moreover, the turnout of voting-age population in this Turkish election was 83%. In the latest US election in 2008, the US average of the turnout of voting-age population was merely 56.8%. Texas, where Donna Garner lives, was the lowest-participating state, not named Hawai (45.8%), in this 2008 election in which Obama was elected as the President of the United States. Garner absolutely does not know anything about the election stats as well as the nature of the elections in Turkey. She tries to make everyone assume that Turkey is under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein-like man.
On the other hand Turkish election system is based on secret ballot and open counting. How can you enforce someone to vote for the current government in this system? If there were to be such coercive action, AKP should have received at least 80% of the votes. When you arrive at a poll, there are people from all major political parties including a presiding officer. When the voting is over, the ballots are counted under the supervision of all representatives of the political parties.
As an expert on Turkey, I can confidently claim that Turkish democracy is experiencing its heyday after a long period of military interventions and coups that obstructed the development of democracy in the country.Claim: Now Gulen/AKP/Erdogan have formed close alliances with Russia, Iran, Hamas, Hazbollah, and Syria.
Answer: I really need to learn about the source Ms. Garner used for this claim. She just lists the countries that have some problems with the US, Europe and Israel and she accuses Turkey of having close connections with those countries. Again she shows the glimpses of her ignorance, because everyone knows that Iran and Turkey are not in good terms right now. Besides, Turkey has bought a great amount of military equipment from Israel including some tanks. Despite the tension during the Flotilla, Turkey has never stopped her commercial and military relations with the US or Israel.
Claim: Under Erdogan, textbooks have been changed, Islam has been emphasized, and thousands of imams have been placed into positions as teachers and administrators in the schools.
Answer: The content of the textbooks have not been changed. But there is one real difference under Erdogan administration: since Erdogan came to power, all textbooks have been given free in elementary, middle and high schools in Turkey. In the last eight years, Turkish public school students have been enjoying the luxury of free textbook, a new practice in the history of Turkish Republic. Turkey also provided 24,000 free textbooks to Armenia. There is no indication of emphasis on Islam within those textbooks. Garner goes further by claiming that thousands of imams have become teachers! If imams are teachers, then who else is leading the prayers in the mosques? The appointments of the teachers are done in a computer-automated system where the names of the prospective teachers are randomly selected in a huge pool of names. An imam with a diploma of religious school is not allowed to become a teacher, let alone being an admin, unless he graduates from the department of education at another four year college. Same rule goes with the police as well. You cannot show any imam in a police uniform, as Garner alleged, in Turkey unless he graduates from the police academy which is open to all professions as long as you are successful in their tests. Claim: During the two years leading up to last Thursday, Erdogan and his AKP party have put over 400 people on trial in hearings dominated by Erdogan-appointed judges, including 250 military personnel (almost 10% of their military senior commanders).
Answer: Erdogan-appointed judges? First please give me the answer of this question Ms. Garner: What is the percentage of Erdogan-appointed judges in the judiciary system? Is Erdogan the person who is in charge of the appointment of the judges? Please find the answers of these questions before coming up with any weird claims.
As for the arrested people, they were arrested because they were charged with serious crimes such as making plans to overthrow the current government, creating havoc in the country, deteriorating the relationships with Greece by crashing Turkish planes with the Greek ones and bombing a private museum at a time visited with school kids. Until now, the army generals have been the “untouchables” in Turkey. Therefore it is of vital importance to bring those people before the courts if they are guilty. If there were no crime at all perpetrated by these people, it would take real courage to put forward such indictments and arrest all these top-rank generals. Recently, we have been hearing some confessions from the top-rank military officials as well regarding the true nature of the claims.
Claim: Erdogan is a follower of Gulen.
Answer: In Turkey, almost everyone knows that Erdogan and Gulen come from different backgrounds. While the former played soccer in his youth and engaged in politics, the latter had a career as a preacher and imam and he had no political engagement whatsoever. Fethullah Gulen is respected by various people all coming from different walks of life. People, regardless of their political view and ideology, regard Gulen as a respected and influential person. Among his visitors in the US, you can count Turkish journalists, politicians, singers and TV celebrities with different worldviews. Erdogan, likewise, could feel respect to Gulen or he could also be esteemed by Gulen, but this never proves any connection.
People who admire Gulen could vote either for Erdogan’s party or any other party they wish, since half of the voters voted for Erdogan and his party. Yet this does not mean that half of Turkey is Gulenist.
Claim: In 2008 Endogan ordered the arrests of the people who were speaking out against this Gulen takeover.
Answer: First of all, the spelling mistake in the claim belongs to Donna Garner, who can’t even spell Erdogan’s name. In another paragraph, she spells Erdogan’s name as Enrogan. These three different spellings of Turkish Prime Minister’s name prove that Donna Garner was in a hurry when she began writing her article. She is pretty careless. I am not sure how we could seriously listen to the words of someone who can’t even spell a country’s prime minister.
There is a very nice article about the imprisonment of those who allegedly made bad propaganda about Gulen. The article states that there are almost 30 negative books about Fethullah Gulen, but almost all their authors are not behind the bars at all. Here is the most striking excerpt from the article:One of the most suitable people to satisfactorily answer this question is Ismail Arli, owner of Togan Publishing since 2003. Arli […] published a number of anti-Gulen titles. […] We asked Arli: “You are probably the one person to have ‘touched’ Gulen the most. What happened to you?” He has already responded, remarking: “If whoever touches him is screwed, it should have been me who would have gotten screwed first; I should have been in ashes by now because I have published the harshest material against Gulen. I have published the most derogatory books against him. Even the Cumhuriyet Publishing House is inspired by my cover designs. Nothing has happened to me so far.”
I guess Mr. Arli’s answer speaks itself. I do not need to add anything else.
In Donna Garner’s article, a number of claims also exist about Fethullah Gulen most of which are something prepared specifically for the “Western audience”. I especially emphasize the expression “Western audience”, since Turkish audience would not believe those claims. In order to defame Gulen in Turkey, a different language is used. For example, Gulen is depicted as a man of America in Turkey, because nobody in Turkey would believe the slander that Gulen is fundamentalist and jihadist. Yet it is a perfect fit for the US audience. Let me present a couple of hilarious claims about Fethullah Gulen by Donna Garner:
Claim: Gulen has groomed his image to make him look as if he is a “tolerant” Muslim, but he is actually a follower of Sa’id-i Nursi, the founder of the Islamist Nur (light) movement.
Answer: Upon reading this claim, any person who does not know anything about Nursi or Gulen would think that Nursi represents the “intolerant” wing of Islam. However, all Sociologists accept that Nursi is known for his non-violent approach. Neither Nursi nor his followers have ever taken up arms or killed someone. Having spent more than two decades in the prisons, Nursi can be likened to Gandhi in terms of staying away from the violence and preferring the peaceful means. Fethullah Gulen, likewise, follows a similar way. There is no report of violent incident or act perpetrated by Gulen’s followers. On the other hand, when listing the intellectuals being influential on him, Gulen mentions a number of them including Nursi. That means Nursi is only one of the persons who had a lasting effect on Gulen.
Claim: Now the United States has a Muslim-friendly President in the White House who has appointed Dalia Mogahed as his Muslim advisor. Mogahed is a Gulenist
Answer: What is your proof Ms. Garner regarding Mogahed’s being Gulenist? I really dont know how to answer such a baseless claim made in a helter-skelter manner. It looks like the mindset of people who are attacking Gulen is almost similar. Did not Peggy Littleton claim similar things about Obama Administration being described as Gulenist?! Please read the link if you have not tired of laughing at these silly allegations.
Claim: Gulen lives in eastern Pennsylvania with 100 followers who guard him and tend to his needs. His male followers try to blend into American society by wearing suits and ties, and they do not marry until age 50. Their spouses are expected to dress in the Islamic manner as dictated by Gulen.
Answer: The first part of the claim dates back to Paul Williams whose website (The Last Crusade) has mysteriously gone. I think he is busy with the lawsuit McMaster University filed against him. Actually Paul Williams, in his former website, refuted his own claim by publishing a video that talks about the untrue nature of Williams’ claims. There were no gunshots coming from Gulen’s residence. The local Pocono Record investigated the issue and published an unbiased article and consequently refuting what Williams and Garner claim. The neighbors also stated that they heard no gunfire or something similar. One neighbor named Hilda was even saying “They are very lovely people”.
Let us continue with the rest of the claim. Garner says Gulen’s male followers blend into American society with ties and suits. Do they wear something different when they are with Gulen? Pocono Record’s story does not say so. Not getting married until 50 is totally bizarre and absurd. It is untrue for Gulen’s male follower not to get married until 50. Let alone the whole community, Garner cannot show one single example of a follower who has not married until he is 50.
As for the spouses’ dress issue, this is again nothing but distorting the facts. If a lady prefers Islamic clothing, she does this to follow God’s order on this, not what Gulen allegedly “dictates”.
She also depicts Nurettin Veren as someone who is “next-in-command”, but Garner forgets the fact that Veren is now one of the most ferocious attackers of Gulen. He has anti-propaganda books on Gulen, but Garner cites Veren as if he is the right hand of Gulen.
I will not go into the details of Garner’s usual accusations of Harmony Public Schools (Harmony Science Academy) of Gulen Charter School, because in my previous four articles, I answered Garner’s fallacious claims, but looks like she keeps beating the same drum.
There are more things to say about Donna Garner and her baseless and unfounded allegations which qualifies for nothing but a series of flops. But, I do not have such spare time. These examples should suffice to state that Donna Garner now singlehandedly takes the sole lead to write inflammatory, biased, misinformed and unfounded pieces about Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Fethullah Gulen and her other favorite concepts such as Gulen Charter Schools. I was calling Garner a sciolist, a mild term, in my previous descriptions, yet she is making a fast transition to being a charlatan.
I have the gut feeling that Garner writes those pieces just because she has been told to do so. Otherwise nobody would dare to write such fallacious things and draw such faulty conclusions at the expense of tarnishing your own reputation.
What I am curious about is that she sends letters with those lies, misinformation and unfounded allegations to elected officials. Are the officials taking her seriously? If so, they should think twice before doing that especially after my refutations about her claims and assumptions. If an elected official impetuously acts on the basis of what s/he hears from Ms. Garner, s/he should feel the burden of that hasty decision on his/her conscience.
Donna Garner should feel the same thing in her conscience. If she has any…
If you happen to read Donna Garner on a regular basis, you can easily reveal her self-refuting ideas. This is what I have been enjoying for a while. I have found so many contradictions in her statements and claims that I think I could, one day, write a thin book about those hilarious contradictions and self-refuting ideas.
You have probably heard about the contention between Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education and Robert Scott, TEA Commissioner. Mr. Duncan made a few negative comments about Texas education and Mr. Scott rightfully responded to those claims. Donna Garner quoted Scott’s response verbatim in her blog (August 19). At one point of his response, Robert Scott mentioned the existence and significance of STEM education in Texas:
“We are also a leader in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. Texas has established 59 STEM schools, 7 STEM professional development centers and is a leading state in creating a national STEM network of states that want to pursue STEM education reform.”
Let me interfere here: did you know that out of those 59 STEM schools, 17 of them are Harmony Schools? Harmony Public Schools are the pioneering schools in STEM education with the most number of schools in the state of Texas. Why did I mention Harmony Schools? Because they are the number one target of Donna Garner these days even though I suspect if she has ever been to any Harmony Science Academy in her life. Oops, sorry, she never calls these schools with their proper names. She does rather prefer the weird term Gulen Charter Schools. Which “Gulen” Charter Schools? Those who supposedly indoctrinate “harmful” ideas to the kids have become the leaders of STEM education… Overnight?
Two days later (August 21), Donna Garner wrote about Republican candidate Rick Perry mentioning Governor Perry’s “good” and “bad” points. There was something among the “bad” points. Guess what? Harmony Public Schools!
“Here in Texas we have 36 Gulen/Cosmos Foundation/Harmony Charter Schools, yet where has Gov. Perry been on this issue?”
Did you read out the question? I can’t believe my eyes. Two days earlier, Garner exactly copied Robert Scott’s defense where he mentioned the importance of STEM education. In his response, Mr. Scott was actually defending Rick Perry as well, because Gov. Perry, not Robert Scott himself, was the real target of Mr. Duncan when Mr. Duncan uttered those statements.
Two days swiftly passed and Donna Garner started accusing Rick Perry of “harboring36 Gulen/Cosmos Foundation/Harmony Charter Schools.” Hey Donna, you should pray that Robert Scott will not read what you have written about Gov. Perry. Otherwise he would be mad at you.
If STEM education suits Donna Garner’s book, she is not shy of using it despite the fact that Harmony Schools are the best representatives of STEM education.
If not, Donna Garner would be “brave” enough to accuse Gov. Perry of supporting Gulen Charter Schools.
Isn’t it hilarious? I am really having fun of it. You should, too.
I am very proud to announce the new addition to Goose Network gang. This newest addition will probably complete the final missing part of the big puzzle, the Goose Network, who has been eagerly busy with hatching their eggs everywhere in the Cyber World. Ladies and gentlemen, here comes the final missing piece of the Goose Network puzzle: Vanessa Kachadurian.
(I am not going to put her picture here for privacy reasons. As for her full name, I think it is a fair treatment for her considering that she has by far published a number of people’s full names in her numerous blogs. Besides, I do not have the intention to make her a target in the eyes of other people. This shameless tactic belongs to Goose Network members, not me.)
When I first launched this blog more than a year ago, I published a list of Goose Network members. That list included Vanessa’s name as well. Yet since that time, her name has totally slipped out of my mind. Recently, I have decided to make a quick search after seeing her name on that list again. To my astonishment, the things I found out were really huge. I soon realized that I was encountering arguably the most enthusiastic member of the Goose Network. So much so that, many of my claims have proved me wrong on some issues. Now, I am both hoping to clarify my previous claims and add new stuff here. But one thing is clear: Vanessa Kachadurian is one of the most active members of the Goose Network and she is definitely on someone else’s payroll, because as you will see below, thanks to countless evidence, nobody would allocate such amount of time for something that is irrelevant (or not directly relevant) to one’s life.
Initially I took searching her name very lightly, but as I found new things, I got the motivation to continue and decipher more, because new information was in rapid succession.
The Crucial Information
For this, I decided to Google her name. Writing Vanessa Kachadurian Gulen (becuase she is one of the inventors of so-called Gulen Charter Schools concept , I came up with this comment. In case, the link is removed, you can see the picture below.
She (perhaps accidentally) wrote her name (Vanessa Kachadurian) at the bottom of her own comment, because in order to claim otherwise (that is the deliberate writing of her name) one has to be idiot to inscribe UtahMom on top of the page and then Fresno, California, along with the real name at the bottom. In that comment, I randomly took a sentence and made a quick copy-paste of it and came up with the same exact comment on different blogs and websites but this time under various nicknames such as MD Parent (!) and EducationTruth. It looks like she was becoming UtahMom, Maryland (or medical doctor) Parent or EducationTruth depending on the blog, news or the school she commented about.
She exactly writes the same comment and sometimes changes her nickname. I saw that she wrote the same comment on her Facebook page where she uses her real name in a slightly different way.
I also found out that she was using countless nicknames when attacking what she calls Gulen Charter Schools. She is also constantly giving links to many admiral ship websites, particularly “Charter School Watchdog” website and to her blogs whose link I am planning to provide below.
Her Facebook Adventures
On Facebook (as mentioned above), she has pages of comments along with… guess who? Bill Thacker of Arizona! Surprise surprise, right? Using a slightly different name (Vanoush Khatchaturyan) there, Vanessa has been using this discussion page for more than a year only to give links and write responses to another paid member of Goose Network, Mr. Thacker. Together, they filled like seven pages to defame charter schools. write unfounded things about them but if you actually copy and paste what they have written to a single Word page, it will take more than a hundred pages (actually 113 pages). In their comments they just support each other’s claims but they are not afraid to show their teeth to any “would-be intruders”. It is like this is their backyard to play in. I can’t help but admire their dedication. On another occasion, Vanessa comments on one of Bill Thacker’s posts by thanking him and acting as if she was the first time visitor and did not know much about the info Thacker provided.
Even on Facebook India she writes defamatory things about Erdogan, Gulen etc. She uses other Facebook websites in various languages again in order to represent her true Goose Network spirit. She actively uses ANCA (The Armenian National Committee of America) Grassroots. Such determination!
That is it? Just started! She utilizes her real Twitter account to inform people about some radio programs where Donna Garner was invited as a guest. There, hardliner Garner gives complete misinformation about so-called Gulen Charter Schools. Through her Twitter account, she also helps the Goose Network team defame American charter schools 24/7. Even in the midst of a hot genocide debate among fellow Armenians, she joins the debate with the sole purpose of writing only about Gulen and American charter schools. She sometimes goes too far to use the same aggressive rhetoric to the politicians in Hawaii. Like I said, she is so busy with the comments and other activism she puts on the web that even when there is no comment under any news of a not-so-much-visited webpage, she takes this opportunity to write the same things by employing the artifacts of her copy-paste mindset.
Lawsuits Against Vanessa
I will write more about this comment issue, but let’s turn to another significant detail about Vanessa. Making more search with her real name, I found out that some lawsuits were filed against Vanessa. For example, in one of them, she was harassing adoptive parents who have adopted through Hopscotch Adoptions, an adoption company, as well as other companies and individuals. She reportedly could not pass a home study and wasn’t able to adopt due to her serious mental illness. She is vindictive against anyone who has or wants to adopt. This info was given to me by a friend who got this information from another Armenian (Sonia Vigilante) whom Vanessa hates. However, ironically, Vannessa is not shy to use Sonia’s name (by making slight changes <SonaVigiliante> in her name) to write defamatory things about so-called Gulen Charter Schools. But she uses it only in Soda Head pages like this one. She even illegally uses Sonia’s name when writing a petition to the authorities in Hawaii in order to prevent the opening of a charter school there or she likes something on Facebook on behalf of Sonia. As mentioned above, there are also similar comments under very different-looking nicknames and aliases. Below are the some excerpts from the lawsuit document, which can be easily found on the Internet:
“On information and belief Kachadurian uses a number of online aliases and email addresses including, inter alia, AdoptNews@aol.com; AdoptResearch@aol.com; Armenlaw@aol.com; AttyEsq@advocate.com; DancerA1@aol.com; Eveonthego@aol.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Laura Garabadian; LAWP@aol.com; limovaM@aol.com; Lisa; MRey@sbcglobal.net; Ruzanne; Salesa1@aol.com; and Wittyhye@yahoo.com.”
(I am not surprised that she has so many nicknames and e-mails. You will agree with me below)
“Plaintiffs Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc. (Hopscotch) and Robin Sizemore (Sizemore) bring this action to enjoin and seek damages from Defendant Vanessa Kachadurian (Kachadurian) for her continuing acts of harassment and cyber-smearing of both Hopscotch and Sizemore. These acts are part of an ongoing pattern of conduct against several international adoption service providers that dates back to at least 2005.”
“On information and belief, since at least 2004, Kachadurian unsuccessfully has sought to adopt a child through various international adoption agencies. This included a 2005 application to Across the World Adoptions (ATWA) in Pleasant Hill, California to adopt an Armenian child.”
“On information and belief, Kachadurian retaliated against ATWA after her application was declined by
a. Sending a series of harassing and/or annoying emails and packages to ATWA ;
b. vandalizing and defacing ATWA’s office by spray painting the Star of David on it;
c. vandalizing the home of ATWA’s Executive Director by flooding a portion of her property;
d. vandalizing the car of an ATWA employee by putting nails into her tires on at least two occasions; and
e. cyber-smearing ATWA with claims that it was a “virtual baby broker” and calling its Executive Director a “criminal,” “retard” and a “Jewish Princess [who] love[s] to take your money then lie to you.”
“On information and belief, Kachadurian is of Armenian ancestry, and she disapproves of Armenian children being adopted by “odar’s” (a derogatory Armenian language term used by Kachadurian to refer to non-Armenians).”
Also, take a look at this presentation about Cyber Harassment. Interestingly, when we check out the tags of this page, we come across these words:
Isn’t it funny? This presentation by the law firm alone describes all the characteristics of Vanessa and this is of course no coincidence. Anyway, you can read more about the lawsuit in the file.
WHO IS TURGAY (TUR-GAY)?
Although I did publish something about the person operating behind this weird-looking picture, now I must confess that I was wrong. I thought this person who are posting all these defamatory blogs was a male and Turk, because it was what was said in that profile. It turned out that it was a female and an Armenian! Yes, it was nobody other than Vanessa. How did I arrive such a conclusion? I have plenty of evidence to prove it. Let’s first start with the profiles in both blogs. She says “journalist” in both blogs even though she does nothing more than “Watchdog” style journalism. Besides, her main job is with Smith Kline Beecham. Also, on the profile of Turgay, she considers herself a spy and when we read the above lawsuit, we see that this is a title that befits Vanessa. Yet, considering that she runs almost 15 blogs, a Twitter page, two Facebook pages and countless comments, I doubt she has an office-job. She probably works at home. You will also remember that when I first tried to save the above-picture to my computer, the words “Turkey Gay 3” appeared. Who would call Turkey a “gay”? Considering the historical relations, I assume that an Armenian like Vanessa is a perfect match for this. She was also referring Istanbul as “Istanbulsh*t”. Of course, this is not the only evidence. More to come below…
This is the e-mail Vanessa provides on Turgay’s profile page. In case she deletes it, I took a screenshot. When you bring your mouse to the “email” on that profile page, an e-mail pops-up at the bottom of the page on the left side. This is the e-mail she gets information from her Goose Network friends. You can find many comments made by this e-mail under a number of different nicknames. Turan Akcam is one of them. On the other hand, Lauren Alexander uses Gulensfraud as her user name on Twitter and I know that Lauren is Vanessa herself.
More importantly, she uses this e-mail address along with fake Dr. titles such as Dr. Kaz Kaz (detailed info is given below about the magical word “Kaz”). Or she prefers Gerry Kanavan and Turkish News website to hatch her eggs.
Anyway, my main point to prove my case will be about the fact that Turgay and Vanessa are the same people and the comments that Vanessa puts everywhere on the web are almost facsimile of one other.
My research about her comments can be grouped under two categories: comment-based and nickname-based. When I go with the former, it is the same comments under different aliases and nicknames, but if it is about the latter, it is different comments that come from the very same nickname. Of course, there are also few comments in which she (accidentally) used her real name! Now let’s see a few of her countless fake names.
RobJaro is one of her favorite names. For example, on a forum, she first talks about the movie Waiting for Superman and then as a second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth item she only talks about “Gulen Charter Schools” with various links.
On PBS website, with the same nickname, she writes a very long comment that bombs Severson, the author of the documentary. By the way, the comment section of this PBS documentary helps me a lot to prove my case, because it turned out that Vanessa actively operated on that page with various nicknames.
On Huffington Post she uses the same nickname again (RobJaro) only to repeat her same old story. There, I also found another nickname (AdoptTruth) who responds to Robjaro, but as you will see later, AdoptTruth is nobody else but Vanessa. Remember, she is very keen on Adoption Issues and email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org are only two of the e-mails she uses when dealing with the adoption issues (see above for other e-mails). By the way, under her adoptTRUTH nickname, she has pages of comments here about the Armenian Genocide fervently debating with other readers. In short, you can see all adoptTRUTH comments on Huffington Post. She either defames (gulen) charter schools or Turkey and she explicitly supports Armenia. But beware, that user name might turn into AdoptionTruth as well at any time just like the one about Harmony Schools on Houston Chronicle article.
RRF1966 is another one I found on PBS website. At times, the very same comment is made by two different nicknames and this proves that she accidentally copied and pasted the same comment under different nicknames. For example, Marcus DiFilippio and Dr. Sacha Goldberg made the exact same comments on the same page (just write these two nicknames one by one and you will see that they both belong the same person. I guess she was in a hurry to write her lies). Anyway, when you copy a sentence from this comment and paste it on Google, you will see that the very same long comment on PBS was made in other websites in a verbatim manner as well such as on AJC under the nickname of Ex Charter Parent and on Texas Insider with the fake name of ProudAmerican. Of course, all these names are nobody other than Vanessa.
Looks like she has some ready-made comments and if the discussion goes very long, she uses those comments, but thanks to Google, same exact comments on various websites can easily be found. This proves that Vanessa has some ready-made comments/patterns that are ready to be published when things go wrong.
RRF1966 opened the doors of new findings to me. For example, in Doni Rodrik’s blog, she openly supports Mr. Rodrik, the son-in-law of Cetin Dogan, a former general that was arrested as a result of Ergenekon investigation. On “Colorado Springs Independent”, where she got subscribed only to make two comments (and never used it again), she mentions similar things, but she bites on granite there, because I had already deciphered the ignorance of her colleague! On “Democratic Underground”, she copies and pastes (literally dumps) pages of comments. Even if the news is about something else, she is brave enough to visit there, too. Recently, she has revived this nickname again only to regurgitate the same old story.
Another interesting alias she prefers is Ergen Kon, a clear allusion to Ergenekon Terrorist Organization. She is not shy of displaying her sympathy to this underground organization, openly praising the members of this underground network. Ergen Kon can surely be found on the PBS documentary. too. On “Republic Mainstreet”, she has the only comment (like in many instances) under an irrelevant piece of news. On “Red County”, she attacks other people with the same rhetoric. She is so in a hurry that she makes a number of spelling mistakes along with repeated words. There she says “Sweet Group” about that terrorist Ergenekon organization.
Katherine Mortelli is anothet pseudonym she uses, but I do not want to give extra links here. since you have already learned how to find out her comments through Uncle Google.
My second technique to prove that those comments are made by Vanessa Kachadurian is using some keywords, phrases or even sentences to come up with the same comments.
For example, if you write this sentence on Google, you will find out very similar patterns: “Do your research Ex-FBI Turkish Translator Sibel Edmonds.” She sometimes uses different prepositions between the words “research” and “Ex-FBI”. Anyway, in her comments, after writing this sentence, she adds one or two more sentences in which you can find the names of Aland Mizell or Joshua Hendrick and then she puts three or four links that belong to their own Goose Network.
Now, in this pattern, you will see almost same exact comments under different nicknames and aliases. For example, using a nickname AmericanTeacher, she comments on News-Record.com. With the name Ergenekon, she has the only comment on “Unconfirmed Sources”. On Youtube, she uses her oft-used nickname Americathebrave100, while on City Data she becomes EducationTruth. By the way, AmericatheBrave is a very popular nickname Vanessa uses and as can be seen here, she almost reveals her Armenian identity in the discussion within the Paul Williams’ blog.
Sometimes she just gets rid of those amateurish nicknames and “adopts” a fancy-looking one with a “Dr.” title. Dr. Ira Goldbloom (notice the similarity with Dr. Sacha Goldberg above) is one of them. She really likes male names. On the same famous PBS website, she uses the nickname John Carson. Then she transforms into Mark Magill when she complains a would-be charter school to Hawaii government on the Rip-off Report page. Mark Stanton is another name on the Algemeiner comment page. She also occasionally utilizes female names such as Debbie Franzler (also on PBS as well) and Gaia Gul (although I am not 100% sure about the this one).
Same Comment, Different Name
Her repertoire is really immense. She enjoys using Italian names such as Vince DiAlieto and Marco DeFlippio. Notice that the former name was used on an Armenian newspaper’s webpage (What does an Italian “guy” have to do with a charter school on an Armenian newspaper? Three irrelevant things…), while the latter was used under a piece of news about a teacher who previously worked with the Harmony Charter Schools. (There was also Marcus DeFlippio under PBS news as stated above.) Interestingly, within the news where DeFlippio comments, Harmony was shown as if it was the guilty party for the misconduct of the teacher even though that teacher was not working for Harmony when he displayed that misconduct. But when your real aim becomes to defame the charter schools, you do use every means to illegitimately attack them. For example, when an accident happens in front of a charter school, she brings it to the spotlight as if that charter school is responsible for that traffic accident. By the way, those two Italian names are very identical with the first names consisting of five letters and the last names start with D and ends with O (not every Italian last name is like this).
The Magical Word: “Kaz”
Finally comes her “interrelated” nicknames that prove the connection between so-called TURGAY and Vanessa. Since in some of her comments, she directly logged in by using Turgay’s blogs, you can clearly see the link between the comments she made as a blog owner and as an individual. I will continue to use the same magical keywords (Do your research Ex-FBI Turkish Translator Sibel Edmonds).
First, let me write those related nicknames and blogs all together: KazFriend, GulenKaz, Maria Kaz, Dr. Kaz, Kazzy Kaz, Dr. Kaz Kaz, Frank Kaz, Dr. Frank Moore, Frank Morton, GooseNetworkUSA, Gulen is a Fraud… (BTW, I found out that “kaz” means GOOSE in Turkish. Bingo!)
GulenKaz was used by Turgay in this comment. Turgay’s e-mail (email@example.com) appears here. At the end of the comment, like the others above, she gives the list of her blogs. Maria Kaz appears here with the same comment. Kazzy Kaz and Frank Morton (and even American Teacher and CarolineSF) can be seen on the same page. Dr. Kaz looks at us exactly here. It is noteworthy that most of the time Vanessa is the person commenting under the same news, but poor innocent readers don’t know anything about this simple trick and they probably think that they read different comments from different looking people. Even when she becomes Dr. Frank Moore…
Anyway, she transforms into Frank Kaz here and here and we see Turgay’s profile under this comment. Her Twitter account with a Turkish-looking name Ozgur Cengiz along with the picture (a goose biting someone’s back) can be seen in this profile. Interestingly, she feels the need in her Twitter profile to state that she lives in Turkey and she says that “I am a Kemalist and Turkey is my home”. But she can’t speak Turkish at all. Just check those successive comments. She starts with Turkish-looking name Ozgur Cengiz. Then someone replies Ozgur Cengiz highly probably in Turkish. Suddenly she changes her nickname and becomes Marie Lewis. Throughout the conversation Ozgur Cengiz disappears and never appears again and Marie Lewis is the one who provides all the responses. Later in that discussion she accuses other people of adopting American names despite being Turkish. Isn’t it actually what Vanessa doing? Disguising herself in a Turkish name and never speaking Turkish and then accusing those English-speaking people of being Turks and telling them that they need to leave America as soon as possible… Just ridiculous…
The comment under the nickname of GooseNetworkUSA is here. Interestingly, one of the people Ozgur Cengiz (a.k.a. Vanessa) follows on Twitter is Genise Harrison, a serious activist about human trafficiking, a subject Vanessa is fond of.
This name belongs to Vanessa and there is even a Facebook page with this name. Her friends are Bill Thacker, West Texas Patriots, Tim Stellar and Robert Spencer, who was cited a couple of hundred times by the Norwegian terrorist Breivik. By the way, this link clearly proves that Lauren is Vanessa just like “Lauren Alexander” (see above). On a Facebook page, she writes something Turkish. I really wondered if she got any help from Google Translate and I came up with this English translation:
Lie, Clinton, smiling Lie. Smiling is worth $ 25000000000 and the owner of all things, even if you watch the news. Smiling fake, just a 5 There are in-class instruction. No college education. Smiling from Ezereum is Kurdish. Gülen hides in Amercia.
Probably she used Google Translate to write in Turkish (just like I did) and her broken (actually non-existent Turkish) can be seen in this English translation.
This is one of Vanessa’s frequently used e-mails (also mentioned in the lawsuit file above) although she does only use it for Armenia and adoption-related issues. But humans err, so Vanessa errs as well. For example on this link, she used SalesA1@aol.com as a user name and she gives her favorite Charter Schools Watchdog website as a link at the bottom of her very long comment.
I also have to admit that in my previous article, borrowed from another website, the nicknames that were attributed to Mary of Ohio mostly belong to Vanessa Kachadurian. I think Ohio parents are wrong about the source of some nicknames.
She uses this e-mail to insult some Turks on the web.
Meanwhile I sent an e-mail to the officials of some schools Vanessa attacks if any negative comments came to them from Fresno, California. They said they cannot disclose any user name or IP number. But if any negative comment exists, I believe some of them must belong to Vanessa.
Why Does She Attack?
So, here is the final question: Why does she attack those successful schools then? Why does she write so many comments, operate a lot of blogs and attacks people and schools that have nothing to do with Vanessa? Here are my answers:
1) She is from Armenia. She probably can’t stand seeing any Turks in America let alone seeing them working in public schools. She lives in California, where there is a considerable Armenian population and I have found out that recently Turks have organized a cultural festival in California. Some Armenians protested this event, while some of them visited and cried there, because reportedly some elderly Armenians remembered their childhood when they saw the Turkish artifacts and the sound of the call to prayer. I don’t know much about this genocide issue, but an Armenian’s resentment towards Turkish-Americans is no weird.
2) She is probably in contact with someone else (probably from Turkey) who has deep grudge and hatred towards some Turks. Being part of Ergenekon terrorist network, those people are targeting some Muslim Turks outside Turkey and their relationship with some Armenians or certain xenophobic Americans are in good terms. You may wonder if the targeting Turks are Muslim or not and I don’t know the answer of this question, but it has been revealed that some members of the Ergenekon terrorist organization belong to Autocephalous Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate which is an unrecognized Orthodox Christian denomination. Since 99% of the Armenians are Orthodox Christians (at least in Armenia), it is natural for Vanessa to explicitly support the members of Ergenekon terrorist organization.
3) Vanessa, as seen on her Facebook page, during an Armenian Genocide commemoration event, gives a book to Daron McDaniel, assistant for Congressman Jeff Denham, about Gulen Movement written by Aland Mizell. Remember this name? It was one of the key words that I used when searching for Vanessa. What is the relevance between an event about the Armenian Genocide and a book about the Gulen Movement? If there is Vanessa there, we can always talk about some relationship.
4) Vanessa, as stated above, is dealing with a lawsuit right now. She desperately needs money just like Paul Williams who founded a defense fund in his name after making ridiculous claims about McMaster University. This cyber-smearing of charter schools is a good opportunity for her to get extra funding. Maybe she gets her funding from the taxpayers. Remember, I deciphered the financial connections of Goose Network members last year and Vanessa could be one of the beneficiaries.
Vanessa. in the light of all evidence, is working for someone else. But she is just a cat’s paw, because there must be a bigger group or entity operating behind her to provide the much-needed money. This group could either be Ergenekon or those whose names have recently been exposed by Center for American Progress to national media in this report. Since she does not have an office work, she spends all her time on her 15 blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as comments she makes under different nicknames. She hates Turks and therefore she hates some charter schools (which she calls Gulen Charter Schools) where there are some Turks. Now that the truth behind the funny picture above has been revealed, you will remember my article when you see this funny picture.
What to expect next from Vanessa? Of course, after revealing so much evidence and making the things crystal clear, I don’t expect her to deny this. It would be like denying the law of gravity. But, she might make a counter-attack. But I really wonder whom she will be attacking, because I am not attacking and defaming innocent people or top-performing charter schools. She might attempt to delete some of her blogs and comments, if possible.
She will also have to generate a series of brand-new nicknames, aliases and pseudonyms now that I have already deciphered most of them. Or, she will take this as a matter of pride and continue to use the same false names. We will see. Of course, one thing is clear: She will probably label me as a Turk, because this is what she does on the internet as if those charter schools do not have thousands of proud American parents. Meanwhile, if you have more information about Vanessa, feel free to share with me.
From now on, I will closely Vanessa’s activities, comments and her other actions. Now, I am relieved to fulfill my promise to decipher the Goose Network members.
If you happen to see an article written about those schools (infamously called Gulen Charter Schools), take a look at the comments under that article. There, you will see the usual suspect ready to hatch her Goose eggs: Vanessa Kachadurian.
Please, beware of her.
“Any publicity is good publicity” says an old adage. That was the summary of most people’s comments in the aftermath of 60 Minutes, a highly influential news program.
I watch Stahl’s show on the web along with the web extras. I think Lesley Stahl (maybe inadvertently) did a good job by presenting a relatively fair portrayal of Fethullah Gulen and high-flying charter schools despite some of the shortcomings. Dr. Kurt provided some good insights and you can read the article here.
Here is my take on the program:
60 Minutes took Goose Network’s efforts to a national level. But, while doing this they never quoted from Vanessa, Bill or CASILIPS, because they knew that they were all coward and not credible. Vanessa and Bill and the CASILIPS (I will not jot the word “guy” or “lady”) do not have the guts to talk there.
Mary had some guts, but we all know that her story was more about her husband rather than the schools. By the way, did someone see her husband in the program? Where is he? In Turkey? In jail? How come he never spoke?
Anyway, Mary’s first website (maybe I should count it as the first website of the Goose Network) was www.freemustafaemanet.com (Free Mustafa Emanet). Mustafa is Mary’s husband and he was probably in trouble with law enforcement. Then this website was turned into Charter School Watchdog. Vanessa is now running the website along with that Oakland lady. Whatever…
My point is that Lesley provided “no single concrete evidence” towards her alleged relationship. She talked a little bit about the Texas based Harmony charter schools, then she jumped into Fethullah Gulen and then she made Mary Addi of Ohio talk a little bit. Suddenly the connection was established.
I didn’t see any interview with the officials of these charter schools nor with Fethullah Gulen or some other personalities. That is why, I began my words with that old adage, because 60 Minutes made a wonderful publicity of some people and organizations. Even the best PR campaign would be lackluster comparing to 60 Minutes.
What I see now is that the big-brothers of this Goose Network realized that it was not enough to depend on amateurs like Vanessa or Bill and they decided to gamble huge by inviting national players to the stage. USA Today, the New York Times, CBS… What is next? Time or CNN?
For the very same reason I don’t care about Vanessa and her comrades. They still make videos, copy and paste their comments whenever they see the name Fethullah Gulen or “Gulen Charter Schools”, they comment on my blog but I don’t give them a flip. They are amateurs who have to live on that little money they gather from their big brothers. I just feel pity for them.
I learned from Dr. Kurt’s blog that Dr. Dogan Koc has published a new book about the defamation targeting Fethullah Gulen. I remember reading an article about this bilingual defamation issue. This book could be the extended version of that article. Worth to read…
Dr. Dogan Koc published a book about Fethullah Gulen entitled “Strategic Defamation of Fethullah Gülen: English vs. Turkish”.
Here is what the book description reads:
Fethullah Gülen is a moderate Turkish Muslim scholar who is known mostly for his education and dialogue activities. The Hizmet Movement, inspired by Gülen, has established hundreds of education and dialogue institutions throughout the world. Several books and hundreds of articles and news reports have been written about Gülen himself and the movement. In recent years, a defamation campaign has been launched against Gülen and the Hizmet Movement. Although these defamation articles may seem random, this book will show that the articles are written strategically in a campaign manner. In Strategic Defamation of Fethullah Gülen, close to 500 defamation articles, books, and other forms of writings are analyzed according to their languages. Koç concludes that these defamations are not random and that they appear according to their respective audiences.
Here are some editorial reviews about the book:
Dogan Koç’s book ably documents the efforts of [the] anti-democratic elements of the Turkish establishment, relying on the country’s weak defamation laws, to conduct a virulent libelous media campaign to undermine the moderate Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet Movement he has inspired.
(James C. Harrington, human rights attorney and law professor, author of Wrestling with Free Speech, Religious Freedom, and Democracy in Turkey: The Political Trials and Times of Fethullah Gülen )
Dr. Koç gives us a timely and invaluable study of the social machinations of contemporary Turkey and its continuing democratization, especially with respect to how Islam and religious issues are manipulated by various parties and shadow entities for political consumption. The analyses of the critiques of the Gülen/Hizmet (“service”) Movement (GHM), and the motivations behind the state power stakeholders who generate this criticism, are a fascinating insight into how little Western readers really know about the true story of Turkey’s fight for democracy and the international dynamics that lie behind the Turkish struggle for a global and humane future.
(Loye B. Ashton, Ph.D., chair, Interdisciplinary Humanities Department, Tougaloo College )
Taken from Dr. Kurt’s website.
When Fethullah Gulen published his article on Financial Times, I was expecting a response from the infamous Islamophobes or those who happen to be in close connection with them. My prediction came true with the latter. Stephen Schwartz, who always seems to attack the mainstream Muslims in the U.S., published a incendiary and biased article in response to that of Mr. Gulen. Mr. Schwartz was mostly busy with attacking Mr. Gulen than criticizing the content of Mr. Gulen’s article. He even brought that fallacious Gulen Charter Schools concept to the table again. Anyway, a timely and nice response came from Dr. Scott Alexander.
It is pretty ironic that Fethullah Gulen, a moderate Muslim, is defended by a Catholic, Dr. Alexander, and is attacked by a Muslim, Mr. Schwartz! You decide who is right. Here is Dr. Alexander’s response:
I am puzzled by the fact that a man as seemingly intelligent and articulate as Mr. Schwartz appears to have deliberately misread the Op-Ed piece by Mr. Gülen. I say this because, in the very beginning of Mr. Schwartz’s critique, he clearly demonstrates that he has no intention of striving for even the least degree of objectivity and fairness in his analysis of Gülen’s remarks. In fact, I am saddened to say that what Mr. Schwartz attempts to offer as a trenchant critique of Gülen and the global Gönüllüler Hareketi (“Volunteers’ Movement”) amounts to little more than a hatchet job on a religious leader who has inspired thousands, perhaps millions, of men and women to a reawakening of their faith and a faith-based commitment to service.
How else can one explain Schwartz’s absolute refusal to take Gülen at his word, despite the fact that what Gülen says in this Op-Ed piece is utterly consistent with his thought as articulated in numerous publications which span at least three decades? Why does Schwartz imply with insistence that Gülen’s agenda is to enact hate speech laws in the U.S. when Gülen is explicit in the piece that “We can do whatever it takes within the law to prevent any disrespect to all revered religious figures“? Why does Schwartz assail Gülen, who seems to recognize the need to respect the legal systems of various societies in the fight against anit-religious bigotry, but not the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon, Bechara Rai? Just one week after the pope’s visit to Lebanon, Patriarch Rai boldly proclaimed: “We shall not simply accept a condemnation, but shall ask the international community to issue a United Nations resolution that will ban denigrating religions” (http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Patriarch-Rai-tells-Muslim-leaders:-no-insults-against-religions-25903.html).
Although additional evidence for my indictment of what Mr. Schwartz has written can be found throughout his text, there are a few particularly tell-tale moments. For example: in his opening paragraph, Schwartz refers to Mr. Gülen as “enigmatic.” Why? What is “enigmatic” about Gülen? Not unlike Pope Benedict XVI (albeit on a somewhat smaller scale), Gülen is a global religious leader who has a website which makes his writings and speeches accessible to the widest possible audience (www.fethullahgulen.org). The former have been translated into over 30 languages and the latter are available (in Turkish) on a weekly basis, if not more frequently. True, Gülen lives a reclusive life, making few public appearances. But this is no different than many highly regarded but deeply humble religious figures who shun the public spotlight.
In this regard, allow me to return to the papal analogy. Before Pope John Paul II set the novel precedent of papal “pilgrimages” to nearly every continent (and the consequent numerous public appearances beamed around the world), most of his predecessors could well be described as “reclusive.” The faithful could get a glimpse of the pope if they made a pilgrimage to Rome. But even after traveling long distances to Holy See, the best these pilgrims could ever do was to spy the pope from afar as he stood on the iconic balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, or from a considerable distance at a grand liturgical ceremony. And even in this age of comparatively frequent papal travel and satellite TV, popes like John Paul II and Benedict XVI were/are not exactly “out there” in the way that Mr. Schwartz is rather disingenuously implying Mr. Gülen ought to be.
Despite the spotlight which Pope Benedict seems to occupy so regularly, he still does not give interviews to the media, and only meets personally with high-level and highly select individuals and groups. In fact, were it not for the fact that the Bishop of Rome is also a head of state–a position which Mr. Gülen decidedly does not hold–one might well maintain that such papal meetings and travels would be substantially fewer than they currently are.
Which raises the question as to whether or not Mr. Schwartz would describe the popes as “enigmatic,” rather than simply “reclusive.” Beyond this, as a Roman Catholic, I wonder whether Mr. Schwartz would describe Benedict XVI in the distinctively negative context in which he portrays Gülen? Would he dub the pope as ”an ingenious priest” who controls an “army” of followers? This is certainly the way popes were described by people like Thomas Whitney, Congressman from the Fifth District of New York and one of the founders of the infamous anti-immigrant, and especially anti-Catholic, “Know-Nothing Party. Whitney is the author of a classic mid-19th-century nativist tractate entitled, A Defence of the American Policy, as Opposed to the Encroachments of Foreign Influence, and Especially to the Interference of the Papacy in the Political Interests and Affairs of the United States (New York: DeWitt and Davenport, 1856). In this text, Whitney uses almost exactly the same rhetorical tropes as does Schwartz. Whitney speaks of “the course of Jesuitism” as a “subtle and insidious” force of the papacy, designed to further the designs of “Romanism” in the U.S. which, according to Whitney, is nothing less than the “despotic” and quasi-militaristic conquest of the American Republic (pp. 79-82).
Perhaps I am mistaken, but I’m guessing that Mr. Schwartz would not describe Pope Benedict in the same terms as he casts Mr. Gülen. When I wonder why this is, I am led to the strong suspicion that Mr. Schwartz’s problem with Gülen is not that the latter is a reclusive religious leader who is the inspiration behind a large group of faithful who see themselves as having a global mission. I strongly suspect that Mr. Schwartz’s problem with Mr. Gülen is that Gülen is a Muslim.
This may seem ironic, given the fact that Mr. Schwartz is himself a Muslim. Upon closer examination, however, the irony begins to fade. This is for a many reasons. One is that some of the fiercest condemnations of religious figures and movements tends to come at the hands of co-religionaries who are at significant odds with one another. And this certainly applies to Schwartz vis a vis a great many of his fellow U.S. American Muslims. The mission statement of Schwartz’s “think tank,” the Center for Islamic Pluralism, says that the purpose of the center is to challenge “the dominance of American Muslim life by militant Islamist groups.” Here Schwartz is taking to an even higher level the incendiary, highly subjective, and completely unsubstantiated claim made by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani at a 1999 State Department forum that 80% of the mosques in the U.S. are “being run by the extremist ideology, but not acting as a militant movement.” It is, therefore, not surprising that someone who actively chose to attack the mainstream organized Muslim community in the U.S., has an ax to grind.
Rest of the article continues here:
I read the news (seems a bit late, though) that Harmony Public Schools will receive almost 30 million dollars from the federal government as part of the race-to-the-top program. That should be a well-deserved accomplishment considering that Harmony Public Schools became a nationwide brand after they were featured at 60 Minutes.
But on the other hand, this is an ironic piece of news for the members of Goose Network, because these guys have been trying to defame some high-flying charter schools for some time and this latest news should definitely be a blow for their “holy” cause. I checked some of their websites and they mostly ignore this accomplishment, while some flagship websites, like CASILIPS, question the criteria of the Department of the Education for the selection. I see that Goose Network members are trying to hide the truth by ignoring it. Guys… please stop it, you are embarrassing yourselves.
Now that Harmony Public Schools will be receiving the federal aid, are you going to stop defaming these schools as Gulen Charter Schools? Or will you go too far by claiming that the White House is helping Fethullah Gulen (!) I don’t think you will act that pathetic.
So, one question remains for the Goose Network:
“Are you mad, bro?”
Just hours after my article that referred to Dani Rodrik was posted on the Internet, Rodrik issued a response in his blog “Balyoz Davası ve Gerçekler” (Balyoz Trial and Facts). Apparently urged by a sense of duty, Rodrik naturally didn’t want to lose any time in correcting my “misstatements.”
At the beginning of the blog post, three hypotheses are stressed. First, he says that the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) plan was not discussed in the 1st Army seminar held in 2003. There are similarities between some of the discussions at the seminar and phrases used in the coup documents, but these similarities “could have been easily introduced by those who fabricated the documents.” Second, he claims that Çetin Doğan, the former head of the 1st Army and Rodrik’s father-in-law, did not lie to his military superiors about what occurred at the seminar. He ended up going with a version of events that “differed from the version his superiors had asked for,” but it “was distributed to his superiors beforehand.” Third, Rodrik maintains that the seminar did not refer to a “coup” or “who would come to power following it.” All of this information can be found on the evidential CDs. Rodrik tries to create a protective framework for his father-in-law. He prioritizes the voice recordings about the seminar, but trivializes the evidential documents. At the same time, since he knows this wouldn’t secure sufficient protection for Doğan, he not only suggests that those documents could have been planted by “fraudsters,” but also attempts to prove that Doğan’s superiors have taken part in the crime. He does not address the fact that the “possibility” that the documents in question could have been planted by fraudsters does not automatically prove that these same documents were not created by Doğan and his cronies. Rodrik avoids any discussion of why Doğan’s superiors attempted to prevent Doğan from disclosing the seminar records if there is no incriminating content, or why Doğan insisted on his version of the full scope of events or whether he communicated the content of that seminar to his superiors without any change. We should understand why Doğan acts this way: If you set out with the intention of diverting people from the facts, you will naturally not be eager to uncover the facts.
Rodrik’s blog post then enumerates various arguments in response to my article. But first let me make a correction: Rodrik argues that the General Staff has acknowledged that they had the originals of some of the Balyoz documents, but that they are not related to coup plans. However, the General Staff had merely declared that not “all” of the Balyoz documents fall within its area of responsibility and that some plans which were part of the Balyoz coup were not in its archives any longer when the court’s request was made. It provided the names of those documents that were not in the archives, and in so doing, the General Staff indirectly accepted the fact that the documents that it didn’t name could have been in its archives. The General Staff has also not refuted the documents belonging to the major who was in charge of the secret cache in Gölcük. Unfortunately, we don’t have any dignified reason for assuming that Rodrik is not capable of correctly reading even a simple General Staff statement.
On to Rodrik’s reasoning: We have three interconnected assumptions: (1) “The files on the disputed CDs also exist on the authentic CDs, the veracity of which has not been challenged by the defendants,” but the fraudsters could have planted them on the disputed CDs. (2) The documents in Gölcük were found in a storage area in the counter-intelligence section of the naval base, where the security was not very tight. Since many documents could be leaked to the outside, it is possible that some documents could likewise be brought inside. (3) Hard drive no. 5 from Gölcük was not password protected. Some documents were password protected, but coup documents were not. Therefore, he concludes, anyone who had access to the hard disk could have forged any document.
In other words, from Rodrik’s perspective, the military has such a poor security system and such an undisciplined and heedless mentality that anyone can forge the military’s documents. If they could do it, then we can assume that they have done it. If we can assume this, then Çetin Doğan is innocent. Well, let us suppose that the documents have been forged, but then how on earth is it possible that no military official has realized it? After the forgery, hasn’t anyone had access to them? Or is that they have had access to them and realize what’s in them, but they don’t care? Rodrik fails to follow the trail of his own reasoning, and therefore he feels obliged to rely excessively on the possibility that there could have been an imaginary criminal.
If coup documents were forged by fraudsters, then how can we explain the anachronisms? Rodrik has an extremely humane, tolerant response to this. “They are isolated instances that obviously crept in as a result of human error,” he says. Moreover, he says this in an effort to prove that there was no systematic updating of those documents. That is, there was no systematic updating because anachronisms were clearly the result of human error. Supposing that the anachronisms in the 2003 documents were the result of human errors made by the members of the military, how can he argue that the anachronisms in the “disputed documents” said to have been prepared in 2009 are not the result of the human errors made by the members of the military? Based on the anachronisms in CD no. 11, how can he claim that there was a conspiracy against Çetin Doğan?
Although the Sledgehammer (Balyoz) trial, in which the defendants stood accused of attempting to overthrow the democratically elected government in 2003, was concluded on Sept. 21 by the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court at the 108th hearing of the case, debates surrounding the Sledgehammer trial still continue. This is why there is merit in summarizing the major developments in the case.
But I would first like to touch upon two important points: First, we see that the court’s decision concerning the sentences of the defendants (especially the low-ranking officers) varies from person to person and is not consistent. The second is that the intricate background of the Sledgehammer (Balyoz) coup plan is linked to many other coup attempts. The journals kept by Özden Örnek and Mustafa Balbay, the Ergenekon terrorist organization, the Council of State attack, the murder of Hrant Dink, the murder of Christian missionaries at the Zirve publishing house in Malatya, the murder of priest Andrea Santoro in Trabzon, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) reports, the statements of the General Staff and the content of documents found under the floor tiles at the Gölcük Naval Base are the major building blocks of this background. It is possible that this picture had an impact on the court’s decision but we need to underline that the picture is “real” and that these are not individual incidents. Now let’s turn to the Sledgehammer facts.
1) In early 2003, a seminar was held at the 1st Army Headquarters and the participants staged a war game. However, the content of the seminar was changed and the participants focused on a plan to eliminate internal enemies under the pretext of external threats. (The prosecutor claimed that the seminar was held without permission from the Land Forces Command, and low-ranking officials provided incomplete or incorrect information to their superiors. On the other hand, the defense lawyers claimed that although the content of the seminar was not approved by defendants’ superiors in the first place, the report on the details of the seminar was prepared and presented by their clients to their superiors.)
2) After the exposure of the Ergenekon terrorist organization, 19 CDs containing voice recordings of the seminar were leaked to the press. The CDs numbered 11, 16 and 17 list the strategies to be used for provocations and sabotage and the names of the officials tasked with these jobs. The other CDs do not contain this kind of information. The prosecutor claimed that these are the documents which were not discussed but used as presentation material during the seminar. They also added that these lists could not have been prepared without the permission of the officials mentioned in the lists. While some of the defense lawyers claimed the low-ranking officials were not sufficiently informed about the plans of their superiors, others have argued that all these documents are fabricated.
Of course these two things affected the court’s decision concerning the case, but they were not the real matter of controversy.
3) Many of the CDs contain information which was added to CDs later on, such as the names of foundations and companies established after 2003. (While the prosecutor claimed that the coup plotters might have updated the information on the CDs, the defense said that this was evidence of a fairly comprehensive plot against the defendants.)
4) There were some anachronisms in the documents which were deemed reliable by the prosecutor. (The prosecutor said that the same anachronisms in the 2003 documents also exist in the other documents described as criminal and that this situation also explains inconsistencies found in other documents. Claiming that these anachronisms are a result of human error, defense lawyers demanded they be separated from the previous documents.) Actually, this observation indicated that the documents were changed, but there was much debate surrounding who changed them. But in the meantime, something unexpected happened.
5) The same documents were on a hard drive which was found hidden under the floor tiles of the Gölcük Naval Command. The password of some of the documents on disc No. 5 from Gölcük was the same as the one for the computer of the major who was in charge of the secret cache in Gölcük. (The prosecutor considered it conformation of the coup plans, but the defense lawyers described it as part of a fairly comprehensive plot against their clients.)
This development supported the claims of the prosecutor because the documents in Gölcük were found in a storage area in the counter-intelligence section of the naval base, where security was very tight, and there was a major who was in charge of the secret cache in Gölcük and had access to many documents. The defense lawyers claimed that security was not very tight in the counter-intelligence section of the naval base and that anyone who had access to the hard disk could have forged any document.
The assumption of the defense lawyers can be considered an option, but they do not have even a single piece of evidence identifying those who planned the conspiracy against the military. This claim is based on the presumptions of the defense. On the other hand, there is the intricate background, a seminar whose content has been changed and computers assigned to specific officials. As for the anachronisms, unfortunately, they do not indicate a conspiracy against the military. They could be human error, as Çetin Doğan’s son-in-law, Dani Rodrik, has claimed, or the efforts of some coup plotters who are attempting to pervert judicial processes.
Now you decide which is more convincing. Is the Sledgehammer plan a conspiracy against the military or a coup attempt prepared by the military?
Etyen Mahcupyan continues to reveal the truth about Dani Rodrik, the renowned son-in-law of Cetin Dogan, prominent member of Ergenekon Terrorist Organization.
It is quite natural for a person to exhibit extra sensitivity and subjectivity toward a specific topic when it concerns his relatives. We can understand such a person if we come to accept that we should be more tolerant toward them and put ourselves in their place. At the beginning, many people in Turkey shared this approach for Dani Rodrik, a successful academic with international fame and a scholar known to be an advocate of democratic values. But he had come face-to-face with a very unexpected situation.
As a matter of fact, he wouldn’t be expected not to be cognizant of what views or political opinions his own father-in-law held. Indeed, what his father-in-law, Çetin Doğan, the retired former 1st Army commander, did during the postmodern coup of Feb. 28, 1997, was unacceptable even to the least fervent supporters of democracy. But the Turkish public chose not to discuss these matters in detail so as to give Rodrik an opportunity to protect his prestige. But as it turned out, he hasn’t had the sensibility to understand this, as he continues to walk on a path that might lead to the complete destruction of his reputation.
Actually, he has exhibited symptoms of his disease early on. It is sad to see an objective scientist bustle about along the narrow channels of kinship while he is supposed to be after the facts. I experienced this during a one-to-one e-mail exchange with him. After I wrote several articles assessing the investigation into the Sledgehammer (Balyoz) coup plan, he sent me responses via e-mail arguing that my approach to the matter was flawed, as there was a conspiracy against the generals who were arrested under the investigation.
To prove his case, he claimed that the members of the military were so well-trained, disciplined and meticulous that they wouldn’t have made the factual errors found in the documents that have been used as evidence in the case. (Today, on the contrary, Rodrik claims that it is “manifest” that the contradictory points in question were “human errors.”) In one of these messages, Rodrik misspelled my surname as “Mahçupoğlu,” perhaps due to an excessive emotional surge, and I hadn’t placed much emphasis on this matter. But when he claimed that the members of the military wouldn’t commit factual errors, I, referring to his misspelling of my surname, noted that if he, as a meticulous and knowledgeable person, could make such a grave error, it wouldn’t be logical to argue that the members of the military couldn’t make factual errors.
It may not be easy to adopt an objective position concerning a trial like Balyoz. For many, this trial represents an ideological confrontation in the first place, and they tend to wield a certain level of bias toward the politics of the ongoing trial. It is alleged that the court delivered a legally problematic verdict concerning the Balyoz trial and that many defendants were victimized during the litigation process. This may be true, but it is equally true that some members of the military were preparing to overthrow the government, that they developed a coup plan and that the senior members of this junta were therefore equitably punished. In this process, people like Rodrik acted, knowingly or not, as promoters of the neo-nationalist propaganda and eventually became part of the efforts to whitewash the coup mentality.
They focused basically on two arguments: First, the documents referring to the coup plan can be found on only three CDs used as evidence in the prosecution, and second, these three CDs were tampered with. Both of these arguments are true. But the heart of the matter is that these three CDs contained documents also found on other CDs, and the court didn’t need three CDs to convict Doğan and his friends. The audio recordings of the war game seminar, accepted by the defendants, already indicate what their intention was.
If we read the journal entries of Cumhuriyet journalist Mustafa Balbay and former Land Forces Commander Adm. Özden Örnek, we naturally conclude that they had paved the groundwork for a military takeover. Rodrik chose to focus on inconsistencies in names and times in the documents used as evidence, claiming that these inconsistencies might be the work of conspirators. However, the General Staff was unable to discover a single member of this so-called network of conspirators who, Rodrik claimed, were able to penetrate the military and capable of modifying the documents hidden in a secret military cache.
But there is an interesting possible corollary to what Rodrik is suggesting: The inconsistencies in the documents used in the case suggest that someone could have had access to them even in 2009, but we don’t know who tampered with them. Broadly speaking, the possibility is equally strong that either the conspirators or coup perpetrators could have done the tampering. But Rodrik claims that the suggestion that coup perpetrators could have done so is a lie and, in his blog, he calls me a liar. He thinks that by calling one of the possibilities a lie, he can make his own suggestion the correct one.
It is a pathetic situation, particularly for a person who advertises himself as a scholar.
This news must be a surprise for the Goose Network members. Actually, it is more of a slap-in-the-face by the “Boston Globe” editorial. Gulen Charter Schools argument by the Goose Network guys has collapsed for good. Read it yourself…
SHOULD MASSACHUSETTS be afraid of Fethullah Gulen? That’s the question at the heart of the whispering campaign against the Pioneer Charter School of Science, a high-achieving public school in Everett whose loose connections to the influential Turkish religious figure came under heightened scrutiny when it sought state permission to expand to a second location in Saugus.
Gulen is a moderate Muslim cleric who emphasizes science and whose followers have started schools worldwide, including hundreds of charter schools in the United States. Pioneer’s director, Barish Icin, says the Everett school isn’t connected to Gulen, but some of the school’s choices suggest at least a casual link; the school has hired 16 Turkish science, math, or technology teachers with temporary visas, though only four are currently on the school’s staff. It has also contracted with a law firm tied to the Gulen movement.
But that doesn’t really matter. Public schools should be judged based on their performance, and according to state statistics, Pioneer is doing an exemplary job. The school has received state awards for its high MCAS scores, which are significantly above statewide averages; when it sought to expand, many parents attested to the education their children at the grade 7-12 school are receiving. The school offers 200 days a year of instruction, almost a full month more than district schools. Of the 34 students in the school’s first graduating class last year, more than 30 were accepted to four-year colleges. If this is foreign interference in American education, maybe we need more.
Indeed, part of the point of charter schools is to provide a testing ground for unconventional educational approaches; schools are given wide latitude to set their own policies, as long as they adhere to basic guidelines. Importing Turkish teachers is about as unconventional as it gets. But the school broke no rules, the state has received no complaints about religious influence at the school, and its academic results speak for themselves.
Nationally, much of the controversy over Gulen-inspired schools has carried an undercurrent of xenophobia, as if the mere possibility of Muslim educators were inherently alarming. But educators of all religions can be inspired by their faith to help others. As long as they don’t discriminate against other religions, or try to inculcate their beliefs into schoolchildren, then it shouldn’t be a concern. Unless such complaints arise, there is no reason to object to the Pioneer school, and the state made the right call by approving its expansion.
Maybe that is why, it is not fair to put the name of Fethullah Gulen in front of some charter schools.
The choice of interview with Andrew Finkel was not the ideal one, because Mr. Finkel is a former columnist for Today’s Zaman, one of the newspapers of the Movement. His job was terminated several months ago and this could easily be a conflict of interest. I do not think that Mr. Finkel could be impartial on this issue. Besides, Mr. Finkel’s answer to a question about the Movement (if they were cult or not) was cut after he said “Yes, but…”.
To define Hizmet Movement a “cult” is a misconception at best. First of all, as opposed to United States, there is almost no cult-like formation in Turkey except some extremely marginal groups whose members do not exceed a few hundred people. However, we are talking about a social global movement (not a religious one) whose membership exceeds millions. Hizmet Movement is not a cult-like Movement. Moreover, the degree of attachment people display is also very different. Some people are just sympathizers, while some people actively engage in the activities of the Movement. Certain individuals make donations, while some others dedicate their time to charitable works. There is no rite of initiation, ceremony, formal membership or official “acceptance” within the Movement. Also, the Turkish-Muslim volunteers of the Movement have the same Islamic worship styles. Then how can the producers imply a cult-like formation?
I also read several of the comments under the video and I especially liked some of them. One of the viewers mentioned the existence of two positive stories and the effort to combine these two different positive stories into a negative story. I agree with that viewer. This is nothing but an odd interpretation.
Anyway, let’s turn back to the initial topic. In that “60 Minutes” broadcast, did you notice the simplicity of the room Mr. Gulen makes his internet talks for his guests? The picture above also reflects this simplicity. Does it look like the room of a super-rich person as claimed by some detractors? I think this is what makes Mr. Gulen different from other inspirational leaders. Mr. Gulen lives what he preaches. In his youth, he, as an imam, used to live in a shack for many years. Before the years spent in the shack (or a hut), he was staying by a window in the mosque he preached.
I believe even our closets are larger than his small window.