US experts warn of growing FETO threat in their country
Mark Hall -director- and John Martin -senior counsel- has pointed to Gulenist threat by saying that the FETO's economic pool grows even bigger as the group operates 167 schools in the 26 states of the country.
U.S. experts have warned of growing threat posed by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in the country.
Turkey's Consulate General in Chicago hosted an event over the weekend, attended by Mark Hall, producer, screenwriter and director of the documentary "Killing Ed"; and John Martin, a senior counsel for a law firm probing financial practices of FETO-linked charter schools in the U.S.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency after the event, Hall said he has been doing his research on the group's activities in the U.S. for more than half a decade.
According to the director, he heard about the July 15 defeated coup from news on television while he was in the process of filming a documentary and "it was no surprise" to him to learn that FETO was behind the coup attempt.
The documentary analyzed in detail the FETO's activities in the U.S, Hall said.
He said the FETO's economic pool grows even bigger as the group operates 167 schools in the 26 states of the country.
Most of the Americans are unaware of the group and its activities, Hall said, adding if the U.S. would not put an end to the FETO's activities, the group might pose a similar threat to America which Turkey is currently facing.
- DEFEATED COUP
The FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Martin described the last year's coup attempt as a "great disappointment".
He said the ongoing FETO's activities in the U.S. pose a serious threat. The Gulen movement is very influential on politicians, local groups and authorities, the senior counsel added.
Amsterdam and Partners law firm has been retained by the Turkish government since at least December 2015 to investigate the FETO's global operations, which include hundreds of educational institutes and businesses.
Umut Acar, Turkey's consul general in Chicago, said that they were carrying out intensive works to inform American citizens about the FETO activities.
"Today's event was part of these works. Today American speakers talked about FETO and corruption instances involving charter schools affiliated with this structure," he said.
- ALLEGATIONS OF TAX CORRUPTION
Acar said the allegations of tax corruption against the FETO-affiliated charter schools were also discussed in the event.
"We think that investigating such allegations is for the benefit of the U.S. citizens and government, which are very sensitive about tax issues," he added.
Acar said the schools are serving as "serious brainwashing centers".
"American families should be very careful when sending their children to these schools," he added.
The consul general said Turkey was expecting that those who are affiliated with this group would be extradited to Turkey.
Turkey has so far requested the extradition of more than 100 FETO-linked suspects from 40 countries, including the U.S. following the last year defeated coup, according to Turkish government figures.
There has been no progress on Turkey's request to extradite Gulen.