By William Phillis
Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy in School Funding

The Akron Beacon Journal, in a July 5 article (, reports that politicians, including Rep. Cliff Rosenberger (leading the pack for the next Speaker of the Ohio House), have been favored with all-expense-paid trips to Turkey.

Rosenberger’s office did not answer Beacon Journal requests for information, according to the report.

Some of these were likely duped into the scheme, thinking that it might be a good-will venture.

The Gulen movement, founded by Turkish Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, living in exile in Saylorsburg, Penn., has been successful, via the Niagara Foundation and more than 140 tax-supported charter schools in the United States, in entering the arteries of government in Ohio and throughout the United States.

This movement's influence in Ohio and U.S. government is substantial.

The Gulenists approach government and business officials with the agenda of promoting education, economic development and amicable relationships while keeping their Gulen connections under the radar. They come bearing gifts, such as campaign contributions and junkets to Turkey.

Unfortunately, some politicians and others are gullible and get sucked into their web. Some politicians are doing the bidding of the Gulenists.

Every Horizon Science Academy in the United States should come under complete scrutiny by state and federal officials, including Homeland Security. Citizens have a right to know that Fethullah Gulen has been living in exile in the United States and that his followers are allowed to operate tax-supported charter schools that have been raided by the FBI on suspicion of numerous irregular and criminal activities.

Some individuals with firsthand knowledge of charter school operations have begun to make their concerns public. Possibly, others will follow.

As a side-bar issue, it is interesting that the U. S. House Ethics Committee has eliminated the requirement that federal lawmakers disclose their all-expense-paid trips on annual financial forms.

What are some politicians attempting to hide?

(Note: The State Board of Education has ordered an investigation of a chain of 19 charter schools in response to sweeping allegations of test cheating, attendance tampering, improper sexual conduct and other misdeeds.)