Alabama shuts down FETÖ-linked charter school
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
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 FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen, a fugitive terrorist wanted by Turkey for his role behind a deadly military coup attempt in July 2016.
Gülen has been residing in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania for over two decades.
In a statement sent to the news outlet, Alabama Education Association President Sherry Tucker said the “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 Fetullah 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 which serve as a revenue stream for the terror group.