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Zaman International School- The Gulen Cult
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SethOsiris



Joined: 07 Jan 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This Gulen is clearly a fraud. After the Turkish PM ordered Gulen's prep schools shut down in Turkey, he used his stooges in the judiciary and police to release information that many of PM Erdogan's ministers and close associates were massively corrupt. Many have now stepped down. Gulen has denied that he gave the orders to make the arrests, but no one believes him. Erdogan, the leader of an Islamist party, has now responded by firing an incredible 2500 police officers involved in exposing corruption in his government. This all reveals how weak and pitiful Erdogan's democratic credentials were all along. He is just another power-mad autocrat. But the more interesting thing in terms of Zaman School is what it says about Gulen himself.

Gulen knew that most of Erdogan's inner circle were corrupt and he and his followers had enough evidence to prove it. But he sat on that evidence for years when Erdogan was his Islamist ally in Turkey's political power struggles. It was only when Erdogan threatened the business interests of Gulen that this supposed "holy man" cared about corruption enough to press charges. His whole movement is a complete sham.
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 820

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wander&teach wrote:
There are no ethics or integrity and rules and contracts are meaningless.


Hmmm Doesn't look good when the country is trying to get into the European Union.
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SiThep



Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 32
Location: Thailand

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps you should have done more research before starting there. As soon as you type in Zaman International School the words "Turkish cult" start popping up. There was also this posted on Khmer 440 (some kind of expat site) a couple of years ago. It repeats most of the same complaints the original poster makes. It never ceases to me how people don't research these schools first and then start complaining later.

Zaman International School is certainly a misnomer if there ever was one – the use of INTERNATIONAL in its name is fundamentally false advertizing. There is nothing INTERNATIONAL about it. The teaching staff isn’t international with merely one native English speaker on a staff of 80 teachers. The rest of the English Department is Turkish Muslim and speak awkward stammering English similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s silly cadences in the Terminator movies, (“I’ll be back” sort of thing). Not only that, the English Departmental meetings are 75 percent conducted in Turkish since the teachers’ listening recognition skills are so weak they don’t understand the issues when conducted in English.
The blind leading the blind. To say that the students’ English facility is lacking is an understatement. With teachers that are ill equipped to recite even a simple sentence fluently in English you can’t really expect more. When the teachers aren’t fluent, it bodes ill toward instilling fluency in the students.
The Zaman curriculum isn’t international. It’s a self professed Gulen School, following the educational philosophies of the Turkish Islamic theologian Fethullah Gülen. The Gulen schools are believed by many seasoned educators to have sinister underpinnings. Implied is that the students get a thorough brainwashing in Islamic doctrine instead of a well-rounded education. That view is proved true at Zaman. The administration has totally banned traditional liberal arts subjects like Art and Music which are standard in international school curriculum and replaced them which a mandatory 4 years of Turkish language studies. Since the entire student population is composed of Cambodian students who are Buddhist it’s rather odd that the students are forced to learn to speak Turkish. Outside school, in their daily life they have absolutely no need for Turkish speaking skills.
Islamic teachings and Islamic codified behavior reign at Zaman. The Koran dictates all teaching and all behavior there. Classes are segregated, staff rooms are segregated, student dining area is segregated and teachers dining area is segregated. In the school environs everyone is forced to become a de facto Muslim.
The administration is out of touch with accepted international curriculum and if they have had any contact, they haven’t a clue as to how to develop it or implement it. Without a modicum of English speaking proficiency any curriculum they attempt to implement is doomed to failure.
The school building, classrooms and facilities are not up to international school standards. The classrooms are under equipped. No interactive whiteboards, no comfortable furniture and the too many of the projectors are broken down or otherwise inoperative. They cram 35 to 40 students into classrooms that were designed for a maximum of 25. Factoring in the steep tuition, one wonders why the facilities are so inadequate. Parents are not getting their money’s worth.


Here is a link if anyone wants to read even more.

http://www.khmer440.com/chat_forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25853
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2031
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wrong, post, wrong place (my earlier post, which is why this is edited).

I spent a short time working for a "Gulen" school in Mexico (I assume it was) becuase the director was Turkish, they had a Turkish flag, a number of Turkish teachers, and they taught Turkish as a foreign language (also English & French).

The wives of the Turkish teachers all wore headscarves, so they seemed along the lines of practicing Muslims.

However, all the classes were mixed (male & female) and they never seemed to push Islam or even require students to conform to "Islamic style-rules". There was a party for Mexican Independence Day, and they even served tacos al-pastor to the Ss, which are made of pork...


Last edited by Prof.Gringo on Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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SethOsiris



Joined: 07 Jan 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a link to an article about the ongoing war between Gulen and the Turkish Prime Minister. It provides some insight into the murky world of this Turkish cult and "breeding ground" for future Gulenists:

It looks like Fetullah Gulen and his band of merry thieves are going to have to find an alternative source for one of their funding projects – if Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has his way. Erdogan has proposed closing down all fee based and free (nothing’s ever truly free) high school and college prep school testing centers, the majority of which are run by the Gulenists.

An article published in the US News on December 2, 2013, and written by Michael Skank, the director of foreign policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation and adjunct faculty at George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, implies that this is an effort by Erdogan to further suppress Gulen’s growing influence in Turkish students. Skank is correct – it looks like Erdogan is in fact trying to influence Gulen’s power hold on Turkey by hitting him where it hurts the most --- his pocketbook.

Skank cries foul – stating that Erdogan is simply using his power to bully Gulen and as a result, only reinforcing the alleged “Islamophobic” and anti-Gulen sentiment that is making headway in the United States, and in particular, as it relates to the 140 plus Gulen administered and United States' publicly funded charter school network. Skank seems to forget that Erdogan himself is a Muslim, and the Prime Minister of Turkey, a country whose predominate religion is Islam, both of which makes him a most unlikely candidate to spread Islamophobia on either shore.

What Skank does not write about is the fact that the Gulen prep schools in Turkey are nothing more than a grooming factory for future Gulenists. The Gulenists seek out students, many of them from poor families that cannot afford to send their children to the best high schools and universities and as a consequence -- gratefully accept the Gulenists’ offer to “prep” their children for the highly competitive admission tests.

But test preparation is just a sideline adjunct activity to the more specific goal of “prepping” the students for their future roles as Gulenist cult puppets – eager “fundraisers,” via Hizmet contributions and other funds money laundered through the organization.

So it looks like Erdogan is actually doing the students and their families a huge favor by shutting down Gulen’s shady money-making and related exploitive activities. Now if we can only get Erdogan to move to the United States, run for office, and do the same over here – because our politicians are too busy stuffing their pockets with Gulen’s campaign contributions and free trips to Turkey to care that he is pillaging our tax coffers through his educational odyssey.

Skank appears to be another biased and whiny supporter of Gulen’s agenda, citing Georgetown professor John Esposito’s reference to Gulen as akin to the “Dalai Lama and as praised by Madeline Albright and James Baker III for his democracy and dialogue.” It seems that Skank and Esposito have been drinking from the same Kool-aid cup filled with denial and cooled with Gulenist propaganda.

Below is the article by Skank as well as a recent map of the United States’ Gulen charter school organization (hmm… an oxymoron of sorts) put together by Sharon Higgins of the Parameter Primate website:

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/12/02/turkeys-concerning-crackdown-on-gulen-schools?s_cid=rss:world-report:turkeys-concerning-crackdown-on-gulen-schools
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princesss



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 137
Location: japan/indo/aust

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prof.Gringo wrote:
Wrong, post, wrong place (my earlier post, which is why this is edited).

I spent a short time working for a "Gulen" school in Mexico (I assume it was) becuase the director was Turkish, they had a Turkish flag, a number of Turkish teachers, and they taught Turkish as a foreign language (also English & French).

The wives of the Turkish teachers all wore headscarves, so they seemed along the lines of practicing Muslims.

However, all the classes were mixed (male & female) and they never seemed to push Islam or even require students to conform to "Islamic style-rules". There was a party for Mexican Independence Day, and they even served tacos al-pastor to the Ss, which are made of pork...


I worked for a Gulen school in Myanmar a while back. A lot of people wonder if these schools have a secret agenda to push Islam. I did some research and I think it's more complicated than this. There is a scam but it's a complicated one.

They do their recruiting for Hizmet members mostly in Turkey and the "Stan" countries. They target poor families and offer prep courses for University to these families who couldn't afford it otherwise. What nice helpful people hey? Um, not so fast.

They use these prep courses as hunting grounds for future Hizmet members or Gulenists. These poor students might have a better future but there is a catch. You have to swear loyalty to the Islamic preacher Gulen. He's really some kind of cult leader. Once you are a member of Hizmet you have to pay a chunk of your income to Gulen and don't ask questions about where it goes. You can also only marry another Hizmet member. They even organize arranged marriages in some cases. They ask expect you to obey any instruction which Gulen gives. If he tells you to pack up and go teach in Myanmar then you say, "Yes sir."

What's his long term game? Most people say he wants to become Prime Minister of Turkey. There are said to be 1 million Hizmet members in Turkey and they have infiltrated the police and even the courts. They have wiretapped the members of rival political groups and released the recordings which has caused several cabinet members to be fired for corruption. The ruling party has now lashed out and said they will close all Gulen prep schools from 2015. Gulen and Erdogan, the PM of Turkey, are now in open conflict. His enemies say Gulen wants to take over Turkey and introduce his own version of Islam.

Some of the schools in places like Mexico and even the United States are just to raise revenue. I don't think they are out to convert people to Islam. But you can't assume there is no agenda. They are using the money from these schools to try and get control of Turkey. They have already been banned in Russia. I don't think they are very trustworthy and I couldn't recommend them as an employer based on what I saw in Myanmar.
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wander&teach



Joined: 15 Nov 2009
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I.M.H.O. Princesss hit the nail one the head. However, I did do a one year stint at one of these in Turkey and was treated respectfully by the administration and was paid well. I'm assuming that location has a lot to do with the conditions you will encounter.
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SethOsiris



Joined: 07 Jan 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In terms of Zaman, most of the Turkish teachers speak broken English. I don't know if they have good Maths and Science teachers, but the English at the school is very substandard. This is not my opinion; I'm basing it on exam results and parent feedback. Their students have been failing international English exams, which is why they recruited 8 Native Speakers for 2013-2014- a record number. The parents were starting to wise up and complain. Unfortunately, most of the expats soon left, disgruntled by broken promises and a hostile attitude towards "outsiders" to the cult.

Another way you can tell how substandard Zaman's English program is by the high number of Zaman students who study at ACE after school. The kids don't get communicative English skills at Zaman, so they to do extra courses at ACE to "brush up". The English best students at Zaman are almost always ones who learnt most of their English at ACE. The management at Zaman knows this and is quite open about it. It's a situation they are aware of, which is why they hired expats to "clean up the mess". But the Gulen cult is not a friendly place for expat teachers.
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