FETO Has Institutions in Almost Every US State
Group has about 160 associations, institutions across country
Being in close contact with academics, journalists, bureaucrats, politician circles and businessmen in the U.S., FETO is able to use its relationship when needed for legal privilege, financial resources, access to information, news and advertisement.
All of FETO’s associations and foundations in the U.S. are gathered under two umbrella organizations.
The New York-based Alliance for Shared Values, which has researchers on Catholicism-Islam and Jewish rabbis on its administrative body, is led by Yuksel Alp Aslandogan, an adjunct faculty member at Montclair State University.
The alliance covers six different institutes – the Atlantic Institute, The Peace Islands Institute, The Rumi Forum, The Pacifica Institute, The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest and Niagara Foundation.
The other umbrella organization, the Washington DC-based Turkic American Alliance, is led by Faruk Taban, a former academician and current member of the White House Ethnic Committee.
Speaking about the alliance’s operations, Taban has previously said that the reason for the Turkic American Alliance’s establishment was to conduct events focused on the White House, U.S. Congress, think tanks and non-governmental organizations.
Covering also six different federations in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and Los Angeles under the Turkic American Alliance, FETO also controls several other small associations and unions across the U.S.
However, FETO’s operations are not limited to only Turkish associations in the U.S. as it also has gathered Albanian Turkmenian, Azerbaijani and other Turkic Republican associations under umbrella organizations.
The members of these institutions and associations of FETO across the U.S. claim that they give a message of “tolerance and peace” to people through their events. However, the “dialogue” operations are based on lobbying.
Trying to affect the intellectual discourse by having close contacts with the academics in American universities, FETO is also working hard to have good political friends by building economical and financial relations.
FETO’s restructuring in the U.S. showed itself in last year’s congressional letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that complained about freedoms in Turkey, which was signed by 88 congressional representatives. Later on, it was revealed that FETO, in previous years, had made donations to some of the lawmakers and organized a trip to Turkey.
Monitoring the congressional expenses, the website, Legistorm, later revealed that FETO had taken some of the lawmakers on a $3 million trip to Turkey, that included a tour of its own newspaper, magazine and school buildings.
The relationship between FETO and Congress was interrupted after it was revealed lawmakers were taken on the trips.
The House Committee on Ethics opened an investigation on the FETO-organized lawmakers’ trip to Turkey. It concluded congressional members did not attend any FETO-financed trips to Turkey during the last year.
However, critics say FETO members still lobby the Democrat and the Republican parties with exorbitant amounts of money as the presidential elections near.
Focused not only on politicians, FETO also tries to effect several groups consisting of Turkish students who study in the U.S.
If it cannot seize the groups, FETO secretly places some of its members in the group to have a voice, according to critics.
Using the rhetoric of “inter-religious dialogue”, FETO organizes programs and claims to spread “peace”.
Visiting priests and churches have joint iftar dinner and sahur breakfasts during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and organized Jewish-Muslim activities are only some of the group’s events that it tries to use to have an affect over Americans.
FETO also owns one of the largest charter school networks in the U.S., with about 140 schools across the U.S. for which it gets $500 million annually from the U.S. government, according to media reports. Around 60,000 students attend the schools annually.
Some of these schools are currently under FBI investigation for irregularity, unlawful profit, corruption, fraudulent tender and forgery of documents.