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Letter: Cleric not linked to Turkish coup

by Daniel Del’Re on . Posted in Columns

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Regarding “International intrigue surrounds expanding charter school group” (Page A-1, Feb. 19):

The story in my mind was an unfortunate display of sensationalist reporting. It offered no credible sourcing to link Fethullah Gulen to the attempted 2016 coup in Turkey.

The article lacks any discussion of the circumstances surrounding the U.S. refusal to extradite Gulen, namely that the Turkish government has produced no evidence, at least publicly, of his alleged role in the attempted coup. The article cites only two critics of Gulen and his affiliated organizations: Robert Amsterdam, a lawyer representing the Turkish government, and President Recep Erdogan, and the recently deposed National Security adviser Michael Flynn.

Amsterdam cannot render an objective assessment of Gulen, given his role as counselor to the Turkish government, and, ultimately, to Erdogan.

As for Flynn, he is known to have trafficked in unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. And The Record didn’t actually interview him. Instead, the article excerpts comments Flynn wrote in a 2016 op-ed that is bereft of any evidence to substantiate his position on Gulen.

Instead of reasoned, objective reporting, the article amounts to propaganda for Amsterdam’s client, Erdogan. There may be a compelling public interest in exploring the financing and performance of the Gulen-linked charter schools in New Jersey, but that angle is overshadowed by the sensationalist and unsupported angle of “international intrigue.”

Daniel Del’Re
Union City, Feb. 20

This letter has been published at the Record's web site