Lawyer Claims Probe Shows Ties Between 17 Ohio Charter Schools And Controversial Turkish Cleric

Oct 11, 2016

An American lawyer hired by the Turkish government to investigate charter schools connected to a Muslim cleric thought to be behind a coup in Turkey in July says he’s finished his probe. And he says he’s turning over what he found about some Ohio charter schools to the state auditor for further investigation.

Robert Amsterdam said he’s found 17 Horizon Science Academies and Noble Academies in Ohio brought in $19 million through a real estate scam masterminded by Concept Schools. And he said that reclusive Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, an enemy of Turkish president Recep Erdogan, benefited from that money. “It is not for their children’s education. Interestingly, it is to promote an organization that hides itself from the very people that are supporting it,” Amsterdam said.

A spokesman for Concept Schools says similar allegations made in the past were found to be untrue by the auditor, and he says that will be the case this time too. And he notes that Amsterdam’s report was presented by ProgressOhio, an organization affiliated with teachers’ unions, which oppose charter schools.