By Tayfun Salci
The U.K. is home to a number of foundations, think-tanks, schools, and private learning centers which have links to U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, whom the Turkish state accuses of being behind the deadly July 15 coup attempt.
The roots of Gulen's Fetullah Terrorist Organization or FETO-linked institutions in the United Kingdom go back to 1993, when Gulen visited London.
The first FETO organization in the country is Axis Educational Trust, established in 1994, which operates a number of prep centers or "dershane" (paid learning centers which provide supplementary education) and a school.
Mustafa Yesil, chairman of the Turkish-based Journalists and Writers Foundation -- established by Gulen himself in 1994 -- is among the founders of Axis as well as co-founder of many companies and education institutions in the country.
According to the institution's website, Axis "was set up by parents and teachers inspired by Fethullah Gulen’s teachings.”
Axis Tuition Centres -- under the Axis Educational Trust -- are a chain of prep schools with around 1,000 pupils in 15 different locations.
Lighthouse Educational Society is another FETO-linked institution in south London with four branches in the Welling, Croydon, Harrow, and Tooting areas.
Amity Educational Foundation is based in east London, while Wisdom Primary and Secondary School is in Tottenham in north London, where many Turks reside.
Another London-based education company is Oxford Vision, which offers students education abroad in such places as Ireland, Malta, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., and South Africa. It has offices in Istanbul and Almaty, Kazakhstan’s capital.
Students play an important role in FETO activities in the country. Network of Students, founded in 2008, has been working to attract more members since then.
Fellowship Educational Society was established in 2006, with branches in Kent, Brighton, Bristol, Basingstoke, and Reading.
Also notable is Spring Education Centre Birmingham with a second branch in Leicester.
Business and ‘education’
Koza Educational Society is also a FETO-related "education center" established in 2004 "by a group of parents and professionals inspired by the teachings of Fetullah Gulen," according to its website.
Koza bears the same name as Koza Ipek Holding, a 23-company conglomerate raided by the police last September for allegedly supporting FETO. Chairman Akin Ipek is wanted by police and remains at large.
Ipek, believed to be one of FETO’s leading financiers, runs a number of companies in the U.K., including Ipek Investment Ltd., Koza Ltd., Koza Properties Ltd., and Encore Mining Consultancy.
The companies are active in mining, real estate, and investment.
Among the so-called think-tanks and research centers is the London Centre for Social Studies, founded in 2004, which has studied migration and educational issues, and has also allegedly organized meetings to expand FETO's political and academic cooperation.
The London Centre for Social Studies, Dialogue Society, Turkey Institute, and Center for Hizmet Studies have reportedly been spreading the group’s propaganda in the guise of academic research and anti-Turkish studies.
FETO has also owned religious centers and mosques in the U.K., including the Mevlana Mosque, Rumi Culture Center, and Anadolu Muslims Foundation.
As for media, FETO has published a weekly newspaper called Zaman UK in addition to an Ankara-based news agency Muhabir Ajans, which also serves the U.K.
Moreover, the group has a network of businessmen, the Business Network (BizNet), as well as Pronet, ProneHr, and Business Network Design Group -- all operated in parallel with BizNet.
British MP paid to write report on Turkey
The group was recently accused of paying a British MP tens of thousands of pounds to write a report critical of the human rights situation in Turkey.
According to The Times of London, in February 2015 Sir Edward Garnier, a Conservative MP for Harborough, was paid £115,994 ($152,951) “to co-research and author a document titled ‘A Report on the Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights in Turkey’.”
The report, commissioned by the Journalists and Writers Foundation, “focused exclusively on actions by the Turkish government against Gulen-linked organizations,” the paper said. It was written at a time when Gulen’s Fetullah Terrorist Organization had been listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey.
The report was sent to prominent figures in British politics, including then-Prime Minister David Cameron and his then-Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
Following the July 15 attempted coup, which aimed to overthrow Turkey's democratically elected government, Turkey has sent the U.S. two official requests for Gulen's extradition to face trial.
On Thursday, an Istanbul court issued a warrant for the arrest of Fetullah Gulen for leading the coup attempt.
Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.