Fetullah Gulen has a nice little op-ed in the New York Times about the danger to democracy in Turkey. A fantastic fisking of it with many links to reality is done elsewhere. This is after all a nation where the prime minister said democracy was like a train you took for a while and then got off when you wanted. The silly thinkers of the NY Times, and therefore our elite, believe in the power of democracy and wish to give voice to its supporters. Gulen is a weird figure. Steve Sailer has gone over his odd situation multiple times with essays in Taki's Mag and blog posts. I will not cover that ground but instead throw out a hypothesis. Gulen is the USG "leader for Turkey" on ice. His charter situation is a money honest way for our system to support him without making it blatantly obvious that we are funding Turkish leadership and potential opposition on foreign soil.
Viewing this from the mindset that the world is the USG empire with Russia and China as the only other true sovereigns in the world, Turkey is one of our clients. Due to its location on the Eurasian landmass with the Bosporus under it's control, Russia just to its north and it's location just north of the Arabian lands, Turkey has been important for the USG system for decades. During the Cold War, we really liked the generals in charge of things. It shouldn't be a surprise that with the rise in fecund Islamists and the end of the Cold War, the generals and their front men were tossed out by Islamist friendly front men. Gulen and Erdogan were buddies, and USG sheltered Gulen who came to the US initially for medical reasons and has stayed ever since. Why? Keep him on ice, like the old Iraqi National Congress. One major problem with the INC was it was seen as expat, well to do jerks who were not suffering under Saddam nor knew reality on the ground. Gulen has his mystical cult to keep in touch with and foster as a network in Turkey. This helps his authenticity and credibility to the natives if or when the USG empire needs to install him in Turkey.
How do you fund him? Expenditures for funding Turkish opposition would go through Senate hearings and expose the set up. receiving money directly from the USG system would also allow a propaganda angle of Gulen being a foreign funded, Yankee puppet. To get around this, the USG system allows Gulen to set up a ridiculous numbers of charter schools to take advantage of the charter school concept in America. I have heard charter schools are great for those who run them, so-so for the kids who go to them. By allowing Gulen a network of charter schools, it gives him a pool of money, patronage jobs and a cover story for his work in America while we hold him on ice. Sailer is right about it growing Gulenist economic power, but not just here. It filters back to Turkey, and even if immigrants earn US dollars, they can bring them back to Turkey for a multiplier effect due to lower standards of living. The USG system did this with Libya with the oddball General Hifter who was living in Virginia for decades before he went back in during the Arab Spring with full US support. The money that goes to Gulen becomes a slush fund to help his network back in Turkey. This builds up a channel of money that is outside Erdogan's control to build loyalty to Gulen. It also is a money source outside the normal foreign appropriations system, involving democratic control and oversight. "Congress shut Thieu off in Vietnam, so how do we Empire men get around it? I know, education. Education is like motherhood, everyone supports funding it!"
Why Gulen anyway? One thing that is at play is that our holding of opposition or human assets on US soil is a product of the overemphasis on satellites, technology, computers and what not that started decades ago in the intelligence community. We spent so much on signal intelligence and became so dominant in it, because it limited our needs for human intel and developing spies, which can have messy results. Gulen also has a certain appeal to the progressive cathedral. Check his wikipedia page. He is of the Sufi school of Islam. Go check that page. Sufis usually get grief from other schools of Islam (Salafists) for not really being Muslim. He speaks the words about Islam that progs want to hear. He mouths prog-Islam beliefs. I have no clue if he believes them. I do believe he wants power. He is writing in the NY Times and spouting all the buzz words that the Empire's tastemakers love to hear. He is an opportunist saying what it will take to gain power in a democratic system, so it will switch from audience to audience. Add in us funding his network for decades, and the USG Empire will call in their favors eventually.
Those items seem to line up. Gulen's our man on ice in case Erdogan does not keep in line with the USG system. Erdogan's corruption scandal also involved the Iran gold laundering issue. Gee, I wonder who tipped the media off to that as Iran is in talks with the US now over the nuclear program. Funny how Erdogan keeps talking to Russia about mutual cooperation, economic aid and other Middle Eastern issues. The USG might be insane, but they have learned over the years from some failures on how to better cover their tracks when installing puppets. Hell, they have refined the Bay of Pigs "Air Cover + native ground crews trained by the US and allies" to run much better operations in North Africa and the Middle East. That is not societal progress but more a sign of technological progress. There is mystery to Gulen's American residence, but if we think cynical enough, it makes sense. The USG runs a Godfather racket not a true Empire, so we all have to imagine the talks and threats as such, "Nice leadership role you have there Erdogan, be a shame if we had to replace you. Oh who would we send? Why... our man Gulen."