FETHULLAH GULEN'S AMBITION: TURKEY'S ISLAMIST DANGER
By Rachel Sharon-Krespin
In 1998, Fethullah Gülen left Turkey for the United States, reportedly to receive medical treatment for diabetes. Since his voluntary exile, Gülen has resided on a large, rural estate in eastern Pennsylvania, together with about 100 followers, who guard him and tend to his needs. It is from his U.S. base that Gülen has built his fame and his transnational empire.
Today, Turkey has over 85,000 active mosques, one for every 350 citizens compared to one hospital for every 60,000 citizens the highest number per capita in the world and, with 90,000 imams, more imams than doctors or teachers. It has thousands of madrasa-like Imam-Hatip schools and about four thousand more official state-run Qur'an courses, not counting the unofficial Qur'an schools, which may expand the total number tenfold. Spending by the governmental Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet Isleri Baskanligi) has grown five fold, from 553 trillion Turkish lira in 2002 (approximately US$325 million) to 2.7 quadrillion lira during the first four-and-a-half years of the AKP government; it has a larger budget than eight other ministries combined.  The Friday prayer attendance rate in Turkey's mosques exceeds that of Iran's, and religion classes teaching Sunni Islam are compulsory in public schools, despite rulings against the practice by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Turkish high court (Danistay).  Both Prime Minister Erdogan and the Diyanet head Ali Bardakoglu criticized the rulings for failing to consult Islamic scholars.
Gülen now helps set the political agenda in Turkey, using his followers in the AKP, as well as the movement's vast media empire, financial institutions and banks, business organizations, an international network of thousands of schools, universities and student residences (isikevis), and many associations and foundations. He is a financial heavyweight, controlling an unregulated and opaque budget estimated at $25 billion.  It is not clear whether the Fethullahist cemaat (community) supports the AKP or is the ruling force behind AKP. Either way, however, the effect is the same.
To build an image as a proponent of interfaith dialogue, Gülen met Pope John Paul II, other Christian clergy, and Jewish rabbis  He emphasizes the commonalities unifying Abrahamic religions. He presents himself and his movement as the modern-day version of tolerant, liberal Anatolian Sufism and has used the literature of great Sufi thinkers such as Jalal ad-Din Rumi and Yunus Emre, pretending to share their moderate teachings.  Quotes from their teachings adorn Fethullah's Gülen's propaganda material. The movement, its proxy organizations, and universities including Georgetown, to which it donates money hold conferences in the United States and Europe to discuss Gülen. In October, 2007, the British House of Lords feted Gülen with a conference in his honor.
Gülen was a student and follower of Sheikh Sa'id-i Kurdi (1878-1960), also known as Sa'id-i Nursi, the founder of the Islamist Nur (light) movement.  After Turkey's war of independence, Kurdi demanded, in an address to the new Parliament, that the new republic be based on Islamic principles. He turned against Atatürk and his reforms and against the new modern, secular, Western republic.
In 1998, Gülen departed for the United States, reportedly to receive medical treatment for diabetes. However, his absence also enabled Gülen to escape questioning on his indictment in 2000 for allegedly promoting insurrection in Turkey in a series of secretly-recorded sermons. Since his voluntary exile, Gülen has resided on a large, rural estate in eastern Pennsylvania, together with about 100 followers, who guard him and tend to his needs. These servants are educated men who wear suits and ties and do not look like traditional Islamists in cloaks and turbans. They follow their Hocaefendi's orders and even refrain from marrying until age fifty, per his instructions. When they do marry, their spouses are expected to dress in the Islamic manner, as dictated by Gülen himself.  It is from his U.S. base that Gülen has built his fame and his transnational empire.
The overt network of schools is only one part of a larger strategy. In a 2006 interview, Veren said,
The AKP's controversial education policies, coupled with the Islamist indoctrination in Fethullahist schools, have accelerated the Islamization of Turkish society. During AKP's first term in government, the Erdogan government has changed textbooks, emphasized religion courses, and transferred thousands of certified imams from their positions in the Directorate of Religious Affairs to positions as teachers and administrators in Turkey's public schools.  Abdullah Gül, Turkey's first Islamist President and a Gülen sympathizer, appointed a Gülen-affiliated professor, Yusuf Ziya Özcan, to head Turkey's Council of Higher Education (Yüksekögretim Kurulu, YÖK). He has also used his presidential prerogative to appoint Gülen sympathizers to university presidencies.
Beyond Turkey, the Fethullahist schools also serve as fertile recruiting grounds. In his Institut d'Etudes Politiques doctoral thesis on Gülen schools in Central Asia, Bayram Balci, a French scholar of Turkish origin, wrote, "Fethullah's aim is the Islamization of Turkish nationality and the Turcification of Islam in foreign countries. Dozens of Fethullah's Turkish schools' abroad most of which are for boys are used to covertly convert,' not so much in school,' but through direct proselytism outside school.'" Balci explained, "He wants to revive the link between state, religion, and society."  The schools of Gülen's Nur movement in Central Asia have worked to reestablish Islam in a region largely secularized by decades of Soviet control. Balci explained, "The aim of the cemaat is to educate and influence future national elites, who will speak English and Turkish and who will one day prove their good intentions towards Fethullahists and towards Turkey." Several countries in the region have taken steps against Gülen's educational institutions because of such suspicions. Uzbekistan has banned the schools for encouraging Islamic law,  and the Russian government, weary of the movement's activities in majority Muslim regions of the federation, has banned not only the Gülen schools, but all activities of the entire Nur sect in the country. 
Neither Uzbekistan nor Russia are known for their pluralism, but suspicion about Gülen indoctrination has spread even to more permissive societies such as that of the Netherlands. In 2008, members of the Netherland's Christian Democrat, Labor, and Conservative parties agreed to cut several million euros in government funding for organizations affiliated with "the Turkish imam Fethullah Gülen" and to thoroughly investigate the activities of the Gülen group after Erik Jan Zürcher, Director of the Amsterdam-based International Institute for Social History, and five former Gülen followers who had worked in Gülen's isikevi told Dutch television that the Gülen community was moving step-by-step to topple the secular order.  While the organizations in question denied any ties to the Gülen movement, Zürcher said that taqiya, religiously-sanctioned dissimulation, was typical in the movement's interactions with the West. An unnamed former Gülen follower who also once worked in Gülen schools and isikevi reported that Fethullahists called the Dutch "filthy, blasphemous infidels" and that they said "the best Dutchman is one who has converted to Islam. All the Dutch must be made Muslims."  Indeed, of the thousands of Fethullahist schools in more than one hundred countries that allegedly teach moderation, none are located in countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iran that exist under domineering strains of official Islam, and most appear, instead, geared to radicalize students in secular Muslim and non-Muslim societies.
Adil Serdar Saçan, former Director of the Organized Crimes Unit within the Istanbul Directorate of Security, confirmed these statements in reports he prepared on the Fethullahist organization within the security apparatus. In a 2006 interview, he said:
Such statements, however, may have consequences.  In October, 2008, Turkish police arrested Saçan on suspicion of involvement in the socalled Ergenekon plot to overthrow the Turkish state.  Most Turkish analysts believe that the Ergenekon conspiracy, short of any evidence of unconstitutional activities, is more a mechanism by which the Turkish government can harass critics. 
Writer and journalist Merdan Yanardag provided statistics to illuminate the Islamist penetration of the Ankara Directorate of Security. He explained:
Wiretapping scandals in Spring, 2008, also highlighted Gülenist penetration of the security service's most important units. After the Turkish Security Directorate obtained a blanket court permit in April, 2007, to monitor and record all the communications in Turkey, including mobile and land-line telephones, SMS text messaging, e-mail, fax, and Internet communications,  Turks have grown uneasy about having telephone conversations, fearing intrusion into their privacy. Recent leaks to pro-AKP media of recordings of military personnel meetings, lectures, top secret military documents, strategic antiterrorism plans, private medical files of commanders, and contents of personal conversations between state prosecutors have shocked the nation, as has the appearance on the Internet video site YouTube of some of those recordings.
The alleged network of Fethullah followers in the security system has an impact on domestic affairs as they use restricted technology or privileged information to further their political agenda. In February, 2008, for example, several websites posted the voice recording of a secret speech delivered by Brig. Gen. Münir Erten announcing the timing of an upcoming Turkish military operation into Iraqi Kurdistan, details of a private discussion with the chief of the General Staff, and private information concerning Gen. Ergin Saygun's health.  The following month, several websites, including YouTube, posted a secretly recorded conversation between prosecutor Salim Demirci and a colleague regarding Erdogan and Efkan Ala, then Governor of Diyarbakir and subsequently a counselor of Erdogan's office. Erdogan responded by ordering a criminal investigation against Demirci.  In June, 2008, the Islamist Vakit published Saygun's entire medical file, disclosing information about his diabetes, as well as the treatments and medications he had received in the Gülhane military hospital.  Others whose tapped conversations appeared on Islamist websites and in Gülen's newspaper network included Erdogan Teziç, the former head of Turkey's Higher Education Council, and prominent members of the Center-Left opposition Republican People's Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP). Many Turkish journalists believe that Fethullahist-dominated police tap their communications, and according to reports, the head of the wiretapping unit, who was appointed by Erdogan in August, 2005, is a Fethullah follower.  Islamist newspapers, including Vakit, Yeni Safak, Zaman and the pro-AKP Taraf, published leaks from private conversations held inside government offices and military headquarters. The Islamist, pro-AKP media has reported alleged confidential evidence relating to the police investigation of the socalled Ergenekon plot that posits a secularist cabal of military officers, journalists, and professors sought to overthrow the AKP government.  The net effect of such leaks is to tar the reputations of or intimidate AKP's political opponents and the Turkish military.
Islamization within police ranks also contributes to police brutality against anti-AKP demonstrators. On May 1, 2008, the police used gas bombs, pepper gas, water cannons, and clubs against workers who wanted to celebrate May Day peacefully in Istanbul's Taksim Square, the traditional site of demonstrations in Turkey's largest city; scores were injured.  Labor unions and opposition parties condemned the police brutality and accused Erdogan of using police to silence opposition voices.  Police also suppressed labor protests in Tuzla (Istanbul) shipyards.  Similarly, police have harassed individual citizens after they criticized Erdogan's policies. Erdogan's own security guards abducted a 46-year-old man from Antalya for speaking out in public against Erdogan's social security policies, taking the man to a deserted location, where the guards beat and threatened him. The victim alleged that his attackers said they could easily plant guns or drugs on him and kill him. 
While Turkey's military is guarantor of the Constitution, Veren alleged that Fethullahists had also entrenched themselves within the military, police, and other professions:
According to Veren, Gülen has argued that the military expels no more than one in forty Islamist officers; the rest remain in undercover cells. While such allegations may seem the stuff of conspiracy theory, recent leaks to pro-AKP media suggest a number of Islamist sources within the military ranks, creating speculation that followers of Gülen now populate the senior infrastructure of the Turkish General Staff. Such speculation gained additional credence after the August, 2008, Supreme Military Council (Yüksek Askeri Sura, YAS), for the first time, declined to expel suspected Islamists from military ranks.
The AKP government has also aided the Gülen movement with its reorientation of the judiciary. Over the first five years of his rule, Erdogan replaced thousands of judges and prosecutors with AKP appointees. Now that the President is Islamist, it is unlikely that he would veto the appointment of Islamists to the bench, as did his predecessor Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Indeed, it now appears that the government intends to appoint thousands more to judicial positions.  The AKP has also enacted a law that would require applicants for judgeships to first interview with AKP bureaucrats in order better to gauge and adjudicate applicants' adherence to Islam. The results of the AKP's targeting of the judicial system are already apparent as anti-secular, pro-AKP officials have been at the forefront of some controversial trials, such as the case against Van University President Yücel Askin,  the Semdinli investigation in which the prosecutor tried to implicate Gen. Yasar Büyükanit before he became chief of the General Staff, and, most recently, the Ergenekon probe.
Indeed, it is such overtly political and vindictive prosecutions that have led some former Gülen sympathizers, such as University of Utah Political Scientist Hakan Yavuz, to a change of heart. In one interview, Yavuz told odatv.com that four important legal cases had changed his thinking: the case against Askin; the Semdinli case; the Atabeyler operation, uncovered in 2005, involving an organized crime group with alleged plans to assassinate Prime Minister Erdogan;  and the Ergenekon probe. Yavuz explained:
Yavuz also suggested Gülen's cemaat spoke differently to its members than to outsiders and that it was pursuing a political agenda that conflicted with the founding philosophy of the modern Turkish republic. He accused Fethullahists of "co-optation" and said that they were recruiting people and paying them money without any formal receipts or records to write and speak favorably about the movement, while criticizing the secular Turkish state. 
In 1999, Turkish television aired footage of Gülen delivering sermons to a crowd of followers in which he revealed his aspirations for an Islamist Turkey ruled by Sharia (Islamic law), as well as the methods that should be used to attain that goal. In the sermons, he said:
In another sermon, Gülen said:
And, in yet another sermon, he declared:
Many Gülen supporters and members of the Islamist media affiliated with the cemaat suggested the sermons were somehow forged,  but the denials are unconvincing, given the video footage and reports by Gülen movement defectors.
When Turkish secularists are asked to defend the view that Gülen enjoys U.S. support, they often point to his almost 20-year residence in eastern Pennsylvania. After the Supreme Court of Appeals in Turkey (Yargitay) confirmed on June 24, 2008, a lower court's ruling to acquit Gülen on charges that he organized an illegal terrorist organization to overthrow the secular government in Turkey, Gülen won another legal battle, this time in the United States. A federal court reversed U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service decisions that would have denied Gülen's application for permanent residency in the United States on the basis that Gülen did not fit the criteria as someone with "extraordinary ability in the field of education." The Department of Homeland Security characterized Gülen as neither an expert in the field of education nor an educator, but rather as "the leader of a large and influential religious and political movement with immense commercial holdings."
While the court ruling that allowed Gülen to remain in the United States may provide fodder for Turkish analysts who suggest U.S. support for Gülen, the process .is actually more revealing. Indeed, the U.S. government noted that much of the acclaim Gülen touts is sponsored or financed by his own movement. Gülen attached twenty-nine letters of reference to his June 18, 2008, motion, mostly from theologians or Turkish political figures close to or affiliated with his organization. John Esposito, Founding Director of the Saudi-financed Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, who, after receiving donations from the Gülen movement sponsored a conference in his honor, also supplied a reference. Two former CIA officials, George Fidas and Graham Fuller, and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Morton Abramowitz also supplied references.
The letters may have worked. On July 16, 2008, U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell issued a memorandum and order granting Gülen's motion for partial summary judgment and ordering the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to approve his petition for alien worker status as an alien of extraordinary ability by August 1, 2008. The Court found that the immigration examiner improperly concluded that the field of education was the only statutory category in which Gülen's accomplishments could fit and that Gülen's accomplishments in such fields as theology, political science, and Islamic studies should also be considered. The court further determined that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Administrative Appeals Office erred in concluding that Gülen's work was not "scholarly" by applying an unduly narrow definition of the term. Finally, with regard to the statutory requirement that the applicant show that his or her entry into the United States would substantially benefit the United States, the court found that Gülen had met the requirement. 
Regardless of the legal rationale behind his current stay, the U.S. decision to grant Gülen residency will enable his movement to continue to imply Washington's endorsement as the AKP and its Fethullahist supporters seek to push Turkey further away from the secularism upon which it was built.
Indeed, Turkey has never seen a single incident of attacks on pious Muslims for fasting during Ramadan, whereas, in recent years, there have been many incidents of attacks on less-observant Turks for drinking alcohol or not fasting.  While women who cover their heads in the Islamic manner can move freely in any area of the country, uncovered women are increasingly unwelcome in certain regions and are often attacked. 
Contrary to the impression prevalent in the West that the conflict is between religious Muslims and "anti-religion, secular Kemalists" the fact remains that the majority of Turks, secular included, are traditional and observant Muslims, many of whom define themselves primarily as "Muslims first."  While the Turkish Constitution recognizes all Turkish citizens as "Turks," the dominant sentiment in the country has always been that, in order to be considered a Turk, one must be Muslim. The complete absence of any non-Muslim governor, ambassador, or military or police officer attests to the prevalence of Islam's dominance in the Turkish establishment. Therefore, it appears Gülen is not fighting for more individual freedoms, but to free Islam from the confines of the mosque and the private domain of individuals and to bring it to the public arena, to govern every aspect of life in the country.  AKP leaders, including Gül and Erdogan, have repeatedly expressed their opposition to the "imprisonment of Islam in the mosque," demanding that it be present everywhere as a lifestyle. Most Turks vividly remember statements by AKP leaders not long ago rejecting the definition of secularism as "separation of mosque and state." Gül has slammed "secularism" on many occasions, including during a November 27, 1995 interview with The Guardian. What Turkey's Islamists really want is to remove the founding principles of the Turkish Republic. So long as U.S. and Western officials fail to recognize that Gülen's rhetoric of tolerance is only skin-deep, they may be setting the stage for a dialogue, albeit not of religious tolerance, but rather to find an answer to the question, "Who lost Turkey?"
 Milliyet, Mar. 10, 2008; Hürriyet (Istanbul), Mar. 10, 2008.
 Helen Rose Ebaugh and Dogan Koc, "Funding Gülen-Inspired Good Works: Demonstrating and Generating Commitment to the Movement," fgulen.com, Oct. 27, 2007.
 Merdan Yanardag, Fethullah Gülen Hareketinin Perde Arkasi, Turkiye Nasil Kusatildi? (Istanbul: yah Beyaz Yayin, 2006), based on interviews with Nurettin Veren on Kanaltürk television, June 26, July 3, 2006.
 "Fethullah Gülen Is an Islamic Scholar and Peace Activist," International Conference on Fethullah Gülen, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Nov. 2007; J. J. Rogers, "Giants of Light: Fethullah Gülen and Meister Eckhart in Dialogue," The University of Texas, San Antonio, Tex., Nov. 3, 2007.
 See for example, Rogers, "Giants of Light"; USA Today, July 18, 2008.
 Bülent Aras, "Turkish Islam's Moderate Face," Middle East Quarterly, Sept. 1998, pp. 23-9.
 Anadolu Ajansi (Ankara), Feb. 10, 1998.
 Booklets on Anatolian Sufism with citations from Mevlana Celleddin Rumi distributed at the "Muslim World in Transition: Contributions of the Gulen Movement" conference, London, Oct. 25 27, 2007.
 Aland Mizell, "Clash of Civilizations versus Interfaith Dialogue: The Theories of Huntington and Gulen," KurdishMedia.com, Dec. 31, 2007; idem, "Are Islam and Kemalism Compatible? How Two Systems Have Impacted the Kurdish Question?" Iraq Updates, Nov. 28, 2007.
 Interview with Nurettin Veren, Kanaltürk television, June 26, 2006.
 Sabah (Istanbul), Dec. 30, 2004.
 Veren interview, Kanaltürk, June 26, 2006.
 Cumhuriyet (Istanbul), Dec. 23, 2007.
 Bayram Balci, "Central Asia: Fethullah Gulen's Missionary Schools," Oct. 2001.
 Interview with Merdan Yanardag, Gerçek Gündem (Istanbul), Nov. 20, 2006.
 Hürriyet, Apr. 11, 2008.
 Erik-Jan Zürcher, "Kamermeerderheid Eist Onderzoek Naar Turkse Beweging," NOVA documentary, July 4, 2008.
 Cumhuriyet, July 9, 2008; Netherlands Information Services, July 11, 2008.
 Yanardag, Fethullah Gülen Hareketinin Perde Arkasi, Turkiye Nasil Kusatildi?
 Adil Serdar Saçan, interview, Kanaltürk, July 3, 2006.
 Samanyolu television, Oct. 13, 2008.
 See, for example, Michael Rubin, "Erdogan, Ergenekon, and the Struggle for Turkey," Mideast Monitor, Aug. 2008.
 Yanardag interview, Gerçek Gündem, Nov. 20, 2006.
 Vatan, June 2, 2008; Hürriyet, June 2, 2008.
 "SOK! Tuggeneral Munir Erten den SOK aciklamalar!" accessed Oct. 27, 2008.
 "Sok Video! Cumhuriyet Savcisi Salim Demirci," accessed Oct. 27, 2008.
 Vakit (Istanbul), June 14, 2008.
 Vatan, June 2, 2008; Hürriyet, June 2, 2008.
 BBC News, Feb. 4, 2008; Frank Hyland, "Investigation of Turkey's Deep State' Ergenekon Plot Spreads to Military," Global Terrorism Analysis, Jamestown Foundation, July 16, 2008.
 Reuters, May 1, 2008; Sendika.org, Labornet Turkey, May 1, 2008; Vatan, May 1, 2, 2008; Milliyet, May 1, 2, 2008; Hürriyet, May 1, 2, 2008
 Vatan, May 2, 2008; Milliyet, May 2, 2008; Hürriyet, May 2, 8, 2008.
 Hürriyet, Feb. 28, 2008.
 Milliyet, May 14, 2008.
 Yanardag, Fethullah Gülen Hareketinin Perde Arkasi, Turkiye Nasil Kusatildi?
 "Turkish Judiciary at War with AKP Government to Defend Its Independence," MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1520, Mar. 27, 2007.
 "The AKP Government's Attempt to Move Turkey from Secularism to Islamism (Part I): The Clash with Turkey's Universities," MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1014, Nov. 1, 2005; "Professor from Van University in Turkey Commits Suicide after Five Months in Jail without Trial," MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1025, Nov. 18, 2005.
 Zaman (Istanbul), Apr. 18, 2008.
 Odatv.com, May 30, 2008; Hürriyet, June 13, 2008; Aksam (Istanbul), June 16, 2008.
 Radikal (Istanbul), Apr. 7, 2008.
 Hürriyet, Oct. 21, 2008.
 Hürriyet, May 14, 2008.
 Hürriyet, Sept. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 2008.
 Milliyet, July 14, 2008; Cumhuriyet, July 15, 2008
 Turkish channel ATV, June 18, 1999.
 Ibid.; "The Upcoming Elections in Turkey (2): The AKP's Political Power Base," MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 375, July 19, 2007.
 Sabah, Jan. 2, 3, 2005.
 "Fethullah Gulen v. Michael Chertoff, Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, et al," Case 2:07-cv-02148-SD, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
 Turkish Daily News (Ankara), Mar. 16, 2008; Vakit, June 7, 9, 2008; Yeni Safak (Istanbul), June 9, 2008.
 Mustafa Akyol, "The Threat Is Secular Fundamentalism," International Herald Tribune, May 4, 2007; "Islam Will ModernizeIf Secular Fundamentalists Allow," Turkish Daily News, May 15, 2007; "Mr. Logoglu Is Wrong, Considerably Wrong about Turkey," Turkish Daily News, May 24, 2007.
 Vatan, Aug. 21, 2008; Turkish Daily News, Sept. 23, 2008.
 Hürriyet, Feb. 14, 2008; Milliyet, Feb. 14, 2008; Vatan, Feb. 14, 2008, Cumhuriyet, Feb. 14, 2008.
 Yeni Safak, July 7, 2006.
 "Turkish PM Erdogan in Speech during Term as Istanbul Mayor Attacks Turkey's Constitution, Describing It as A Huge Lie': Sovereignty Belongs Unconditionally and Always To Allah'; One Cannot Be a Muslim and Secular,'" MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1596, May 23, 2007.
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three Page Two Page One
Middle East -- Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors
American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East
International Politics & World Disorder:
War, Peace, & Geopolitics in the Real World:
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Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
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U.S. National Security Strategy
Rachel Sharon-Krespin is the Director of the Turkish Media Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Washington, D.C.
The foregoing article by Ms. Sharon-Krespin was originally published in the Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2009, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (Article URL: http://www.meforum.org/article/2045)
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