Board Member of Fulton Science Academy and
proposed Cape Fear STEM School:
"Yes, I am a Fethullah follower"
Page created Nov 30, 2010
According to his CV, Cevdet Akbay was a member of the Governing Board of Fulton Science Academy (a Gulen charter school in the Atlanta, Georgia area) from 2003-2007. On Fulton's IRS 990 forms, he is shown on the list of board members for the years 2002, 2005 and 2006; for reasons unknown his name is not shown on these forms for the years 2003, 2004 and 2007. Akbay is listed as a board member in the 2006 charter renewal proposal for the Fulton Science Academy middle school.
Akbay was also on the Governing Board of TEACH (Technology Enriched Accelerated Charter High), which has since changed its name to Fulton Science Academy High School, from 2006-2007, according to his CV.
Cevdet Akbay is also named as a board member of Cape Fear Education Services, which is currently applying to open a new charter school in North Carolina named Cape Fear STEM School.
In a news article by ODATV, a Turkish media outlet, Cevdet Akbay is quoted as saying that he is a follower of Fethullah Gulen. The article, in the original Turkish, can be viewed on ODATV's website. The accompanying photo and biographical information about Akbay leave no doubt that this is the same individual involved in these charter schools. The title of the article, "Evet, ben Fethullahciyim," translates to "Yes, I'm a Fethullah follower." An English translation of this article is given below.
English translation of ODATV article:
“YES, I AM A FETHULLAH FOLLOWER”
An Internet site called Nasname engages in pro-KDP activities among the European Kurds. There are two entities that Nasname primarily targets. One is the Turkish military. Every day, the site publishes tens of insults directed at the army and the soldiers. Yet, unlike Youtube, it is not banned because, surprisingly, no public prosecutor has acted on that yet. The other target of the site is the present Kurdish Movement. Nasname accuses the current Kurdish Movement of being associated with Ergenekon. What is interesting is that much of its criticism overlaps with that of the Zaman daily. What is more, the Internet site frequently uses news published in the community media.
Now, why does this mouthpiece of Kurdish origin criticize the present Kurdish Movement?
The answer to this question can be found in the publication policy of the website. The site generally supports activities of the community among the Kurds. The most outspoken person on the subject, who does not deny his connections with the community, is Cevdet Akbay.
Akbay’s own personal website hosts a Bediuzzaman section. Cevdet Akbay frequently pens articles that support the Gulen Community and its activities among the Kurds. Akbay supports the so-called Ergenekon Operation, and draws attention to his lunatic theses. What is more, these theses then are published in the media organs of the community under various pseudonyms.
Akbay has an interesting biography…
Akbay, who has been active with the community since early ages, graduated from the Chemistry Teaching Department of the Malatya Inonu University. After graduation, Akbay was appointed to Malatya Imam Hatip High School. Here, Akbay became active in community organizing and went to the U.S. in 1993 on a state scholarship that postulated a requirement for him to work at Celal Bayar University upon his return. However, there was a little problem. Akbay did not speak English. So he first took English courses in Texas, also paid by state scholarship. For 7 months Akbay stayed in Texas, where the community is very active, and then started his education at Louisiana State University. However, at the time, Akbay intensified his reactionary activities while his academic achievements were lacking. He failed to complete his studies in the allocated time, and his scholarship was consequently cancelled. Akbay had a choice of either compensating the state or completing his obligatory service at the university. He worked at Celal Bayar University for a while, and then went back to the United States.
Connected with Alper Gormus
Akbay completed his Ph.D. in the Unites States, and worked at Georgia University for two years. Here, Akbay continued with his pro-community activities. Currently, Akbay works as an assistant professor at Fayetteville State University, located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and helps pro-community students from Turkey to stay in the university.
Akbay’s connection with Alper Gormus, a columnist of the Taraf daily, was revealed by Gormus himself. Gormus accused Ali Suat Ertosun, a member of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors of Turkey, of being associated with the killing of Mustafa Duyar, the hitman in the Ozdemir Sabanci assassination, and based his claims on information provided by Akbay.
Many readers of the Nasname website comment on Akbay’s connections with the community, and Akbay does not deny this connection.
On August 20, 2008, Akbay wrote: “I wonder who among the Kurds was harmed in any way by this community, I really wonder. Who is closer to the Kurds, Dogu Perincek or Fethullah Hodja? Who has been friendlier to the Kurds, coup-plotting military men or Fethullah Hodja? Who has harmed the Kurds the most, Fethullah Hodja or Abdullah Ocalan? The way I see it, a thousand Fethullah Hodjas combined could not harm the Kurds as much as Abdullah Ocalan did. So, I do not understand this obsession with Fethullah Hodja, this hostility towards him.”
Yes, I am a Fethullah follower
In the remainder of the article, Akbay writes: “If we were to use this wider perspective when looking at the events, I would say, even though I do not have any organic connections with the community, that, yes, I am a Fethullah follower.”
Akbay, who writes that he supports Gulen Movement’s activities among the Kurds, frequently insults the military. Many of those in Kurdish circles claim now that Akbay is the community’s arm among the Kurds.
(1) The word "community" is a translation of "cemaat," the Turkish word often used to refer to the Fethullah Gulen Community.
(2) KDP is the acronym of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.
(3) The youtube website has indeed been banned in Turkey for political reasons.
(4) Imam hatip schools are Turkish religious schools, originally founded to train imams (preachers).
(5) Abdullah Ocalan is a leader of the Kurdish separatist movement. Kurdish cultural identity has been severely repressed in the Turkish Republic, and Kurdish uprisings have resulted in decades of violence. The issue of the Kurds, who constitute approximately 18% of the Turkish population, looms large in Turkey.
(6) "Hodja" is an honorific title that Fethullah Gulen's followers use for their leader.