Fethullah Gulen and Harmony Public Schools

Below is an excerpt from a Texas Monthly article written by William Martin, a Rice University professor emeritus. It illuminates the nature of relationship of Fethullah Gülen to some charter schools in the United States, sometimes referred to as Gulen charter schools ( The term itself "Gulen charter schools" is incorrect, as I describe here on my Gülen and Charter Schools blog).


The founder of the Harmony schools (aka Harmony Public Schools, Cosmos Foundation) is an intense but unfailingly courteous 43-year-old named Soner Tarim, who was born and raised in Istanbul. In 1991, while Tarim was teaching at a Turkish university and working on his doctorate in aquatic ecology, his older brother asked him to come to Houston to look after his wife and three children while he underwent treatment for colon cancer at M.D. Anderson. As the ultimately unsuccessful treatments dragged on, Tarim started taking courses at the University of Houston to improve his English. He also began to check out possibilities for continuing his scientific studies in the U.S. After his brother died and his family returned to Turkey, Tarim enrolled at A&M in 1994, where he joined a cohort of more than 150 Turkish graduate students, nearly all studying math, science, and engineering.

As he gained more teaching experience at A&M, he and some of his colleagues discovered that, unlike beginning students in Turkey, many of the freshmen in the undergraduate courses they were teaching did not have the basic math and science skills needed for college work. To bring their struggling charges up to speed, they began offering free tutorials in the afternoon. They soon realized that what these students lacked was not intelligence but instruction.


Read the article:

Click the link below to read an interesting interview with Gülen-inspired educators working at U.S. charter/public schools (note: these are not Gulen Charter Schools):

Also read Mr. Gülen's response to the question about his relationship with a group of U.S. charter schools.