Saturday, July 9, 2011
A fabulous closing ceremony at İstanbul’s Sinan Erdem Dome for the Turkish Language Olympiads has left bittersweet memories, signaling the end of a two-week festival full of poetry, dance, Turkish culture and music.
Participants, who came from 130 countries, in this year’s competition wrapped up the two-week long finals that were held across Turkey in İstanbul, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also in attendance, praising organizers and congratulating students.
The Olympiads, organized by the International Turkish Education Association (TÜRKÇEDER), bring together hundreds of foreign students each year from Turkish schools established throughout the world. This year’s Turkish Language Olympiads, which included nearly 1,000 students from 130 countries, started with a spectacular opening ceremony at İstanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace on June 15. As part of the Olympiads, the students are expected to compete in 13 categories, ranging from poetry to songs. Various events, all under the umbrella of the Olympiads, were held throughout Turkey.
Those who won awards in various categories performed once more on the final night and Erdoğan personally went on stage to congratulate a group of students from Ghana who performed a traditional Black Sea folk dance called “horon. Erdoğan said in his speech that he once more would like to congratulate Turkish schools that have spread all across the globe and that he is proud on behalf of his country and the nation to see teachers and students from Turkish schools in countries he has visited.
The prime minister said he remembers the architects of these schools and that he congratulates the administrators of these schools who convey to the world Turkey’s messages of peace, brotherhood and solidarity in the most sincere terms. Erdoğan added that he “kisses the foreheads” of those teachers who have carried the light of the Turkish flag to the remotest places in the east, west, south and north.
Many people from the world of business, politics, sports and arts came to watch the event, and 106 local and foreign journalists covered the event.
"GENIUS" Olympiad - a Gulenist competition in NY
July 6, 2011
by C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S. - Citizens Against Special Interest Lobbying in Public Schools
The "GENIUS" (Global Environmental Issues and Us) Olympiad is a newly established Gulenist competition that took place for the first time during June 27-30 at the SUNY (State University of New York) Oswego campus. The organizers were SUNY-Oswego and the Terra Science and Education Foundation.
SUNY Oswego is listed on the GENIUS website (accessed June 2011) as a "platinum sponsor," along with the Terra Science and Education Foundation. Platinum sponsors, according to the website, gave $20,000 or more. Note that SUNY is a public university, funded with taxpayer money.
Other financial sponsors include Technotime and the Terra Science and Education Foundation (both Gulenist corporations) and the Syracuse Research Corporation. Terra Science and Education Foundation is leasing facilities to the Syracuse Academy of Science (a Gulen charter school) for around $20,000 per month, according to a May 28, 2011 article in the Syracuse Post-Standard. Thus Terra's contribution may also, ultimately, have originated from taxpayer funds.
Key individuals involved with the GENIUS olympiad include the following individuals, whose connections to the Gulen Movement are shown by their present and past affiliations:
- Organizer, GENIUS competition
- Board President, Syracuse Academy of Science (Gulen charter school)
- Pioneer Charter School of Science (Gulen charter school)
- Turkish Cultural Center of Syracuse (Gulenist)
- Domain name registrant for terraed.org
- Business/Financial Analyst, Burlington American Turkish Organization (Gulenist)
- Student at Virginia International University (Gulenist) 2003--2005
- Rumi Forum for Interfaith Dialogue (Gulenist)
- ATFA (American Turkish Friendship Association) (Gulenist organization in Virginia)
The GENIUS competition, in common with all Gulenist competitions, is heavily biased towards participants from Gulen schools. The competition bills itself as "international."
To provide perspective, ISEF, the world's largest international science fair, had 1500 finalists from 65 countries in 2011. Only one winner in this competition came from a Gulen school (Sonoran Science Academy, a Gulen charter school in Arizona). ISEF is not run by the Gulen Movement.
The GENIUS competition had, according to the SUNY Oswego website, 223 young scientists and artists from 34 countries and 31 states.
While GENIUS had only 1/6 the number of participants of ISEF 2011, so far 11 winners have been identified as coming from Gulen schools. Note that GENIUS (and ISWEEEP) do not show the names of schools in their lists of finalists and winners. This is undoubtedly to help obscure the fact that many of these projects are coming from Gulen schools. Because of this, it is difficult to track down the school names. Therefore the following list is not complete. We expect to soon identify more winners from Gulen schools, and they will be added to this list.
GENIUS 2011 winning projects from Gulen schools (incomplete list)
An alternating energy system from geothermal sources by using a cpu cooler
Resources and Energy
Davlatjon Nematov, Dorobsho Sharipov
School: Haji Kemal Tajik-Turkish High School in Dushanbe
Preparation of activated carbon from scrap-coir in Vietnam by chemical activation method for pollutants adsorption in water
PREPARATION OF ACTIVATED CARBON FROM SCRAP-COIR IN VIETNAM BY CHEMICAL ACTIVATION METHOD FOR POLLUTANTS ADSORPTION IN WATER
Chu Manh Chien, Nghiem Trong Phuc
School: Horizon International Bilingual School
Receptor-like kinases involved in arabidopsis control of epidermal patterning
Resources and Energy
Rachel Courtney Wellington
School: Sonoran Science Academy, Arizona
Dream battery becomes a reality
Samir Khoulani, Cesar Gouveia
School: Pioneer Charter School of Science
Use of localized oxygen therapy for healing wounds and stress in society
Austin Grande, Colin Pritchard
School: Pacific Technology School
A fuel of the future
Resources and Energy
School: Nil Academy
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sustainovation by green hotels
Harisa Polutan, Hana Genjac
School: Sarajevo College
Note: this project was also at INESPO 2011
Isolation of heavymetal resistant fungal strains from tannery fluents and their role in heavy metal removal
School: PakTurk International Schools and Colleges Islampura Branch
Note: this project was also at INESPO 2011
Weapon/Disaster System Visualization and Signal Analysis ID Program for Converting Audio Signals Using Fourier Transform Algorithms.
Paul Huron IV
School: Harmony Science Academy
Water soluble porphyrins
School: Syracuse Academy of Science
Note: this project was also at INESPO 2011
School: Eastern Star Bilingual School
The following GENIUS 2011 project from Mozambique had the same title as a 2010 project from Albania, and as a published paper of two professors in Turkey
Mozambique, "The use of ground blast furnace slag, chrome slag and corn stem ash as a coating against the corrosion." Environmental Quality, Students Felix Ubisse Junior and Ayilton Pedro Palate.
It is noteworthy that a project with the exact same title was a nominated project at INESPO 2010, in the Chemistry category, with school name "Liria" from Albania. The student name(s) for this project were not shown on the INESPO website. Liria is the name of a Gulen theological school (medresa) run by the Sema Foundation, a Gulenist organization in Albania.
Moreover, a paper entitled "The use of ground blast furnace slag, chrome slag and corn stem ash mixture as a coating against corrosion" was published in the scientific journal Construction and Building Materials, Volume 25, Issue 11, November 2011, Pages 4197-4201. The authors are Hanifi Binici of Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, and Orhan Aksogan of Maltepe University, Istanbul, Turkey.
It seems highly improbable that it is purely by chance that students in Mozambique and Albania would happen to choose the exact same title for their project as that of a research paper by two Turkish professors.
notdeleted, a blogger covering the Gulen Movement in the Netherlands, has reported:
- Significant overlap between attendees of ISWEEEP, INESPO, and INEPO-Eurasia, all of which are Gulenist competitions http://notdeleted.net/nl-Inespo-achtergronden.html
- 75% of the participants in INESPO-2011 were from Gulen-affiliated institutions http://notdeleted.net/nl-Inespo-Milieu-Olympiade.html
It can be seen above that the overlap extends to the GENIUS competition.
In addition, the Dutch newspaper Trouw (circulation around 100,000) ran an article on June 27, 2011 by Annemarie Geleijnse and Rineke van Houten about the large fraction of participants at INESPO which came from Gulen schools. This article raised the issue of whether the competition was in fact a Gulenist gathering, and quoted a Dutch parliament member as criticizing the use of government funds to sponsor INESPO. This article (in Dutch) is accessible online only to subscribers of Trouw. An English translation will be made available soon (sometime in July 2011) at our companion website http://www.gulenforeignmedia.com
In the Trouw article, the journalists asked officials of the Cosmicus Foundation, which runs INESPO (aside: that name will undoubtedly remind Americans of the Cosmos Foundation, which runs ISWEEEP) about the high proportion of students from Gulen schools. The response was that the reason was that the quality of these schools was so good. The respondent said they would actually prefer to have no participants from Gulen schools, as this would settle all discussion of the matter, but that they had to accept all applicants.
This response leads to the following question: If the reason for the high number of attendees from Gulen schools was actually the quality of their projects, why isn't the proportion higher at ISEF, and at other science competitions that are not run by the Gulen Movement?
The clear bias of Gulenist competitions such as GENIUS, ISWEEEP in the United States, and INESPO in the Netherlands, towards favoring Gulen schools raises two major questions:
- Why are public funds (e.g., SUNY-Oswego) being used for these competitions?
- Are American parents whose children attend Gulen schools getting an inflated sense of their children's accomplishments, when their children bring home awards from "international" competitions that are in actuality significantly biased?
|President Gul satisifed his ego by meeting with children from over 100 countries that attend the Gulen Turkish schools. Gul praised their teachers.................wish Gul would do the same for the students of Turkey and the 300,000 unemployed Turkish teachers who are NOT Gulenists.|
9TH TURKISH LANGUAGE OLYMPICS END
The ninth Turkish language Olympics held with the participation of children and youths from 130 countries has been wrapped up in Istanbul with a colorful ceremony.
Posted 02.07.2011 09:02:48 UTC
Updated 03.07.2011 08:18:16 UTC
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who attended the ceremony in Istanbul said, in a speech he made at the closing of the Turkish language Olympics that the languages spoken in the world are the common treasury of humanity and this is an occasion where the masters of love meet in the beauty of the Turkish language.
The ninth International Turkish Olympics went on a journey in Turkey, visiting a total 26 provinces with the slogan “Let’s get acquainted."
The closing ceremony of Turkish Olympics took place in a festive mood.
Erdoğan congratulated the administrators of Turkish schools on their success and said those are the schools carrying Turkey's messages of peace, friendship and fraternity to the whole world.
Erdoğan said further that today we are the followers of Yunus Emre who made an appeal to get acquainted centuries ago with his pure Turkish and noted that we are the members of friendly and sister nations who have made an alliance and met in one of the most prevalently spoken languages of the world spoken in 5 continents. He also said that Turkish is the language of peace, of sharing and of solidarity, stressing that it is not the language of anger, hatred, grudge and animosity.
The students bid farewell to Turkey singing in that festive atmosphere the song “A New World.”
Receiving the representatives of the contestants at the 9th International Turkish Language Olympiad, President Gül congratulated the Turkish teachers at the Turkish schools abroad on succeeding in imbuing foreign students with the love of the Turkish language and proclaimed the students from the 130 countries who participated in the competition to be like the UN’s Good Will Ambassadors making efforts to spread all blessings and goodness throughout the world.