WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) — — Fethullah Gülen’s movement has secretly funded as many as 200 trips to Turkey for members of Congress and staff since 2008, apparently repeatedly violating House rules and possibly federal law, a USA TODAY investigation has found.
The group has been accused by the Turkish government of attempting a coup in that country. Turkish leaders have asked the United States to extradite Gülen from the remote compound in rural Pennsylvania where he has lived for 20 years.
A dozen different Gülen groups have sponsored congressional travel since 2008 and have filed forms with the House certifying that they were paying for the trips. But a USA TODAY investigation found many of those disclosures were apparently false. Some of the Gülenist groups claimed to be certified nonprofits, but they do not appear in state or IRS databases of approved charities. Groups that did register with the IRS filed tax forms indicating that they did not pay for congressional travel. And five of the groups admitted to congressional investigators earlier this year that a Gülenist group in Turkey was secretly covering the costs of travel inside Turkey for lawmakers and staff.
Congressional disclosures show the Gülen-backed trips totaled more than $800,000 in free travel for lawmakers and staff.
In July 2015 Buzzfeed website revealed that the supporters of the ideology of the Gülen movement in Turkey and the U.S.A. in the last 8 years have spent 1.5 million dollars for lobbying against the Armenian Genocide recognition.