Mar 05 2019

U.S. First Lady Melania Trump visits Gülen-linked charter school in Oklahoma

U.S. First Lady Melania Trump on Monday visited a charter school in Oklahoma affiliated with the Gülen movement as part of multi-state trip to promote her “Be Best” initiative, Tulsa World newspaper reported.

The U.S. First Lady’s visit to The Dove School of Discovery in Tusla is part of an three-state trip promoting an initiative aimed at the well-being of children, social media use and opioid abuse, it said.

The Dove School of Discovery, described in a Feb. 28 statement from the White House as an “award-winning elementary school that focuses on incorporating character education throughout its curriculum,” is one of more than 150 charter schools in the United States run by the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt and designates a terrorist organisation.  

Mrs. Trump on Monday took to Twitter to share pictures from her visit.

"Thank you to the teachers, leadership & students of DOVE School of Discovery in Tulsa for welcoming me today. There is great work being done! It is so important that education includes not only academics, but the importance of a strong sense of character & values,’’ the first lady said on Twitter.

The White House also shared first lady's visit to the charter school on Twitter.

Since a failed coup attempt in July 2016, Turkish authorities have imprisoned thousands they suspect of being members of the Gülen movement, including many members of the armed forces. Many more have lost their jobs for similar reasons, whilst assets worth billions of dollars have been seized from businesses connected to the movement.

Ankara has repeatedly demanded Washington extradite Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülen movement living in self-imposed exile in the United States, which the United States has refused.