A coalition of Turkish-American organizations forked over $40,000 yesterday to the Gerritsen Beach library (2808 Gerritsen Avenue) and Gerritsen Beach Elementary School (P.S. 277), institutions that have suffered in the five months since Superstorm Sandy rocked the community.

The donation came from Turkish-American groups, non-profits and businesses, spearheaded by Helping Hands Relief Foundation, Kimse Yokmu, Council of Turkic American Associations, Turkish Cultural Center and the Brooklyn Amity School.

Of the $40,000 donated yesterday, $30,000 is going to the Brooklyn Public Library’s Gerritsen Beach branch, one of two branches in the system that has been unable to reopen due to extensive damage. The checks were handed over during a ceremony in front of the branch. Prior to the ceremony, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke toured the facility, which has been gutted down to bare walls, floors and rafters.

“We believe that Brooklyn Public Library and P.S. 277 are invaluable resources for the community, where people of all ages will benefit tremendously in many different ways,” said Nevzat Yilmaz, president of Helping Hands Relief Foundation. “This is dedicated to building a better future for the children and families of our community, and leaves a footprint for the next generations of Turkish-Americans to take care of community facilities that serve the people.”

Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda Johnson was on-hand to receive the check, delivered by a cadre of Amity School students. She said the library would use the funds in part to rebuild the library with green technology and infrastructure.

P.S. 277 Principal Jeanne Fish said the school would use the funds to install new smartboards and laptops in classrooms.

The library, which was renovated in the 1990s, has been gutted, but there remains a long way to go before BPL completes the post-Sandy rehabilitation.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke is greeted by Furkan Kosar, president of the Council of Turkic American Associations, and Suleyman Aydogan, vice president of the Turkish Cultural Center Brooklyn, as principal Jeanne Fish looks on.

Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda Johnson gave Clarke and the Turkish donors a tour of the damaged library before the ceremony.

Johnson welcomed Clarke to the podium…

… she spoke surrounded by Amity students…

… who then helped present the check to Johnson and Fish.


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  • Exposer

    This organization is part of a clandestine Islamic organization called Gulen movement led by a Muslim cleric named Fetullah Gulen. All of their activity is forbidden in Russia and restricted in many European countries. Their goal is to spread their Turkish-Islamic ideology through what they call “Hizmet” meaning The Service as the example given above. You can google them for more info.

    • sam

      The Gülen movement (Hizmet in Turkish) is a worldwide civic initiative rooted in the spiritual and humanistic tradition of Islam and inspired by the ideas and activism of Mr. Fethullah Gülen.

      It is a faith-inspired, non-political, cultural and educational movement whose basic principles stem from Islam’s universal values, such as love of the creation, sympathy for the fellow human, compassion, and altruism. The movement is not a governmental or state sponsored organization. It focuses on the betterment of the individual toward a positive change in society. The movement is distinguished for its support of democracy, its openness to globalization, its progressiveness in integrating tradition with modernity, and its humanistic outlook. Gülen describes it as “a movement of people united around high human values,” and disapproves of the attribution of the movement to his name. For more information: http://en.fgulen.com

      • Exposer

        @Sam Obviously you’re one of Gulen’s disciples trying to clear up his bad reputation but you’re failing each time miserably. Gulen movement has nothing to do with peace, or interfaith dialogue. The movement is all about spreading Turkish-Islamic ideology which is against Islam and its holy book Quran. Remember what your prophet Mohammed said, “An Arab has no superiority over a Persian.” Also, your peace lover sect leader Mr. Gulen ordered destruction of a minority group in Turkey. FYI.

        • js

          I’m neither a discipline nor even Muslim, but I do know that Gülen movement is non-violent, and has many followers in Pennsylvania and New York who immigrated here because they were persecuted in Turkey.

          • js

            Sorry, I meant to write “disciple.”

    • justonegirl

      They also own a huge compound cult in PA, as well as the Amish Market – many schools around the USA- strange when Gulen was found to be living in the USA under questionable conditions he was allowed to stay!! He is not “well respected” by all Turks as his website suggests!! Well pointed out Exposer! Sam please remember Jim Jones was once well respected, well loved, and donated with a heavy hand too! Look what happened at the end of his peaceful movement!

      • justonegirl

        ps..I am of a “Turkish-Muslim family!

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  • Maxwell Smart

    I haven’t noticed any other organizations helping out our public library…others only help their own causes

  • ShadowLock

    What’s the catch?

  • sam

    President Bill Clinton is speaking about Fethullah Gulen:

    • justonegirl

      Reminds me of another CULT endorsed by the democratic party CLINTON in particular- read on : This is JIM JONES who was a peace lover and wanted a utopian nation in the beginning- and slaughtered his followers in the end!
      In 1960, Indianapolis Democratic Mayor Charles Boswell appointed Jones director of the Human Rights Commission ,Unlike most other figures deemed as cult leaders, Jones was able to gain public support and contact with prominent local and national United States politicians. For example, Jones and Moscone met privately with vice presidential candidate Walter Mondale on his campaign plane days before the 1976 election and Mondale publicly praised the Temple.[43][44] First Lady Rosalynn Carter also personally met with Jones on multiple occasions, corresponded with him about Cuba, and spoke with him at the grand opening of the San Francisco Democratic Party Headquarters where Jones garnered louder applause than Mrs. Carter

      • levp

        Since we are on a Memory Lane: before the Civil Rights Movement Democratic Party was mostly segregationalist. So?

        Secondly, could you please provide a citation where Mr. or Mrs Clinton has endorsed Jim Jones?

        • justonegirl

          Simply google it my friend. Carter’s were big fans of Jones.

          shows him at a rally with Mrs Carter- sadly MOST have been removed from the internet- many still exist. Not doing your homework for you! So here is your one link- now go study!

          • levp

            In your post from April 19, you wrote:

            Reminds me of another CULT endorsed by the democratic party CLINTON in particular

            Therefore, I asked you to provide a citation where Mr. or Mrs Clinton has endorsed Jim Jones.

            You have replied with:

            Simply google it my friend. Carter’s were big fans of Jones.

            There are two problems with this.

            First, you seem to have shifted from Clinton to Carter. I hope you are aware that those are two different people and this was an honest mistake.

            Second, when someone makes a claim, it is a responsibility of the claimant to provide proof. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_burden_of_proof for reference.
            So a response of “Simply google it my friend”, as they say, doesn’t cut it.

            Lastly, please review the history of Jim Jones prior to early 1970′s – specifically, his record on integration. My theory is that he had some kind of a mental illness that has progressed over time.

  • nolastname

    I’m glad someone knows the importance of books. Thank you for the contribution.