Latest filings

Turkey turns to US courts in Gulen schools fight; LA firm reps Qatar aid funds; Saudis’ Indiana PR shop sees rate cut: Wednesday’s Daily Digest

Turkey turns to US courts in fight against Gulen-linked charter schools

Demonstrators applaud the failure of the coup in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on July 24th, 2016 / John Wreford

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned to the US judiciary in his quest to take down a chief foe’s alleged global network of charter schools.

Lawyers for the Turkish government have appealed to courts in Ohio and Illinois in recent weeks to issue subpoenas in Ankara’s quest to prove what it claims is a criminal conspiracy that impacts both the United States and Turkey. The requests target schools started by sympathizers of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, which Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016.

The bevy of charges against the schools include allegations of insider trading between school officials and their associates, leading to inflated prices for municipal-bond funded construction contracts, school lunch programs and real estate purchases, as well as immigration and visa fraud. Erdogan’s critics say he’s using US courts to try to stifle dissent in the United States just as he has in Turkey.

Read the story here.

New foreign lobbying filings (FARA)

Qatar: Lexington Avenue Strategies is representing the Embassy of Qatar in Washington for $10,000 per month through the end of the year. The Los Angeles firm “advises and assists the Embassy in the oversight and administration of the gifts established by the State of Qatar known as the ‘Qatar Harvey Fund’ and ‘Qatar Haiti Fund’.” The only registered agent on the account is Allison Biggs, the firm’s president, Treasurer and secrtary.

Saudi Arabia: The public relations firm representing Saudi Arabia in Indiana has cut its fees from $10,000 to $5,000 per month, effective Sept. 1. Hathaway Strategies is a subcontractor to Iowa-based LS2 Group on the account. The disclosure comes right after LS2 Goup cut fees for several of its own consultants on the Saudi Embassy account, as we reported Tuesday.

Legislative tracker

13 members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have introduced a resolution condemning the crackdown on peaceful protesters in Belarus and calling for the imposition of sanctions on responsible officials.

Other bills this week:

H.Res.1110 – Supporting the announcements of the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the State of Israel and the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain. Sponsor: Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)

H.Res.1111 – Supporting the people of Belarus and their democratic aspirations and condemning the election rigging and subsequent violent crackdowns on peaceful protesters by the Government of the Republic of Belarus. Sponsor: Rep. William Keating (D-Mass.)

H.R.8259 – To prohibit Russian participation in the G7. Sponsor: Rep. Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.)