The Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO) is trying to sell a building for $3.9 million in Florida it bought in 2012 for $1.7 million partly through donations by telling donators it would "build the biggest mosque" in the area.
FETO, which is a Turkey-designated terror organization Ankara said is behind the failed coup attempt on July 15, is claimed to be involved in a big corruption case in Miami.
Having collected almost $1 million from Turkish donators in Miami between 2009 and 2010 by promising to build "the biggest mosque of Miami," FETO bought a building for $1.7 in Pompano Beach's Broward city in 2012.
According to the claims, FETO's members purchased an old auto gallery in Broward for $1.7 million, paying $1 million directly and agreeing to pay the rest as credit within the next three years.
The Broward body_abstract of title records show that two allegedly FETO-related associations -- Coral Springs and Fellowship Isle -- bought the gallery in June 2012 from the Acquired Capital firm.
After the sale, another allegedly FETO-related center called Istanbul Cultural Center was opened at the building. The center is operating in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Alabama.
Although the value of the property is currently $3.3 million, according to the Broward's real estate website, FETO requires $3.9 million for the building. However, the group has still no answers to the donors on what they are going to do with the money after they sell it.
By not holding to the promise to build a mosque and trying to make a profit by trying to sell the property at an enormous profit raises questions about the FETO associations which operate as non-profit organizations across the U.S.
Turkey's Consul General in Miami, Ozgur Kivanc Altan, told Anadolu Agency that several donors to the promised mosque were quite concerned that their money was going to end up in FETO's hands.
"At that time, we were donating them money which they requested from us as if for charity, but now we feel terrible," he said.
Altan said that they were struggling against FETO's institutions in Miami, but adding that the group had very good relations with local administrators and bureaucrats in Florida.
He also stressed that FETO's settlement in the U.S. was shrinking as their biggest resource in Turkey was depleted.
A Turkish entrepreneur living in Miami for 25 years, Muammer Aydogdu, said FETO has deceived people by taking their money for a promise but never built mosque.
"I don't believe that these people are sincere or honest," he told Anadolu Agency, adding Turks in Miami were no more interested in FETO's movements as before.
Having donated a lot for the mosque campaign led by FETO, Armagan Serap said the group had even delivered a brochure with a picture of the promised mosque while requesting donations.
"Turks in and around Miami tried their best with good intentions," Serap said, adding FETO has used Turkish people's good intentions for their own sake.
The first page of the brochure, promising the Miami Turkish Mosque Project requests people to donate for the project and says it could only be achieved through the support of the charity.
On the second page showing a chapter called "Why mosque?" the brochure lists verses from the Holy Quran and some sayings of Prophet Muhammad about the virtue of building mosques. The other pages of the brochure show the location and some visuals of the promised mosque.