One former and two current Tennessee lawmakers are among more than 150 lawmakers from across the United States who traveled to Turkey on trips funded by a Turkish opposition group that the country's government blames for an attempted coup attempt last year, according to a joint investigation by USA TODAY and the Center for Public Integrity.
Current Democratic Reps. Antonio Parkinson and Johnnie Turner, both of Memphis, said they had no knowledge that the trips were funded by organizations tied to Turkish opposition Gulen and Hizmet movements. But former state Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, said he knew well that Gulen funded the trip he took with 100 others to a conference about four years ago.
"We met with a lot of businesses owners getting them to try and come to America," Campfield said. "We met with the President of Turkish airlines just talking about getting import and export things going."