A local court in the Black Sea province of Bartın has appointed trustees to take over the management of seven educational institutions in the province in yet another government-led move targeting the faith-based Gülen movement.
The Bartın Penal Court of Peace ruled that trustees be appointed to three schools and four women’s dormitories operating under the Asır Private Educational Services A.Ş. on the grounds that they provide financial assistance to the Gülen movement.
The move in Bartın comes amidst escalating government pressure on members of the Gülen movement as well as business groups, hospitals and schools affiliated with it.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government launched an all-out war against the Gülen movement after a corruption investigation targeting people in Erdoğan’s inner circle became public with a wave of detentions on Dec. 17, 2013.
Erdoğan accused police officers, judges and prosecutors he claimed are linked with Gülen movement, which is inspired by Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, of being behind the investigation, which he branded a “coup attempt.”
The movement strongly denies Erdoğan’s allegation.
As part of the government’s war on the Gülen movement, many individuals have been arrested and business places and organizations have been either shut down or taken over by the government on the grounds that they support terrorism.
In a move that attracted worldwide condemnation last month, the AK Party government took over the Feza Media Group, which includes Turkey’s best-selling Zaman newspaper as well as Today’s Zaman newspaper, Aksiyon magazine and Cihan News Agency.