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9 more companies taken over by trustees as gov’t control increases

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An İstanbul criminal court of peace appointed trustees on Friday to nine companies, including schools, in what is the latest wave of an ongoing government crackdown on the Gülen movement.

The court order was announced to the public by the İstanbul Police Financial Crimes Department in a statement. According to the statement, the court decision took effect on June 17 and included the companies listed as: Zambak Architecture, Engineering and Construction company, Vifak Education Businesses, Sözün Özü publishing, software and advertisement consulting company, Hamle car rental company, Sarıyer Işık Education Services, Söğüt Teaching Businesses, İttifak Education Businesses, Fetih Education Businesses and Okulun Education Businesses.

A total of 2,000 trustees were appointed to hundreds of private entities in Turkey over the past six months, Al Monitor reported earlier this week.

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 branded the corruption scandal that resulted in the resignation of four of his Cabinet ministers as a “coup attempt.” He 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. The movement strongly denies the allegations brought against it.

The move to appoint trustees comes amidst escalating government pressure on sympathizers of the Gülen movement as well as business groups, hospitals and schools affiliated with it.

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