Trustees were appointed to take over the management of one of the foundations that established the Canik Başarı University, in what is the latest in a series of government moves against the sympathizers of the Gülen movement.
The university has released a statement following reports about trustee appointment, stating that trustees were not appointed to the university itself, but the Tanrıverdi Education, Culture and Cooperation Foundation.
Trustees were also appointed to Şifa University, Bursa Orhangazi University, Mevlana University and the Health and Treatment Foundation that established the private Fatih University.
Tahsin Yeşildere, head of the University Instructors’ Association (ÜNİVDER), recently said that the appointment of trustees to foundations that established private universities is ‘alarming’.
A total of 2,000 trustees have been appointed to hundreds of private entities in Turkey over the past six months, in what is considered an alarming issue regarding increasing government control across the country.
The Gülen movement is a grassroots social initiative inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and carries out charitable activities all around the world, including education, distributing humanitarian aid and providing drinking water especially in African countries.
Erdoğan refers to the movement as “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization,” which is used by the government-backed judiciary to frame sympathizers of the Gülen movement. Erdoğan also coined the term “parallel state” after December 2013 to refer to people believed to be inspired by the ideas of Gülen, especially those within the state bureaucracy.
Thousands of prosecutors, judges and police chiefs were reassigned, dismissed or imprisoned either for taking part in the corruption investigation or based on allegations of having links to the movement. Also there have been many police operations carried out targeting shopkeepers, teachers, members of the judiciary, journalists and police officers who are accused of being affiliated with the Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement.
The Gülen movement strongly rejects the allegations brought against it.