Trustees were appointed to 4 education institutions that include a total of 25 private and prep schools in the western province of Bursa in yet another government-led move against the sympathizers of the Gülen movement on Monday.
Bursa 4th Penal Court of Peace appointed the trustees to 4 education institutions on suspicion of being a member of and providing financial support for the so-called the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure (FETÖ/PDY),” which is used by the government-backed judiciary to frame sympathizers of the Gülen movement.
A total of 2,000 trustees were reportedly 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 has referred to the movement as “FETÖ” and also coined the term “parallel state” to refer to people believed to be inspired by the ideas of Gülen, especially those within the state bureaucracy, after a corruption investigation implicating himself, members of his family and senior Justice and Development Party (AK Party) figures erupted on Dec. 17, 2013.
Erdoğan accused the Gülen movement of plotting to overthrow his government and said that sympathizers of the movement within the police department had fabricated the graft scandal. Since then, hundreds of police officers have been detained and some arrested for alleged illegal activity in the course of the corruption investigation. Erdoğan said he would carry out a “witch hunt” against anyone with links to the movement. The Gülen movement strongly rejects the allegations brought against it.
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.