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Turkish gov’t may remove children from foster families who backed coup

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An official from Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Policy has said authorities are investigating foster families for suspected ties to a failed coup attempt on July 15 and may remove children from homes if their guardians are found to be supporters of the coup attempt, according to Reuters.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Reuters, said it would not be right for a child to remain with a foster family if links to “FETÖ,” a phrase used by the government to refer to the Gülen movement as a terror organizations, are confirmed as a result of investigations.

The official said the investigations had been going on since Aug. 23 and that it was a slow and detailed process. According to the official, it is out of the question for children to be suddenly ripped away from their families and that the psychological health of the children was being closely monitored.

Despite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose views inspired the movement, and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

More than 115,000 people have been purged from state bodies, in excess of 90,000 detained and over 39,000 have been arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian. Critics argue that lists of Gülen sympathizers were drawn up prior to the coup attempt.


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