Turkish students depict Gülen with devil ears in July 15 contest


A drawing contest focusing on a July 15 coup attempt in Turkey for students from fine arts high schools has produced images of Turkish Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen with devil ears, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Sunday.

The Turkish Ministry of Education compiled a book of the drawings of high school students who depicted Gülen, who is accused by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of masterminding the coup attempt, with devil ears and as a puppet.

Another drawing was of a Turkish flag in the background with the nation as a fist pointed towards Gülen.

Students also drew images of a soldier on bended knee, captured tanks and the Turkish flag with the AKP symbol.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also appeared in many pictures.

The Ministry of Education also organized poetry and composition competitions featuring the failed coup attempt. The drawing contest, named “From coup to democracy: July 15,” was participated in by fine arts high school students from 58 cities.

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 AKP government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals, including journalists, teachers, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and businessmen have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.

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  1. “In the concentration camps, for example, in this living laboratory and on this testing ground, we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints.” Viktor Frankl, speaking of his concentration-camp experience in his book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning.’ It’s as if at times and in some places, there is a period of this intense spiritual sorting-out, between the noble and the base. And the scum rises to the top. It’s eerie and heart-breaking to see it happen in Turkey, and to see that the people who are responsible for the persecutions turn away from the reality that it is they who are the wrong-doers, they who are the oppressors. They choose not to see. I hope I will live long enough to see the current persecutors in Turkey all go on trial some day. Alas, however, Viktor Frankl also says about the concentration camp victims that “We who have come back, by the aid of many lucky chances or miracles – whatever one may choose to call them – we know: the best of us did not return.”