Education center to job seekers: Prove you’re not ‘FETÖ’ member

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An adult education center in Kırıkkale province has asked job applicants to provide a document indicating that they are not affiliated with “FETÖ,” a derogatory term coined by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to refer to the Gülen movement, accused of mounting a botched coup attempt last July, the Birgün daily reported on Thursday.

According to the report, current teachers at the center are being investigated to determine if they are supporters of the Gülen movement.

The official website of the education center announced that besides obligatory documents such as identity card, diploma, photo and criminal record, a statement indicating the lack of affiliation with the Gülen movement is being required from job seekers although no information as to where the document can be accepted from was provided.

Human Rights Association (İHD) Chairman Öztürk Türkdoğan criticized the request for such a document, saying it is against the law and the presumption of innocence if there is no conviction of membership in the movement.

Türkdoğan said that requiring a document like this also implied that people were being tracked and blacklisted.

Following the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip 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’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants after the coup attempt.

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