Ministry seizes elderly woman’s house she donated to Gülen-linked foundation

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Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry seized the house of an 87-year-old woman in the western province of Manisa because she donated it to a foundation linked to the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a coup attempt in 2016, the Bold Medya news website reported.

Sıttıka Atay, who lives in the Gördes district of Manisa, donated her house in 2007 to the Feza Education and Culture Foundation, which was among dozens of foundations closed down by the government following the coup attempt due to its links to the Gülen movement. The foundation was to have legal rights to the house after the woman’s death.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

However, Atay received a notice on June 2 telling her to vacate her house in two weeks and pay the rent for the past four years, which amounted to TL 23.000.

Atay reportedly had a heart attack and was hospitalized after she received the notice ordering her to leave her house. The woman is now at home, but her condition is not stable as she fears becoming homeless.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the Gülen movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight, as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

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