Turkish finance minister declines to comment on ‘color lists’


Date posted: February 25, 2014

ANKARA

Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek on Tuesday declined to comment on a question about claims that the government recruits public sector employees using “color lists” to avoid people affiliated with groups such as the Hizmet movement and critics of the government.

Last week, the Taraf daily published a document as evidence of the government’s policy of hiring public sector employees using “color lists” to avoid employing applicants affiliated with groups such as the Hizmet movement, inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, and supporters of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). As well as sympathizers of the Hizmet movement, inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, and of the CHP, Kurds and those who took part in the Gezi Park demonstrations are also placed on the “red list,” which means that the candidate should not be employed, according to the daily.

The daily claimed that the document belongs to tax auditor candidates who sat for an entrance exam for the Turkish Tax Inspection Board (VDKB), part of the Ministry of Finance, in late 2013.

A reporter asked Şimşek a question about the claims as the minister left a meeting in the Turkish capital. The minister, however, declined to respond, saying: “I have no time at the moment.”

According to Taraf, the ministry profiled candidates by categorizing them in blue and red. In this system, members of the Hizmet movement along with sympathizers of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), those who took part in the Gezi Park demonstrations and Kurds are placed on the red list. The “blue lists,” according to Taraf, were for approved candidates. This list consisted of candidates closely affiliated with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and those who were affiliated with the National Youth Foundation (MGV), an Islamic charity organization that organized youth activities and provided academic scholarships to students that was closed in the aftermath of the Feb. 28, 1997 coup due to concerns about rising religious fundamentalism.

Source: Todays Zaman , February 25, 2014


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