Bolu municipality builds road inside Hizmet affiliated Fatih College’s garden

Construction has begun on a road that will cut through the campus of Fatih College despite the presence of wide, open lots surrounding the school. (Photo: Today's Zaman)
Construction has begun on a road that will cut through the campus of Fatih College despite the presence of wide, open lots surrounding the school. (Photo: Today's Zaman)


Date posted: August 11, 2014

The Bolu Municipality, Turkey, having previously closed down two schools belonging to businesspeople affiliated with the faith-based Hizmet movement in early July, has now constructed a road inside the garden of Fatih College, a high school, despite the fact that the school is surrounded by empty plots of land and no residential area exists around the school.

Local residents, angered by the municipality’s arbitrary decision to construct an unnecessary road inside the college’s garden, called on the municipality to abandon the unreasonable decision and to spend tax-payers’ money on more appropriate projects. 

The municipality hung a sign in front of the sealed schools in July claiming that the buildings were not licensed and did not follow municipality-approved plans. Bolu Mayor Alaaddin Yılmaz argued that his municipality had to take action against unlicensed buildings and that the closures were not linked to a government policy against the Hizmet movement. 

However, the municipality’s latest move of constructing a road that no residents will able to use due to its location in the college’s garden has contradicted Yılmaz’s former statements, which claimed that there was no intimidation campaign against Hizmet-affiliated schools and institutions. 

When reporters, speaking on the decision to shut down the schools, asked whether the municipality’s decisions against the schools had any link to the government’s ongoing campaign against the Hizmet movement, the mayor said, “It would be wrong to perceive our decisions as a step against the Hizmet community.” 

 The closed schools are close to the Hizmet movement, which is inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused the Hizmet movement of being behind a massive corruption investigation that implicated members of his family, inner circle and four then-Cabinet ministers. He claims that the investigation was an attempt to overthrow his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, although the prime minister has not been able to produce any evidence to justify his claims. 

The municipality’s construction equipment first demolished the wall around the school and then started to construct a road in the middle of its garden. Without having informed the school authorities about the planned construction, the municipal workers also cut down the school’s basketball hoops, causing astonishment among the school’s management and staff as well as local people, who are not in need of such a road inside the school’s garden. 

In May, the prime minister publicly advised AK Party supporters not to send their children to schools affiliated with the Hizmet movement. “We will not even give water to them [Hizmet members],” he vowed. 

More recently, the prime minister ordered officials at AK Party-run municipalities to seize land and buildings belonging to the Hizmet movement by any means. 

The closure of two Hizmet-affiliated schools in Bolu in July followed similar moves in other parts of Turkey. In early June, the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality stopped the construction of an education complex on privately owned land on the pretext that the land would be used as a green area and meeting point in the event of an earthquake. The municipality, however, failed to obtain the required approval from other authorities in the province to halt the construction of the education complex. They said the complex belonged to Fetih Eğitim İşletmeleri (Fetih Educational Operations), which has close ties to the Hizmet movement. 

On April 21 of this year, municipal police sent by the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality blocked access to the building under construction, citing no justification. On June 6, the municipality took action to turn the land on which the education complex was being built into a green area and attempted to seize the land. For land to be turned into a green area, the municipality needs the approval of the İstanbul Waterworks Authority (İSKİ), the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Transportation Coordination Center (UKOME) and the Earthquake and Soil Inspection Directorate (DZİM). In the case of Fatih College, however, the municipality had not consulted with any of those institutions.

Speaking with Today’s Zaman about the municipality’s odd initiative to construct a road inside the college’s garden, Hakan Çakır, a parent of a student attending the college, criticized the municipality, saying: “It is very saddening to witness such intimidation, as the school has no intention but to serve students and give them a good education. It is a tragicomic incident. The road ends inside the school’s garden, it is a dead-end road. I am sure that even the workers who are taking part in the construction of the road have not constructed something like this before.”

The municipality, also in July, removed a sign advertising the Fem prep school in İstanbul’s Mecidiyeköy district, which helps students prepare for university entrance exams. The municipality claimed that the school had violated the municipality’s advertising regulations. The school, however, said the municipality had approved the advertisement, for which all taxes had already been paid. It also said the real reason behind the municipality’s decision was that Fem is affiliated with the Hizmet movement. The school filed a complaint against the municipality with the İstanbul Prosecutor’s Office, arguing that its advert had been removed for no apparent reason.

Source: Today's Zaman , August 10, 2014


Related News

What a plot attempts to tell

The film “Birleşen Gönüller” (The Converging Hearts) was released to Turkish audiences on Friday. The film is based on a true story that begins in the Soviet Union during the years of World War II and reaches Central Asia in the 1990s.

Head of Azerbaijan’s Çağ Education Company denies authenticity of letter to Gülen

Enver Özeren, head of the executive board of Azerbaijan’s Çağ Education Company, has denied the authenticity of a letter he had supposedly written to Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen about the Hizmet movement in Azerbaijan, saying that the letter is nothing more than an attempt to pull Azerbaijan into the domestic turmoil.

U.S. Not Persuaded to Extradite Fethullah Gulen Over Turkey Coup

Officials aren’t convinced by evidence against Fethullah Gulen, Pennsylvania-based imam who Turkey says masterminded the failed putsch. U.S. officials don’t expect to extradite an imam Turkey blames for masterminding a failed coup because they aren’t convinced by the evidence Ankara has presented so far and are troubled by threatening public statements from Turkish officials, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Alaton: I’m telling everyone about Turkish schools’ contribution to world peace

On June 12, the Turkish Olympiads children from around the world visited the businessmen Ishak Alaton and Mustafa Suzer. Referring to the Turkish Olympiads event as a “grand organization”, Ishak Alaton said he’s been telling his circle about the Turkish schools’ high quality education and contribution to global peace. The Olympiads children, who have been […]

Jailed teacher dies of cancer in Turkish prison

One more Turkish teacher lost his life on Monday because of maltreatment and negligence of Turkish authorities during his stay in prison under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 in Turkey.

600 complaints filed alleging slander, libel against Gülen

A total of 600 complaints have been filed against those who have slandered and libeled Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen since a major corruption and bribery investigation became public on Dec. 17 of last year.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Turkey’s Brain Drain and the Disappearing Academic Freedom

Turkey after the purge: Journalists and judges pay the price

TAA refutes claim tying US genocide resolution to Hizmet

Fethullah Gulen in 2 minutes

The Gülen Movement: Paradigms, Projects and Aspirations

Fethullah Gülen’s Condemnation of the New Year’s Eve Terrorist Attack in Istanbul Nightclub

Turkish doctors save lives in the Philippines

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News