Offensive launched against Hizmet-affiliated schools in Antalya

A Hizmet-affiliated school that has been subject to the change in school zoning plans is seen in Antalya province in this Aug. 12 file photo.(Photo: Cihan)
A Hizmet-affiliated school that has been subject to the change in school zoning plans is seen in Antalya province in this Aug. 12 file photo.(Photo: Cihan)


Date posted: September 13, 2014

The Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, which earlier changed the zoning plans of schools in the province affiliated with the faith-based Hizmet movement in compliance with a call made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in June, is to make a final decision on the fate of the schools following deliberation by the municipal commission on zoning and public works.

Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time, told those present at a meeting of Justice and Development Party (AK Party) mayors to take back land and buildings given to Hizmet-affiliated institutions.

“I want to you take back each and every piece of land and building given to them [Hizmet], within the boundaries of law and democracy,” Erdoğan said.
Hizmet and Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen have been direct targets of Erdoğan ever since a corruption probe in which some senior members of the government were implicated became public on Dec. 17 of last year. Erdoğan, who refers to Hizmet as the “parallel state” or “structure,” accuses the movement of being behind the corruption operation.

Erdoğan’s government has taken action to ensure the closure of schools opened by Hizmet followers in many countries around the world. Hizmet-affiliated institutions and schools in Turkey are also under intense pressure from the government.

Complying with Erdoğan’s call, the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, which is run by the AK Party, recently decided to change the status of land in the Uluç neighborhood from “private educational facility” to “secondary school area.” The area belongs to the Hizmet-affiliated group Toros Educational Institutions, which has yet to build any kind of educational facility on the land.

The municipal council also approved the zoning plan change to an area belonging to the private Toros Primary and Secondary School in the Muratpaşa Meydan Kavağı neighborhood. The zoning plan of the school was changed to an “official school area.”

Toros Educational Institutions have objected to the municipality’s plans to change the zoning of the school area in Uluç, saying that the municipal council’s decision is groundless and unlawful.

In its objection, Toros said it was Antalya’s current mayor, Menderes Türel, who approved the area being given the status of “private educational facility” during his first term in 2005.

During Thursday’s meeting, the council discussed Toros’ objection and referred the plans about the change of the zoning plans of the schools to the Zoning and Public Works Commission. The municipal council will make its final decision on the zoning plans once a report on the matter is prepared by this commission.

During the meeting, Mayor Türel, who approved the zoning-plan change to the Hizmet affiliated schools, seemed to contradict his professed intention to be acting in the best interests of the province’s education system when he defended his decision to transfer the dormitories belonging to the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality to the Foundation of Youth and Education in Turkey (TÜRGEV), which is at the center of the Dec. 17 corruption probe and is battling against serious allegations of bribery and irregularities within the foundation.

When a Republican People’s Party (CHP) official criticized Türel for taking such a move without the knowledge of the municipal council, Türel said he took such a step based on his authority to form agreements with foundations and organizations that work for the public good, adding that he would inform the council later on.

Türel said that TÜRGEV is an organization working for the public good and that he is very happy to form an agreement with the institution.

President Erdoğan’s son Bilal is an executive board member of TÜRGEV.

Although the Toros schools are currently the target of the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, one of the schools posted an inauguration photo in its website showing Türel, Kepez Mayor Hakan Tütüncü, Antalya AK Party provincial chairman Mustafa Köse and AK Party Antalya deputy Gökcen Özdoğan Elçi. The caption of the photo reads: “We give the best education to the best. Toros Education Institutions, which have served the people of Antalya since 1997 with academic and cultural successes, social facilities, Olympiad and project works, continue to be the pride of Antalya.”

In July, the Bolu Municipality shut two schools belonging to businessmen affiliated with the Hizmet movement. The municipality hung a sign in front of the schools claiming that the buildings are not licensed and that the buildings had not followed municipality regulations. In August, the same municipality constructed a road inside the courtyard of Fatih Koleji, which is affiliated with Hizmet — despite the fact that the school is surrounded by empty plots of land and that there are no residential areas around the school.

The closure of two Hizmet-affiliated schools in Bolu 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.

The municipality, also in July, removed a sign advertising the Fem prep school in İstanbul’s Mecidiyeköy neighborhood, 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 Public Prosecutor’s Office, arguing that its advert had been removed for no apparent reason.

In the meantime, two dormitories for male students in the Black Sea province of Rize have been closed down without warning in line with inspection reports approved by the governor’s office. The Private Mehmet Ali Bey Dormitory and the Private Serhat Yüksek Dormitory were affiliated with the Hizmet movement. The managers of the dormitories said although there are more than 30 dormitories in the province, only these two were closed and that the move came following an order by Rize Governor Ersin Yazıcı.

Source: Today's Zaman , September 5, 201411


Related News

Pak-Turk schools: Parents urge government against transferring administration to Erdogan-linked organization

“All the Turkish teachers and administrators have left Pakistan and the schools are being run by Pakistanis,” said one of the parents Syed Amir Abdullah. He added that the government still seemed hell bent on ruining these institutions by handing them over to an ‘infamous organisation’ which has no experience of running them.

Fethullah Gulen: Violence can not be a remedy for violence

BAHADIR BERK Interpreting the violent events in France for Aksiyon, Fethullah Gulen said: “Intelligence organizations should work in Turkey more sensitively. Violence should be suppressed even before it gets out of its slot. If you exhaust your power with delusions such as ‘It is possible that these will pose a threat in the future. Let […]

Turkmen Alevite Association and Kimse Yok Mu distribute aid to 1840 families in Ramadan

Özdemir Özdemir, president of Turkmen Alevite Association, thanked Kimse Yok Mu and expressed that Ramadan is an important time for Alevite-Sunni brotherhood. Two organizations worked together, showing a good example of solidarity and brotherhood. The Alevite association identified 1840 needy families in Ankara and distributed food packages, which were supported by Kimse Yok Mu.

The Gülen Movement: a modern expression of Turkish Islam – Interview with Hakan Yavuz

In a way, they [the Gülen movement] represent a new model of Islam in Turkey, at peace with democracy and modernity. This also reflects the Anatolian understanding of Islam, i.e. the Sufi conception of morality is at the centre of the movement. I would consider it as a movement based on the re-imagining of Islam and consisting of loose networks under the guidance and leadership of Fetullah Gülen.

Parents protest deportation of Pak-Turk School’s teachers, staff

Slamming the government’s decision of deporting Turkish teachers and staff from the country, parents said “Pak-Turk Schools were founded without any financial assistance of Turkey and Pakistani government but founded by the philanthropist donations of people of Pakistan and Turkey” adding that these schools were the property of Pakistani people.

Gülen, Hizmet, the state and the AKP

Gülen has placed much emphasis on education. With a new ijtihad (independent reasoning), he always stated that instead of building a mosque, religious businessmen must establish secular schools that will educate the future’s engineers, doctors, lawyers, journalists and yes, police, prosecutors and judges.

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

Pro-Gov’t Columnist Suggests Setting Turkey’s Silivri Prison Ablaze To Kill Inmates From Gülen Movement

‘Selam: Bahara Yolculuk’: a true story on the big screen

A Family’s Journey from Turkey and Argentina to San Antonio

NTIC Foundation: Touching lives in Nigeria

Zaman daily launches news portal in Kurdish language

Gülen’s lawyer files lawsuit over unlawful police probe into Hizmet

Turkish PM admits did not know identity of putschists when he blamed Gülen movement

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News