An interview at a party-state

Illustration: Cem Kızıltuğ
Illustration: Cem Kızıltuğ

Date posted: January 1, 2015

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s witch-hunt campaign to find and eliminate people who are sympathizer of the Hizmet movement and not sympathizer of the government was reflected in interviews that were organized by the Ministry of Education last month. It seems Turkey has totally become a party-state.

Turkey’s Ministry of Education has been sending students to complete their graduate studies abroad for the last seven years on scholarship. The ministry aims to reach 5,000 students, adding about 1,400 students this year. The scholarships cover health insurance, travel expenses, registration fees and four or six years of graduate tuition fees along with living expenses. The cost of a student is approximately between $35,000-$50,000 annually. The scholarship is issued as long as students agree to work for twice the amount of time as their studies at a state university upon returning.

Similar projects are being done mostly by developing countries. These countries send students to developed countries with the intent to increase the quality of academic cadres at public funded universities.

As never before, this year the ministry conducted interviews to select students as a last point of control. Academic competence is not a sufficient condition to get scholarships anymore. As expected, the interviews turned into witch-hunt sessions.

Three officers conducted the interviews. One of them was supposedly the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) representative who confirms the scholarship.

A participant came and told me how a session was held. When I learned the interview questions, I decided to share them. But before, I confirmed the questions with two more students just to be sure.

Here are sample questions:

-Are you a Gülenist? You look like a Gülenist by your silence, your glance and your stance. Are you one of them?
-Are you a pious person? Where does your piety come from?
-Which communities and associations are you in contact with?
-Do you follow President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu?
-Recently, President Erdoğan gave an award to a Marxist intellectual. What was the award for? How did intellectual thank the president in his speech?
-Which newspapers do you follow? Which columnists do you like? What was one of their recent articles about?
-Which intellectuals do you appreciate and keep up with? Can you name five of them?
-What is the latest book you reading? Which publisher published the book? What was it about?
-What television channels do you watch? What political discussion programs do you follow?
-Who is the most prominent religious figure in Turkey?

In Turkey, these types of questions have been asked mostly at interviews for entrance at Turkish military schools. So, the questions show how the mindset of the AK Party has met with Kemalist ideological instruments.

People try to sound like an AK Party voter or sympathizers to get privileges. The AK Party is making people hypocrites.

Turkey’s brains and intellectuals have already started to plan their leave from the country. They are not no longer putting up with the AK Party state. Turkey will pay its consequences seriously.

The AK Party transformed Turkey into a party-state. We should all find a way to make a contract that does not allow anyone to make Turkey a party-state.

Source: Today's Zaman , December 30, 2014

Related News

Turkey’s Erdogan Battles Country’s Most Powerful Religious Movement

The intensifying hostility between Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Gulen movement, an influential religious organization once seen as a key Erdogan ally, shows how the Turkish premier’s power is unraveling.

Saudi Scholar al-Qarni: Gulen serves with wisdom

One of the most celebrated scholars of Saudi Arabia and the Arab world at large, Sheikh Aaidh al-Qarni delivered sermons on “Tabi’in” (a referral to the people who lived in an age right after the Prophet Muhammad’s companions’ generation) at several salatin mosques (mosques built by Ottoman sultans) in Istanbul, on June 1 thru 9. […]

Father says wife, 11-month-old son under arrest despite medical problems

Cengiz Zaza Akbaba, the husband of Gulistan Diken Akbaba said in a recent video that his wife and 11-month-old son have been under arrest despite the babies medical problems. “This child is only one of 560 children. Now, 560 children are not allowed to touch the soil, not allowed to see the sun,” Akbaba added.

Cingöz: Kimse Yok Mu welcomes all auditors from state institutions

İsmail Cingöz, president of the Turkish charity Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There), which is affiliated with the Hizmet movement inspired by prominent scholar Fethullah Gülen, explained to Today’s Zaman that the organization has contributed to social and international peace since the day of its foundation.

Torture – Black Sites of Turkey

In a near-repeat of the CIA’s ‘extraordinary renditions’, the regime of Turkish president Erdoğan is kidnapping dozens of members of the Gülen movement from around the world. Victims are now raising a serious accusation: secret torture sites are part of the repression. A team of nine media organizations from eight countries, coordinated by CORRECTIV, investigates.

Pro-government Yeni Şafak daily fires critical columnist

Pro-government newspaper Yeni Şafak has fired journalist Osman Özsoy after the columnist hinted government pressure on the newspaper to let him go on his Twitter account on Monday.

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

The responsibility of the Hizmet movement

Zaman school [in Cambodia] resists call for closure

From political Islam to Islamic terrorism: Is there a way out?

Izzettin Dogan: ‘Turkish Olympiads achieved what UN couldn’t

NTIC: Showcasing Nigerians’ Academic Prowess

Campaign seeks donations for purge-victim Turkish refugees in Greece

Government plans to unlawfully take over aid organization

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News