Date posted: March 23, 2015
In yet another government-backed operation targeting the Gülen movement, tax inspectors from the Finance Ministry carried out a raid with police at a private school opened by volunteers of the movement in southern province of Adana on Saturday.
Çukurova Burç College, one of Adana’s most successful schools, was raided and searched by four auditors and some 40 police officer early on Saturday over alleged violations of Tax Procedural Law by school administrators. Burç Schools General Manager Sultan Sözeri criticized dozens of police officers’ accompanying the inspectors, saying auditors can carry out inspections at the school whenever they want. Sözeri said the raid aims to create a negative image about the school. “I know that parents who see this scene will be more willing to send us their children,” he said.
Stating that the school was inspected by Finance Ministry inspectors just one month ago, Sözeri said the search and the raid are illegal. Sözeri also underlined that the school is known for its successes in Adana. He said top scorers of the province in the most recent Transition to Higher Education examination (YGS), the first-round exam of the university entrance system, were from Çukurova Burç College.
Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the movement inspired by him have been direct targets of the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ever since a corruption probe in which some senior members of the government were implicated became public on Dec. 17 of 2013. Erdoğan, who refers to Hizmet as the “parallel state” or “structure,” accuses the movement of being behind the corruption operation.
The government, then led by Erdoğan, took action to ensure the closure of schools opened by Gülen’s followers in many countries around the world. Gülen-inspired institutions and schools in Turkey are also under intense pressure from the government.
In May of last year, then-prime minister Erdoğan publicly advised supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) not to send their children to schools inspired by Gülen. “We will not even give water to them [members of Gülen movement],” he vowed.
He also ordered officials at AK Party-run municipalities to seize land and buildings belonging to the Gülen movement by any means.
Source: Today's Zaman , March 21, 2015
Tags: Democracy | Education | Hizmet and politics | Hizmet-inspired schools | Turkey |