Caretaker AK Party gov’t criticized for police operation against youth association

Police raided a youth association founded by former Balıkesir Governor Ahmet Turhan that is giving Quran lessons to 60 children, based on
Police raided a youth association founded by former Balıkesir Governor Ahmet Turhan that is giving Quran lessons to 60 children, based on "reasonable suspicion." (Photo: Cihan)


Date posted: July 3, 2015

MELİH GASGAR / BALIKESIR

The interim Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has been criticized by opposition party members for a police raid on Thursday on the headquarters of a youth association in Balıkesir, in what is considered to be yet another government-orchestrated operation against institutions connected with the faith-based Gülen movement, popularly known as the Hizmet movement, inspired by the views of the Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

The operation was conducted on the basis of “reasonable suspicion.”

With the law passed in December 2014, the threshold for the burden of proof that is required for obtaining a search warrant was reduced from strong and concrete evidence to mere reasonable suspicion. The police are not only able to easily search any individual, home or vehicle but also can easily seize the property of all so-called dissidents on the grounds that they committed a crime against the government.

The Yağmur Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Association, which was founded in 2013 by Ahmet Turhan, the Balıkesir governor of the time, has been giving Quran lessons to 60 children during Ramadan. Turhan stated during the launch of the association that it sets an example for the education of young people, saying, “Institutions like the Yağmur Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Association should increase in number.”

Officers from the Balıkesir Anti-smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau conducted an hour-long search of the association’s headquarters. An operating ledger, a receipt and other books belonging to the association were impounded as evidence.

The police were criticized by a number of people for raiding an association known for organizing events to keep young people away from bad habits like drugs, alcohol and smoking, in the holy month of Ramadan.

İsmail Ok, Balıkesir Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) mayor, criticized the government’s attitude, saying “Unfortunately, the government is taking revenge on the association and using its authority for wrong purposes. They will be held accountable for the injustices they committed by means of the law of “reasonable suspicion.”

Republican People’s Party (CHP) Balıkesir deputy Namık Havutça stated that this kind of attitude towards associations is not acceptable. “We do not accept the government’s treatment of associations as terrorist organizations. It does not fit with the improved Turkey of the 21st century.”

Yağmur Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Association President Musa Baydar emphasized that the association has been serving the youth of Balıkesir for three years. “Young people are under the threat of hazards like drugs, alcohol and smoking. Our association aims at keeping the young people of Balıkesir away from those hazards. We are teaching the Quran to 60 young members of our association in Ramadan.” Baydar expressed his disappointment about the police raid, saying, “We felt both strange and sad that a Quran teaching association is raided by the police in the holy month of Ramadan.”

Similar operations took place in the offices of civil society organizations, charity foundations and education centers established by people close to the Hizmet movement in June.

The operations are widely believed to be an act of retribution by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration for a corruption investigation that went public in December 2013. Erdoğan claims the Gülen movement tried — and failed — to carry out a coup attempt against him and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government through the graft investigation which became public knowledge on Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, implicating former Cabinet ministers, prominent businessmen close to the administration and members of Erdoğan’s family.

Source: Today's Zaman , July 03, 2015


Related News

How does PM Erdoğan hurt the liberal pious of Turkey?

Turkey has been vigorously debating the nature of its democracy and popular Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling style, which has increasingly authoritarian tendencies, as never before since the Gezi Park protests in May. From my perspective, the Gezi protests, on which everyone was almost forced to take sides, is a grey area since both the government and the protesters made their share of mistakes.

Turkey’s spying imams also active in Norway: monitoring group

Norwegian Islamist religious organizations that are affiliated with the Turkish government and its Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) are reportedly involved in unlawful profiling activities of unsuspecting people of Turkish origin across Norway.

Afghan official lauds Turkey’s education drive

ŞEYMA AKKOYUNLU, İSTANBUL A top Afghan official has praised Turkey’s efforts to boost education and help in restructuring Afghanistan, saying Turkish assistance to the country was unparalleled. “Turkey has a very special place in Afghanistan. It is the only Muslim country in NATO, and the Afghan people trust Turkey. The source of this trust is […]

Turkish FM Babacan visits Turkish high school in Tajikistan

CEMİL KARTAL, DUSHANBE Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday visited the Hacı Kemal Tajik High School, established by Turkish entrepreneurs in Tajikistan.During the visit, Şelale Education Company Manager Mesut Ata briefed Babacan about Turkish schools operating in the country. He said the Şelale Education Company was established in 1992 and currently runs seven schools, one language […]

Wedding gifts will help build dorm and water wells in Tanzania

Ubeyd and Nurefşan Yeşil donated the gifts presented at their wedding to the Hizmet in Tanzania. Almost $40,000 value donation will be used in the construction of a college dormitory and water wells.

Enforced Disappearance: Cases of Hizmet Movement members and International Law

Moldavian Intelligence Service (SIS) in coordination with Turkish intelligence service (MIT) unlawfully and forcefully detained and kidnaped six educator Turkish nationals in Moldova on September 6, 2018. The detainees have been teachers in private schools opened in 1993 a sign of goodwill friendship between Turkey and Moldova.

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

Woman gave birth while in detention, handcuffed to bed by police

Mr. Minister, please look at yourself in the mirror

Fears for Gulen-inspired Turkish schools in Pakistan grow

4-year-old visits dad in jail on Children’s Day wearing T-shirt with newborn brother’s picture

As Turkey’s war on Gulen escalates, so does impact on Africa

Kimse Yok Mu’s Ramadan packages for Filipino families

Kimse Yok Mu trains flood victim Pakistani women for a job

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News