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

Virginia delegation teams up with Turkish NGO, delivers aid to Syrians

A delegation from the US state of Virginia was in the working class neighborhood of Umraniye in İstanbul on Monday, delivering food and blankets to Syrian families with the help of the charities Kimse Yok Mu and Embrace Relief.

Gulen-linked RI schools remain calm amid coup in Indonesia

Two students wearing red long-sleeve shirts combined with checkered skirts were chatting fluently in English while playing at the grounds of Kharisma Bangsa Bilingual boarding school on Tuesday afternoon. Meters away, in a guest room within the school’s lobby, a parent was speaking with a Turkish teacher.

With Husband Already In Jail, Woman Along With Two Children Detained In Post-Coup Witch Hunt

Nearly seven months after former public worker B.K. was arrested, his wife and two children were also detained as part of a government witch hunt against the Gülen movement. She is also diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Teacher detained while visiting relatives during Eid holiday

A teacher, identified with his/her initials M.P., was detained while on a visit to his/her relatives in Tatar village, Sivas on the very first day of the Muslim festival, Eid al-Fitr. It is a tradition that Muslims visit their elderly relatives at their homes as part of Eid celebrations in Turkey.

Turkish Schools in Afghanistan organized the eighth annual science competition

Turkish schools in Afghanistan organized a Science Project Competition with in cooperation with TIKA, Turkish Collaboration and Coordination Agency, a state organization. Afghan-Turkish Schools were opened in 1995 and the competition has been organized 8 times organized since 2004. The awards ceremony was held at the Afghan-Turkish School for Girls in Kabul. Yilmaz Aytan, the vice chairman […]

Nigerian Turkish Foundation donates educational materials to Lagos schools

Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye has restated the need for individuals and private organizations to partner with the State government in order to raise the standard of education in the State.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

(Not a joke) Turkish governor: ISIL terrorist detonated himself in construction site not to harm neighbors

Turkey’s anti-Gulen campaign: Strengthening militants and jihadists

The state, AKP, Religious Affairs Directorate, Alevis and rights

Fethullah Gulen: Killing of Russian envoy ‘heinous act’

Yamanlar College student becomes world math champion

Zaman Editor-in-Chief: Turkish government no longer democratic

Violent Extremism

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News