Date posted: August 12, 2015
In yet another government-orchestrated operation targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, popularly known as the Hizmet movement, police officers and inspectors from several ministries and institutions conducted raids at schools established by volunteers of the movement early on Wednesday in the northwestern city of Çanakkale.
According to the Cihan news agency, the police did not let anyone enter the buildings of several private schools, including prep schools, during the inspections. Hasan Hüseyin Maltepe, the executive board chairman of Erişen Private Education Social Services Trade Inc., was among those not allowed to enter.
Waiting in front of the Gökkuşağı Education Institution for some time, Maltepe said: “They [police officers] shut the door in my face. I had no idea what was going on. [When] I came here, I saw police officers at the door [of the institution]. I [also] saw [their] vehicles. We don’t know what is going on.”
On Aug. 4, at least 300 police officers from smuggling and organized crime units coupled with dozens of government inspectors also raided Gülen-inspired schools in the city of Aksaray in Central Anatolia.
Several inspectors from various ministries and other government institutions carried out inspections at three locations of the Gülen-inspired Burç College with police on Aug. 5.
The raids are part of a nationwide crackdown on institutions and individuals sympathetic to the Hizmet movement, which is inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, and in particular private prep schools. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the Gülen movement of orchestrating a graft investigation that implicated him and his inner circle. The Gülen movement denies the charges. Since the allegations surfaced nearly two years ago, the authorities have escalated raids, shutting down or defaming institutions or individuals close to the movement, as part of a witch hunt being carried out against the group.
Erdoğan himself said in reference to a variety of actions taken against the movement: “If reassigning individuals who betray this country is called a witch hunt, then yes, we will carry out this witch hunt,” while delivering a speech at the 22nd Consultation and Assessment Meeting of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in Afyonkarahisar in May 2014.
Source: Today's Zaman , August 12, 2015