Trustees seize control of schools in government-led move

Police teams arrived in one of the Gülen-inspired schools following the appointment of trustees to the companies that own them, in İstanbul on Friday. (Photo: Today's Zaman)
Police teams arrived in one of the Gülen-inspired schools following the appointment of trustees to the companies that own them, in İstanbul on Friday. (Photo: Today's Zaman)


Date posted: February 12, 2016

MERYEM KİRAZ / FAZLI MERT | ISTANBUL

A judge in İstanbul has ordered that trustees be appointed to 12 companies, including the FEM and Anafen prep schools established by people sympathetic to the faith-based Gülen movement for allegedly being affiliated with Kaynak Holding.

The trustees were appointed to nearly 50 private prep schools, foundations and associations belonging to 12 educational institutions by the Anatolia 4th Criminal Court of Peace in İstanbul on Friday. Among the schools to which trustees were appointed are Fatih College, the Coşkun and Nilüfer private schools, the Mizan and Sema Education Institutions and the FEM and Anafen prep schools.

According to the court’s decision, eight of the companies are located in İstanbul and two in Ankara. The remaining two are located in İzmir and Samsun.

Executives of the 12 companies received notification of their dismissal earlier on Friday.

The appointed trustees — Sezai Çiçek, Ertuğrul Erdoğan, İsmail Gülen, Aytekin Karahan, Levent Küçük, İmran Okumuş and Hüseyin Yaşar — will serve at the 12 companies.

However, Kaynak Holding released a statement later on Friday, denying any corporate link with the foundations and associations where trustees were appointed.

“These claims are totally untrue. These companies are neither subsidiaries of Kaynak Holding nor have any organic relation with the holding,” the statement said.

An İstanbul court appointed seven trustees on Nov. 18 to take over the management of Kaynak Holding and 21 of its subsidiaries on suspicion of their affiliation with the so-called “parallel state,” a term invented by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to refer to sympathizers of the Hizmet movement, a faith-based community inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. The decision came less than a month after the seizure of Koza Holding, one of the country’s largest publicly listed conglomerates.

The İstanbul 10th Criminal Court of Peace ordered the appointment of trustees to take over the management of the holding in a controversial move. The court has been criticized for abusing its power to engineer a questionable legal pretext to confiscate one of Turkey’s most successful conglomerates.

The number of companies to which the same trustees have been appointed has increased to 58.

The first decision made by the trustees was to seize all items, including the office stock and the bank accounts of the 12 companies, and to stop remittances and the electronic transfer of funds.

On Oct. 27, police raided Koza İpek’s headquarters in Ankara and the İpek Media Group’s offices, which house four media outlets owned by the holding. The decision for the raid came from a widely criticized court decision to appoint a board of trustees to take over the management of the holding’s 22 companies. Dozens of people were fired, television stations belonging to the group were closed and the sales of the Bugün and Millet dailies significantly decreased following the appointment of the trustees.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting sympathizers of the Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, since a corruption investigation was made public on Dec. 17, 2013. A graft probe implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, members of his family and senior Justice and Development Party (AK Party) figures.

Erdoğan accused the Gülen movement of plotting to overthrow his government and alleged that sympathizers of the movement within the police department had fabricated the graft scandal. He said he would carry out a “witch hunt” against anyone with links to the movement; since then, hundreds of police officers have been detained and some arrested for alleged illegal activity in the course of the corruption investigation. The Gülen movement strongly rejects the allegations brought against it.

In an effort to restructure the judiciary in line with the government’s instructions following the corruption scandal, Erdoğan ordered the establishment of the Penal Courts of Peace in 2014 as part of a “project.” The establishment of these courts came after he accused the Gülen movement of being responsible for the revelation of the scandal.

Since their establishment, the courts have handed down rulings that have led to sweeping operations by the police force and the detention and arrest of dissident journalists and opinion leaders who are vocal in their criticism of the government’s unlawful acts. These courts have turned into the government’s apparatus to impose judicial pressure on the opposition.

Source: Today's Zaman , February 12, 2016


Related News

Why should education in Pakistan be held hostage to the politics of other countries, however brotherly?

If Pakistan does indeed give in to pressure from the Turkish government, the move will be ironic, given the number of madressahs currently operating in the country with established links to political, religious or denominational movements that have a more than suspected record of terrorism, violence and spurious religious indoctrination.

Another Hizmet-affiliated school targeted by AK Party

The Antalya Metropolitan Municipality City Council decided on Tuesday to change the structural plan of a Hizmet-affiliated school that has been operating in the Muratpaşa district of Antalya since 1996, canceling its registration and paving the way for the destruction of the building that houses the school.

Scores of students march to Pristina airport after learning Gülen teachers not yet deported

Scores of students marched to Pristina airport after finding out that six Turkish nationals who were arrested early on Thursday had not yet been deported.

Erdoğan calls for expanded witch hunt against Gülen followers

Having purged more than 150,000 people from state jobs and jailed over 50,000 due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday called on people to inform on activities of Gülen followers, saying that if they fail to do so, they will be held responsible.

Diplomatic solution: Pak-Turk schools may not be shut down after all

OONIB AZAM / SARFARAZ MEMON / Z ALI / RIAZUL HAQ Uncertainty surrounds the future of Pak-Turk schools in the country. In the wake of the foiled military coup in Turkey, the country’s ambassador to Pakistan has urged for the shutdown of all Pak-Turk schools and colleges which belong to the alleged US-based ‘mastermind of […]

Kemalo-Islamists versus civil society and Hizmet

İHSAN YILMAZ When summarizing the recent Cabinet meeting to correspondents, the speaker of the Cabinet, Bülent Arınç, referred to a religious concept, “fitnah” (sedition). He was implying that the Hizmet movement was engaged in an illegitimate psychological media campaign against his government. He even a recited a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on fitnah […]

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

An open letter to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan

Coup Commission members: Now is similar to Feb. 28 coup period

Alevi problems deeper than they seem, opinion leaders agree

Turkey’s first intercultural dialogue center built on trust, offers quality services

Second alleged disappearance in a week: Philosophy teacher goes missing

Tunisian scholar Ghannouchi: Gülen promotes ‘noble Islam’

Totalitarian interference in individual sphere

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News