Date posted: April 2, 2017
A report published by The Black Sea news website on Saturday revealed that imams from Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) spied on people sympathetic to Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the movement he inspired in Romania as well.
According to the report, following a July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, a memo from Turkey’s counselor for religious affairs in Bucharest, Osman Kilic, was sent to the Diyanet in Ankara on Sept. 27, 2016.
This document includes a list of 11 schools, kindergartens and one university that are part of the Lumina Educational Institutions, which have been active in Romania since 1994.
“The Turkish Embassy in Bucharest has told us it ‘does not have any information’ about this correspondence. But documents from the same cache, seen by the European Investigative Collaborations Network, have been confirmed by other Turkish diplomatic missions,” said the report.
“There are tough allegations that the Turkish Embassy is blocking the release of vital documents to Turkish citizens and cancelling their passports — forcing them to stay in Romania, and ‘blackmailing’ parents into pulling their children from Gulenist schools,” added the report.
Turkey’s worldwide monitoring
A report published by German Der Spiegel magazine on Friday revealed details of Turkey’s spying activities on people linked with the Gülen movement around the world.
Evaluating diplomatic cables containing information collected by Turkish diplomatic missions in 35 countries, Der Spiegel wrote: “Turkish embassies in Nigeria, Australia, Kenya and Saudi Arabia have all reported on the schools in those countries they believe to be affiliated with the Gülen movement. They document the organizations in which Gülen supporters are active and the media they write for. They also outline the relationships of the alleged supporters to each country’s government.”
Source: Turkish Minute , April 2, 2017
Erdoğan has been trying to dodge the damaging impact of the corruption scandals by using Hizmet as a scapegoat. Gülen, an ardent supporter of transparency and accountability in government, was critical of Erdoğan government’s efforts to stall the corruption investigations. Speaking to the BBC on Monday, Gülen said that the massive corruption investigations that have shaken the government cannot be covered up no matter how hard the government tries to derail the probes — not even by blaming the scandal on what the prime minister has called the “parallel state,” a veiled reference to the Hizmet movement inspired by Gülen.
A broad ranging investigation by the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) has resulted in trials being opened against three people who informed on Turkish citizens living in Denmark to the Turkish government, Turkish news portal Gazete Duvar reported on Monday.
We are not convinced that shutting down prep schools will either improve quality of education in Turkey or increase educational equality,” said Batuhan Aydagül, director of the Education Reform Initiative (ERI or Eğitim Reformu Girişimi, ERG).
News of the detention of Kutbettin Gülen, the brother of Fethullah Gülen, is as unsurprising as it is troubling, and it is yet the latest example of the Turkish government’s persecution of innocent citizens in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt. Kutbettin Gülen has been detained on trumped-up charges used by President Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration to silence dissent and cement his autocratic hold on power.
Distortions of the truth and outright lies by Erdoğan regarding the economy, the Gezi protests, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), prosecutors and investigations by prosecutors, the graft investigation and the Hizmet movement are some of what is making Erdoğan’s rhetoric questionable.