Gulenists dismissed, purged, and tortured: Canadian Immigration Board

The findings of IRB indicated that detainees in Turkey have faced different forms of torture and ill-treatment. They include severe beatings, threats of sexual assault and actual sexual assault, electric shocks, waterboarding, punches/kicking, blows with objects, falaqa [foot beating], threats and verbal abuse, being forced to strip naked, rape with objects and other sexual violence or threats thereof, sleep deprivation, stress positions, and extended blindfolding and/or handcuffing for several days.
The findings of IRB indicated that detainees in Turkey have faced different forms of torture and ill-treatment. They include severe beatings, threats of sexual assault and actual sexual assault, electric shocks, waterboarding, punches/kicking, blows with objects, falaqa [foot beating], threats and verbal abuse, being forced to strip naked, rape with objects and other sexual violence or threats thereof, sleep deprivation, stress positions, and extended blindfolding and/or handcuffing for several days.


Date posted: July 13, 2020

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) has updated its data for 2020 regarding the mass crackdown in Turkey targeting an opposition group, following a 2016 controversial coup attempt.

According to many critics, President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party has been using the abortive coup as a pretext to purge and detained tens of thousands of Turkish nationals.

Erdogan’s government blames the Gulen (Hizmet) Movement for orchestrating the coup, a claim the movement strongly denies.

IRB, Canada’s largest independent administrative tribunal, responsible for making decisions on immigration and refugees, has released information about the structure of the Hizmet movement and an ongoing crackdown targeting its followers.

As a “Response to Information Requests (RIR)” IRB quoted the Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF), a New York-based international civil society organization, to explain the goal of the movement:

“The Hizmet movement has undergone several transformations from a small religious community to a larger conservative community to an inclusive society with the principles of service, altruism, and dedication to society.”

It also referred to Gulenmovement.com, a website “launched by a group of volunteers,” giving the objective of participants of the movement is “to attain God’s good pleasure based on the conviction that ‘service to humanity is service to God’.”

Foundation and Core

The tribunal stated that Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in “self-imposed exile” in the US since 1999, was accused by Erdogan’s government of masterminding a 2013 corruption probe against the AKP seniors, through his alleged followers within the police.

It states that the Turkish government designated the movement as a terrorist organization after the coup attempt, which resulted in over 1,500 people wounded and more than 200 people killed, referring to an Amnesty International report.

In the aftermath of the abortive coup, IRB says, the Turkish government declared a 90-day state of emergency across the country, which was extended seven times before it was lifted on 18 July 2018.

It noted that the government introduced a series of emergency decrees during that period that bypassed parliamentary scrutiny and judicial review procedures.

“A 2019 report by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), a New York-based “nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally” (HRF n.d.), states that the measures enacted by the government since July 2016 have caused “a dramatic erosion of the rule of law and a significant deterioration of [Turkey’s] human rights record,” RIR wrote in the report.

Citing various new reports, IRB indicated that “a tough anti-terrorism bill” ratified by the Turkish government soon after the end of the state of emergency allowed the government to dismiss personnel of the Turkish Armed Forces, police, and gendarmerie departments, public servants and workers.

“Hizmet has no institutional presence in Turkey today.”

The Canadian immigration board mentioned the Turkish government closed 1064 private education institutions (kindergartens, elementary schools, junior high schools and high schools), 360 private training courses and study centres, 847 student dormitories, 47 private healthcare centres, 15 private foundation universities, 29 trade unions affiliated to two [c]onfederations, 1419 associations, 145 foundations and 174 media and broadcasting organizations as of 20 March 2018, during a post-coup purge.

Referring to a JWF statement, the report said the Turkish government confiscated the assets and personal property of business people who used to support people with financial assistance.

Family members and relatives of the detained and arrested members of the Hizmet [m]ovement are in a tough situation.

“Assisting victims in Turkey, financially or otherwise, however, is very dangerous, and many individuals have been arrested and face terrorism charges … for trying to assist the people in need. Many people are therefore looking [to leave] Turkey.”

The IRB indicated that the mass crackdown in Turkey has resulted in the dismissal, detainment, and arrest of thousands of individuals, “overwhelmingly academics, teachers, journalists, housewives, trade unionists, judges, prosecutors, police officers, military personnel and other professionals.

Gulenists dismissed, purged, and tortured: Canadian Immigration Board

Based on various sources, the Canadian tribunal said there is no official membership in the movement. At the same time, the Turkish government uses “a list of criteria” to identify alleged members or supporters of Hizmet.

The “criteria” is being listed as follows in the report:

Gulenists dismissed, purged, and tortured: Canadian Immigration Board

The report underlined that the “Turkish Authorities persecute whoever has even minim[al] contact with the Hizmet movement and its institutions. Therefore, the risk of being persecuted continues if the person was affiliated with the movement without being an actual member of the movement itself, per se.”

IRB also referred to the 2019 annual report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and noted:

“Followers of U.S.-based cleric Gülen have faced increased persecution by the government since the failed coup in 2016.”
The President of JWF said to the tribunal that “Since the attempted coup, Turkish government officials have declared that Hizmet [m]ovement participants do not have a right to life and will beg for death in prisons.”

Extraditions, torture, ill-treatment, kidnapping, enforced disappearances

The Canadian immigration body also noted the cancellation of passports of tens of thousands of purged people to prevent them from leaving the country. Regarding the alleged members of the movement living abroad, the group mentioned a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW):

“HRW also reports that the Turkish government seeks the extradition of alleged Gulen supporters abroad. Sources indicate that some countries have complied with the Turkish government’s call for extraditions.”

The IRB also said Turkey has returned or made local authorities arrest several alleged members of the movement from abroad. Ankara has managed it through operations by the Turkish intelligence officers and collaboration with local security officers in countries such as Montenegro, Kosovo, Moldova, Morocco, Pakistan, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkmenistan.

The findings of IRB also indicated that detainees in Turkey have faced different forms of torture and ill-treatment. They include severe beatings, threats of sexual assault and actual sexual assault, electric shocks, waterboarding, punches/kicking, blows with objects, falaqa [foot beating], threats and verbal abuse, being forced to strip naked, rape with objects and other sexual violence or threats thereof, sleep deprivation, stress positions, and extended blindfolding and/or handcuffing for several days.

IRB mentioned 28 alleged followers of the movement had been a target of forced disappearances, abductions or kidnappings.

Source: Bold Medya , June 25, 2020


Related News

The Fountain 100th Issue Essay Contest

With its 100th issue, The Fountain invites you to join us in our celebration. Write in an essay a projection of yourself on your 100th birthday. What would you say to yourself at that age? What would your 100-year-old self tell you back? Would it be a conversation of praise and/or regret? Praise for achievements in your career, but regrets for a destroyed family? Warnings for the mistakes you did in your projected future or you will do in your past; pitfalls you happened to be dragged into, temptations you could not resist; or celebrations for the good character you were able to display and sustain a whole life, a precious life wasted or a life lived as it was meant to be.

A major scandal by the Mukhabarat state

The voice recordings of four phone calls made to Fethullah Gülen were posted on the Internet at midnight on Monday. As you know, Gülen lives in the US. Those who phoned him are some executives from institutions established and run by the people who are inspired by the Hizmet movement in Turkey. The calls do not have any incriminating content. Rather, one of these unlawfully wiretapped recordings exposes how the Hizmet movement was targeted in a conspiracy by circles close to the government.

Turkish IT Technician Found Dead While Fleeing To Greece

The body of a Turkish IT specialist, who was fleeing Turkish crackdown, was recovered from a river that divides Turkish-Greek territory. Mr. Zumre is not the only one who tried to cross the Meric river into Greece. Hundreds of professors, journalists, and sacked public employees crossed the river to reach Greece. Many of them are living in Greek refugee camps.

GYV praised for response to accusations about Hizmet movement

FATMA DİŞLİ ZIBAK, ALİ ASLAN KILIÇ, İSTANBUL/ANKARA An 11-article statement released by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) on Tuesday in response to a series of controversial claims and slanderous accusations made about the Hizmet movement has received appreciation and applause from many who said the statement is a good response to those who wish […]

Rebecca Harms: Working in Gülen-linked educational institutions not a crime

Speaking during the general assembly of the European Parliament (EP) on Thursday, Harms said working in institutions such as schools or universities with links to the Gülen movement is not a crime and that, similarly, being critical of the government and being a critical journalist are not crimes.

The Gulen Movement Is Not a Cult — It’s One of the Most Encouraging Faces of Islam Today

How will it end? Erdogan has beaten Hizmet decisively. But he is planting the seeds for his own destruction. How and when he will fall remains unclear. Meanwhile, on the international scene, Turkey is rapidly becoming a pariah. The country itself is now his primary victim.

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

Inmates claim torture in Turkish prison

The genesis of the hatred against Gulen and the Hizmet Movement

Sarıgül’s first election promise: to protect İstanbul’s historic skyline

An opposition out of Gulen Community?

Pro-gov’t news portal proposes ways to execute Gülen followers

Gulen sympathizer stabbed by pro-Erdogan relative in Belgium

Turkish Schools, Model for Education in Romania

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News