AK Party’s social media instructions to ministries raise questions of legality


Date posted: November 20, 2013

Instructions sent to ministries by the ruling AK Party on Monday regarding what and how to share thoughts on social media go against the legal and democratic structure of Turkey as well as the separation of powers, lawyers say.

The Taraf daily reported on the written instructions sent in an email to social media coordinators at government ministries by the AK Party’s media coordinator, Burak Gültekin. The instructions provide suggestions to civil servants on what to post on Twitter related to the prep school row that has been growing following the leak of the government’s draft law to close private prep schools across Turkey.

Millions of citizens have posted tweets with the hashtag #dershaneylehgelenadalet criticizing the government’s plan to close prep schools since it was revealed on Thursday. In an effort to mobilize not only party members but also civil servants, the AK Party apparently sent written instructions to ministries, which by law should remain independent of party politics.

Günal Kurşun, president of the Human Rights Agenda Association (İHGD) and professor of law at Çukurova University, told Today’s Zaman on Tuesday that such a move is against both laws and the principle of the separation of powers. Criticizing the AK Party’s effort to mobilize civil servants, Kurşun said, “The AK Party has rapidly been turning into the CHP [Republican People’s Party] of the 1940s,” referring to the single-party era of the republic. Stating that in 1940s, as the state was equal to the party, the CHP was equal to the state.

As a result, according to Dr. Kurşun, any criticism of the party is then considered criticism of the state.

During the ongoing prep school debate, hashtags like “#DershaneyleGelenADALET” and “#EğitimdeReformYalanı” have become worldwide trending topics due to the growing reaction to the government’s plan to shut down these educational institutions without any public discussion.

The email from Gültekin read as follows: “Dear ministry social media coordinator, Attached please see a note on prep schools. We will focus on the prep school issue at 8:30 tonight on Twitter.” The attachment included templates for tweets that are expected to be posted on the Internet. Some of them include content teasing the Hizmet movement and the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, since they are considered pioneers in the prep school field.

Reşat Petek, a retired prosecutor and currently a practicing attorney, told Today’s Zaman on Tuesday that the way in which ministry officials can be instructed is determined by law, with no exceptions for any institution. “The ministries receive instructions from the office of the prime minister according to the hierarchical order,” Petek pointed out.

On Monday members of Parliament from the AK Party were also sent similar instructions. An email sent by the media advisor of the AK Party parliamentary group, İrem Sarp, told deputies about the Twitter campaign regarding the prep school debate and offered suggestions on what to post.

Source: Today's Zaman , November 19, 2013


Related News

Domestic violence addressed at GYV Women’s Platform int’l conference

İPEK ÜZÜM, İSTANBUL The reasons behind domestic violence and the role of family in the prevalence of violence in society are being discussed during an international conference organized by the Journalists and Writers Foundation‘s (GYV) Women’s Platform in İstanbul. The conference, titled “Family and Community Violence,” kicked off on Friday night with a reception at […]

Turkish daily Taraf accused of ‘spying’ and ‘terror acts’ for publishing state document

Daily Taraf, which published a document from a 2004 National Security Council (MGK) meeting about a state action plan against the activities of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s movement, has been charged with “spying” and “terrorism,” in an investigation launched by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor.

Silencing Taraf daily

The liberal Taraf daily, where I write a column, is one of the few independent newspapers in this country. Those who don’t know the Turkish media well need to know that media outlets are largely owned by private holdings which have close ties to the government. Thus, Turkish newspapers need to consider whether their reporting would harm their bosses’ business connections with the government.

Man dies of heart attack while on way to help Turkish refugees in Greece

A 43-year-old Turkish man has died of heart attack while on a charity trip for Turkish asylum claimants in Greece. Hasan Degirmenci suffered a heart attack at the house of a Turkish [refugee] family in Athens and was subsequently taken to a nearby hospital where he later died.

Academics sign statement saying ‘rule of law suspended’

Professor Ayhan Aktar, Professor Ersin Kalaycıoğlu and Professor Yasemin İnceoğlu, as well as 147 other academics, signed a statement saying that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government cannot ignore corruption allegations by making up claims of a “parallel state” — which has no meaning in political science or law — and placing all responsibility of unlawful acts on the Hizmet movement, which was inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Prep schools and market rules

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government decided recently to close down preparatory schools, establishments that help Turkish students prepare for high school and college entrance exams. In a free market economy, whenever there is a demand for a good or service, its corresponding supply is created naturally; it’s that simple. However, the debate became furious and shifted into the political arena.

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

Kimse Yok Mu distributes aid to Mongolian orphans

Symposium concludes: Hizmet (Gulen) Movement Contributes to World Peace

US under Trump still highly unlikely to extradite Gülen

Turkish aid organizations rushes aid to Philippines

Turkish entrepreneurs launch ophthalmology clinic in Senegal

Gülen movement discussed at EP in light of recent political developments in Turkey

Rounding up the ISIS collaborators, in Turkey and Kurdistan

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News