Totalitarian interference in individual sphere

Orhan Kemal Cengiz
Orhan Kemal Cengiz

Date posted: November 21, 2013

Orhan Kemal Cengiz

The state is a mighty institution. If certain limitations are not in place, it invariably crushes individuals and their freedoms. If there are widespread extra judicial killings and torture, you cannot even dare to defend your most basic rights. If you do not have freedom of expression, you cannot protect your rights. If you cannot unite with others and organize, your voice will remain weak.

If you do not have property rights, you will be prone to interference by the state. If you do not have religious institutions in which the state cannot interfere, you will not find a haven in difficult times. When any of these safeguards start to weaken, the others will also be shaken. Power is like water; it will fill whatever gap it finds.

The government is making dramatic moves these days. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated that the government will interfere in mixed-gender student housing because it finds this kind of coexistence contrary to its conservative values. This kind of interference by the state in an individual’s private life can only happen in totalitarian regimes.

Now, the prime minister is talking about closing the prep schools in which students enroll to get additional education and be more successful on university entrance examinations. When you listen to Prime Minister Erdoğan, he makes some arguments in this regard: The prep schools create a disadvantage for some, they are expensive and so on. But his whole argument is just a blur of some basic facts. These prep schools are only open to individuals who choose to enroll in them. No one is forced to register with these institutions. If state officials do not like these kinds of institutions, then they can pursue some public policies that would make them less attractive to people. For example, they could change the university entrance exam system so that people may need less external help provided by prep schools and others.

However, Prime Minister Erdoğan is not talking about changing the university entrance examination system or anything like that. He is simply talking about closing down prep schools, which is unmistakably totalitarian interference in the choices of individuals. And, if you ask me, with this move, the government will grossly violate some basic rights. It is interference in free enterprise. People can invest in whatever field they wish, so long as it is not in violation of any laws. By closing these business institutions, the government would also be interfering in labor rights because a lot of people will lose their jobs. Closing down prep schools is a clear violation of the right to education, which includes an individual’s right to receive whatever training or education he or she wishes to receive.

Everyone knows that Erdoğan is taking these steps for a single purpose: He wants to weaken the Gülen movement, which generates serious revenue from operating prep schools across the country. He wants to punish the Gülen movement, and so he wants to cut off one of its financial resources. Some people may like Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen; others may be irritated by him and his movement. A politician may be irritated by a religious figure or sect, and this politician could be prime minister of this country. However, if a prime minister decides to punish a religious movement, and if he tries to deliver this punishment by taking away some of its financial means, then this is a clear threat to democracy.

Therefore, closing down prep schools is not a simple policy measure in the field of education but a serious threat to democracy and a pluralist society.

I hope it will not happen.

Source: Today's Zaman , November 21, 2013

Related News

Çağlayan: TUSKON Trade Bridge soon to be global brand

Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said Tuesday that the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists’ (TUSKON) Turkey-World Trade Bridge summit, which opened its doors to visitors from around the world on Wednesday, is on its way to becoming a global brand as it gets better every year. Çağlayan said the event has been attracting larger crowds […]

Prof. Tures: Erdogan’s policies threaten Turkey

Followers of this liberal U.S.-based cleric, Gulen, were scapegoated for the July 2016 coup. Tens of thousands of police officers and security officials were fired and even arrested, simply for being followers of Gulen, an opponent of ISIS. The Turkish President seems willing to blame everyone but ISIS, or even offer much of an anti-ISIS campaign.

Gülen’s lawyer asks MİT whether it wiretapped client’s phone

Lawyer Nurullah Albayrak, who represents Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, has asked in a petition to the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) whether allegations suggesting Gülen’s phones had been wiretapped by the organization are true.

Kanter: I was excluded from Turkey squad due to my beliefs

Turkish basketball player Enes Kanter, who has made no secret of his links to the Gülen movement — a civil society group also known as the Hizmet movement that is inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen — has stated that he has been excluded from Turkey’s basketball team for the 2015 European Basketball Championship due to his beliefs.

Pakistan – Turkish teachers, students not to be deported, court told

The federal government Wednesday told the Lahore High Court that Turkish national teachers and students of PakTurk International Schools would not be deported.

New York Times : Hundreds of Police Officers Reassigned in Turkey

Mr. Gulen’s followers vehemently deny claims that his adherents control state institutions. They argue that if his sympathizers are well represented within the police and judiciary, it is because they are well educated and highly qualified for their jobs.

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

Gülen: The coup attempt was an outrageous scenario constructed by Erdoğan

Kimse Yok Mu reaches out to orphans in Mongolia

Limits of political Islam: the other face of AKP (2)

Portrait of an Anatolian Muslim with no schooling*

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Despite father’s arrest, Kanter refuses to be silenced

Turkish coup attempt: who is Fethullah Gülen?

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News