A EP committee has approved a report on Turkey that criticizes the government’s handling of a corruption investigation, despite a last-minute letter from the Turkish government claiming that a set of controversial measures taken in the wake of the probe were designed to fight a “parallel structure” within the state.
The idea in Brussels, like among all sound-minded people here in Turkey, rather, is that the Erdoğan government is using the “parallel state” conspiracy theory as a pretext to suppress the investigation into the gravest bribery and corruption charges in the history of the country and destroy the achievements of the last 10 years in terms of democracy and the rule of law.
Hélène Flautre, the co-chairwoman of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, has criticized Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s harsh rhetoric against the Hizmet movement, saying that Erdoğan’s use of labels such as “traitor,” “virus” and “assassin” are simply not acceptable.
Socialist Group leader and one of the most veteran politicians of the European Parliament Hannes Swoboda harshly reacted to the new law on the HSYK. Swoboda said the law was an outright attack on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.
It is known that European parliamentarians already talk to people close to Hizmet, so this refusal was interesting. It can even give the impression that the Turkish government is putting pressure on the EP. Of course, Turkey hasn’t that kind of power; if we did, we would have become an EU member years ago. The other impression is that the Hizmet movement is trying to influence the EP’s work.
In a letter dated Jan. 20 that was sent to all members of the EP, the Brussels-based Intercultural Dialogue Platform (IDP), whose honorary president is Gülen, stated that it welcomes calls upon the Hizmet movement to improve its transparency and accountability.
Gymnasium und Realschule Dialog, located in Koln, Germany, got the first place with its podcast project among hundreds of schools in the “Schools design the future” contest by Sparda Bank. The school was awarded €10 thousand as the top winner. The top 19 schools received their awards in a ceremony at Sparda Bank’s Köln Breslauer Platz location.
Turkey extended a helping hand to Kosova, the ninth poorest country of the world, through Kimse Yok Mu Relief Foundation. Responding to cries of the orphans in the country, which gained independence in 2008, Kimse Yok Mu Relief Foundation distributed a variety of supplies ranging from sewing machines to goreceries, stationeries to toys. Aids have been distributed to those who became widows and orphans for the sake of their country’s independence. Among volunteers, there were Mujgan Koralturk, who plays Dilan character in the famous series ‘Tek Turkiye’, and Aslihan Erkisi, a famous vocal artist.
At a recent event, the children were distributed exclusive gift packs of toys, clothing and stationery. In attendance of the occasion were mayor of Sector 2 of Bucharest, Neculai Ontanu; the renowned Romanian singer, Nicoleta Matei, and Kimse Yok Mu Foundation representative, Orhan Erdogan.
“A new authoritarianism can be seen in the government’s relations with business and the media, and towards protests,” the British member of the European Parliament (MEP) and leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe party said in his letter.
The BfV, which is in charge of domestic intelligence in Germany, acknowledged that it analyzed certain articles by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. According to the BfV, this analysis was based on their legal prerogative to check the compatibility of certain documents with the free and democratic constitutional order.