Trustees have been appointed to a foundation in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri that runs the city’s Melikşah University as part of an operation against the purported parallel structure, which is accused of trying to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
According to reports by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, the probe into the Burç Education Culture and Health Foundation started after 27 citizens complained to state authorities about being compelled to sell their land below market value.
The campus of Melikşah University was allegedly established on pieces of land that were bought from citizens at a price below their actual market value, through either “pressure and threats” or “exploitation of religious beliefs or emotions,” the agency reported.
Meanwhile, inspectors concluded that the foundation rented its properties to legal entities including companies, associations and education institutions with links to the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure (FETÖ/PDY)” at prices lower than their market value – thus harming its own finances.
The foundation “operated to fund and benefit the FETÖ/PDY organization,” instead of its stated mission, the inspectors’ report claimed.
Months before the appointment of a trustee panel, Turkish police detained seven people in Kayseri, including Boydak Holding CEO and Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) Executive Board Member Memduk Boydak, and officials from Melikşah University in a September 2015 operation.
Four suspects were released two days after being detained.
Boydak, also the head of Melikşah University’s board of trustees, said upon his release that he would never have imagined being tried in such a case at the time of the university’s foundation.
A case against 30 members of the university’s board of trustees on robbery charges is continuing.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
and the AKP have long accused U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen of forming and heading a terrorist organization to topple the government through insiders at the police and other state institutions.
Relations between the AKP and Gülenists deteriorated following December 2013 graft probes which focused on four then-cabinet ministers and Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, who was arrested in the U.S. last month for breaking an embargo on Iran
The case of the ministers was dropped as the AKP accused the FETÖ/PDY of illegal wiretapping and founding a “parallel” organiza