Gülen-linked journalist organization voices concern over profiling claims
ISTANBULThe Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), one of the most prominent institutions affiliated with Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, released a statement expressing its concerns over the government’s claimed profiling of citizens, civic groups and public employees.
“It is worrisome to witness developments that echo the said MGK [National Security Board] decision, such as the plan to ban prep schools, the profiling of public employees or the purging of bureaucrats who are affiliated with certain communities,” the statement published on the institution’s website said.
Daily Taraf published a document on Nov. 28 revealing the government had signed an MGK decision that included an action plan against the Gülen movement. In a separate report on Dec. 2, it claimed the Turkish government had profiled a number of groups based on religion and faith through the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and monitored their activities until 2013.
“The fact that Cabinet members undersigned in 2004 a MGK decision that called for the tracking and profiling of many civil society organizations (CSOs), including the organizations and volunteers acting in line with the principles of the Hizmet movement, both at home and abroad, as well as for the drafting of action plans targeting these organizations cannot be ignored,” the statement read.
The tension between the government and the Gülen movement that flared with government’s announcement of plans to close prep-schools, which are mostly owned by Gülen supporters, escalated following Taraf’s reports.
Speaking at a meeting on Dec. 5, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recalled the “Feb. 28 process,” implicitly sending a message to Gülen movement supporters.
“Feb. 28 made this country lose so much. I hope we will understand this as well. Some circles have changed their attitude when they found a better environment. We need unity,” he said.
The “Feb. 28 process,” also known as the “post-modern coup,” refers to an army-led secularist campaign which forced the late Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to step down in June 1997.
Many conservative groups, companies, people affiliated with the Erbakan government and his political views were hit with harsh sanctions at that time, under the military’s pressure.