Istanbul Municipality votes to rid street names of Gülen links
Fatma Aksu - ISTANBUL
The Istanbul Municipality on Dec. 14 unanimously approved the renaming of 192 streets across the metropolitan area that may bring to mind the network of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, accused of being behind the July 2016 coup attempt.
During the fourth session of the municipality’s December meetings, changes to the street names were approved by members of the municipality from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) after complaints from the public.
Among the revised names was “Gülen Street” in the Eyüp district which became “Martyr Ömer Halisdemir Street,” along with 25 other streets bearing the word “Gülen.” The late soldier Ömer Halisdemir is regarded as a key figure in thwarting the attempted takeover.
As part of the changes, a street bearing the name of former Turkish international footballer Hakan Şükür’s in Istanbul’s Tuzla district has also been changed to “Martyr Halil Kantarcı Street.”
In addition, four street names including the word “parallel” have also been changed, based on their alleged reference to the “Parallel State Structure,” a term previously used by the government to refer to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Other reversions included names allegedly linked to the Gülen network including “Zaman,” “Samanyolu,” “Sızıntı,” “Aksiyon,” “Cihan,” “Himmet,” “Hizmet” and “Dumanlı.”