Turkish police raid Gülen-linked schools in Ankara

Turkish police raid Gülen-linked schools in Ankara

Turkish police raid Gülen-linked schools in Ankara

CİHAN photo

Police forces have raided four schools in the capital city of Ankara with alleged linked to the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) ally-turned-foe, U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. 

Anti-terror units from the Ankara Police Department searched four schools on charges of being connected with “the parallel state structure,” and one person who resisted the search was taken into custody on Sept. 21, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. A “parallel structure” within the state is said to have been established by Gülen’s followers, known as Gülenists, who have been charged with wiretapping hundreds of thousands of state officials through operations by members employed in the judiciary and police. 

Upon an order by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office in relation with an ongoing investigation into the “Fethullahist Terror Organization” (FETÖ), the police forces launched simultaneous raids into Private Samanyolu Education Institutions, the Private Atlantik Ahmet Ulusoy campus, Private Nurettin Topçu Primary Education Institutions and Atlantik Education Institutions, the Anadolu Agency said. Various documents, computers and hard discs were seized during the raids.

Last week, prosecutors asked for a prison sentence of up to 34 years for Gülen, accusing him of terrorism for allegedly conspiring against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Gülen was charged with “forming and running a terrorist organization,” as well as “forging official documents” and “libel.”

The case against Gülen was part of a wide-ranging investigation into his powerful Hizmet (Service) movement, which has followers in the administration, business, education and the media. Among the other 32 people named in the indictment was the head of the Samanyolu TV channel, Hidayet Karaca, who has been in custody since his arrest in December during raids on media outlets with ties to Gülen. He faces up to 26 years in jail on charges including leading a terrorist group.  

Erdoğan has accused Gülen and his movement of being behind corruption allegations that rocked the government in December 2013 while Erdoğan was prime minister. The president has vowed to fight against Gülen and the authorities have over the last year effectively purged the police force and judiciary of pro-Gülen elements.

Also last week, police raided a private college in central Turkey linked to the scholar and arrested 11 business executives and university staff.

Memduh Boydak, head of the Boydak Holding conglomerate who was among those arrested, was released after a day in custody.