03/27/2018, 09.30
TURKEY
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Erdogan's purge of schools: 2500 institutions targeted, 30 thousand teachers dismissed

They are charged with belonging to or sympathizing with the Gülen movement, "mastermind" of the (failed) coup. Ministry of education: "Successful clean up campaign". In less than two years, 170 thousand people have been arrested, 400 thousand citizens have been investigated, 235 thousand passports confiscated.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - The purges launched by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the aftermath of the (failed) coup of summer 2016 have also hit schools, leading to the closure of 2500, colleges and private institutions. Added to this is the dismissal of at least 30 thousand teachers, professors and educators because suspected or accused of belonging to the organization led by Fetullah Gülen, considered the mastermind of the coup.

Yusuf Tekin, Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Education, who reveals the "completion" of the purges against the sympathizers of the Islamic preacher, former ally of the president and now in exile in the United States, reveals the figures of the government campaign on "non-aligned" institutions. US. "The fight against Fetö – he states, using a derogatory term to indicate the Gülen movement - has been successfully completed".

In recent months, 2500 schools have been closed or confiscated and at least 30 thousand teachers, researchers and public employees of the ministry have been fired. "Now the institutes - added Yusuf Tekin in the context of a visit to the district of Yusufeli, province of Artvin - are really at the service of the nation". He concluded by claiming the complete cancellation of all references to the Islamic preacher and his sympathizers in textbooks and school curriculums.

The campaign of repression launched by authorities against alleged coup accomplices or supporters continues 20 months after the night of July 14, 2016, when Erdogan’s power was threatened. Among the often specious accusations, is affiliation to Kurdish "terrorist" groups or the belonging to the movement led by the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, in exile in Pennsylvania (United States).

According to Erdogan’s government, he is the mastermind of the coup in which 270 people died and thousands were injured. Last year the authorities arrested  more than 63 thousand people (170 thousand since the beginning of the purges), almost 50 thousand under arrest warrant and more than 150 thousand were suspended or driven from their workplace, public and private. The investigations involved just over 400 thousand people, about 235 thousand passports were confiscated.

In March alone, more than 2,100 Turkish citizens were subjected to judicial detention for alleged links to the Gülen movement; of these, over 600 were subjected to the measure of preventive prison awaiting trial.

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