AMENDMENT PROPOSALS for the DRAFT REPORT on the 2019-2020 Commission Reports on Turkey (2019/2176(INI))

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Broken Chalk is a human rights organization and mainly concentrates on violations in the educational field. We were acting as a platform; however, we became a fully registered organization in the Netherlands in October 2020.

Our team has prepared some amendment proposals for the Draft Report on the 2019-2020 Commission Reports on Turkey by European Parliament that we would like to present to you and your office.

As mentioned in the Draft Report, the relationship between the EU and Turkey is now at its lowest point. The number of human rights violations in Turkey is increasing day by day. As you may observe, the number of people facing human rights violations in Turkey is much more than known ever.

It is mentioned in the European Commission Turkey 2020 Report that Turkey has prioritized the fight against the dismantling of the Gülen movement.[1]

Interior Minister for Turkey, Soylu said, “Since 15 July 2016, 99 thousand 66 operations have been carried out, 282 thousand 790 detentions and 94 thousand 975 arrests have been carried out. The number of people who are still detained under this crime is 25 thousand 912”.[2] The only evidence for most of the above cases is to have a link with the Gülen movement.[3]

European Court for Human Rights agreed with the Turkish Government. To stop the court from being overwhelmed, in January 2017, Turkey would establish an Inquiry Commission on the State of Emergency to provide a judicial review level to those dismissed by decree during the state of emergency period.[4] As of 3 July 2020, 126,300 applications were made to the Commission, and decisions were issued in 108,200 cases. Of those, 96,000 were rejected – meaning the original decree decision was upheld – and in 12,200 cases, the application for appeal was accepted.[5]

At this point, we would like to present our amendments for the Draft Report; we hope that you will work for the European Parliaments to add the following amendments to the Report.

Proposals for The rule of law and fundamental rights

 Amendment  1

Present Text Text with Amendment
(8)        Is appalled by the serious backsliding on fundamental freedoms revealing the dire human rights situation in Turkey and the continued erosion of democracy and the rule of law; (8)        Is appalled by the serious backsliding on fundamental freedoms revealing the dire human rights situation in Turkey and the continued erosion of democracy and the rule of law; since 15 July 2016, 99 thousand 66 operations have been carried out, 282 thousand 790 detentions and 94 thousand 975 arrests have been carried out. The number of people who are still detained under this crime[6] is 25 thousand 912.[7] To have alleged affiliation with the Gülen movement should not be taken as a crime.[8] To be a member of a legal but closed association should not be taken perceived to be opposing the Government.[9]

Amendment  2

Present Text Text with Amendment
(10)      Notes with deep concern that, despite the formal lifting of the state of emergency in July 2018, its impact on democracy and fundamental rights continues to be strongly felt;. (10)      Notes with deep concern that, despite the formal lifting of the state of emergency in July 2018, its impact on democracy and fundamental rights continues to be strongly felt. Since July 2016, authorities have published lists of those dismissed from public service and put markers against them in the state social insurance system’s registration system (SGK). Those people have been legally banned from working in public sector again; marking them in the SGK system significantly reduces their chances of finding alternative employment in private sector and stigmatizes them socially.[10] The government has seized or appointed administrators for approximately 1,000 businesses, worth an estimated USD12 billion, accused of having links to the Gülen movement[11] including private schools, 16[12] universities and educational intuitions (2761 entities were closed down[13]). To handover, back these companies and intuitions to their owners.

 

Amendment  3

Present Text Text with Amendment
(11)      Deeply regrets that this repressive form of rule has now become a deliberate, relentless, systematic state policy, which extends to any critical activities, such as Kurdish activism, or even to events that took place prior to the attempted coup, such as the Gezi protests; (11)      Deeply regrets that this repressive form of rule has now become a deliberate, relentless, systematic state policy, which extends to any critical activities, such as Kurdish activism, to defend the rights of members or sympathizers of Gülen Movement, or even to events that took place prior to the attempted coup, such as the Gezi protests;

Amendment  4

Present Text Text with Amendment
(12)      Regrets that the current overly broad anti-terrorism provisions and the abuse of the anti-terror measures have become the backbone of this state policy; reiterates its firm condemnation of the violence by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been on the EU list of terrorist organizations since 2002; (12)      Regrets that the current overly broad anti-terrorism provisions and the abuse of the anti-terror measures have become the backbone of this state policy; in which 69,259 people have been on trial, and 155,560 people have been under criminal investigation on terrorism charges in cases linked to the Gülen movement, which Turkish authorities deems this movement as a terrorist organization, and 29,487 of those have been held in prison either on remand or following conviction;[14] reiterates its firm condemnation of the violence by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been on the EU list of terrorist organizations since 2002;

Amendment  5

Present Text Text with Amendment
(13)      Considers that the erosion of the rule of law and the systemic lack of independence of the judiciary continues to be one of the most pressing and worrying issues; condemns the increased surveillance by the executive and the political pressure affecting the work of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and bar associations; (13)      Considers that the erosion of the rule of law and the systemic lack of independence of the judiciary continues to be one of the most pressing and worrying issues; condemns the increased surveillance by the executive and the political pressure affecting the work of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and bar associations; in some cases higher courts correct excesses of prosecutors and lower courts, but these higher court judgments arrive too late to mitigate the chilling effect caused by the criminal proceedings.[15]

Amendment  6

Present Text Text with Amendment
(14)      Is deeply worried about the disregard by the Turkish judiciary of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rulings and the increasing non-compliance of lower courts with the judgments of the Constitutional Court; (14)      Is deeply worried about the disregard by the Turkish judiciary of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rulings and the increasing non-compliance of lower courts with the judgments of the Constitutional Court; Former deputy chief justice of Turkey’s Constitutional Court Alparslan Altan is still behind the bars despite the decision of ECtHR.[16]

Amendment  7

Present Text Text with Amendment
(17)      Notes with great concern the way that the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has been specifically and continuously targeted by the Turkish authorities; strongly condemns the continued detention of former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş; (17)      Notes with great concern the way that the Gülen movement and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) have been specifically and continuously targeted by the Turkish authorities; strongly condemns the continued detention of former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas;

Amendment  8

Present Text Text with Amendment
(18)      Calls on Turkey to release all    imprisoned human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, academics and others who have been detained on unsubstantiated charges and to enable them to carry out their work without threat or impediment in all circumstances; strongly condemns the re-arrest and continued detention of Osman Kavala, a prominent civil society figure;

 

 

(18)      Calls on Turkey to release all imprisoned human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, academics, teachers, mothers with their babies[17] and others who have been detained on unsubstantiated charges, who did not commit any crime other than being affiliated with groups the regime sees as political threats[18] and to enable them to carry out their work without threat or impediment in all circumstances; strongly condemns the re-arrest and continued detention of Osman Kavala, a prominent civil society figure; of Memduh Boydak, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Closed Melikşah University, Tekin Ipek brother to Hamdi Akin Ipek, founder of Closed Ipek University and Prof. Sedat Laciner, former rector of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. To release the 1333 sick prisoners, 457 of which are in severe conditions.[19] To release Journalist Hanım Büşra Erdal eligible for release on probation according to Turkish legislation on sentences’ execution.[20]

 

Proposals for Wider EU-Turkey relations and Turkish foreign policy

Amendment  9

Present Text Text with Amendment
(35-NEW)

 

 

(35-NEW)   Turkish Government puts pressure on authorities in the Western Balkans to extradite alleged participants of the Gülen movement and seize the educational institutions known as affiliated with the Gülen Movement. Kosovo[21], Albania[22], and Moldova[23] extradite some people to Turkey; to stop the pressure in the Western Balkan countries on educational institutions[24] to seize them.

We kindly propose and request the amendments above to be included in the Final Report. If you need more information or explanation on any of the amendments above, we are always ready to supply.

 

Broken Chalk

 

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/turkey_report_2020.pdf

[2] https://tr.sputniknews.com/turkiye/202007151042459379-soylu-15-temmuz-2016dan-bu-yana-282-bin-790-gozalti-ve-94-bin-975-tutuklama-gerceklestirildi/

[3] https://www.dfat.gov.au/sites/default/files/country-information-report-turkey.pdf

[4] https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/COUNTRY_19_2781

[5] https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/COUNTRY_19_2781

[6] Soylu said in his speech in the scope of the fight against Gulen movement, Soylu did not state against the coup attack.

[7] https://tr.sputniknews.com/turkiye/202007151042459379-soylu-15-temmuz-2016dan-bu-yana-282-bin-790-gozalti-ve-94-bin-975-tutuklama-gerceklestirildi/

[8] https://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2020/06/10/Why-is-Turkey-s-Erdogan-persecuting-the-Gulen-movement-

[9] https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/turkey_report_2020.pdf

[10] https://www.dfat.gov.au/sites/default/files/country-information-report-turkey.pdf

[11] https://www.dfat.gov.au/sites/default/files/country-information-report-turkey.pdf

[12] Known as 15 but recently The Şehir University in Istanbul was closed by a presidential decree of 30 June 2020.

[13] https://rm.coe.int/report-on-the-visit-to-turkey-by-dunja-mijatovic-council-of-europe-com/168099823e

[14] https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/turkey

[15] https://rm.coe.int/report-on-the-visit-to-turkey-by-dunja-mijatovic-council-of-europe-com/168099823e

[16] https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-constitutional-courts-new-mission-is-to-ignore-unlawful-acts-and-to-legitimize-them-says-jailed-former-deputy-chief-justice/

[17] Today, at least 743 children below the age of six live behind bars in Turkey. About half have not even reached the age of 3, says Saban Yilmaz, who heads the parliamentary human rights commission. From https://www.dw.com/en/turkey-babies-behind-bars/a-49320769

[18] https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/turkey-covid-19-prisoners-release/

[19] https://m.bianet.org/bianet/insan-haklari/207245-ihd-hapishanelerde-457-si-agir-1333-hasta-mahpus-var

[20] https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-authorities-refuse-to-release-political-prisoners-who-served-their-prison-times/

[21] https://br.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-kosovo-idUSKBN1H51JL

[22] https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/turkey_report_2020.pdf

[23] http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/fre?i=001-193614

[24] https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/albania-closes-schools-run-by-feto-terror-group/1985350

Contributions of Gulen (Hizmet) Schools in the World to the CULTURAL DIMENSION OF THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION

 

 

Fethullah Gulen* defines the importance of culture with the following words. “Culture is a stable mix of such fundamental elements as language, education, tradition, and art, all of which form a community’s structure and lifestyle. It is a kind of blindness to ignore the reality that these fundamental elements have (and ought to have) unique features, and different characters and temperaments, for they reflect the people to whom they belong.”

FEBRUARY 2020

Content

Introduction

Points from UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

True Story: Gulen (Hizmet) Movement Schools

Language vs Culture

International Festival of Language and Culture

Recommendations

 

Introduction:

 

When the results of scientific studies in the field of Educational Sciences are subjected to a re-evaluation process by meta-analysis or meta-synthesis method, it is seen that the focus is braided around the man and his needs and problems.  It can be said that the source and solution point of both worldly and peripheral problems is human.

Science, education, and culture are integral parts of human life. Those who neglect education and culture are considered dead while they are alive. 

When educators think about diversity in the classroom, culture may be one of the characteristics that cross their minds. But as they select their curriculum and develop their lessons, most teachers are not accounting for how culture will impact a student’s ability to participate and learn, says Almitra Berry-Jones, Ed.D., nationally recognized speaker, author, and consultant on the topic of culturally and linguistically diverse learners at-risk.[1]

According to the Berry-Jones, Culture is a social construct, not genetic, and most students have at least three: home, peer, and school. Students are influenced by variables such as language, religion, ethnicity, social class, and region.

The value judgments and social norms of individuals with completely different backgrounds try to survive in the same environment, bring serious communication and compliance problems, and even lay the ground for problems that make the solution difficult over time.  This situation disrupts the political, social, economic and cultural balances of the countries.

Having established the definition of culture, we can now analyze the unquestionable link between cultural rights and the right to education. Indeed, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights stresses that “The right of everyone to take part in cultural life is also intrinsically linked to the right to education (arts. 13 and 14), through which individuals and communities pass on their values, religion, customs, language, and other cultural references, and which helps to foster an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect for cultural values”.[2]

Therefore, the study on the “cultural dimension of the right to education” to be submitted to the UN human rights council is a very appropriate decision.  I think that it would be better to formulate this subject in terms of both direction and detailing.

Points from UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC):

 

Nearly all the countries in the world are agreed on 17 Global Goals[3] in 2030 under the umbrella of the UN in 2015. Education was the fourth in this list after no poverty, zero hunger, and good health. The World Leaders wanted everyone to have access to inclusive, equitable quality education.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[4], cultural rights is one of the requirements for human beings to enjoy freedom.

In the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), November 1989, the Preamble section following section indicates the importance of the culture for the child’s education.

Taking due account of the importance of the traditions and cultural values of each people for the protection and harmonious development of the child, Recognizing the importance of international cooperation for improving the living conditions of children in every country, in particular in the developing countries.[5]

In the UN CRC,

Article 20 (children unable to live with their family):

If a child cannot be looked after by their immediate family, the government must give them special protection and assistance. This includes making sure the child is provided with alternative care that is continuous and respects the child’s culture, language, and religion

Article 29 (goals of education):

Education must develop every child’s personality, talents, and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment

Article 30 (children from minority or indigenous groups):

Every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs, and religion of their family, whether or not these are shared by the majority of the people in the country where they live.[6]

As observed from the above statements cultural aspect of education is a right for the child and guaranteed by the UN. But international organizations and governmental departments’ efforts may not be enough to give this right to human beings. Apart from the government policies, there is a need for the stakeholders and NGOs to put effort to achieve this.

True Story: Gulen (Hizmet) Movement Schools:

 

The following text is written by Mayge Kaag[7] as a piece of brief information on the said schools:

“So-called Turkish schools have popped up in many African countries (and elsewhere in the world) over the last one or two decades. These schools are linked to the Gülen movement. Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish Muslim intellectual, who developed a philosophy of education that aims to reconcile religion with science [20]. He distinguishes between teaching and education, the latter being more than just transferring knowledge. By contrast, his understanding of education is “the illumination of the mind in science and knowledge, and the light of the heart in faith and virtue” (Gülen quoted in [20]). The Gülen schools are private, secular schools. While Gülen’s inspiration is clear in Islam, the Gülen schools do not offer Islamic education, but a kind of universalistic moral education focused on values. The strategy is not da’wa, proselytizing, but setting a good example [21]. These good examples are provided by the teachers who are followers of Gülen. Their commitment to the educational cause is called hizmet, a religiously inspired service to the community.”[8]

The following statement is taken from Dagu Erkil’s[9] book named Fethullah Gulen and the Gulen Movement in 100 Questions.

Today, the Gulen schools are operating in vast geography extending from Central Asia to Japon, from the Far East to the United States of America. Looking back, 35 years have passed since the beginning of Gulen and his followers’ interest in the field of education.

As a result of perseverance, selecting the right individuals, a quality curriculum adapting to the political structure and the local culture, and maintaining an educational level desired by the students’ parents have resulted in amazing achievement and success.[10]

In this report, our focus area will be Gulen (Hizmet) movement schools all over the World which achieve great success to give the right of cultural dimension to her students.  The teachers who are teaching in such schools are mostly not aware of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child but they were giving all the rights to their students, with the effect of that they had a great success of uplifting the child in both characteristic and academic views.

When a person searches on google as a “cultural dimension of the right to education” he/she can find many books,  articles, and reports about the topic. After studying, those he/she can produce a wonderful report on the issue. Then the number of articles will be plus 1 on google. But humanity needs a true story who succeeds in that field. Then the content of the article should be how those people got that achievement, make let the others aware of a working solution. Then the researchers write on the to stories of achievement and add include their experience to make the working solution better.

Because of the above reason, this report will take the Gulen (Hizmet) Movement schools’ contribution to the CULTURAL DIMENSION OF THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION as a sample.

In the Nigerian education system, there is a religious knowledge lesson for both Christians and Muslims separately. A state in Nigeria called Yobe has 99% Muslim population. A Gulen (Hizmet) movement school in that state has only 1 student in some classes who are Christian but still manage to arrange Christian Religious Knowledge lessons and Sunday ceremonies for her students.

The following example is from one of the Gulen (Hizmet) Movement schools in Turkmenistan but the words belong to a Student from Kyrgyzstan.

A Kyrgyz Student, who studied in such schools, said that he prefers the school as it develops his morality and a positive attitude to religion. Turkish teachers want to serve Turkmenistan/Kyrgyzstan; they identify with and adapt easily to the common language and culture of the learners. Parents support the school because of the high academic standard, and dedication of the teachers who share a common culture with them.[11]

In today’s World, developing countries have more respect for Culturel Dimension of Right to Education, and also in UN CRC mainly take the attention of developing countries.

In the Gülen (Hizmet) Movement School, the Muslim child maintains an Islamic identity in a secular environment. This is not possible in the liberal state school, where religion or moral values are not respected and encouraged; nor is it possible in the Islamic private schools, where a Muslim laager mentality is nurtured, making it difficult for them to adapt to secular culture and pluralistic context. It is this balance between preserving moral values of an Islamic identity, (but which are also shared by pupils of other religions) and adapting to a secular school context, that attracted many parents to send their children to these schools.[12]

In such schools, in as much as Turkish teacher share their Turkish culture with the pupils to open doors for them to learn their student’s culture. When the students starting to learn a different culture, then all the pupils in the school start to share their own cultural identity.  The schools are recognizing not only all the cultural events within their region but also students from different regions.

Language vs Culture:

 

An article published at www.ukessays.com on the relationship between language and culture has a conclusion as follows.

Form this study, it is clear that linguistic relativism is an evidenced theory. The relationships between language and culture are bilateral.

Language is created to fulfill human needs. Therefore different society created their languages in different ways. The traits of a language are shaped by the culture of a society that created the language. The communication styles, vocabulary, grammar of a language, are all able to reflect a unique culture of a place. Language can be the epitome of culture and even society.

Language is a tool to express human thought and spread culture. The traits and limitations of a language affect the thinking style and cognitions of its speakers. When time goes by, it can shape the culture of a single place.[13]

International Festival of Language and Culture:

 

In those schools, the local language has great importance with their culture. When the students will themselves as if they are in their environment teaching and learning become easier.

This school organized the International Festival of Language and Culture for more than 15 years annually throughout the World. IFLC gives a short definition on their web site as

IFLC is a premier organization for promoting world languages and cultures. It is dedicated to cultivating artistic self-expression among youth and creating a platform from them to share their cultural heritage with peers around the world.

The International Festival of Language & Culture (IFLC) is an annual celebration of language diversity that showcases talent from across the globe.

The IFLC first started in 2003 with only 17 countries participating. As of today, over 2,000 performers and production members from more than 160 nations have taken part in our events.

Onstage, young students offer a song, dance, and inspiring storytelling around themes of compassion, respect, and mutual understanding. Offstage, in every city we visit, our performers enjoy opportunities to engage with members of the local community, explore unique educational experiences, and build lasting friendships. It’s the IFLC way of raising hopes for world peace[14]

Recommendations

 

  1. Ensuring educational equality for all individuals and including different cultures in the learning environment,
  2. Combining different cultural heritages, establishing a connection between students’ learning and real-life experiences in a multicultural environment,
  3. Providing students to learn common value judgments and social norms,
  4. It is foreseen that the value judgment, which is aimed to be brought to the individual, is the same in the family, school, society and mass media, and the programs are structured according to this perspective,
  5. Recognizing that systematic change is a developmental process,
  6. Bringing the concepts of dialogue, tolerance, self-sacrifice, sacrifice and other spirituality to individuals, which will enable the development of the multicultural environment,
  7. Democracy and universal law norms, which are effective in communication and interaction among individuals, are practiced by experts by individuals.
  8. Although the structure, function, and goals of each Organized Education Mechanism are different, its common goal is to help the individual develop and socialize his personality.
  9. In the educational institutions and organizations providing formal education, the education, training, and implicit programs prepared are planned in a way that will bring the cultural identity of the individual to the cultural identity he/she lives in without abuse,
  10. Having the knowledge, skill, attitude, experience and psychological structure of the specialists who will apply the programs, as well as the ability to develop flexible programs suitable for scientific development and differentiation in the individual,
  11. Introducing different cultures to the individual, and determining the points that will connect with the social culture in which they live,
  12. Establishing the link between new learning and existing experiences and experiences,
  13. Programs are designed in a pedagogical approach to meet the needs,
  14. Both the multicultural environment and educational programs prepared are designed to cover the subjects that will enable the individual to develop in different fields,
  15. Implementing programs carried out informal education institutions based on cooperation and coordination with non-formal education institutions.

 

* Gulen is a Turkish Muslim preacher, writer and activist who has inspired the foundation of more than one thousand schools in many countries around the world, as well as dormitories, universities, and educational, cultural and interfaith dialogue centers (Ebaugh 2010)

[1] BY STACEY PUSEY, https://www.eschoolnews.com/2018/04/17/culture-impact-ability-learn/

[2] THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION – A CORNERSTONE OF CULTURAL RIGHTS by ALFRED FERNANDEZ & IGNASI GRAU I CALLIZO

[3] https://www.globalgoals.org/

[4] https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

[5] https://www.ohchr.org/documents/professionalinterest/crc.pdf

[6] https://www.ohchr.org/documents/professionalinterest/crc.pdf

[7] Mayke Kaag is a social and political anthropologist interested in processes of change and continuity in West and West-Central Africa., https://www.ascleiden.nl/organization/people/mayke-kaag

[8] https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/2/496/htm

[9] Dogu Ergil has worked with various NGOs on developing more effective leadership, conflict management, and creative problem-solving. He has won awards for his work in international organizations promoting peace and democracy.

[10] By Dogu Ergil, Fethullah Gulen and the Gulen Movement in 100 Questions

[11] https://fgulen.com/en/home/1341-fgulen-com-english/conference-papers/contributions-of-the-gulen-movement/25891-the-educational-philosophy-of-fethullah-gulen-and-its-application-in-south-africa

[12] https://fgulen.com/en/home/1341-fgulen-com-english/conference-papers/contributions-of-the-gulen-movement/25891-the-educational-philosophy-of-fethullah-gulen-and-its-application-in-south-africa

[13] https://www.ukessays.com/essays/english-language/relationships-between-language-and-culture-english-language-essay.php?vref=1

[14] http://www.intflc.org/

UN UPR 2019 TURKEY REPORT: Forcibly Shut-Down Private Educational Institutions And Violations Of Rights Of Their Founders

On the night of 15th July 2016, the so-called/theatrical coup took place, and even though it was at its initial phase and no judicial decisions had been made yet, President Erdogan came out on national television and alleged The Hizmet Movement is the responsible party for what has taken place. He called on the people to go out into the streets and defend their democracy. He targeted the members and institutions of the Hizmet movement as coup plotters, and on that same night, the masses he called to the streets attacked the Hizmet Movement affiliated institutions and, in particular, the movement’s educational institutions. Many educational institutions were set on fire, causing substantial damage.

The institutions which were shut down by Emergency Decree Law (KHK) has been turned over to TMSF (Savings Deposit Insurance Fund). TMSF was given the authority to liquidate and purge these transferred companies, should TMSF deem it to be necessary. Through such practice, in other words, by making decisions regarding the personal assets of the shareholders without their consent, the Government has deprived of their right to own property.

The financial damage of companies and educational institutions following 15th July 2016, accumulated as follows: the total value of real estate belonging to the educational institutions serving under more than 350 companies is 3.115.265.000 (three billion one hundred fifteen million two hundred and sixty-five thousand) Euros. The total amount of the recorded inventory of the companies and the educational institutions is 300 million euros. Apart from this, these companies’ facilities, buildings, and lands value billions of Euros. The Turkish Government has confiscated all assets of the aforementioned company owners, reaching billions of Euros.

An arrest warrant was issued for shareholders of the companies, most of whom were taken under custody and sentenced to 7 to 22 years in prison.

There are several people among the company owners that could not endure imprisonment and torture, went through psychological problems, lost their family integrity, committed suicide, became sick and passed away because they were not able to receive proper treatment.

Recommendations

1. Only due to holding the ownership or being a part of Gulen affiliated schools, hundreds of people have been prosecuted, unlawfully labeled, exposed to false claims to be a member of a terrorist organization, sacked from their jobs, held custody longer than usual, arrested without any predicament and even tortured to death. Constitutional rights should be immediately reinstated. Unlawful arrests and custody should end immediately. Turkish Government should be urged to comply with the international human rights treaties.

2. Teachers, academics, and other employees whose right for an agreement were taken away as their institutions were unjustly shut down and whose employment authorizations were canceled, thereby being restrained from conducting their profession should be rehabilitated. All damages until today, with default interest, should be compensated to them. The unpaid monthly payment of those who have been retired should be paid back, including the severance pay interests.

3. The criteria of compliance with the laws should be met in the proceedings of confiscations of properties due to financial offenses in the eye of public authorities and law. The confiscation of the school owners’ properties should be removed, and the property should return to initial owners. The prohibition of the school owners and teachers to operate should be uplifted without any reservations or annotations. The seized assets of 1,605 private schools, more than 800 private teaching institutions, 848 student dormitories, and 361 other educational institutions, if possible, should either be returned to initial owners or compensated by paying the statutory damages.

UN UPR 2019 Turkey Report: Shutdown Of Educational Institutions With Emergency State Decrees: Effects On Students and Parents

138.000 students were affected by the shutdown of more than 2.300 educational institutions including tutoring centers, high schools, dormitories, and universities associated with the Hizmet movement after the failed coup attempt in July 2016. These students and their parents were blacklisted, designated as terrorists, and in some cases dismissed from their jobs, arrested and tortured. All the assets of closed institutions were confiscated without any court decision.

Children’s education prospects and their rights were disregarded by the authorities. On the contrary, a booklet that shows the Hizmet Movement as a terrorist organization was distributed to primary school students aged between 5 to 10. The students transferred to public schools were bullied and felt severely distressed. The teaching licenses of 22.474 teachers were revoked.

The students who graduated from the closed universities could not get their diplomas and were discriminated against at their new universities where they were transferred.

33.128 teachers; 5.328 academics and 1194 administrative staff working under the Ministry of National Education (MoH) were expelled from their jobs with the State of Emergency Decrees. In the same period, 24.490 teachers were suspended unlawfully. 1194 administrative staff have been dismissed which paralyzed the organizational structure of the school system.

Given the current shortage of teachers reaching 144.000, the expelling of 33.000 teachers and 1194 administrative staff and the additional 138.000 students transferred to public schools has caused profound problems in the education system.

Recommendations

  • Member states should take necessary measures to ensure the physical, mental, and social development of children and preserve the dignity of them accordingly.
  • Shut-down schools should be reopened and their damages should be duly compensated.
  • The students’ right to education has been severely deprived, it should be reinstated with no reservations and annotations.

UN UPR 2019 Turkey Report: Report For The Victimization Of Employees Of The Institutions Shut Down By Emergency Decrees

There were around 2.300 educational institutions associated with the Hizmet movement in Turkey including high schools, universities, tutoring centers, and dormitories, which were well-regarded and preferred by large segments of the society. These institutions received respected international prizes at both national and international levels in the areas of mathematics and social and natural sciences.

The main reason behind this success was the high level of devotion of their staff. The government spuriously blamed the Hizmet movement for a failed coup attempt in July 2016 without any evidence and designated it a terrorist organization. After that, the private educational institutions associated with the Hizmet movement were unjustly shut down without a court decision and their assets were confiscated.

In this aftermath, 1.065 were private high schools, 361 tutoring centers, and 848 were private dormitories were shut down. Employees of those institutions, a total of 22.474 people, were dismissed and their teaching licenses were also

The employment prospects for these teachers in the formal sector are extremely limited as they were labeled and blacklisted by authorities and their professional experience and background do not fit any area but education in which they were banned to work.