July 21, 2014

SGK official asks for Parliament help to counter ‘parallel' claims

A department chief in the Manisa branch of the Social Security Institution (SGK) has submitted a complaint to Parliament's Petition Commission claiming that he has been accused of being a member of the “parallel structure” at his workplace and as a result, has been subjected to unfair treatment.

He asked the commission to take urgent measures to stop the pressure experienced by thousands of public servants due to baseless accusations over the alleged “parallel structure.” “Parallel structure” is a veiled reference to the Hizmet movement, inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, used by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to refer to a group that the government claims is the force driving the massive corruption investigations that have shaken the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government. The movement denies the claim.

Since the corruption probes of Dec. 17 and Dec. 25, 2013 became public, more than 40,000 police officers, bureaucrats, judges and prosecutors have been reassigned for no official reason beyond their suspected links to the Hizmet movement. Critics have described the arbitrary reassignments as a witch hunt.

The plaintiff, identified as M.Y., said he was appointed to his post in 2011 and he has not had any complaints from his superiors or subordinates since then. However, he said that since Dec. 17, 2013 he has endured pressure to quit his job based on the grounds that he is a member of the alleged parallel structure. “They brought up such an accusation just because of my membership in a number of civil society groups, the books I read and research I have done on various topics,” M.Y. stated.

M.Y. further noted in his petition that he has never been involved in a political discussion -- even with his friends -- and has not declared which political party he voted for or will vote for in the future. “Despite this, I am undergoing a smear campaign being carried out by administrators and members of a political party,” he noted, but did not cite the name of the party. “I am not in a good state of mental health due to the smear campaign. I ask for help from you, distinguished members of the Parliament's Petition Commission, due to the pressure I have been under,” he added.

The plaintiff also said he wants to be appointed to a different branch of the SGK but that he cannot be because of procedural drawbacks. He asked the commission to clearly define what the parallel structure is so that he might determine if he is a member of that structure or not and to order an investigation to see if his phone conversations have been illegally wiretapped.

Published on Sunday's Zaman, 20 July 2014, Sunday

Related Articles