To some, the name Kimse Yok Mu might not ring a bell in Nigeria, but to those that follow this secular charity organization, especially its scholarship program in Nigeria that has made it possible for many underprivileged persons to go to school, the NGO may simply be the best thing to happen in Nigeria’s education sector. This charity organization works in 130 countries, where it has been carrying out humanitarian services. For those that have not been following the political situation in Turkey as it is unfolding, it might be a rude shock that Kimse Yok Mu has been designated a terrorist organization by the administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.
All over the world, the primary responsibility of any government as guaranteed by the constitution of each country is the protection of lives and property of its citizens. Any government that fails in this regard may be perceived as being weak. This appears to be the current situation in Turkey where the government is now resorting to tagging Kimse Yok Mu charity organization a terrorist group.
It is surprising that the government has orchestrated attacks on Kimse Yok Mu and even some journalists who try to keep him in check over the crackdown on persons and organizations that are against his policies.
If the Turkish authorities use baseless accusations to destroy this charity organisation, the impact that it would have on the Nigerian education system would be great. It is a known fact that Kimse Yok Mu organization has given scholarships to many Nigerians to study at Nigerian/Turkish Nile University. As at last year November, it was on record that over 17 percent of the 700 students in the school who performed excellently in JAMB and WAEC were offered full scholarships to study in the school, courtesy of Kimse Yok Mu.
In addition to that, top performers at the International Science Olympiad get scholarships to study in Turkey. If we are not going to shy away from the truth, the labelling of Kimse Yok Mu as a terrorist body or a financier of a terrorist organisation is politically motivated to tarnish its image and also intended to take revenge.
As a matter of fact, this is another attempt to rubbish the good work of the organisation. It equally goes a long way to say that president is ready to expend resources of the to fight his political enemies. It won’t be out of place or out of point to say that branding individuals who have been critical of government as terrorists is another ploy employed by the government to tame people who have been critical of it and its programs.
A prominent Turkish author, Yavuz Bülent Bakiler, as quoted by Today’s Zaman, said the humanitarian activities of charitable organizations such as Kimse Yok Mu are very important for the present and future of society but that “some people motivated by political ideology are against such good work. … This oppression cannot continue.
Portraying Kimse Yok Mu officials as if they were members of an armed terrorist organization and associating the sacrifice of animals for the Islamic holiday of Eid al- Adha with terrorism are the worst mistakes in the world. I fear someone will soon accuse people of being a member of a terrorist organization for just praying, going on a pilgrimage or fasting.”
Also, Turkish Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), who is also the parliamentary group Deputy Chairman, Oktay Vural, was quoted by Today’s Zaman, saying that, Kimse Yok Mu probe is entirely political and is intended to take revenge by destroying the charity.
Kimse Yok Mu, who is inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gülen and his association with the Gülen movement has made him a target in the battle launched by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) against Gülen. It is really mind-boggling that several pro-government media outlets have joined forces with the government by waging a smear campaign, accusing the charity of engaging in illegal fundraising activities despite lack of evidence.
To hoodwink and deprive Kimse Yok Mu’s fair hearing in the probe allegation, the court ordered that the details of the investigation remain confidential, leaving its lawyers in the dark as they could not examine the contents of the investigation file. However, the allegation leveled against the charity group became a public knowledge after the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor, Musa Yücel sent a request to Kimse Yok Mu’s management asking the charity to send him information about the organization's activities regarding Eid al-Adha in 2011.
His lawyers had to contact the prosecutor’s office to learn about the details of the investigation. They subsequently paid a visit to Ankara Courthouse and found out that the investigation includes charges of being an ‘armed terrorist organization.’
According to Today’s Zaman, Mr. Yılmaz while criticizing the terrorism investigation being conducted against the charity, said that targeting a charity that has become the pride of Turkey with its charitable activities around the world shows the extent to which the Turkish judiciary has deteriorated. He said that in the present day Turkey, the judiciary is no longer the hope of an average Turkish to seek justice.
Reacting to the probe allegation by the Turkish government, as quoted by Today’s Zaman, the Independent İstanbul Deputy, Hakan Şükür, said: “If you (the government) are so crazy as to launch an armed terrorist organization probe against Kimse Yok Mu, then you have already reached the final point [in terms of persecution]. No one will even associate you with the Feb. 28 [postmodern coup era], because your persecution has already exceeded the persecution conducted in that era.”
Meanwhile, intolerance of criticism is now the order of the day in Turkey.
Published on The Sun, 30 April 2015, Thursday
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