December 12, 2015

Şifa University rector says gov’t move to shut down hospitals won’t affect education

İzmir-based Şifa University Rector Professor Mehmet Ateş has said a recent decision by İzmir Governor’s Office to shut down the university’s additional outpatient polyclinics in the province will not affect education at the university’s main campus.

Ateş announced on his Twitter account on Saturday that the university will continue to provide high-quality education to its students, and told the university’s students and their parents not to worry. “Nobody should worry. Our university is an educational institution where students from Harvard University perform serve their internship. My dear students, you will take Şifa to the summits without any obstacles,” he wrote.

On Friday, police conducted raids on nine hospitals of Şifa University for the purpose of shutting down the hospitals on the orders of the İzmir Public Prosecutor's Office in a government-led intimidation operation.

The police operation is seen a part of the ongoing government-led witch hunt against business groups affiliated with the Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, whose philosophy is inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Recently, many business groups -- such as Koza İpek Holding and Kaynak Holding -- who refuse to bow to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) have been targeted or taken over through the assignment of trustees to these groups.

The operation on the Şifa University hospitals comes less than a week before the second anniversary of the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption investigation that implicated President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's inner circle and former key AK Party figures.

Published on Today's Zaman, 12 December 2015, Saturday