January 1, 2016

Kimse Yok Mu to sue Kaynak trustees for illegally revealing charity’s documents

Officials from the Kimse Yok Mu charity announced on Friday that they will file a criminal complaint against the trustees who were appointed to run Kaynak Holding, a group consisting of 23 companies, including Turkey's largest publishing house, for releasing confidential documents about the charity.

Muhittin Yılmaz, lawyer representing Kimse Yok Mu, told Today's Zaman in an exclusive interview on Friday that, in accordance with an official agreement, Kaynak holding has been providing “information service” to the charity for almost a year. According to the lawyer, trustees have leaked information and documents about the charity organization and have create the image of an ongoing, clandestine business relationship between the holding and Kimse Yok Mu.

“Trustees in the holding made it look like there are secret servers hidden behind walls and through them, the holding has been providing secret information for our charity. This is not the case at all. The servers are legally providing information service and they stay within a room made of glass," Yılmaz said.

The lawyer has accused the trustees who hold the charity's confidential information of sharing it with whomever they want.

“Every company has the right to protect its information. We will sue those who make the charity's private information public,” the lawyer said.

Kimse Yok Mu, inspired by the faith-based Gülen or Hizmet movement, has come under intense pressure from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government in the last two years, with investigations being carried out against the movement's sympathizers.

Kimse Yok Mu is active in 113 countries around the globe. In addition to being internationally recognized and appreciated for its global efforts, it is also an important implementing partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

A court that has been accused of links to the AK Party decided to appoint trustees to Kaynak on Nov. 18. Following the court's ruling, Kaynak's offices were raided by police on the same day and the trustees were escorted by police officers to the holding's headquarters in İstanbul's Bağcılar district.

Kaynak Holding owns the largest publishing house in Turkey, Kaynak Publishing House, the nationwide NT Mağazaları bookstore chain, a total of 100 publishing imprints and employs more than 8,000 people. A significant share of Kaynak Publishing House's publications is on interfaith and intercultural studies and it is also the publisher of a popular series of exam preparation books. Kaynak Holding's bimonthly Hira Arabic magazine is published in Turkey, Egypt and Morocco and has a circulation of over 90,000. Kaynak's textbook publisher subsidiary, Zambak, earlier partnered with Cambridge University Press for marketing English textbooks abroad.

The İstanbul 10th Criminal Court of Peace ordered the appointment of trustees to take over the management of the holding in a controversial move. The court has been criticized for abusing its privileged power to engineer a suspicious legal pretext to confiscate one of Turkey's most successful conglomerates. The Courts of Peace were designed and established in 2014 by then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government to pursue its critics and opponents by orchestrating what many have said are sham trials in politically motivated cases.

Published on Today's Zaman, 1 January 2016, Friday