May 27, 2016

Stress Test for Gulen Inspired Schools

Cemil Genc

Stress testing (sometimes called torture testing) is a form of deliberately intense or thorough testing used to determine the stability of a given system or entity. It involves testing beyond normal operational capacity, often to a breaking point, in order to observe the results.This article is about the performance of the Gulen inspired educational institutors against the stress test imposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government. In recent months Gulen inspired educational institutions have went through stress testing.

Gulen inspired educational institutors have been very successful all around the world. There are more than 2,000 educational establishments in 160 countries, from Afghanistan to the United States. Turkish schools are greatly appreciated in Europe as they are in other parts of the globe. Not only Turkish immigrants who send their children to those schools but top government officials as well admire these Turkish schools in European countries

In the face of systemic corruption allegations and mounting evidence, the strategy chosen by AKP elite appears to be to subjugate the judiciary to political control, and hence stifle current corruption investigations and block future ones. In an attempt to justify this blatant assault on the independence of the judiciary, and other authoritarian measures, Gulen-inspired Hizmet movement is used as a scapegoat. [1]

Turkish schools that are established by educational volunteers-affiliated with the faith-based Gulen movement, inspired by teachings of Turkish scholar Fethullah Gulen, across the world receive great appreciations in each countries they are opened while the Turkish government has recently pledged to shut down those prestigious private educational institutions. [2]

The AKP government has been expending a significant amount of effort on shutting down Turkish schools abroad that are inspired by Gulen. PM Erdogan has personally sought help from U.S. President Barack Obama in curbing “the man from Pennsylvania”. On a lower level he has spoken to the head of Pakistan’s Punjab about the schools.

However, Gulen inspired educational institutors were defended by the local governments and continue to operate despite the pressure from The Turkish Foreign Ministry.

For example, South African President Jacob Zuma and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta have both expressed support for Turkish schools in their country, amid the Turkish government’s attempts to shut down Turkish schools located abroad that are affiliated with the Hizmet movement. [3]

Another example; Somali Higher Education and Culture Minister Duale Mohamed Adem emphasized Turkish schools’ contribution to the Somali people and students, saying, "These successful schools have renewed our hopes regarding the future of Somalia."

There seems to be no way to dismantle very successful educational institutions that have been embraced by the people in the different part of the world. Gulen inspired educational institutors performed extremely well under the stress test.

[1] Turkey’s Fading Democracy
[2] World applauds Turkish schools abroad while gov’t seeks to close them
[3] South African, Kenyan leaders show support for Turkish schools

Published on, 21 May 2014, Wednesday