The Turkish authorities’ pursuit of Fethullah Gulen’s schools is damaging Turkey’s relations with some countries that host schools of “Hizmet Movement” (Service Movement of Gulen), classified by Ankara as a terrorist organization.
Kyrgyzstan has refuted the Turkish demand to close the movement’s educational institutions on its territories. Responding to Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Çavusoglu, the Kyrgyz government said it had carefully studied the Turkish request, and that Kyrgyzstan is an independent country which can take its own sovereign decisions.
Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babiš has also announced his country’s readiness to receive the academics who have been sacked or threatened by the Turkish government following the failed coup attempt that took place in the country to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
He stated that his country will encourage the national universities and institutions on hiring those relieved from duty.
These decisions came after an official Turkish request calling for the shutdown of all of Gulen’s schools in around 160 countries for considering them as subsidiaries to the terrorist organization that sought to topple the regime.
Meanwhile, hours before the Supreme Military Council began its annual meeting in Ankara on Thursday, the armed forces discharged nearly 1,700 personnel for their alleged role in the July 15-16 putsch.
Following the dishonorable discharge of 149 generals, İhsan Uyar and Kamil Başoğlu, who both are high-ranking generals, also resigned ahead of the meeting.
Sources close to Gulen, who is accused of motivating the coup attempt, asserted that the Turkish preacher didn’t leave the United States and didn’t ask for political asylum to any other country, while Egypt denied it has received such a request from him.
The Anadolu Agency reported that Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, received an official demand from his Turkish counterpart to hand over Gulen.
The agency said that according to military sources, during a phone call after the coup’s attempt in Turkey, Dunford condemned the Turkish authorities’ decision to cut the power and fuel supply to the Incirlik and Diyarbakır air bases.
Published on Asharq al-Awsat, 29 July 2016, Friday