August 29, 2015

CHP’s Hamzaçebi declares school raids by police ‘a crime’

Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Akif Hamzaçebi stated that police raids against schools and educational institutions constituted a crime, and that those responsible for the operations would eventually have to answer for their actions before the law.

As the witch hunt against government opponents continues to grow, CHP Istanbul Deputy Akif Hamzaçebi criticized the recent government-backed police raids on private schools and educational institutions that are sympathetic to the faith-based Gülen movement, popularly known as the Hizmet movement.

Declaring all school raids by police a crime and antidemocratic, Hamzaçebi said, “If something was wrong with these schools, why have you waited until today? The raids have no any clear reason and are unlawful. These illegal practices will answer to the law in the future.”

“Let no one think that their unlawful practices will not answer to the law. As in the past, these unlawful raids will also answer to the law,” he added.

A number of private and prep schools that are sympathetic to the Gülen movement have been targeted by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) after a major graft investigation, one that implicated then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other top AK Party figures, was made public on Dec. 17th, 2013.

Erdoğan accused the Gülen movement of plotting to overthrow his government. In May 2014, Erdoğan publicly advised AK Party supporters not to send their children to schools affiliated with the movement, vowing, “We will not even give water [to the movement's members].” He also said he would carry out a “witch hunt” against anyone with links to the movement.

Erdoğan has also ordered officials in AK Party-run municipalities to seize land and buildings belonging to the Gülen movement by any means necessary. The movement strongly rejects the allegations and no indictment has yet been brought against it.

Published on BGNNews, 28 August 2015, Friday