Turkey’s Ankara municipality changes street names recalling Fethullah Gülen

The capital city of Ankara has changed the names of streets and avenues that bear the last name of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday.

According to a statement by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)-run Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, seven streets and avenues in various districts of the capital were renamed after a decision by the Municipal Council and approval of the governor’s office.

Streets and avenues named “Gülen” were renamed “Homeland,” “Crescent,” “Redflag,” “Motherland,” “Flag,” “Resurrection” and “Kayı.”

Last year the AKP-run Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality rejected a leasing company’s proposal to lease cars to be used for municipal services due to the license plates of the cars bearing the initials of Fethullah Gülen.

In August 2016, license plates that included the letters “FG” were removed from vehicles belonging to the Denizli Courthouse. The vehicles are still sitting in front of the courthouse waiting for new plates to be attached.

The AKP government even banned mathematics textbooks due to questions involving the initials of Islamic scholar Gülen.

“A textbook was banned just because it features Gülen’s initials in a practice question that reads: ‘… from point F to point G …’. It has become a paranoia. Public money is being squandered,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Osman Budak said in a statement to a daily in October 2016.

In September 2016 Turkey’s Education Ministry said it would republish 58 state-distributed textbooks in order to eliminate any subliminal messages from what the government calls the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

The same month Turkey’s Sivas University pulled off the shelf of its libraries all copies of books written by Gülen and his alleged supporters and destroyed them with a shredder.

Last year the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK)  fined the Kanal D television channel for airing footage that shows a book linked to the faith-based Gülen movement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AKP government pursued a crackdown on the Gülen movement following corruption operations in December 2013 in which the inner circle of the government and then-Prime Minister Erdoğan were implicated.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018 that the Turkish government jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016 and April 11, 2018 over alleged links to the Gülen movement. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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