Turkey’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ in action: Drowned teacher’s accomplishment record removed

Turkey’s Education Ministry has made a “necessary falsification” on its records shortly after a devoted physics teacher, removed from his job in the government’s post-coup purge, drowned along with his 4 family members while fleeing further persecution to Greece.

Hüseyin Maden, a 40-year-old educator in Kastamonu province until he was dismissed by a government’s post-coup emergency decree, was drowned along with his wife Nur Maden, also a dismissed teacher, and his three children, aged 13, 10 and 7, before they managed to reach to the Greek island of Lesvos in a boat the teacher paid for out of his own pocket. The incident made it to the news only days after their bodies washed up on the coasts of the island, drawing backlash from not only opposition but also pro-government circles.

Shortly after the related news articles went viral, the Education Ministry has acted quickly to remove from its website a 2-year-old statement that praises Hüseyin Maden’s committed work in organizing a science fair, attended by Zafer Sağ, then district governor of Kastamonu’s Daday district.

“The TÜBİTAK [The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey] 4006 Science Fair, led by our physics teacher Hüseyin Maden, was held with the help of our teachers’ and students’ devoted works, on May 22-23, 2015,” a statement at the Education Ministry’s website said in a subpage for Daday Multi-Program High School, a former workplace of the deceased teacher.

“No content was found,” the statement’s link read at the time of this writing on November 24, the day which has been celebrated as National Teachers’ Day in Turkey.

Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) is one of the ministries functional in Oceania created in George Orwel’s iconic book 1984. This government ministry is concerned with creating propaganda, controlling the media, manipulating historical documents, and producing Newspeak dictionaries. It is where Winston Smith works and is responsible for supplying the citizens of Oceania with various forms of media, which support Big Brother and the Party’s agenda.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup on July 15, 2016 for which the government blames the Gülen movement, a claim the latter strongly denies.

Some 130,000 people have been detained and nearly 60,000 including academics, judges, doctors, teachers, lawyers, students, policemen and many from different backgrounds have been put in pre-trial detention since last summer. Meanwhile, 150,000 people have lost their jobs in the government’s post-coup purge of state institutions.

Many tried to escape Turkey via illegal ways as the government cancelled their passports like thousands of others. The Maden family were being reportedly sought by the police over their alleged links to the Gülen movement before they died in the Aegean Sea. Earlier, Mustafa Zümre, a Turkish IT specialist drowned in the Evros river between Greece and Turkey while escaping from the post-coup crackdown in a similar way.

The Ministry of Truth refers to the fictitious propaganda machine, tasked to doctor historic events in favor of the government’s narrative, in George Orwell’s dystopia novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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