Turkish Education Ministry launches investigation against use of ‘inter-religous dialogue’ phrase

Turkish Education Ministry has launched an paranoid investigation against a teacher of the primary school student over her use of sentences including the phrase of “inter-religious dialogue” during a ceremony on April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, reported by Artı Gerçek newsportal.

Turkey has celebrated April 23 as Children’s Day to mark the opening of the first Turkish Parliament in 1920. As a tradition some selected students have sit on official posts, including the seats of president, prime minister, ministers, governors and mayors. During this year celebrations on Sunday, a primary school student, who sit on the seat of the education minister, made a statement by emphasizing on “the alliance of civilizations” and “inte-religious dialogue.”

The Alliance of Civilizations (AoC) was launched in 2005 by the then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, now autocratic President of Turkey, and by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, former Prime Minister of Spain and became a UN initiative upon endorsement by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Following harsh reactions on social media by pro-Erdoğan and pro-government groups and Erdoğanist journalists who claimed that the student is most probably a “FETÖ” member, Turkish Education Ministry has immediately launched an investigation against the student’s teacher. Investigation has showed that the sentences used by the student (child minister) have been prepared by her teacher. It is also understood that the teacher has taken the debated sentences directly from the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s official website.

The sentence, that was read by the “child minister” on April 23 takes place in Turkish Foreign Ministry’s official website under the title of “The Alliance of Civilizations Initiative,” as follow: “The Initiative’s visibility has steadily increased and it has become a prominent project within the context of dialogue among cultures and religions today.”

Turkey’s autocratic Islamist President Erdoğan and his supporters have labeled Gülen movement as “FETÖ” and frequently accused of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the movement inspired by his teachings for advocating inter-civilizations and inter-religious dialogue.

“FETÖ” is a derogatory term amounts to a hate speech and relentlessly perpetuated by President Erdoğan and his government to smear the Gülen movement which is inspired by the US-based Turkish Muslim intellectual Fethullah Gülen who is one of the vocal critics of Turkish government. Gülen has been outspoken figure in lambasting Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on corruption that was exposed in December 2013 as well as Ankara’s aiding and abetting of radical groups in Syria that was uncovered with illegal shipment revelation in January 2014.

Erdoğan launched a witch-hunt persecution against Gülen and his followers and vowed to pursue them abroad no matter where they are. Turkish government shut down all institutions affiliated with the movement and jailed almot 50.000 people in the last nine months alone. He labelled the movement as ‘FETÖ’, a terrorist organization, although Gülen, 75-year old cleric, and his followers have never advocated violence but rather remained staunchly opposed to any violence, radicalism and terror in the name of religion.

Erdoğan has also blamed the failed coup bid last year to Gülen but failed to present any direct evidence linking the cleric to the attempt. Gülen himself strongly denied any involvement. Many believe Erdoğan staged the failed coup himself to set up his critics for a mass persecution and as a pretext to transform secular parliamentary democracy to political Islamist autocracy.

April 25, 2017

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