Turkish gov’t closes 45 private kindergartens over alleged links to Gülen movement

Turkish government has closed down 45 private kindergartens and day-care centers as part of its massive post-coup crackdown targeting the Gülen movement since a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

According to a statement by Ministry of Family and Social Policy, 45 private kindergartens and day-care centres were closed following a circular issued by Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya on August 23, 2016. The ministry has also dismissed 237 personnels who used to work for Social Charity and Solidarity Foundations (SYDV) which are under the control of the government over their alleged links to the movement.

The total number of schools, educational facilities, dormitories and universities that saw closure over alleged links to the Gülen movement rose to 3,008 since a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Turkish Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz has also announced early November that the Turkish government has closed 2,274 educational institutions since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, as part of a witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement.

“A total of 1,065 private schools, 361 private educational institutions and 848 students dormitories have been closed,” said Yılmaz during a speech at Parliament’s Budget Commission.

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. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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