Turkey closes thousands of private schools, charities and other institutions
Turkey closes thousands of private schools, charities and other institutions

President Tayyip Erdogan ordered [Anadolu Agency report] the closure of thousands of private schools, charities and other institutions on Saturday. Mr. Erdogan alleges Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating last week’s failed coup and the schools and other institutions are suspected by Turkish authorities of having links to the US-based preacher. 1,043 private schools, 1,229 charities and foundations, 19 trade unions, 15 universities, and 35 medical institutions will be closed. Mr. Gulen operates some schools and charitable foundations in the country. One foundation targeted [Reuters report] is “a secular group that criticized a recent judicial law drafted by Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK party,” the Association of Judges and Prosecutors.

Mr. Erdogan has vowed that those involved in the coup [JURIST report] will “pay a heavy price” and the aftermath of the coup may be bloody and repressive as the state of human rights has been controversial in Turkey for years. This week, President Erdogan stated that he would approve reinstating [JURIST report] the death penalty so long as the measure had sufficient support in the Grand National Assembly. Last week, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released [JURIST report] a report stating that Turkey has blocked access for independent investigations into mass abuses against civilians. In 2015, then-Human Rights Commissioner for Germany stated [JURIST report] that Turkey must improve its human rights record before it can be admitted to the EU.