Since the coup attempt of July 2016, the authoritarian drift of the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues. The minister of Education Ziya Selçuk has just given an impressive figure: in the space of three years, it has been removed from schools and libraries 301.878 books and destroyed them.
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According to the daily newspaper The Guardian , the man of State has explained this new step of purging by the total rejection of the preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused of masterminding the coup attempt three years ago (something he has always denied). Founder of the movement Hizmet, in the tradition of the confraternities Turkish, but without being an actual, Gulen was first the ally of Erdogan. But dissensions have arisen with the current Turkish president, who is accused of having established a “parallel State” to overthrow it. The government, by removing these books, hoping to remove any trace of the man in his country.
According to the website Turkey Purge, (which describes itself as a “collective of young journalists trying to be the voice of the Turkish people suffering under an oppressive regime”), the censorship goes too far into the absurd. In 2016, a mathematics book should have been banned on the grounds that the initials of Fethullah Gulen, a refugee in the United States, appeared in an exercise in geometry that refers to a line extending from the point F to the point G”.
as early As December 2016, the journal BirGün had reported that 1.8 million of textbooks of level of the sixth class, had been removed from the circuit, as they made mention of the Pennsylvania, in a State where is a refugee Fethullah Gulen. Throughout the country, streets are renamed to erase the supposed references to the movement. This is the case of streets Gulen (streets of the “smile”) of Istanbul or the street Kandil (“street of the oil lamp”) on the grounds that the Kurds of the PKK have for refuge the mountains of Kandil in Iraq…
books threatened in Turkey
This situation alarms the NGOS and the activists of Human rights, as reported in The Guardian . The international association of writers, Pen Club, complains in a press release that”in just three years, the edition of turkey has been decimated”. Twenty-nine publishing houses had to stop their activity because of the state of emergency and the government who accuse them of “playing into the hands of terrorist propaganda”.
The Pen Club, in a survey of 2018, says that in the wake of the coup, 200 media have had to put the key under the door, 80 journalists have been the subject of investigations and prosecutions and 5822 academics have been banned by 118 public universities. The report denounces a severe crisis of the “freedom of expression” in this country at the gates of Europe. The association, which promotes freedom of expression and creation, urges Turkey to let the publishing houses independent re-open and stop muzzling the freedom of expression.
Dictatorships always begin with book burnings. #Turkey https://t.co/QAHMpWCYE4
— Matthew Fraser (@frasermatthew) August 7, 2019