With only a few days remaining until the beginning of the new academic year, Turkey’s Education Ministry has decided to destroy textbooks written by alleged followers of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15.
According to media reports, the textbooks had been prepared before the failed coup attempt. Thousands of people were dismissed from public service after the putsch by means of a state of emergency decree, including the writers of 58 textbooks that were going to be distributed to schools by the ministry.
The ministry examined the books following the recent developments and decided textbooks written by alleged followers of Gülen were to be destroyed and that other writers would draft replacements.
The destroyed books will reportedly be sent for recycling.
Some 250 million books, the content of which was re-examined by the ministry, will be made ready by Sept. 19, the day school starts.
Turkey also banned the sale of Gülen’s books, and people are jailed simply for having copies of his books — mostly about religious issues and dialogue – in their homes.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and the Development Party (AKP) government have been pursuing a witch-hunt against people who are sympathetic to Gülen since corruption investigations that went public Dec. 17-25, 2013. The process turned into an all-out war against Gülen sympathizers following the coup attempt on July 15.
In accordance with a state of emergency decree published on Sept.1, 50,589 civil servants have been dismissed and their employment banned at any state institution. The Education Ministry topped the list of dismissals with 28,163 people — most of them teachers – fired following issuance of the decree. A total of 7,669 police officers and 323 gendarmes were dismissed from their positions as well. The decree also included the dismissal of 2,346 staff members from the Council of Higher Education (YÖK); 2,018 from the Health Ministry; 1,519 from the Religious Affairs Directorate; 829 from the Finance Ministry; and 733 from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.