With few days remaining for the beginning of the new academic year, Turkey’s Education Ministry has decided to destroy textbooks written by the 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 coup plot with 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 that the textbooks written by alleged followers of Gülen are destroyed and new writers prepare them.

The destroyed books will be reportedly sent to recycling.

Some 250 million books, the contents of which were re-examined by the ministry, will be made ready by Sept. 19, the day schools will open.

Turkey also banned sale of Gülen’s books and people are jailed simply for having the copies of Gülen’s books in their houses which are mostly about religious issues as well as dialogue.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Justice and Development Party (AKP) government have been pursuing a witch hunt against people who are sympathetic with Gülen since Dec. 17-25, 2013 corruption investigations. The process turned out to be an all-out war against Gülen sympathizers following the coup attack on July 15.

In accordance with a state of emergency decree published on Sept.1, 50,589 civil servants have been dismissed and banned their employment at any state institution. Education Ministry topped the list of dismissals with 28,163 people –most of them teachers– fired following the decree. A total of 7669 police officers and 323 gendarmerie forces were dismissed from their positions. The decree also included the dismissals of 2,346 from the Council of Higher Education (YÖK); 2,018 from Health Ministry; 1,519 from Religious Affairs Directorate; 829 from Finance Ministry and 733 from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.


This article originally appeared in Turkish Minute on September 8.