Newly emerged video footage shows the moment Atatürk University Rector Prof. Ömer Çomaklı asks a primary school student to change his name ‘Fethullah’ over a similarity to US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan of masterminding a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15.
During the 62-second video, viewed hundreds of times on Twitter, Çomaklı is seen paying a visit to a primary school in Erzurum province, where he chats with students and teachers. After he leaned that one of the student’s name was Fethullah, he asks student to “immediately change his name.”
“The name is beautiful, but it does not work out. It is just like Fetö [a term coined by the AKP government to refer to members of the Gülen movement]. Ok. There is no problem. Do not be upset,” Çomaklı says.
Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the AKP government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement within hours of the abortive attempt.
Fethullah Gülen strongly denies having any role in the putsch.