Four Turkish ministries have moved to take measures to prevent the “Turkish Olympics” international language competition, as part of steps taken against activities of the Gulen Movement.
The interior, justice, finance and foreign ministries have put together a “six-step plan” targeting overseas activities of the movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt.
The Foreign Ministry is working through Turkish embassies and consulates to prevent festivals, competitions and cultural activities organized by the movement to be canceled, including the Turkish Olympics, which been held for the past 14 years. The aim is to prevent the movement from “conducting propaganda abroad,” pro-government daily Sabah reported.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt that killed over 240 people and wounded a thousand others, on July 15. Immediately after the coup bid, the government along with the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have launched a widespread purge that aimed to cleanse sympathizers of the faith-based Gulen Movement from within the state institutions, dehumanize the popular figures of the movement and put them under custody.
A total of 81,494 people have been purged from state bodies, 40,029 detained and 20,355 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees included journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.
Ankara also aims to get Gülen-linked schools and publications abroad shut down, sending formal requests to 140 countries where such schools operate on the grounds that they conduct the propaganda of a terrorist organization and recruiting people to it.
The Foreign Ministry stated that the attempted seizure of power in Turkey on the night of July 15 “shows that the movement constitutes a threat” for all countries that host Gülen-linked operations.
Turkey has also started to contact countries that host Gülen-linked publications, saying the movement aims to attract sympathizers through such “propaganda.”