Turkish President Orders Schools To Destroy Books And Newspapers

Apparently, it’s not enough that Erdogan has dismissed thousands of civil servants and closed just as many academic institutes. Now he needs to burn books too.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not yet done with his widespread crackdown in Turkey.

Now, Turkey’s Education Ministry has asked schools and libraries to summon and destroy all books and catalogs that  contained the works of United States-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government blames for coordinating the military coup. It has also banned all books of 29 publishing houses introduced to schools, 15 magazines and 45 newspapers.

The letter dated Aug. 9 also contained titles of CDs, DVDs and other literature linked to Gulen that has been deemed as “terrorist propaganda” in accordance with the court in Istanbul.

The motion was called on account of alleged links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) led by Gulen who was once an ally to Erdogan, but was later accused of overthrowing the government.

Read More: Erdogan Targets More Than 50,000 In Purge After Failed Turkish Coup

As part of an ongoing investigation under FETO, the education ministry has already announced that 936 private schools, 449 private dormitories and 284 other academic institutions will be closed and 21,029 teachers have been fired.

Gulen consistently denies that he had any involvement in the coup and the U.S. has, as of yet, refused to hand him over to the Turkish authorities.

Erdogan has claimed Gulen’s organization is just as bad as Kurdish insurgent group like the Kurdistan Socialist Workers party and its affiliates Democratic Union Party (PYD) and (People’s Protection Units) YPG and even the Islamic State — and has even accused them of acting together on occasion to invade Turkey.

“All those have the capability of acting together against the Republic of Turkey. However, we will continue fighting them,” said Erdogan. “They are in joint action with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), the PYD and Daesh. The next goal is invasion (of Turkey). We should see this.”

Read More: The US’s Silence Over Post-Coup Turkey Is Deafening