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Leaks Confirm Islamist NGO’s Close Ties to Turkish State

October 18th, 2021 11:44

Bosn­ian media is report­ing that leaked doc­u­ments show how the Turkey Youth Foun­da­tion (TÜGVA), an Islamist NGO, works as a kind of ‘state-with­in-a-state’ in Turkey, appoint­ing its mem­bers to key posts in the state, police, and mil­i­tary. Accord­ing to a Balkan Insight article:

Octo­ber 13, 2021 Doc­u­ments shared by inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Metin Cihan reveal that the Turk­ish Youth Foun­da­tion, TUGVA, a polit­i­cal Islamist NGO that has mem­bers of Pres­i­dent Erdogan’s fam­i­ly on its board, has used its influ­ence with Erdo­gan to appoint its mem­bers to posts in the state, police and mil­i­tary.  The doc­u­ments that BIRN has also seen also show that pro-gov­ern­ment busi­ness­peo­ple, munic­i­pal­i­ties and gov­er­nor offices finance TUGVA.  “If I had turned the TUGVA doc­u­ments into a news report, I would have giv­en it the head­line of ‘The par­al­lel state struc­ture’,” Cihan wrote on Twit­ter about the doc­u­ments, which he shared on Twit­ter after a for­mer TUGVA mem­ber leaked them. […]

The leaked doc­u­ments include the names of peo­ple affil­i­at­ed with TUGVA, their phone and ID num­bers, their uni­ver­si­ty of grad­u­a­tion and the name of the min­istries, police and army branch­es to which they would like to be appoint­ed – plus the dates of their inter­views and the names of their “ref­er­ences,” who are mem­bers of TUGVA, or Erdogan’s rul­ing Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty, AKP.  Anoth­er list also reveals that insti­tu­tions closed and seized as part of a gov­ern­ment crack­down on crit­ics accused of sup­port­ing a failed coup attempt in 2016 were hand­ed over to TUGVA and five oth­er Islamist NGOs that have close ties to Erdogan’s par­ty and government.

Read the rest here.

The Turkey Youth Foun­da­tion (TÜGVA) describes itself as “a new-gen­er­a­tion youth foun­da­tion that was found­ed to raise a gen­er­a­tion that will always be on the side of jus­tice, defend­ing every­thing that is good and beau­ti­ful in the world.” The foun­da­tion man­ages dor­mi­to­ries, pro­vides schol­ar­ships, and runs var­i­ous edu­ca­tion pro­grams in Turkey and abroad. The foun­da­tion also orga­nizes social activ­i­ties around “val­ues edu­ca­tion” in all reli­gious and sec­ondary schools.

TÜGVA projects have also received fund­ing from the Euro­pean Union.