On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan enacted an emergency decree to shutter thousands of institutions across the country, including private schools and charities, Reuters reports. The emergency decree is Erdogan’s first since imposing a three-month state of emergency on Wednesday after a military insurrection against his government failed a week ago.
The Anadolu agency, a state-run Turkish news source, reports, that Erdogan authorized the closure of 1,229 charities and foundations, 1,043 private schools, 35 medical institutions, 19 trade unions, and 15 universities. These institutions are allegedly linked to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and his teachings. Erdogan believes Gulen is responsible for inciting the coup, and demanded his extradition to Turkey from Pennsylvania last week.
Over the past week Turkish authorities have aggressively detained people in the Turkish judiciary, education system, military, and police departments, targeting in particular alleged followers of Gulen.
The state of emergency gives Erdogan the power to pass laws and suspend civil rights without going through the tortuous business of winning parliamentary approval.
The reality of the situation is approximately as Orwellian as it sounds. Ugur Tanyeli, dean of faculty of architecture at Bilgi University in Istanbul told the New York Times on Friday, “We were given no information as to what will happen next. We were just asked to resign, and we resigned.”