Filiz Gazi/ DUVAR

Turkey’s Forensic Medicine Department has members of religious organizations within its ranks, a forensic expert from the institution has claimed.

An employee of the Forensic Medicine Department since 1993, Dr. Nevzat Alkan said that the Gülen organization had infiltrated the Forensic Medicine Department.

Led by U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gülen, the Gülen organization is to blame for the botched 2016 coup attempt according to Ankara. The organization operated private schools in Turkey and Central Asia, and Ankara used the claim that the group had infiltrated government institutions to justify removing over a hundred thousand public servants from their posts.

Alkan said that Forensic Medicine was crucial to the Gülen organization because reports from the department are critical in determining the judicial proceedings in most cases.

“You can tell by the higher averages we saw in the Forensic Medicine expertise examination. This was because of their attention and since we know they were giving out the questions,” Alkan said.

About 70 doctors were either arrested or laid off following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, Alkan said, adding that those must have not been all the employees who were related to an organization.

“It’s not only the Gülen organization in the Forensic Medicine Department. There are many structures, from Hakyol supporters to Menzil supporters,” Alkan said, referring to two new religious organizations that have formed recently in Turkey.

The reason why these organizations are able to infiltrate the Forensic Medicine Department is because the Justice Ministry is in charge of assignments, Alkan added.

“What’s important about Forensic Medicine is that the [Justice] Ministry assigns people to the posts and carries out promotions. That being the case, they’ll just create opportunities for those who have the same mentality as them,” Alkan said.

“Erdogan’s purges have replaced one Islamic sect with another”

A recent news story in US-based news outlet Foreign Policy said that the rise of the Menzil organization, a network much like that of Gülen’s, is a result of the post-coup purge of Gülenists from public institutions.

The Menzil are the proprietors of numerous hospitals and health centers, and have been accused of infiltrating the police force recently, prompting a response from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

“Show me one [member of the Menzil sect inside the police forces] and I will resign from the ministry,” Soylu said, refuting the claims.