Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA), an Islamist foundation which has President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son Bilal Erdoğan on its advisory board, has been using its influence to make sure that its members are appointed to government positions, according to a series of lists shared by journalist Metin Cihan.
Cihan on Oct. 12 shared several lists including names of people affiliated with TÜGVA, their phone numbers, ID numbers, their university of graduation, the name of the ministries they would like to be appointed to, the dates of their interviews in these ministries and the name of their “references.” Among these references are people who are in the executive positions of the TÜGVA as well as former ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker Mahmut Kaçar.
tügva belgelerini gazete haberi yapsaydım "paralel devlet yapılanması" başlığı atardım. din istismarına dayalı ordu, emniyet, yargı kadrolaşması başta olmak üzere, fetö diye anlatılan ne varsa, tamamı bunlarda da var. üstelik kişilerin kaydı tutulmuş. kimlik numaralarına kadar.+ pic.twitter.com/YO8i71zOCq— metin cihan (@metcihan) October 12, 2021
Cihan has received these lists in an email from someone who was previously a member of TÜGVA, but later resigned from the foundation.
The person who wrote the e-mail told Cihan that TÜGVA sent these so-called “assignment lists” to government institutions for the relevant people to be given priority in the job positions.
The person told Cihan that the TÜGVA members would fill in these lists with their information, which would later be dispatched to the high-ranking people “at the top.” “Most of the people in these lists would be appointed. What I have sent is just some of them...Those who have a duty in the foundation are all working at an [government] institution. I will write it all,” the person said in their e-mail.
In his tweet, Cihan has not disclosed the name of his informant.
Cihan likened the TÜGVA's influence on the government to the infiltration of the Gülen network, referred to as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) by authorities, into the state structures.
“If I had turned the TÜGVA documents into a news report, I would have given it the headline of 'the parallel state structure.' Whatever has been told as FETÖ, exists with them as well, especially caderisation of military, police forces and judiciary based on abuse of religion. On top of that, there are a list of people, including their ID numbers. The excel list is actually longer, but I have taken the screenshot of a part of it [the list] to be able to share the image,” Cihan wrote in his tweet.
The journalist did not disclose the names and information of the people, but wrote that although they might be “happy” today with their positions which they have achieved through their influential contacts, “they might go through difficult times tomorrow.”
Soon after the release of the lists, TÜGVA president Enes Eminoğlu released a statement saying that the documents were “fake.” “The target of this new plot operation is not just TÜGVA. All our foundations and associations that serve national and sentimental values are at the target,” Eminoğlu said in a video shared on his Twitter account.
The chair of the Workers' Party of Turkey (TİP), Erkan Baş, called for the establishment of a parliamentary commission to investigate the allegations concerning TÜGVA.
“When millions of our young people finish university, later prepare for KPSS [Civil Servant Selection Examination] and then are eliminated during the interviews, it is a very serious and grave allegation that pro-government foundation, association and cults are forming an organization within the state,” Baş said in a press conference in parliament.