ISTANBUL — Students opposed to anti-government propaganda at dormitories operated by the Gülen Movement are increasingly being expelled or forced to leave student housing units. The number of those students has reached over 2,600 in just one week.
The General Directorate of Higher Education Credit and Dormitories Agency (KYK) announced on Friday that in total over 5,000 students left Gülenist dormitories in recent months and moved to state-run dormitories. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged affected students to contact the KYK.
Different housing alternatives have been offered to students who had to leave Gülenist dormitories, including renting private dorm rooms or covering expenses for students' accommodation at hotels.
Along with the government, several charities running dormitories pledged to help the expelled students. The Ensar Foundation, which runs dormitories across Turkey, invited those students to stay in their housing facilities. Speaking to the Turkish media, the foundation officials said they were ready to accommodate students in their own houses if they are unable to find vacancies. The Foundation for Disseminating Science also urged affected students to apply to live in their dormitories.
The Gülen Movement, led by the U.S.- based controversial imam Fethullah Gülen, has waged a series of public attacks against the government that climaxed with the Dec. 17 operation seeking to discredit the government. Those efforts later spread to prep schools and dormitories run by the movement. Students expelled from dormitories claimed they were forced to watch anti-government videos and send tweets defaming the government.