ÇYDD, ÇEV, freemasons cooperate on terrorist scholarships, says prosecutor
29 December 2010
AHMET DÖNMEZ, ISTANBUL
An indictment against members of the Support for Modern Life Association (ÇYDD) and the Contemporary Education Foundation (ÇEV) that was prepared as part of the investigation into Ergenekon -- a clandestine gang charged with plotting to overthrow the government -- has shown that both groups are linked to freemasons in Turkey in the provision of scholarships to students accused of terrorist activities.
According to prosecutors, the ÇYDD and ÇEV asked the Turkish Society of Idea and Culture -- the main association for freemasonry in Turkey -- to provide scholarships for students who were discovered to have ties to terrorist groups. A document included in the indictment shows that the society provided scholarships for three university students who were later detained following demonstrations organized by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The students had received scholarships from the ÇYDD and ÇEV before their links to the PKK were known.
For example, S.A., a student at Istanbul Universitys medical school, was detained in November of 2007 in connection with the burning of a vehicle in the Eminönü district. Police found pro-PKK literature in his pockets. A detailed investigation also revealed that the student had received a scholarship from the ÇYDD. In a phone conversation between Türkan Saylan, the late president of the ÇYDD in August 2008, and a female ÇYDD official, the official asked Saylan if they would continue to provide a scholarship for S.A. Saylan said, No, and asked the official to contact a woman she identified as Filiz from the Turkish Society of Idea and Culture. After the ÇYDD contacted the society, S.A. was granted a scholarship by the freemason group.
Another student from Istanbul Universitys law department, identified as A.D.T., was also receiving a scholarship from the ÇYDD when she was arrested after a demonstration held by the PKK/Kongra-Gel group. After her arrest, the ÇYDD cut off her scholarship but then put her in contact with the Turkish Society of Idea and Culture. The student received a scholarship from the society for 10 months.
The Turkish Society of Idea and Culture does not make any announcements when it provides scholarships for students. In other words, it has a closed system of scholarship. The societys lawyer, Mehmet Güven Akçar, confirmed that the students had been provided with scholarships by the Turkish Society of Idea and Culture. But he added that the society did not know that the students had connections with the terrorist PKK. I learned about it all from the news stories. It is not a nice incident for us. We do not follow the records of students. This is a major defect. We do not have links to the ÇYDD or ÇEV, he explained.