Gov’t-appointed trustee takes over Davutoğlu-linked foundation

The Turkish government has appointed a trustee to take over a foundation linked to former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, OdaTv reported on Tuesday.

Three officials from Turkey’s General Directorate for Foundations arrived at the Foundation for Sciences and Arts (Bilim ve Sanat Vakfı-BİSAV), whose founders include former ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) heavyweight Davutoğlu, to announce the decision, it said.

The former prime minister and founder of Turkey’s newly established opposition Future Party is expected to make a statement over the decision, Oda Tv said.

AKP Istanbul deputy Mustafa Yenerlioğlu, known for his criticism of the ruling party, blasted the move on Twitter, calling it embarrassing.

Yenerlioğlu said the institution had done nothing but raise qualified individuals for 40 years.

Pro-government Star daily columnist Siber Erarslan said the takeover of the foundation, which was established by the efforts and resources of Islamic circles, by state-appointed officials was “truly saddening’’.

Turkish journalist Yıldıray Oğur also labelled the move as “embarrassing’’.

“The ruling party of people who have all greatly benefitted from the foundation has now appointed a government official to it,’’ Oğur wrote on Twitter. 

Established in 1986, the Istanbul-based foundation is considered among the leading institutions of Turkey’s conservative intellectual circle.

It has for four decades organised seminars and led research on politics, history, economics and literature.

Davutoğlu-linked institutions and political figures have been under intense government pressure since he has planned a breakaway party to rival the ruling AKP

A court in December handed over Davutoğlu-linked private Şehir University in Istanbul to the city’s public Marmara University citing financial problems.

The former prime minister made headlines last week when he said in an interview all founding board members the Future Party had come under investigation.