Prof. Çelikel with the mothers of some of the girls the ÇYDD is supporting.
The investigation of 15,000 scholarship students for alleged connections to terrorist groups is a targeted attack against the Support for Contemporary Living Association, or ÇYDD, said Prof. Aysel Çelikel, the head of the nongovernmental organization.
“They are investigating female students who just want to receive an education in order to accuse us of something,” said Çelikel. “This is shameful. The ÇYDD is working with the state and is trying to perform a service the state is failing to provide. Without the approval of the Education Ministry, we cannot open schools or dormitories.”
Çelikel said the girls who received scholarships from the ÇYDD were between the ages of 11 and 17 and mainly came from the eastern and the southeastern parts of the country.
“The investigation may also be targeting the relatives of these girls,” she said.
Before awarding scholarships, the ÇYDD asked for documents on the social and financial backgrounds of the girls.
“This year, 1,370 of our girls got into universities. This is something to be proud of,” Çelikel said. “What could be the reason behind investigating whether a person in a girl’s family has connections to terrorist groups?”
The ÇYDD head said the government was harming the girls in order to attack the organization. Noting that the move was made at a time when the government was formulating its Kurdish plan, she said the students were being investigated for possible membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, just because they were born in the east.