Charity banned over terrorism links

Charity commission

Trustees of the Anatolia People’s Cultural Centre were found to have mismanaged the organisation 

1st March 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity has been removed from the register and its trustees banned after being linked to terrorism.

The Charity Commission opened an inquiry into the Anatolia People’s Cultural Centre after being contacted by the Met Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.

This followed the arrest of one of the north London based organisation’s trustees, Ayfer Yildiz, on suspicion of offences under the terrorism act.

While Yildiz was found not guilty of the offences in May 2017, the commission ruled that the organisation’s trustees were in default of their legal duties to submit statutory returns with the commission for the financial years 2011 through to 2015.

The inquiry concluded that the charity was mismanaged by its trustees due to unacceptable and entirely inappropriate images being displayed by the organisation – which would have led to individuals linking it to the Revolutionary Peoples’ Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C), a proscribed terrorist organisation.

Michelle Russell, the Charity Commission’s director of investigations, said: “The association of any charity with terrorism and/or extremism is wholly unacceptable. The role of charity trustees is to protect their charities from abuse of this kind and the trustees’ failure to do this or to cooperate with the regulator is evidence that they are unfit to act as charity trustees.

“As was the case here, we work closely with the police and other authorities to tackle the threats that terrorism and extremism pose to charities, their beneficiaries and their work.”

The charity – which is now considered defunct – has been removed from the charity register and all trustees have been banned for a period of 10 years.