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Turkish Education Foundation Budget Increased 752% Since 2017

January 9th, 2022 15:06

Turk­ish media is report­ing that the Maarif Foundation’s bud­get has grown sev­er­al­fold since 2017. Accord­ing to the soL report:

Decem­ber 10th, 2021: While the 2022 bud­get of the Maarif Foun­da­tion is pro­ject­ed to be 1 bil­lion 389 mil­lion TL, this fig­ure has increased by 752 per­cent com­pared to 2017. The Min­istry of Nation­al Edu­ca­tion announced the num­ber of oper­at­ing coun­tries as 61 and the num­ber of schools as 402.[…] The 752 per­cent growth was attrib­uted to the “exchange rate”. The salary paid by the foun­da­tion, which has a con­flict of author­i­ty with the Nation­al Edu­ca­tion Min­istry, for the per­son­nel it sent abroad drew atten­tion. The foun­da­tion man­age­ment said that the low­er lim­it of the salary of for­eign per­son­nel, which it stat­ed is deter­mined “accord­ing to the eco­nom­ic con­di­tions of the coun­tries in which they oper­ate”, is 2,887 dol­lars and the upper lim­it is 6,637 dol­lars. It was report­ed that the total num­ber of per­son­nel of the foun­da­tion abroad is 438. Accord­ing to the news of Mustafa Bildircin from Birgün, the Maarif Foun­da­tion, which is the only insti­tu­tion oth­er than the Min­istry of Nation­al Edu­ca­tion with the author­i­ty to open edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions abroad, and which has many names close to the gov­ern­ment under its man­age­ment, received 163 mil­lion TL in 2017, 270 mil­lion TL in 2018, 422 mil­lion TL in 2019, 684 mil­lion TL in 2020 and 1.2 bil­lion TL in 2021. [Trans­lat­ed by Google with edits]

Read the rest here.

The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment found­ed the Maarif Foun­da­tion (Türkiye Maarif Vak­fı) osten­si­bly to pro­vide edu­ca­tion, dor­mi­to­ries, and schol­ar­ships abroad, from pre-school to high­er edu­ca­tion, and raise a “Turkey-friend­ly youth.” It was also intend­ed to take over schools run by sup­port­ers of Fethul­lah Gülen, which Turkey blames for its 2016 coup. Zafer Sırakaya, Istan­bul AKP MP and AKP Deputy Chair­man of For­eign Rela­tions has iden­ti­fied the Maarif Foun­da­tion as an ele­ment of Turkey’s soft pow­er and a means to reduce assim­i­la­tion among the Turk­ish dias­po­ra. The Maarif Foun­da­tion oper­ates in over 100 coun­tries glob­al­ly. Its board mem­bers have includ­ed many AKP offi­cials, as well as:

  • Selim Cer­rah, a co-founder and vice pres­i­dent of Cihan­nü­ma, an asso­ci­a­tion that has host­ed Hamas lead­ers, includ­ing Khaled Meshaal.