TurkeyJuly 25 2022, 16:15 pm

Turkish Government Funded Foundation Has Taken over 234 Schools in 20 Countries

Turk­ish media is report­ing the gov­ern­ment-fund­ed Maarif Foun­da­tion has tak­en con­trol of more than 200 schools world­wide, for­mer­ly led by orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als asso­ci­at­ed with the Gülen (aka FETÖ) move­ment. Accord­ing to the pro-gov­ern­ment Dai­ly Sabah report:

As a result of the diplo­mat­ic activ­i­ties car­ried out in close coor­di­na­tion with the Pres­i­den­cy, the Min­istry of For­eign Affairs and oth­er pub­lic insti­tu­tions and orga­ni­za­tions, FETÖ affil­i­at­ed schools in 20 coun­tries have been closed so far and 234 of them have been trans­ferred to the Maarif. In 46 coun­tries, 92 dif­fer­ent pro­to­cols were signed with the aim of trans­fer­ring FETÖ affil­i­at­ed schools and open­ing new schools. From teach­ing Turk­ish to open­ing edu­ca­tion cen­ters for the chil­dren of Turks liv­ing abroad, from pre-school pro­grams to its chains of suc­cess­ful schools, the Maarif Foun­da­tion leaves FETÖ in a dif­fi­cult posi­tion as it branch­es out into every field of edu­ca­tion abroad. Maarif opened 172 new edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions in 32 coun­tries in order to meet the edu­ca­tion­al needs of nations that are strate­gi­cal­ly impor­tant for Turkey or where the Turk­ish dias­po­ra is dense.

Read the rest here.

The Gülen Move­ment is referred to by the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment as the “Fethul­lahist Ter­ror­ist Organ­i­sa­tion (FETÖ).” Fethul­lah Gülen, the leader of the Gülen move­ment, lives in self-exile in the Unit­ed States near Say­lors­burg, Penn­syl­va­nia. The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment accus­es him of plan­ning the unsuc­cess­ful coup attempt in July 2016. Gülen was pre­vi­ous­ly one of Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s polit­i­cal allies and has mil­lions of fol­low­ers in his move­ment, which “prides itself on being a paci­fist, inter­na­tion­al­ist, mod­ern, and mod­er­ate alter­na­tive to more extreme deriva­tions of Sun­ni Islam.” The move­ment runs schools world­wide, includ­ing many in the US.

It is inter­est­ing to note that the Dai­ly Sabah iden­ti­fies Cana­di­an lawyer Robert Ams­ter­dam who recent­ly pub­lished a book called “Empire Of Deceit: Vol II: Web of Influ­ence.” Accord­ing to Dai­ly Sabah, the book depicts a net­work of “FETÖ-affil­i­at­ed schools in the U.S. and the cor­rup­tion sur­round­ing them, includ­ing finan­cial vio­la­tions and mis­con­duct.” How­ev­er, accord­ing to Reuters, Ams­ter­dam is also the founder of UK-based firm Ams­ter­dam and Part­ners LLP, which the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment hired in 2015 to file a civ­il suit against Gülen alleg­ing human rights abuses.

The Maarif Foun­da­tion was found­ed in 2016 and is fund­ed by the Turk­ish Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion. Maarif oper­ates in over 100 coun­tries world­wide, includ­ing the EU, USA, and Aus­tralia. Maarif is fund­ed by the Turk­ish Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion, and its bud­get was 1.23 bil­lion lire (140 mil­lion EUR) in 2021 from 1 mil­lion lire in 2016. 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.


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